“It’s VERY Different”
At this time of the year we celebrate the Festival of the Holy Trinity and read together the Athanasian Creed, a confession of Biblical truth about Who is the true God. This underscores the chief difference between Christianity and all other religions: We don’t worship their gods. The God who truly exists has spoken to us through His word. All other gods are imagined, “made up” by human beings.
This makes Christianity fundamentally different from all other religions. But the differences are missed because our secular world pushes the assumption that Christianity is just one of many. The materialist / secularist / humanist believes only in a material world, and therefore rejects the soul, or the realities of right or wrong, or of the Creator.
So does this mean Christianity is different? Yes! It’s very, very different. Here are some of the ways:
The Trinity. God reveals Himself in the Bible unlike anything we find in humanity. Instead of a god imagined in the image of man, He is a God beyond our understanding.
Holiness. God is holy and so what is right and good is determined by Him and His word. The critique of God by man is a non-starter.
Human Sin. The problem of humanity is that, though created perfect in the beginning, we are broken and in continual opposition to what is right and good. Because of the rebellion of our forbears (the fall) everyone born of a human mother and father is born sinful, not knowing God, and hostile to the perfect good. We see this in every page of our history, nationally or individually. Though people do many good and noble things, we never escape the selfishness in our lives, the crime in our societies, or the oppression of the powers in the world.
Grace. This is the unmerited, undeserved love of God for humanity. While all man-made religions plot a path to achieving God’s approval and acceptance, only Christianity reveals God’s plan to reconcile rebellious humanity to Himself through the …
Substitutionary Atonement. This is the pivotal event in human history, when God Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, satisfied the judgment of God so that there is forgiveness for the world.
The Universal Church. It isn’t a human, social, or even visible organization. Though there are church bodies and denominations, the essential unity of the church consists in the proclamation of the Gospel, the Good News of what God has done to reconcile us to Himself. The resurrection of Jesus has empowered the resurrection unto eternal life of all who put their faith in Him.
The Christian church is therefore different from all other religions— very, very different.