Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Again, Why Inclusivism is False

 In discussing inclusivism a major point against the premise that all religions (or at least most of the major ones) seek God/Christ within their own religious framework (even if ignorantly so) often goes unnoticed; and that is whether all religions are actually seeking God in the first place.

In fact, none of them are with one exception: genuine Christianity. Let me explain. I’ve argued before that there are really only two religions on the planet: the religion of God and the religion of Self. I’ve also argued before that you can see which religion is which by looking at their views of heaven/bliss/paradise/goal in this life.

For the atheist, that his religion is the pursuit of happiness in this life isn’t much in dispute. The goal of agnosticism is to put religious questions on hold in order to experience the bliss of self pursuit in this life much like the atheist as well. But the goal of all other religions, besides Christianity that is, is that same pursuit, either in this life and/or in the life to come. As much as they talk about God, God is not their primary object of worship. Instead, in Islam, for instance, God isn’t even present with his subjects in eternity. The goal of the muslim isn’t to spend eternity in a loving relationship with God, but to have his fill of sex and wine in paradise. Paganism’s goal is to simply manipulate the gods/spirits into giving a better life, both here and in the afterlife, to the Self. For the Mormon, his ultimate heaven is spending eternity away from God, ruling over his own planet and enjoying eternal sex with his divine wife. For the Jehovah’s Witness, eternity is spent on earth, again, apart from God. The goal in the literature is simply to live forever in a perfect place absent of suffering and death. For the Buddhist and Hindu, the goal is relief of suffering for the Self, so that the Self can then rejoin the universal oneness in bliss. It is not to have any relationship with God. The goal is relief for the Self, not love and worship of God. Even in false Christianity, the goal is to live a long time in a place of eternal happiness. God is just the One who grants this great thing, but the goal isn’t God, but being in a particular location and in a particular state forever.

This helps us understand the Bible’s insistence that apart from being brought to Christ by the Father, “there is not one who seeks after God” (Rom 3:11b). All other religions lead to the Self, not to God. They all worship Self, not God. Hence, they cannot be simply different paths to the same God, because God and the Self are diametrically opposed. One cannot have two masters. The Self is not God or even another name for God. It is the Self. God, however, is our Creator, our Savior, our Redeemer from the Self. He exists outside of us and it is outside of ourselves that we must reach to worship something other than ourselves.

In genuine Christianity, heaven isn't a place. It's God Himself. It's His presence. It's loving and exalting Him. That is heaven for the Christian. Living forever and having an alleviation of suffering is a secondary result of being in God's salvific presence, but eternal life to the Christian is "knowing [i.e., being in a loving relationship with] God and Jesus Christ who He has sent" (John 17:3). Hence, heaven is already/not yet for the Christian, as only his sin nature that exalts the Self limits the Christian's experience of it, not his location or amount of suffering (i.e., it is his present sin to exalt the self in this world that hinders him, not his lack of self exaltation).

It is often said that one chooses hell. Well, in a way that's true. Hell is the place where a man has reached his goal of Self exaltation and thus has been cut off from God. The goal has been attained. No relationship can be had with God when Self has been locked in for all eternity as master. 

So there can be no other path that leads to God in these religions, simply because none of them are trying to go to God. God is the means to the Self. He is but another means used to give worship/pleasure to the Self. He is not the object of worship Himself.

So one might stop and ask for a moment, not only whether there could be another pathway to God, but whether or not there actually is an alternative religion seeking that pathway in the first place. It seems to me that the answer is a categorical, No.

Hence, one must deny the Self to follow Christ, as Christ Himself taught; and because of this, any religion (i.e., all of them except genuine Christianity) that has the exaltation and pleasure of the Self as its goal, rather than a loving relationship with God that seeks His exaltation and worship over the Self, is not another pathway to God, but a false religion that leads eternally away from Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment