Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Why Must There Be One TRUE Religion? Why Is It Christianity?

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I. Introduction:

  • Why do I believe that God exists and Christianity to be the only true religion?
  • Why do I not accept the popular idea that one religion or philosophical worldview is just as good as another?
  • These are important questions that deserve rational answers.

John chapter 18 describes a conversation between Christ and Pilate prior to Christ's crucifixion. At the end of this encounter Pilate asks Jesus the most important question any human being can ask, only he did not wait for the answer.

"Pilate said to Him, 'What is truth?' And when he had said this, he went out..." (John 18:38).

To the first question of this paper we answer and say that there must be one true religion (faith) because the truth is, by definition, exclusive and absolute.

II. The Exclusiveness of Truth:

The law of non-contradiction is the foundation for all logical thinking it states that "A cannot be non-A in the same time and in the same way."

For example: It cannot be both raining and not raining at the same time and in the same respect. From this we can infer that all truth, by definition, is exclusive

By embracing one thing, it excludes everything else.

  • If Jesus Christ is the "only begotten Son" of God, then that honor cannot belong to anyone else, not to Buddha, not to Mohammed.
  • If the Truth acknowledges one being as supreme lord, then it will reject all other contenders for the throne. That is the nature of truth.

III. Not All Religions Point to the Same God

Let us examine the differences between Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity, with regard to their teaching concerning salvation.

  • In Buddhism, the way of "salvation" is through the elimination of all desire.
  • In Islam, salvation comes when our good deeds outnumber the bad ones.
  • In Christianity, salvation is a gift from God to humanity that is only attained by the working faith in His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

It is more reasonable to state that all religions are false than to say that more than one religion is true. So it follows that either

A) All of the major world religions are false, or
B) Only one religion is true.

Now that we answered the first question, lets us discuss the reason that this truth is revealed in the Christian faith.

IV. What about Christianity

  • Contrary to popular belief, Christianity at its core is NOT only a religion...
    (form of rules and rituals with the thought of pleasing god and earning his favor).
  • Christianity is a way of life, a relationship to nourish.
  • The key to understanding Christianity is in understanding its author, the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Christianity stands unparalleled among the world's spiritual belief systems because its author is also unparalleled.
  • "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb 12:2).

V. The Uniqueness of Christianity

  • Unlike Buddha, Mohammad, and others, Christ is alive today. He is the Only One that was crucified, died and rose from the dead.
  • Christians are united with He who died and rose for them. This relationship is not found in any other religion.
  • The Author and Finisher of our faith claims to be God incarnate, a claim that was never made by any other religious leader.
  • God is perfect. Human are imperfect. As a result mankind can only create imperfect religions.
    - That means that all man-created religions are imperfect and have common characteristics.

    - This makes the one religion created by God unique, because it has characteristics only God could give.

  • In no other religion does the leader of that religion die so that his followers may live.
  • Christianity is the only religion in which love, including love of enemies, is the central theme.

VI. The Case for Christianity

Below are only some of many arguments that validate the truthfulness of Christianity.

+ The Reality of the Existence of Christ

  • A large portion of the Holy Bible is made of eyewitness accounts of people who were actually there.
  • Christians do not depend on a single individual's revelation of the truth (as, for example, in Islam and Buddhism).
  • "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life--" (1 John 1:1).
  • The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, who was not a Christian, wrote in 93-94 A.D.: "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. And his conduct was good, and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. And those who had become his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion and that he was alive; accordingly, he was perhaps the messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders." Antiquities of the Jews, XVIII.iii.3

+ The Divinity of Jesus Christ

  • Throughout the gospels, Christ claimed Himself to be God. He claimed to have authority over the law, creation, sin, and death.
  • Christ, being God, was without sin. No one could make this claim.
  • Another prove of Christs divinity are the countless miracles He performed (Jn 21:25).
  • Miracles are a powerful confirmation because it authenticates the Creator's authority over His creation.
  • The fulfillment of the prophecies. The prophecies included the city of birth, His method of dying, His betrayal, His resurrection, etc. Christ fulfilled each of these.

+ The Resurrection of Christ

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. Without it, Jesus is a fraud and Christianity a false religion. Consider 1 Corinthians 15:14,17, "And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!"

