Religious pluralism – What is it?

In contrast with the belief that there is only one true religion, religious pluralism holds that two or more religions provide equal paths to God. The idea has gained traction in the past fifty years or so.

For clarity, it is important to point out that religious pluralism is not the mere finding of commonalities between religions, but believing two, several, or all religions define ways to God or gods. Religious pluralism is believing that two or more religious systems are equally valid pathways to God.

Clearly religious pluralism is unbiblical. Jesus said He was the only way to God: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

The apostles also taught that Jesus is the sole path to God. In Acts 4:12 Peter said, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

Of course, some religions can share many tenets. Christianity and Buddhism both call followers to care for the poor. And, different religions can hold to some identical doctrine. Muslims and Christians both believe there is one God who spoke to Abraham. But that does not mean that Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity are all true.

The Bible is clear that there is only one God and that we are to worship no others (Deuteronomy 6:4–5; Exodus 20:3; Ephesians 4:4–6; 1 John 5:20–21). It is equally clear that the only path to relationship with God is through Jesus Christ (John 3:16–18; 14:6; Acts 4:12; Matthew 7:13–14; 1 Timothy 2:5–6). Christianity is the only faith which identifies Jesus Christ as fully divine and fully human who died in the place of others and rose bodily from the dead to provide and offer salvation to the world. And it claims to be the exclusive path to God. The Bible leaves no room for religious pluralism.

This is not to say that Christians do not support religious liberty. Such liberty honors the free will with which God has endowed humanity and it guarantees that many religions can worship peaceably. Such liberty allows Christians to worship God publicly. However, spiritually, we must believe what the Bible says about God and how to be in relationship with Him. Christians tolerate other religions, but do not accept them as truth.

"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time" (1 Timothy 2:5–6).

Related Truth:

There are so many different religions; how do I know which one is right?

Is it true that Jesus is the only way to heaven?

What is Christian tolerance? Should Christians be tolerant of other religious beliefs?

What is a biblical view of eclecticism?

What is organized religion and does the Bible support it?

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