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I believe this question has to be answered from a neutral point of view as far as possible. 1. The Christian God's relationship with His followers is one of love while in all other religions it is based on power, fear, authority and penalties. God used to have a loving relationship with Adam and Eve but after they committed the first sin the relationship became distant. That is why they were banished forever (Genesis 3:16-19). This was the case with all humans except with those God chose to have a close relationship with e.g. Abraham, Noah, David, Daniel. All this changed when He sent His son, our Lord Jesus Christ to us. As a result Christian relationship changed from a distant authority, fear, power and penalties based with God to one based on love. 2. In no other religion will you find their God being referred to as the 'Father'. It is Jesus who brought us that close to God. Not only did He refer to the Almighty God as His own Father but also did he talk about God being our 'Father', 'So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven' (Matthew 5:45). We should consider ourselves as very privileged to have such a close relationship with our creator thanks to Jesus's sacrifice. 3. In no other religion do they ask their followers to forgive their enemies. In fact in some, like in Islam, they ask their followers to kill their enemies. In Buddhism for instance, the advice is to adjust one's life so the follower will be of least burden to others. Only in Christianity does the founder ask us to love (not just forgive) the enemies. Jesus said 'But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (Matthew 5:44). That is an incredible piece of advice. 4. Only in Christianity did the founder came to sacrifice his own life to help us reach heaven. In all other religions their founders died a natural death. But Jesus knew that He was going to die and under the exact circumstances before he came to this world. 5. Christianity is the only religion where the founder died and rose from death thus conquering death in the process. In all other religions the founders died and their work stopped. There is no evidence of anyone of them reappearing and being with their followers after their death but only Jesus came back to His followers. He said, 'Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee and there you will see me (Matthew 28:10). 6. Christianity is the only religion where the Founder performed miracles on earth such as curing sicknesses (Mark 8:22-26), multiplying the fish and bread to feed 5000 (Mark 6:35-44, Matthews 14:15-21, Luke 9:12-17), John 6:6-13) and 4000 (Mark 8:1-9, Matthews 15: 32-38). walking on water (Mark 6:48-51, Matthews 14:25, John 6:19-21) and bringing Jairus's daughter back to life 'Little girl, I say to you to rise' (Mark 5:22-24), a widow's son (Luke 7:11-15) and Lazarus (John 11:1-44). 7. In all other religions, their founder explained the workings of the spiritual world to their followers. In each case their spiritual world was created by a super being, God. They were only the messengers. Only in Christianity did the creator Himself became the founder. That is why He said that only He knows who God is as he came from Him. 8. Lastly, in every religion its followers have to perform sacrifices to save themselves e.g. the way they live, how they relate to others, what they have to offer in sacrifices etc. Their salvation depend on what and how they earn that salvation through their actions. Only in Christianity the followers are saved not by their actions but by the grace of God achieved for them by the death sacrifice of the founder. He came into this world so we are saved from sin.
The very first thing that you must realize is that Christianity is NOT a religion. If in your searching you find all kinds of religions you can forget every one of them. Christianity is a one-on-one personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. He is the only One that guarantees eternal life. He does it without imposing commandments, rules and regulations. He does it without requiring a structured approach to salvation with no rules attached, and with no works that you have to perforn in order to remained saved once you have turned your life over to Him. STOP wasting your life in "religion." Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Come to Him today: John 14:6, John 3:16-17, John 3:3, John 5:24, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:8-13. Sincerely embrace and confess Romans 10:8-13, then join a local assembly of born-again Believers who love our Lord Jesus and who will live with Him eternally. Questions? Just ask right here and now! :-) Don http://www.booksie.com/don_watson
Elderly World Religion Professor (unknown) on the matter of professing his Christianity to his academic colleagues, and in answer to their question as to why he was: "It was as if I had fallen into a deep, abandoned well. Muhammad came by and told me it was the will of Allah that I be in this well, then he left. The Buddha came by and told me if I would cease desire I would cease to suffer in the well, then he left. A Hindu teacher came by and told me if I was faithful in the well I would escape through reincarnation, then he left. Confucius came by and told me if I'd not tripped I would not be in the well, then he left. Jesus came by, saw me, and got into the well with me. That is why I am a Christian."