  • So the question before us is this: "Did Jesus rise from the dead?"
  • For the apostles, what was there to gain from preaching that Christ rose from the dead if He really did not?
  • If they did not believe in the resurrection, they would have known that what they were preaching was a lie. Do you know anyone who would knowingly die for a lie?
  • There was no financial gain; there was no social prestige; there was no political power to come as a result of their preaching the Resurrection.
  • Men do not manifest this kind of steadfastness and loyalty to a known falsehood. They all asserted right up to the end that they saw Jesus after He was raised from the dead.
  • It is more difficult to believe that these men acted a lie, suffered for it, and died for it than to believe in what they were preaching.
  • As an atheist, lawyer and journalist Lee Strobel did a two-year investigation on the resurrection interviewing some of the great scholars on both sides. He finally concluded in his book The Case for Christ,

    In light of the convincing facts I had learned during my investigation, in the face of this overwhelming avalanche of evidence in the case for Christ, the great irony was this, it would require much more faith for me to maintain my atheism than to trust in Jesus of Nazareth.

+ The Authenticity of the Holy Bible

  • The Holy Bible proves to be true historically and scientifically.
    1. The Holy Bible is true historically. In spite of comments to the contrary, archeology continually has verified the validity of the Holy Bible.
    2. The Holy Bible is true scientifically. Nothing in Scripture has been invalidated by science. In fact, many scientific principles are found in the Holy Bible.

  • A sampling of these would include the roundness of the earth (Isaiah 40:22), the almost infinite extent of the sidereal universe (Isaiah 55:9), the law of conservation of mass and energy (2 Peter 3:7), the hydrologic cycle (Ecclesiastes 1:7), the vast number of stars (Jeremiah 33:22), the equivalence of matter and energy (Hebrews 1:3), the law of increasing entropy (Psalm 102:25-27).
  • The Holy Bible answers the major questions all belief systems must answer.
    - Where did we come from?
    - What is the nature of the divine?
    - What is the nature of man?
    - What is the answer to the human predicament?
    - What happens after death?
    - How do we explain evil?
  • The Holy Bible gives the most complete and accurate answers to the truly important questions of human existence.
  • From early childhood we are constantly confronted by the unpleasant fact that the world in which we live is two-sided and contradictory.

+ The Duality of the World

  • From early childhood we are constantly confronted by the unpleasant fact that the world in which we live is two-sided and contradictory.
  • On one hand, nature is beautiful and majestic. At the same time, we are confronted with storms, earthquakes, drought and epidemics.
  • We are deprived of our planned activities by illness. It appears that there is nothing sure and constant in the world.
  • Fame does not endure. Riches slip away between our fingers. Brief moments of happiness are followed by long periods of emptiness and aimlessness.
  • Dreams do not come true. A few minutes of joy are succeeded feelings of discontent. Youth is replaced by old age. Death is always waiting for people of every age.

    Questions in a dire need for an answer:
    - Why does the world seem to give with one hand, only to take away with the other?
    - Why does it give us the joy of life only that it may later grieve us with death?
    - More importantly, why is it that we cannot reconcile ourselves to this duality, but rather long for complete harmony and order?
    - Why do we have within us such a burning thirst for life and endless happiness, when death and dissolution are just as natural as life itself?

  • It turns out that the greatest contradiction in this world lies within our very selves.
  • There is some aspect of our nature which does not think and feel according to the laws of the physical world, but according to some other spiritual law.
  • This is why man can never be reconciled with the facts of destruction and death.
  • A clear and precise answer to this important question is provided by Christianity.
  • It affirms that there really does exist another and better world, called the kingdom of heaven.
  • It is a world without the contradictions and injustices of our own; it is free from crime, violence, sickness and death. It is a world where never-ending life and harmony are the rule, where all rational beings, illumined by the life-giving light of their Creator, ceaselessly contemplate His beauty and rejoice in His mercies.

+ Our Personal Experience

  • Jesus Christ and the truths of the Holy Bible are not simply facts to be stored in our minds. They are truths that we are invited to experience in a personal way.
  • God invites us to a personal relationship with Him through the sacramental liturgies of the Church.
  • It is then that we experience the reality of God in our lives. Although an individual's experience is a subjective thing, it is part of the proofs that authenticate faith.

VII. Conclusion

Christianity provides answers to everything in life...answers to combat fear and hatred.

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