Is There Only One Way To God?

'Tis the season - for a question:

The Christmas Season.

It is also the Hanukkah season.

Every ten or so years, at this time of year, it is also either the season Ramadan or the Hajj.

With all the religions in the world, is there really only one way to God?

All the major faiths recognize the existence of God, the supreme being. All define him as all-powerful, all-knowing, and, most importantly, just. Religions vary on what God requires for a person to have a relationship with him. Religions vary on what happens to a person when they die and whether or not what happens to them at that point depends on the religion they chose in life.

What are the odds that out of all the millions of people who have lived on this earth since its creation (however you believe that happened) and out of all the forms of religion that have been practiced over those thousands, if not millions, of years that only one faith actually allows a person to know God and spend eternity with him? Why would an all-knowing, all-powerful, and most significantly, a just God set up the world that way? Inherently, that seems unfair.

There are so many devout, sincere, hard-working practitioners of every religion on earth. How can a just God reward only one faith with eternal life, paradise, whatever you want to call the ultimate reward in a religion?

What if? What if God decided to recognize all attempts to reach him in whatever form they might take? He could do that. In fact, isn't that what constitutes the definition of justice? Giving everyone a fair chance?

So how would that work? Let's say you have chosen Hinduism to be your religion. There are requirements in that faith for what you must do to meet their standards to be a good Hindu. Why couldn't a just God simply judge Hindus by the standards they believe are required to reach him? Why couldn't God do the same for any religion? Why wouldn't he be willing to judge people by whatever standards they think are right?

Let's say, for the purpose of argument, God does exactly that. He judges each person by the rules of the religion each person chooses. Here's the problem. Who can meet those standards? Who can keep every rule all the time? Have you ever known anyone who could? Perfectly? Never failing once? All the religions of the world call for a person to be good enough - in the terms the individual faiths define - to reach God. And as far as I know, no one has ever been good enough. No one has ever met the standards of their own faith. Some are very good. But has anyone ever been good enough?

Christianity is not the only the way to reach God. But, as far as I can tell, it is the only religion that doesn't require its followers to be good enough to reach God. It offers grace - not a set of standards. Grace - the ultimate get out of jail free card. Belief is the only requirement. You just believe that God has made a way for you to reach him even though you are not good enough. And the way he made is why Christians celebrate Christmas.

Tis the season. And my wish for all the religions of the world is simply this. Please don't think - that Christians think - there is only one way to God. There are many. We just know there is a way we can all reach Him - even though we will never be good enough.

Merry Christmas to those who practice all faiths.





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Comments 22 comments

WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Hi, Kathleen,

I just don't think religious philosophies can all be so very different and yet all be right. Christianity makes sense on so many levels and in so many ways that it is my chosen belief.

This is an excellent piece.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

This is something I've been thinking on a good deal lately. Don't know why. After posting it for a few days and getting no comments, I figured I must be way out in left field. Thanks for the encouragement.


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Not in left field at all, but I think your Hub and questions/analysis take real time to process and grapple with and not everyone can or is willing to devote the time needed, especially during this busy season. But for the record, very well-reasoned and clearly articulated. Thanks.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Thanks! You've posted 14 Hubs! Wow! I've got some catching up to do. Merry!


WD Curry 111 profile image

WD Curry 111 4 years ago from Space Coast

This is an excellent piece. It concisely and eloquently expresses thoughts that we all should have. Even within Christianity, there are many different understandings and different points of emphasis.

I study and often think of Native American faith. Wakan-Tanka is the Sioux name for the Great Spirit. It can be accurately translated as Jehovah Gyra.

Here is an interesting passage from the Bible. I usually find it irritating when people bomb hubs and forums with scripture, but this one seems to fit the theme.

Romans 2

6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.

12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. 14 (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law. 15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them.) 16 This will take place on the day when God judges people’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

I am a Christian, because I have no other choice. I am not a righteous man . . . even on a good day.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Me either - even on a very good day.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and the scripture, which gives credence to your points.

There are so many ways what I've written could be taken in the wrong way. I'm glad you "got it."


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Kathleen - Even on a second read many months later, this is a thoughtful, well-structured, and compassionate examination of faith, God, and the purpose, possibilities, and depth to be found within religion by people of faith. Thank you for demonstrating a incisive, but calm and generous spirit. Sharing.


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Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I commented on someelse's hub on faith and he asked me to reshare this hub. Thanks for taking the time to give it a re-read and comment. I wouldn't want anyone to think - I think - all religions are the same. That would so miss the point.


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Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

someoneelse's is surely two words: someone else's


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Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Added this video to augment this hub. Hope it is enjoyed.


Oswalda Purcell profile image

Oswalda Purcell 2 years ago from Los Angeles

Great, brave and timely post!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York

One of the nuns I had in school, way back, said to think of God as you think of your loving father. Would he forgive you if you did something wrong? Would he still love you if you chose a different way to live? I know my father would have and so would many other fathers.....the perfect father, God. Whether you're Catholic, Christian, Jew, Hindu, believe in God and live the life you were taught to live and it will surely lead you home, wherever home might be.

