The Life Foundations Nexus
WHY GOD ALLOWS OTHER RELIGIONS TO EXIST
OTHER RELIGIONS: OTHER PARTIAL TRUTH RELIGIONS
By Dr. Michael J. Bisconti
God allows other religions to exist for “some people who cannot or will not accept everything that he has to say.” Note that we distinguish those who “cannot” from those who “will not.” Those who “cannot” are those who are brought up in other religions and sincerely believe their teachings. Those who “will not” are those who know everything that God has to say but will only accept a part of what he has to say. Those who “cannot” are often sincere followers of God who earnestly seek the whole message of God. Over their lifetimes, many of these are led by the Lord to discover his whole message. Those who “will not” are insincere followers of God who deceive themselves into thinking that they have the whole message of God.
Can a person of another religion go to heaven even though they do not have the whole message of God? Well, God, of course, is fair in all his dealings with each one of us. Would you chastise a little child for stealing a cookie when that child had no knowledge that taking a cookie was stealing? Of course, not. Furthermore, in the Bible, King David’s son, who had virtually no knowledge, being only a few days old, when he died, was taken to heaven. So, yes, ignorance can mean that God will deal with a person differently and, as King David’s son proves, a person who is ignorant of the message of God can go to heaven.
One might ask, “If a person can go to heaven without knowledge of God, why learn anything at all about God?” To those of you who already have knowledge of God – and I say this at the risk of sounding facetious – it is too late for you. You already have knowledge of God and God will deal with you accordingly. More important, of course, is the hunger and thirst of the human heart to know the Creator. This hunger and thirst drives people to seek the knowledge of God. So, why learn anything about God? Your heart longs for this knowledge.
One might then ask, “Why teach the ignorant about God since they will automatically go to heaven because of their ignorance?” Well, unless we are talking about a newborn or the littlest of children, every person automatically acquires at least a “fragment” of the knowledge of God while they are a child. This fragment is enough to lead them to a full knowledge of God. You might ask, “How can you be so sure that everyone acquires at least a fragment of the knowledge of God?” We can be sure, first, because this is what the Bible teaches. For example, John, chapter 1, verse 9, in the Bible says:
That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Note that every person is “lighteth.” Every person is “made to see.” Second, it has been documented throughout history that, no matter where a person travels in the world – whether it be the highest mountains, the lowest wetlands, the hottest deserts, or the coldest tundras – people believe in God. We must note that this belief involves either a complete or incomplete conception of who he is and, in addition, may involve one or more misconceptions of who he is. Third, God has given human beings the ability to develop scientific and rational arguments for his existence. Returning to our main question, even a fragment of the knowledge of God creates the need for the answers to many questions. This is one reason that we teach the ignorant about God. Another reason that we teach the ignorant about God is that the Lord commands us in the Bible to “preach the gospel.”
God’s commandment to preach the gospel creates a need in us to teach other people about God. Those who are ignorant of this fact may, mistakenly, conclude that since people automatically have the knowledge of God they (those who have the knowledge of God) have no need to teach them (those who have incomplete or no knowledge of God) about God. This would be true if it weren’t for the fact that we, indeed, are required to teach others about the Lord and for one other thing: many times a person’s knowledge of God is intermixed with superstition and delusion. Superstition and delusion can be harmful to oneself and to others.
A final point: we are sometimes asked why other religions sometimes have large numbers of adherents (followers). The answer is that sometimes other religions are NOT SINGLE RELIGIONS. Sometimes, they are, in reality, a million different religions that merely profess to be one religion. These “million different religions” join together in order to obtain and maintain political influence in the world. They use this influence to promote their theological, moral, and political agendas. The proof that these religious conglomerates (mixed groups) exist and that they are “power unions” is very simple. For example, in the case of the Roman Catholic Church:
There are Roman Catholics who believe in Voodooism. There are Roman Catholics who believe in Animism, which is the belief that certain objects, for example, trees, are inhabited by spirits. There are Roman Catholics who follow the teachings of Buddha. There are Roman Catholics who follow the teachings of Islam’s Mohammed.
Those who would dispute these facts need merely consult an encyclopedia. Another example is the Religion of Islam:
There are Moslems who follow the eye-for-an-eye teachings of the Old Testament. There are Moslems who follow the principles of Dharma and, sometimes, other Hindu teachings. There are Moslems who follow the teachings of Buddha. There are Moslems who believe in Animism, which is the belief that certain objects, for example, trees, are inhabited by spirits.
Those who would dispute these facts need merely consult an encyclopedia.