What's The Difference (#219)
Bible version used: NKJV
What’s the Difference?
“You’ve got to remember, we have more in common that we have dividing us.”
I often hear that statement about faith. One Hindu lady told me, “Our religion is just the same as yours, except we’re more traditional than you are.” And even as the threat of world terrorism continues to grow, religious and political leaders are quick to reassure us that the terrorists don’t really represent Islam which is a ‘religion of peace, just as is Christianity.’
Maybe they’re right. But underlying these claims is often a belief that deep down all religions have more in common than they have differences. So why argue about our differences when we have so much in common? Isn’t religion just humanity’s search for God, and can’t each of us make that search in the way that we find most meaningful?
It is true that religion is humanity’s search for God. Because God made us to know and love him, we are all naturally religious--even if we try to hide it. In the famous words of St. Augustine, “You have made us for Yourself, O God, and our souls are restless till they find rest in You.”
But if religion in general is humanity’s search for God, only the religion of the Bible (Christianity) is God’s search for a lost humanity. John 3:16 reads “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
What sets Christianity apart from other religions is grace which means that we don’t have to earn our way back to God. We need only receive his unconditional love and forgiveness freely offered to us in Jesus Christ. Romans 5:8 reads: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Don’t you owe it to yourself to find out what this means for you? It makes all the difference in the world and it is far more important than focusing on what the religions in the world have in common.
If you would like to learn more about God’s unconditional love and grace, read the Gospel of John or the Gospel of Mark and talk to a Christian about how to receive this grace.
J. Cameron Fraser
Texts used are from the NKJV