Thanks for sharing this as I missed it the first time.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

tillsontitan: A beautiful thought, beautifully written. Glad you caught this rerun!

Oswalda: Welcome to my hubs. This one is kind of out-there, but glad you found it "brave." Simply my thoughts.


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Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

HP: This is my only unfeatured hub and it has more traffic than many of my others. Can somebody explain? Thanks.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 11 months ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Beautifully said, Kathleen. This explanation of the way to God makes sense to me. Just believe, and be the best you can. Religion is not one-size-fits-all, and never will be. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Merry Christmas!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 11 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Merry Christmas Rebecca!


Norine Williams 2 months ago

Amen KAT!

"GRACE" - The Too Good To BE TRUE NEWS - THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST!

What makes it even BETTER, HE HAS sent HELP who "leads and guides us into ALL truth;" IF we ONLY "BELIEVE!"

Blessings


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Amen Norine! Thanks for contributing!


Norine Williams 2 months ago

NOTHING but WORD!

Blessings


Kiss andTales profile image

Kiss andTales 2 months ago

Kathleen what a very good expressive writer you are ! Thanks so much for visiting my hub and subject. I must sincerely say excuse my late reading of your comment .

You say so many valid points that many can relate to . I myself have had similar thoughts long ago, but I really wanted to know the truth ! The Heavenly Father made that possible .

I will share a few with you here and also I will write a new hub with more answers to your question Kathleen.

One question we can cover with a scripture as an answer is clear .

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, a man, Christ Jesus,

Again as written

Eph 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;

Eph 4:6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

In contrast humans have done this and still do.

Notice. Jer 11:13 For your gods have become as many as your cities, O Judah, and you have set up as many altars to the shameful thing as there are streets in Jerusalem, altars to make sacrifices to Baʹal.’

Even as noted in the scriptures people worship deities not of his approval.

Much of this type of worship has also contaminated pure worship that he approved under his Son Jesus and disciples. But when the last of them died satan got busy and started to mix lies with the truth.

The Hub is it Christian or is it Eygptain was created to point out the contamination of christainanity mixing pagan customs and symbols.

Satan knows the Heavenly Father devises lies , and worse satan is stealing what only belongs to our Heavenly Father. That is sincere pure worship.

The reason that any worship will not do is because some customs come from pagan god worship.

Jer 32:35 Furthermore, they built the high places of Baʹal in the Valley of the Son of Hinʹnom, in order to make their sons and their daughters pass through the fire to Moʹlech, something that I had not commanded them and that had never come into my heart to do such a detestable thing, causing Judah to sin.’

Today these type of worship still exist.

Yes we must direct our worship to him personally because of the many deities humans have created and one that accept worship under any deity name is satan.

So you see we have to get it right or it is in vain that we go to a place of worship and it contaminated with pagan beliefs

Also notice that scriptures proves The Heavenly Father does not burn anyone.

But religious doctrine uses he burns people.

The other gods did this not the true God Jehovah Psalms 83:18 .

Thanks for your very good comment.


Norine Williams 2 months ago

Kathleen, you are being used by the LORD as a tool for HIS WORD to be given! Praise HIS Name! Thank HIM for this because you will be rewarded accordingly! Jeremiah 32:19 says HE gives each of us “…according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings!” Amen!

I’ve recently encountered demonic spirits from the organization called The Ekkelesia (To no prevail and I give GOD “ALL” the GLORY!) and now (as you can see) the Jehovah’s Witness organization has come forth! Therefore, please allow the WORD of GOD be given this woman so that she can KNOW TRUTH in HIS WORD!

K&T, before we begin I would like to say “*I* don’t know you “personally,” but I’ve seen the fruit of your spirit which is one of “pride” and “self righteousness!” You have allowed “man” to “teach” you what “he” has “interpreted” as GOD’S WORD and you believe! According to HIS WORD, I understand, because II Corinthians 4:3-4 says “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of THIS WORLD hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of GOD, should shine unto them.” Therefore, Satan is doing his job and without HIS HELP (GOD’S), we are gullible!

Ephesians 6:12 [paraphrasing], this is a “spiritual” warfare between good and evil, and without the “whole armor of GOD,” one will not prevail and is why we should “arm ourselves” for the battle BEFORE we start the journey! I continue to tell ALL to “Go Back” (Isaiah 28:13) and “WAIT” (Acts 1:4) for the HELP Promised in John 14:26; 16:13 in order to “STAND” against the “principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of THIS WORLD, against spiritual wickedness in high places!” If one wants to call “THIS STEP” (Matthews 6:33), demonic, flaky, witchcraft, etc THEY WILL “NEVER” be in connection with GOD for HE is SPIRIT and the ONLY language HE KNOWS is “Spiritual!” John 4:23-24 says “TRUE WORSHIPERS” – “MUST” worship HIM in SPIRIT and in TRUTH!” Therefore, if we don’t “WAIT” for the “Communication Line” (aka HOLY SPIRIT) to HIM (Acts 1:2) it’s ALL null and void or only our (man’s) “interpretation!” Since HE has “ONE MIND” (Philippians 2:5) and one DID NOT “WAIT,” we now KNOW why there are so MANY different denominations within “Christianity” and so MANY different “beliefs!”

