The Bible instructors at Mount Paran Christian School have a vast knowledge of the Christian faith that they graciously share during their courses for students. These instructors have agreed to extend their expertise to a summer blog series exploring various aspects of Christianity. First up, “Why Christianity?” will explore the Christian faith and how it differs from other theologies.
Teachers hear hundreds of questions a day. Some questions are quick and easy: “Can I sharpen my pencil?” or “What is today’s date?” Others, however, stop you in your tracks: “Why did this have to happen to me?” or “What do I do now?”
The truth is, as students grow older, teachers become the arbitrators of questions. As we mediate these inquiries, they are joined by a chorus of questions within ourselves. There are times when the “maybes” become overwhelming, leaving a feeling of desperation for certainty, for guarantees.
Bible course teachers have an amazing platform, fielding a barrage of difficult questions daily. The sorts of questions that leave you reminded of how little you know and how big God must be. One of those questions – maybe not implicitly asked, but always implied – is seemingly simple: “Why Christianity?”
Answers to questions like this are often neither quick nor easy. The reply bears eternal impact. And, although there are many fascinating and faith-affirming resources out there that dive deeper into this question, the focus of this article is to simply illustrate the uniqueness of our relational God as an answer to that “why.”
For all of human history, man has been seeking. Seeking the spiritual experience, community, belonging, hope, love, and acceptance. Seeking to make a difference in the world, for moral upbringing for children, the meaning in life, or even revenge or defiance. Humanity remains on the hunt for something greater than ourselves. The seeking for these things has developed into the many different religions we see today.
OTHER WORLD VIEWS
To better answer the question of “Why Christianity?”, one must consider other top world religions, based on population.
- Islam: To obtain peace by submission to Allah. The Five Pillars of Islam – which include profession of faith in Allah and his prophet Muhammad, prayer, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca, and charity – provide a guide to living out submission to Allah, with the goal being to attain his peace.
- Hinduism: Hinduism relies on the caste system to bring order to the world, both seen and unseen. The soul is separated from its creator, Brahma, and must work through the rings of the caste system back to Brahma. In order to accomplish this, one must complete assigned jobs, developing goodwill, which will then be weighed at the end of life. Then the soul will be reincarnated, either closer or farther from Brahma, and begin another life in hopes of making it one step closer to peace with “the creator.”
- Buddhism: Having its roots in Hinduism, Buddhism and its many versions center on the problem of suffering. There is no deity in Buddhism. The religion teaches that Buddha was simply a man who disciplined his mind and body to the point of ridding his life of suffering. He became enlightened and achieved nirvana, also known as “the lack of existence.” Those who practice this faith hope to deny themselves and reach nirvana one day, too.
The analysis of world religions is a fascinating study. One can clearly see that despite the many similarities among the religions – including beliefs regarding the afterlife, following some type of teacher, or seeking to make the world a better place – Christianity stands out as particularly unique. Christianity does not try to sell you on a work-for-peace arrangement. It does not depress hope by claiming what you see is all there is. It is not a grueling eternity of scraping toward a better reality, many lives away. No other worldview addresses these issues. No “religion” answers the deepest questions of man. Only a relationship with Christ can do that.
WHAT CHRISTIANITY OFFERS
So, why Christianity? Because it is the only Faith grounded in Truth and reality. It is the only faith where God said, “I am coming for you.” This is the key difference between Christianity and all other religions in the world: Christianity is not a religion!
Religions are about human attempts to make our lives right with God – through our good works, sacrifices, rituals, and money. In contrast, Christianity is about God entering human history to graciously save men and women through His Son Jesus Christ.
Jesus himself proclaimed in John 14:6 that He alone is “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It is only by placing our faith in Jesus Christ that we will be saved. All other religions are empty. All other “roads” are a dead end. Following Jesus is not merely one potential way to find meaning and purpose in life. Following Jesus is the only way to find significance and meaning in life.
What an amazing God we serve, and how humbling is His loving and merciful will.
Rachel Cain is the eighth-grade Bible teacher at Mount Paran Christian School. Amanda Varner serves as the seventh-grade Bible teacher at the school.
To learn more about Christian Life at MPCS, click here.