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Religious Diversity and Biblical Explanation ( Christian Apologetics)


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Religions existed almost everywhere in this planet called earth. It's seems that humans are religious in nature. Religions are diverse. A question may arise, WHY? Here, I will provide the biblical explanation of it. Let me offer Romans 1:19-25:"

19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

We see here a biblical explanation of religious diversity in the world. Religions other than Christianity is simply a deviation from worship on the True God and transferred the worship into the creature.

Any response regarding this is very much appreciated. Thank you.

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1 hour ago, Randolph said:

We see here a biblical explanation of religious diversity in the world. Religions other than Christianity is simply a deviation from worship on the True God and transferred the worship into the creature.

I would imagine many religious people would say that their preferred religion and god(s) are the "One True Religion" and all the others are simply a deviation from that.

However, it is obvious that the truth is that Christianity is just a deviation from worship of Bokonon, the the One True God. (I know this because the Book of Bokonon says so.)

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Honestly, diversity of religion is quite natural thing, and almost inevitable, especially if there are problems with communication. For similar reasons why human languages are diversed. In older times, when communication and connection between one village and other village, between one area and other area, were much more troublesome or even nearly impossible (like in Old World and Americas, Australia and Islands, in times when there was no reliable means of transport through oceans), one group of humans evolved independently from other group of humans. Even if they would start from the one single religion, after centuries and millenniums without exchange of information with their origin, they were making their own local versions of religions, or making their own local gods.

Diversity happened also in Christianity: Catholic Church, Orthodox Greek Church, later Protestants, Lutherans, Christian sects etc. etc. They have e.g. different approach to "saints" (kinda like half-gods and heroes in Greek's Mythology). People pray to half-gods, for intercession at higher level. Placing their beloved "saints" pictures and figures in the room around them..

Diversity also occurred in Muslims: Salafites, Sunnis, Wahhabis, etc. etc. (In fact, it is much easier for Muslims to separate because they do not have the supreme Imam, the equivalent of the Pope).

Rarely separations were happening without wars, without innocent victims.

Rarely joining/rejoining were happening without wars, and mass murdering people attached to their parents religion and unwilling to convert...

 

 

2 hours ago, Randolph said:

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

..sounds to me quite like e.g. making "saints"/"half-gods"...

Edited by Sensei
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2 hours ago, Randolph said:

Religions existed almost everywhere in this planet called earth. It's seems that humans are religious in nature. Religions are diverse. A question may arise, WHY? Here, I will provide the biblical explanation of it. Let me offer Romans 1:19-25:"

19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

We see here a biblical explanation of religious diversity in the world. Religions other than Christianity is simply a deviation from worship on the True God and transferred the worship into the creature.

Any response regarding this is very much appreciated. Thank you.

 

Sounds remarkably similar to the invective of hate preached by some Mullahs of another Religion.

Are you sure this is not just another construct of Man at his worst?

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18 minutes ago, Sensei said:

(In fact, it is much easier for Muslims to separate because they do not have the supreme Imam, the equivalent of the Pope).

Good point. If it weren't for Popes (and their armies) wanting to assert their (human) authority we would have even more different versions of Christianity - corresponding to all the different "heresies" (interpretations that a Pope disagreed with) about the nature of Christ (human but with a divine spark, a god in human form, half god-half human, etc) and all the different interpretations of the Trinity, etc.

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6 minutes ago, Strange said:

Good point. If it weren't for Popes (and their armies) wanting to assert their (human) authority we would have even more different versions of Christianity - corresponding to all the different "heresies" (interpretations that a Pope disagreed with) about the nature of Christ (human but with a divine spark, a god in human form, half god-half human, etc) and all the different interpretations of the Trinity, etc. 

The first was "First Council of Nicaea" at 325 A.D...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

 

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2 hours ago, Randolph said:

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,[g] in the things that have been made.

That seems to be the well-known 'design-argument' for the existence of God. However, this argument (even if it were valid, which it of course isn't), does not point to the Christian God. Any 'Creator-God' will do.

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On 4/4/2019 at 4:14 PM, Strange said:

I would imagine many religious people would say that their preferred religion and god(s) are the "One True Religion" and all the others are simply a deviation from that.

Yes, they can be. But in the case of Christianity aside from the fact that it is testable and also founded historically, it is unique like what Jesus claims example claiming to be "the only Way, truth and the Life." No other religion claims like that. And also He claimed to be the Son of God which is vindicated by His resurrection. 

On 4/4/2019 at 4:43 PM, Sensei said:

Honestly, diversity of religion is quite natural thing, and almost inevitable, especially if there are problems with communication. For similar reasons why human languages are diversed. In older times, when communication and connection between one village and other village, between one area and other area, were much more troublesome or even nearly impossible (like in Old World and Americas, Australia and Islands, in times when there was no reliable means of transport through oceans), one group of humans evolved independently from other group of humans. Even if they would start from the one single religion, after centuries and millenniums without exchange of information with their origin, they were making their own local versions of religions, or making their own local gods.

