There is a common thread that runs through most religions. That thread is the idea that MY religion is right and all other religions are wrong. Most preachers, like Billy Graham, can produce a list of reasons why other religions do not worship the correct God, worship too many gods, or don’t worship a god at all.
The atheist, looking at a variety of religions and seeing this thread remarks, “For the reasons the believer states all other religions are wrong, I state that ALL religions are wrong.”
To the believer in a single god, the atheist says, “You believe in one out of the 3700 gods you could have believed in; I believe in one less.”
In the March 13, 2013 Sioux Falls Argus Leader, Billy Graham deals with the question of all religions leading to the same heaven. Billy’s reader says, “I don't think we should try to convert people from one religion to another, because in spite of our different labels, we all worship the same God. We may call Him by different names and have different ways of worship, but in my view, all religions are the same.” You can read all of Billy’s answer here.
Billy is put on the defensive by this statement. He needs to prove Christianity is the only correct religion. His argument must show that belief in Jesus/God is the only true path to heaven and that all other paths lead to hell.
Billy starts by making a statement that I have made on many occasions by referring to the wide variety of religions in the world. Billy questions the breadth of his reader’s study by saying, “I … wonder if you've … studied the various religions of the world … if you had, you'd realize how different they are, and why they can't all be true.”
I agree with Billy Graham. As I stated above, there are about 3700 gods worshipped in the religions of the world. Although some of the gods and religions are similar, some are quite distinct. As Billy goes on to point out, some religions worship many gods and some religions worship one god. Billy puts Christianity in the one god column, although some one claim Christianity worships at least three in the persons of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Although Billy disparages religions like Hinduism for worshipping many gods, at the heart of Hinduism is the idea that there is the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The worship of the others, the lesser gods, could be compared with the reverence Christians give to Mary, the saints, and the angels.
If we grant Billy’s argument that the idea of one god and the idea of many gods cannot both be true, there are three possibilities: many gods (which could include Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit), one god (which could include Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as one being), or NO gods. What evidence does Billy offer for his choice?
Billy says that Christians can know they are correct because God has shown Himself to us. Did you miss that appearance? Billy says God shows Himself to us, first, in His creation and, second, in the person of Jesus.
Apparently, Billy is unaware that almost every other religion believes their god or gods is responsible for the creation of the universe thus the universe would be evidence for their god or gods being the correct choice.
Billy’s final argument, the person of Jesus, proves nothing. There is no evidence that Jesus even existed other than the words written decades after his supposed death and resurrection. Even if Jesus did live and was killed there is no proof of his resurrection or his being the Son of God or God himself.
Billy has not made an argument for choosing his religion over others; he has only pointed out the fallacy of choosing one religion rather than none.
If you like what you've read here, you can Subscribe and receive and email whenever I publish a new article or you can subscribe to my RSS feed. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can e-mail me directly with questions or comments.
Read all my articles at my main Examiner site.