Now, in response to your comment: The “One question you want to cover” is a scripture in I Timothy 2:5! The NWT as well as the KJV were both written by men but “inspired by GOD!” Did WORD not say we have to be “ARMED” with the HOLY SPIRIT to discern LIES within each? The KJV as “inserted” words in Matthew 28:19 which said “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Now this was JESUS giving HIS disciples “A COMMANDMENT” yet I can find NOWHERE in KJV where they “obeyed!” Did JESUS not say “If you love me you’ll “keep my COMMANDS” [paraphrasing John 14:15]? I guess the disciples DIDN’T LOVE JESUS?

As with the KJV, there are additions and deletions in the NWT which were made by “man!” The subject Scripture of I Timothy 2:5 was written in error identifying Jesus as “A” man vs “THE Man” for there is no other “man” that accomplished what JESUS did for HE was GOD “manifested in the flesh” (I Timothy 3:16)!

According to englishpage.com “A and An” are called INDEFINITE articles. “Indefinite” means “NOT SPECIFIC!” (JESUS is “NOT SPECIFIC?”) “The” is called a DEFINITE article (Wouldn’t you say JESUS fits here?) “Definite” means “SPECIFIC!” (Hello JESUS!) In my email to you, I pointed this out although you probably disregarded! Therefore, this is only a minute error on the NWT’S translator as I have not studied in full! However, as you say “One error makes the entire thing wrong” without HELP from the HOLY SPIRIT!

I Timothy 2:5 reads this way in KJV: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, “THE” man Christ Jesus;” Whereas it reads this way in the NWT: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, “A” man, Christ Jesus!” Consequently the translation of the KJV is more in line with TRUTH in reference to this Scripture for Scripture is not talking of an “INDEFINITE” (aka “NOT SPECIFIC”), (“A”) man but a “DEFINITE” (aka “SPECIFIC”), (“THE”) man! However, we ALL need HELP from the HOLY SPIRIT because “translation after translation” are moving ALL “further and further away” from what GOD has really said and into man’s “interpretation” of Scripture! With the HELP of the HOLY SPIRIT “ALL TRUTH” will be “REVEALED!”

Ephesians 4:5-6 is TRUE! There is “ONE LORD”…” for ALL “GLORIES” are “ONE SPIRIT!” (v) “ONE GOD and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” - TRUE! Your NWT confirms this in John 20:28 when “doubting Thomas” reached his hand into HIS (JESUS’) side and “In answer Thomas said to him: “My Lord and my God!” Well that in itself shows what is written in NWT that “MY LORD (JESUS) and MY GOD (JESUS; because Thomas answered JESUS) saying “MY GOD” which “IS” the SAME SPIRIT or ONE SPIRIT operating in “GLORIES!”

Yes, these “translations” are going to KILL and that IS their intent! Can’t ALL “see” that’s why we need the HELP of the HOLY SPIRIT because “men” make it “appear” to look “right” (Proverbs 14:12)! I don’t care what “translation” is used GOD will “REVEAL” TRUTH in HIS WORD via the HOLY SPIRIT! “Contamination” is not an object when HOLY SPIRIT is involved and “TRUE WORSHIPERS” who worships in SPIRIT and in TRUTH” KNOW this! GOD “REVEALS” the “Paganism” with HIS WORD as well. NOTHING is IMPOSSILBE WITH GOD!

K&T when you READ SCRIPTURE, READ THE “ENTIRE CHAPTER” to get a COMPLETE “understanding” of HIS WORD! Jeremiah Chapter 32 [paraphrasing] (v2) The King of Babylon (evil) has besieged Jerusalem (v3) and GOD gave them over to him; (v5) saying “they shall not prosper” (v23) “they obeyed not...and [GOD] “caused all this evil to come upon them” (v24) “GOD caused them to suffer “ (v27) Behold, I am the LORD, the God of ALL flesh: is there anything to hard for me? (v28) Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this [disobedient] city into the hand of the Chaldeans (evil), and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon (evil), and he shall take it (v29) And the Chaldeans, that fight against this [disobedient children] city, shall come and SET “FIRE” on this [disobedient] city, and “BURN” it with the houses, upon those roofs which they offered incense unto Baal (evil), and poured out drink offerings unto “other gods,” to PROVOKE ME TO ANGER!”

Do you see from Scripture where GOD “BURNS” the disobedient? “JESUS CHRIST (aka GOD) the same yesterday, today and FOREVER” (Hebrews 13:8)!

Now you can “believe” ANY “translation” you please, but the HOLY SPIRIT “REVEALS” ALL TRUTH and if HE did it then, HE will do it again!


tony55 profile image

tony55 15 hours ago from Nigeria

Most people follow the religion they are born into and understand the requirements. Religion is complex and difficult to define because it deals with the aspect of the soul and everlasting Life.

Some religions believe in reincarnation and other complex ideas. Who are we to judge what is acceptable based on our own faith and scriptures.

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