Diversity happened also in Christianity: Catholic Church, Orthodox Greek Church, later Protestants, Lutherans, Christian sects etc. etc. They have e.g. different approach to "saints" (kinda like half-gods and heroes in Greek's Mythology). People pray to half-gods, for intercession at higher level. Placing their beloved "saints" pictures and figures in the room around them..

Diversity also occurred in Muslims: Salafites, Sunnis, Wahhabis, etc. etc. (In fact, it is much easier for Muslims to separate because they do not have the supreme Imam, the equivalent of the Pope).

Rarely separations were happening without wars, without innocent victims.

Rarely joining/rejoining were happening without wars, and mass murdering people attached to their parents religion and unwilling to convert...

 

 

..sounds to me quite like e.g. making "saints"/"half-gods"...

Diversity of Christianity is due to the fact of different doctrines or biblical understanding. As a Christian, I like to focus on the commonality of our beliefs or what C.S. Lewis said " Mere Christianity" that is believing that Jesus is our salvation and Lord. 

With regards to your second response, I agree that some Christian denominations have wrong understanding of the scripture or they did not practice the teachings of  it. Example ( I will not mention the name)  is the denomination that uses statues of saints which hurts my heart when they venerate those statues rather than Jesus Himself. 

On 4/4/2019 at 4:51 PM, studiot said:

 

Sounds remarkably similar to the invective of hate preached by some Mullahs of another Religion.

Are you sure this is not just another construct of Man at his worst?

What do you mean? 

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1 hour ago, Randolph said:

But in the case of Christianity aside from the fact that it is testable and also founded historically

How is Christianity "testable"?

And how is it "founded historically"? There are no contemporary records of Jesus and his actions. There have been many threads on the historical existence of Jesus and the conclusion has always been that there is not, or very little, contemporary evidence.

And there is just as much, or more, historical evidence for the founders of Buddhism, Sikhism, etc.

1 hour ago, Randolph said:

it is unique like what Jesus claims example claiming to be "the only Way, truth and the Life." No other religion claims like that.

1. Just because some said that he said it doesn't make it true. (It doesn't even mean he said it.)

2. Other religions do claim that.

1 hour ago, Randolph said:

And also He claimed to be the Son of God which is vindicated by His resurrection. 

There is no evidence that the resurrection happens. You can't use your belief in something as evidence it is rue.

1 hour ago, Randolph said:

With regards to your second response, I agree that some Christian denominations have wrong understanding of the scripture or they did not practice the teachings of 

But, of course, those other denominations will think that your understanding is wrong and they are the ones who have it right.

The fact you are blind to this is staggering. (But, given this is a discussion about baseless beliefs, maybe not.)

1 hour ago, Randolph said:

What do you mean? 

Yeah, studiot's comments made no sense to me either!

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On 4/4/2019 at 5:48 PM, Eise said:

That seems to be the well-known 'design-argument' for the existence of God. However, this argument (even if it were valid, which it of course isn't), does not point to the Christian God. Any 'Creator-God' will do.

Yes it can be called the design argument seeing the creation and it's majesty as evidence of the power and wisdom of it's Cosmic Designer. And this argument is strongly valid as validated by the evidence of the fine-tuning argument of the universe for intelligent life and the teleological arguments like of Paley and others. 

At first this Creator God can be directly pointed to the God of Monotheistic religions of the world - Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And we have to weigh which religion is more valid historically and scientifically. And I would argue that Christianity is more valid provided that for example it is historically accurate. One dispute of Islam and Christianity is that in Islam, Christ did not died by crucifixion. And when we see the historical records, Jesus died by crucifixion which makes the Koran historically inaccurate. 

Edited by Randolph
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8 minutes ago, Randolph said:

And this argument is strongly valid as validated by the evidence of the fine-tuning argument of the universe for intelligent life and the teleological arguments like of Paley and others. 

In other words, not validated at all. 

8 minutes ago, Randolph said:

At first this Creator God can be directly pointed to the God of Monotheistic religions of the world

why? There are polytheistic religions with a creator god (or gods).

9 minutes ago, Randolph said:

And we have to weigh which religion is more valid historically and scientifically. And I would argue that Christianity is more valid provided that for example it is historically accurate.

Then provide some evidence that it is historically accurate. (And that means NOT using Biblical sources.)

9 minutes ago, Randolph said:

And when we see the historical records, Jesus died by crucifixion

What historical records? (Again, NOT the bible.)

 

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3 hours ago, Strange said:

Yeah, studiot's comments made no sense to me either!

 

4 hours ago, Randolph said:

What do you mean?

 

Both Islam and Christianity use such passages to justify hundreds of years of atrocity against others.

 

Quote

Quran (2:193) - "And fight them until fitna is no more, and religion be only for Allah. But if they desist, then let there be no hostility except against wrong-doers.

 

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6 hours ago, Randolph said:

Yes it can be called the design argument seeing the creation and it's majesty as evidence of the power and wisdom of it's Cosmic Designer. And this argument is strongly valid as validated by the evidence of the fine-tuning argument of the universe for intelligent life and the teleological arguments like of Paley and others.

The fine tuning argument is rendered unconvincing by the Weak Anthropic Principle. i.e. if the universe hadn't chanced to be suitable for life then we wouldn't be here to discuss it.

Paley's arguments, though well structured, were contradicted by Darwin and Wallace, and all who came after them. Natural selection of variation in species leads to the new forms that Paley thought required divine intervention.

6 hours ago, Randolph said:

At first this Creator God can be directly pointed to the God of Monotheistic religions of the world - Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Why? What evidence you have for a single God rather than multiple gods. Genesis asserts that man was made in God's image: man is a social animal, who achieves things through cooperation within a hierarchy, Why would you expect the gods to be arranged differently?

 

6 hours ago, Randolph said:

Judaism, Christianity and Islam. And we have to weigh which religion is more valid historically and scientifically. And I would argue that Christianity is more valid provided that for example it is historically accurate.

As Strange has pointed out twice you have failed to provide any evidence to support your claim of historical accuracy. Don't get me wrong, many of the principles advocated by Christianity are noble in their intent, but the claims of divinity etc are supported only by faith, not facts. If you disagree please provide the evidence.

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On 4/6/2019 at 4:00 PM, Strange said:

How is Christianity "testable"?

And how is it "founded historically"? There are no contemporary records of Jesus and his actions. There have been many threads on the historical existence of Jesus and the conclusion has always been that there is not, or very little, contemporary evidence.

And there is just as much, or more, historical evidence for the founders of Buddhism, Sikhism, etc.

1. Just because some said that he said it doesn't make it true. (It doesn't even mean he said it.)

2. Other religions do claim that.

There is no evidence that the resurrection happens. You can't use your belief in something as evidence it is rue.

But, of course, those other denominations will think that your understanding is wrong and they are the ones who have it right.

The fact you are blind to this is staggering. (But, given this is a discussion about baseless beliefs, maybe not.)

Yeah, studiot's comments made no sense to me either!

First, Christianity is testable in the sense that it can be studied historically. Some verses also of the bible challenges you to study Christianity like 1 Corinthians 15:14-19 " 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope[b] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. "

Second, you will be amazed that the majority of historians today agreed of the 3 facts concerning the resurrection of Christ. The only disagreement among them is how these 3 historical facts better explained. And base on explaining capability the "Resurrection hypothesis" is the best explanation.

Thirdly, yes I agree of some historical evidence of other religions although I also suspect that some have inaccurate history. But the overriding point is Christ is unique in the sense that He is the only religious figure that claimed to be the Son of God, perform miracles, said blasphemous claims and claim to be " The only way, truth and the life". These things set apart Jesus Christ from other religious figures. And His claims were vindicated when God raised Him from the dead and His resurrection is historical as supported by the 3 facts.

Fourthly, yes those other religions can say that I am wrong but that doesn't affect the truth of my worldview because it is based on the bible. Example JW's will say to me that Jesus is only a saviour and not God so I will get the bible and point out the verse that Jesus is both God and saviour.

Fifthly, I am not blind, the truth is I am hurt to see those people.

And I will add. Aside from being historically accurate of the Gospels, there are also sources outside of the bible like the writings of Tacitus, Josephus, Lucian of Samosata and others.

Edited by Randolph
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22 minutes ago, Randolph said:

First, Christianity is testable in the sense that it can be studied historically.

So you are backing up your unsupported claim with another unsupported claim? 

Please provide some independent (ie non-biblical) and contemporary sources describing Jesus's life and work.

22 minutes ago, Randolph said:

Second, you will be amazed that the majority of historians today agreed of the 3 facts concerning the resurrection of Christ.

I would be amazed. Perhaps you should provide some evidence for this? 

I know you are used to just believing things for no reason, but some of us prefer to have some evidence.

22 minutes ago, Randolph said:

Thirdly, yes I agree of some historical evidence of other religions although I also suspect that some have inaccurate history. But the overriding point is Christ is unique in the sense that He is the only religious figure that claimed to be the Son of God, perform miracles, said blasphemous claims and claim to be " The only way, truth and the life".

Anyone can claim things like that. Nowadays, they would probably end up in a secure institution. 

