Arrogance of Claiming to be a Member of the One True Religion


Some religions, notably Christianity and Islam claim to be the one true religion.  This means they claim to be the right religion.  They say they do not deny that there is truth in other religions but they deny that God has authorised those religions to teach.  The idea is that God speaks and sets up a religion to promote and represent his message.  One true religion means that but it also means being the one religion that actually is a religion.  A false religion is not a religion but a social construct acting like one.  It is the same idea behind the gods of the pagans not being gods at all.  The worship is not truly religious.  So religion then would mean the right way of worshipping the one true God.  The core idea is that it is about a relationship with God and though doctrines and rules are needed it is not about a list of doctrines and rules.  They only exist to help with the relationship and must always be about the relationship.


Nobody can deny that if we are born into a Catholic family we will tend to be Catholic ourselves. Nobody can deny that if you change the word Catholic to Muslim or Mormon or Hindu or whatever that the same is true. People like that are more concerned about themselves than the truth, than about God and than about other people. God should know we have this extremely strong bias to follow the religion of the community we were born and reared in. Thus if he has a true religion it has to be the most attractive and holiest religion of all. It has to contend with the bias outsiders have to follow other religions and help them overcome it to embrace the true faith. He punishes people for not trying to find the true faith or for not thinking about finding a better religion. God would be simply vindictive for punishing them if outsiders failing to be impressed by their knowledge of his religion was understandable. And Christians would be vindictive as well for saying that such a God exists when they have no proof.
Those who leave the faiths they were born into are the exception rather than the rule. Just because people have an extreme tendency to adopt the religion they were born into and reared in does not mean the religion is false. But if that religion is not very convincing it certainly cannot be a revelation from God for it can't contend with other religions and be seen easily as the true one. The religion is actually inferring that God is inept and denying its faith if it teaches that it is true despite having poor evidence. We should doubt what we think we believe or what we believe when the tendency to copy our families and friends in religious matters is so strong. God wants us to believe not to think we believe. Yet religion says that doubt is a sin. A belief is not made false by how the belief was gained. For example, if one is conditioned to be an atheist one could still be right that there is no God. But one is only factually right. One is not right by intention. If you have a "belief" and are conditioned to have it, you have it not because you think it is right but because your conditioning is deceiving you that you believe it. You are confusing wanting to believe with believing.
A religion being very believable or plausible still does not necessarily make it the true religion. To claim to be the true religion is always a mark of the vice of pride and arrogance. You can have strong evidence that X killed Jane though it may be the case that X never did it.
A person who satisfies the tendency to follow a religion just because he or she was born and reared in it is not believing. They only think they believe. What they have is a habit of saying they agree with the faith and the habit of following the practices of the religion. For such a person to say that homosexuals and adulterers and heretics and so on go to Hell forever to be punished for all eternity is simply the conditioning talking. It is their feelings talking. So they are being vindictive whether they realise it or not.


Some feel that the parable of the wheat and tares refutes the notion that you must eject stubborn sinners and heretics from the Church for Jesus said we must let them grow together. But this could refer to the fact that the Church will always be a mixture of saints and sinners or Christians and fake Christians. Jesus in Matthew 18 did lay down that obviously bad followers need to be distanced from except to be asked to repent. The wheat is not harmed by the tares. The implication is that a Christian who is affected is as bad as the tares and therefore one of them. So Jesus is only saying not to go to unreasonable lengths to get rid of the tares and saying you cannot get them all out anyway. So the parable is not asking for carelessness with church integrity. People who fall even seventy times a day are different.  They are not dedicated to rebellion and trying to steal the light and honours from real believers.  Should we think the parable refers to the wheat as being the Church and the tares as being the world?  Rubbish. Jesus is not going to ask the Church to grow with the world but in the world. And wheat means individuals making up the Church rather than the church as a unit. No Church can be completely unharmed by the tares but there are individuals who are so dedicated that their devotion is unshakeable.


This parable makes us think of another issue. We know the one true Church claim is bad but here we have the one true Christian claim which is probably worse or as bad.  Whatever.


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