Today we start a new series which asks questions as to whether God has provided only one route for believers to be forgiven and restored. At the heart of this issue lurks a huge ‘elephant in the room’ because faced with the binary choice of believing one religion over all others, we soon come to appreciate this is not an either/or decision that should be taken lightly as the stakes are incredibly high – eternal life or eternal death?
One reason there is a dilemma for the individual is that all religions purport to be the elected guardians of the One true faith. We see this in the monopoly of revelation that each religion pertains to itself: a unique truth that has been passed down to them by their Diety. Often, this takes the form of a holy manuscript or sacred text (Bible, Koran, Torah etc) in which instructions are given to the believer, requiring absolute devotion and obedience to that particular religion’s accompanying rites of passage, community allegience, and subscribance to the named Deity.
Naturally, the problem for the devotee is which religion to choose because the stakes are high – indeed, it might even be said it is a matter of spiritual life and death. Choose right and the person goes to heaven. Choose wrong and they are destined for ‘hell’ – whatever you understand that to mean?
Over the next few weeks, we will tease out more of the issues involved as we try to make sense of the different claims made about God, heaven and acceptance…