To state a fact, Christianity is a religion. Many of my friends use the slogan "it is not a religion, it is a relationship", however, the bible does not put forth this idea or use this language. The word "religion" is defined below: 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. 2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion. Christianity is a religion by the very definition of the word; the bible presents a set of beliefs, has a moral code, speaks of a Creator, etc. Most all world religions including Christianity are works based, ie. Do "X" amount of good works or follow a set of rules or commandments and you are granted access to paradise. The difference in Christianity is that someone else was perfectly obedient in our place and credits us as if we did the same. Paul speaking of Christ's righteousness in Romans 4: It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Again, Paul in 2 Corinthians 5: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. In summary, Christianity is a religion of works, but not our works. Other religions depend on your works, not the works of another.
I've heard from a teacher that the religion's principle is to link the human to divine, i.e., a way that the human being tries to look for a divine experience. Christian religion is not that way. The Christianity that Jesus teach is about the Lord coming to the mankind because of His love toward us: John 1:14.
Christianity for me is different in that in all other religions, they have to follow a set of prescribed laws and rules in order to please their god. They have to make sacrifices or pray a certain number of times and practice all sorts of rituals. With Christianity, the bible says just receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and it's done. The transformation to your life is not on the surface where you do a list of things to please Christ. The transformation is internal first then the outward manifestation becomes evident as you grow with The Lord in your Christian walk. That's why sometimes people refuse to label Christianity as a religion because it's more about relationships between yourself and Christ and others.
Religion is living by a set of rules whereby man can make himself acceptable to a God. Christianity is God sending His own son to be the propitiation for our sins, so that He could give man eternal life as a free gift. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Eternal life has to be a free gift by faith alone plus nothing, because sinners can do nothing to redeem themselves. And we are all sinners. First John 1:8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Does it matter how much or how little we sin? No, one little lie would send us to hell for ever to pay for that one sin. God is a righteous God and can not allow sin to not be punished. The punishment for sin is a burning lake of fire for ever. But, God sent His own son to pay for the sins of the whole world, so that any one who would believe on Him plus nothing would be saved. John 3:16-18.Man can do nothing to save himself. But God sent His own Son Jesus to pay the penalty for all sin, so that anyone who would believe on Him would receive the free gift of eternal life. No one can earn it. We can only receive the free gift. The penalty for sin has been paid by the one blood sacrifice for all sin. John 3:18 Believers are no longer condemned, but unbelievers are condemned already, because they have not believed on the name of the Son of God. First John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that BELIVE on the name of the Son of God, that ye may KNOW YE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. How do we know we have eternal life? Because Jesus said so and He can not lie. John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, HATH EVERLASTING LIFE. If you have everlasting life, how long does it last? Forever because it is everlasting life. It is eternal life. You can not lose eternal life. If you could lose it, then it was not eternal. God only gives eternal life to those who believe on His name apart from any works. Works can not save a sinner. Faith alone in Christ alone plus nothing equals salvation by grace. Our sin debt has been paid in full, and we can never be condemned again. John 3:18 There is only one God who has a Son who is the savior of the world to whoever believes on Him alone for salvation by grace.
Big time difference, Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith! You can find no other belief system that has any advocate that first paid for your sins to make a way for you to receive eternal life and a Father who will love you. He fills all the answers, which in turn provides true inner peace.
The difference between biblical Christianity and other religions/belief systems is very simple: the reconciliation of the concepts of perfect justice and forgiveness. Psalm 89:14 and Psalm 97:2 state that righteousness and justice are the foundation of God's throne. In other words, if He were to not uphold perfect justice, He would be contradicting His own nature and therefore cease to be who and what He is. The glory of the gospel is that "the wisdom of God actually found a way for the love of God to deliver us from the wrath of God without compromising the perfect justice of God." (quoted from John Piper) Technically speaking, by definition forgiveness implies that an objective standard has been violated but nevertheless pardoned. Other religions either assert relativism (lack of an absolute, objective standard) or portray a god that forgives in such a way that perfect justice is compromised. Atonement by the Messiah's blood enables God to extend forgiveness while at the same time upholding perfect justice.
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