22 minutes ago, Randolph said:

And His claims were vindicated when God raised Him from the dead and His resurrection is historical as supported by the 3 facts.

The claims made in a work of fiction are vindicated by further claims in the same work of fiction? I don't think so.

22 minutes ago, Randolph said:

Fourthly, yes those other religions can say that I am wrong but that doesn't affect the truth of my worldview because it is based on the bible.

And, they would say exactly the same about their worldview.

You should look up the fallacy of "begging the question" because that is what you are engaging in, here. Not surprisingly, almost every description of this logical fallacy use religion as an example.

  • "I know I am right because the bible says so"
  • "How do you know the bible is right?"
  • "Because it is the word of god"
  • "How do you know it is the word of god?
  • "Because it says so in the bible"
Quote

Fifthly, I am not blind, the truth is I am hurt to see those people.

You need to get over yourself. You are just as deluded as they are.

22 minutes ago, Randolph said:

And I will add. Aside from being historically accurate of the Gospels, there are also sources outside of the bible like the writings of Tacitus, Josephus, Lucian of Samosata and others.

1. You have yet to establish that the gospels are historically accurate

2. These people were writing long after the events described in the gospels. Anything they wrote about Jesus was just based on what was in the gospels.

You need to find a credible primary source.

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25 minutes ago, Randolph said:

First, Christianity is testable in the sense that it can be studied historically.

The evolution of the Christian religion can be studied historically. No historical data support the claims of divinity and rersurrection for Christ. If such evidence exists, present it now.

25 minutes ago, Randolph said:

Some verses also of the bible challenges you to study Christianity like 1 Corinthians 15:14-19

This is a circular argument and as such is worthless.

25 minutes ago, Randolph said:

Second, you will be amazed that the majority of historians today agreed of the 3 facts concerning the resurrection of Christ.

I shall not be amazed, I openly declare you are mistaken. All you need do to disabuse me of this notion is to present appropriate references supporting your claim.

25 minutes ago, Randolph said:

But the overriding point is Christ is unique in the sense that He is the only religious figure that claimed to be the Son of God, perform miracles, said blasphemous claims and claim to be " The only way, truth and the life".

If I concede, for sake of argument, that these statements are correct, in that Christ did these things, it in no way proves he told the truth. I maysay that I am unique in being the only Englisman to have swum the Channel and climbed mount Everest. That does not mean I have actually done so.

25 minutes ago, Randolph said:

Fourthly, yes those other religions can say that I am wrong but that doesn't affect the truth of my worldview because it is based on the bible.

And there is no independent evidence to prove that the Bible is divinely inspired and that your interpretation of it is accurate.

25 minutes ago, Randolph said:

Fifthly, I am not blind, the truth is I am hurt to see those people.

I doubt your hurt is as great as the pain I feel that an intelligent person like yourself is capable of such self delusion.

 

25 minutes ago, Randolph said:

Aside from being historically accurate of the Gospels, there are also sources outside of the bible like the writings of Tacitus, Josephus, Lucian of Samosata and others.

Some of which are contested and none of which demonstrate conclusively that Christ was divine or that he was resurrected.

I admire your faith. I regret your attempt to support it with faulty appeals to historical evidence that does not exist.

Note: I see I have expressed very similar views to Strange, who beat me to the Post button by a minute or two. Do not feel obliged to reply to both of us. Your replies to Strange will likely addess all or most of the points I've made.

Edited by Intrigued
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!

Moderator Note

The question posed by this thread is why religions are diverse. It is NOT an issue of the "correctness" of any religion, and further discussion along those lines will end up in the trash.

 
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On 4/4/2019 at 7:44 AM, Randolph said:

Religions existed almost everywhere in this planet called earth. It's seems that humans are religious in nature. Religions are diverse. A question may arise, WHY?

I think it is fairly obvious that religious diversity exists for the same reason that language diversity does: they are human creations and have evolved in different cultural environments. This is true for many aspects of human culture (art, music, etc). There are, however, commonalities between these because they all arise from the human brain.

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1 hour ago, Strange said:

There are, however, commonalities between these because they all arise from the human brain.

And perhaps, as that nice graphic suggests, from a early shared human culture before people spread out throughout the world.

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The original OP question is simply refuted by noting that Christianity (or even Judaism) is a pretty late comer in the history of religions.
Any earlier religion could not possibly have split from Christianity, which did not exist contemporaneously.

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2 hours ago, Strange said:

I think it is fairly obvious that religious diversity exists for the same reason that language diversity does: they are human creations and have evolved in different cultural environments. This is true for many apects of human culture (art, music, etc). There are, however, commonalities between these because they all arise from the human brain.

1

And subject to the same misguided understanding of the past.

They weren't as clever as us but they were wiser.:unsure:  

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