There are a lot of elements of Christianity that other religions share. In example Christianity starts with the foundation in the belief in God, as do many other religions especially the other monotheistic religions. Please notice the kind of God I am talking about here is not some force in the universe as is believed in many of the eastern religions, but rather a God that is a person, and this person is different from that which he created. So it isn’t that everything is God which is the case with pantheism of the eastern religions, but again this God created something separate from himself and there is a clear distinction of the two. Part of what he created are personal beings, part of which are human beings in particular and in addition you have all the animals. Human beings are separate and unique from all other creatures. These previous points once again are believed by many religions, but there are also many religions that don’t make this clear distinction as with some forms of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and others which believe in the transmigration of the soul through reincarnation from humans to animals and vice versa.
When it comes to Christianity and Judaism God has created human beings as unique and special made in some sense in his image which sets them distinctly apart from all other creatures. There is another observation that can be made of human beings and that is that humans can be both noble and cruel. There is a certain nobility and dignity of human beings that sets him above the animal kingdom, which we can find in the great works of art they produce and the humanitarian gestures that are performed. On the other hand they can be very cruel and there is also something twisted and broken about human beings, so we have this anomaly. The Christian and biblical world view helps us makes sense of this for man in the beginning was made in the image of God with noble characteristics, but through rebellion against God something happened and something got broken and something got twisted. This twisted and broken human being leads to a twisted and broken world.
There is however great hope for God did not just leave it at that though he might have if he so willed, but rather out of love he reached down to mankind with a rescue effort. This rescue effort was not for him to toss some teaching our way and hope we would live better lives, but rather Gods rescue effort is that he came down himself to communicate in the most clear form possible his intentions and desires, and to make a sacrificial provision for pardon for mans crimes against God. So the incarnation of God becoming a man through Jesus is unique, and what Jesus did was take the penalty of the crimes of man upon himself so that human beings could be freed. He took the rap for the crimes against God, so that those that trust in him then could receive the pardon that the Father offered. This is another unique element, not only does God come down and reach out to man, but he gives him a free pardon of his crimes. The solution to the problem is not in making man better so as to make up for past deeds, for that doesn’t work. The solution is grace, it is an act of unmerited mercy on God’s part. It is not by any moral behavior that we qualify for salvation, it is actually our crimes against God that qualify us for his pardon and rescue. It is a pardon that God is willing to do graciously as we respond to that gift.
This news has been published by title Norris Burkes: From Pets To Trumpets, What Do You Hold Sacred?
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