ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Religion & Religions - Tolerance Towards Salvation

Updated on September 26, 2012

Religion & Religions

Back in the early 1990’s I completed my undergraduate degree in theology and I was reminded of some of the theories today after viewing the excellent foreign film ‘Shaolin’ featuring Jackie Chan.

The movie is set at the turn of the 20th century during the warlord period in Chinese history. The story centres on the Shaolin Buddhist temple and the attempt by various warlords and foreigners who want to steal their treasure. It is also about community and worship of Buddha through martial arts. Being a Chinese film there is revenge and forgiveness as a reoccurring theme.

What got me thinking again about Theology was the worship of Buddha and how 1 billion people in China have been condemned to Hell by fundamentist and other protestant preachers because they do not worship Jesus Christ as their personal saviour. According to recent data the breakdown in world religions today is:

· Christianity 33%

· Islam 21%

· Non-religious 16%

· Hinduism 14%

· Primal indigenous (African) 6%

· Chinese traditional 6%

· Buddhism 6%

· Sikhism 0.36%

· Judaism 0.22%

With just 33% of the world Christian and with most of these believers Catholic (which some protestant groups say are going to hell as well!) Christian’s can’t have the only mortgage on the afterlife. So the Jackie Chan got me thinking about a theory that I discovered during my Theology degree by John Macquarrie entitled ‘Principles of Christian Theology’. So I’ve been out to the shed and recovered the copy of this book to share the concept of how all religion and religions lead to God and ultimately salvation.

According to Macquarrie there are 5 elements of religion:

1. There is an impinging of God or the holy Being upon man’s existence with the initiative from God’s side

2. It’s is also about man’s response to God and the activity that man does through their faith

3. There is a concrete expression whether this be ritual, mythology or systemic theology

4. Combined with faith there is an expression in action

5. This then develops into a community of faith with communal interactions with others of a similar mindset

Religion is therefore a whole complex of structures that grows up around the giving and receiving of revelation.

What occurs is that when one group or belief system gains ‘market share’ that they produces their own version of religion and set themselves as the only holder of the truth thereby setting themselves above all other religions as we are seeing with the rise of fundamentalism (whether this be Christian, Muslim or other) today. Macquarrie argues that this can be resolved by viewing all religions as leading to the ultimate truth and that people who worship at each stage can also attain salvation in the afterlife as they are still worshiping the ultimate being, just in the style of their communal belief system. The model from a Christian perspective is:


Stream 1 Fetishism to Cosmic Order

Attributes include immanence, timeless, quietist, impersonal, mystical

Limiting case: Fetishism

Immanence series

Type 4 – Animism eg Primative Religions

Type 3 – Polytheism eg Rig Veda, Egypt, Greece

Type 2 – Pantheism eg Hinduism

Type 1 – Cosmic Order eg Buddhism

Existential-Ontological Theism eg Christianity


Stream 2 Atheism to Monotheism

Attributes include transcendence, eschatological, activist, personal, rational

Limiting case: Atheism

Transcendence series

Type 4 – Deism eg Confucianism

Type 3 – Dualism eg Zoroastrianism, Gnosticism

Type 2 – Sovereignty eg Islam

Type 1 – Monotheism eg Judaism

Existential-Ontological Theism eg Christianity


In this perspective, regardless of the stream, all religions and belief systems lead ultimately to God in whatever form it may take. This makes me more comfortable after watching this movie and seeing the death and carnage generated upon the people of the Warlord period in China and that there is maybe hope for these Buddhist who did not know or believe in the Christian version of salvation and redemption.

Macquarrie finishes this section of the theory with this insightful paragraph:

“We therefore see the ideal relation between religions as one of tension or balance between commitment and openness; commitment to the particular tradition in which holy Being has addressed us, an existential commitment that cannot be replaced by some mixing of traditions or some vague ‘religion in general’; and at the same time, an open and positive attitude to other faiths, believing that in this area where distortion takes place so readily, each faith can both contribute to and learn from the others.”

This theory resonated with my back in 1991 and remains a core of my belief system today. How does this fit with your belief system? Cheers Michael.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • charmike4 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Kromwyk 

      6 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

      Thanks for your comments jreuter. I guess my position on this is once a brand of a religion becomes popular or is looking for exclusivity it will look at ways to become the only way to salvation or eternal life. In marketing terms this is known as 'competitive advantage'. So unless you are a believer in a specific religion I think that you can hold the view that no one religion holds the exclusive pathway, but all do in their own way.

      Thank you for your kind comments on my writing - a recent MBA improved my style! Sharp dresser...not really but it helps to have an inhouse photographer who can make you look good! Thanks for reading. Cheers Michael

    • jreuter profile image

      Jason Reuter 

      6 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Well written hub charmike. You are a talented writer and I must say, a sharp dresser!

      I suspect you are leaning towards universalism through a semi-Christian screen, which of course begs the question, What about Jesus' own words? While I'm remiss to use the word "exclusivity" when talking of Christianity (I consider the Gospel message to be utterly inclusive), Christ was very pointed and specific on this subject. If he referred to himself as the only way to the Father, how are we to reconcile this message with the divergent messages of someone such as Buddha or Mohammed?

    • profile image

      Katie 

      6 years ago

      Cool Michael. I like this idea. Good to see you reflect back on your previous studies. Katie

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)