Hey Kenneth, thanks for sharing a few of your thoughts with me in places and I welcome criticism (I believe it helps refine writing). I think because of the length of the article some people have tried to point out areas which may seem “flimsy” to them at best. So allow me to explain a little more as to what I meant if you care to read.
It’s totally true that all major religions teach very much similar teachings (non-violence and peace, morals, service leads to selflessness, the golden rule, etc). However, within religions there are vast differences in regards to how that is played out.
In Bhuddism, suffering is technically not real. While they teach all life is suffering it is considered a shadow. By following the 8 fold path, adhering to morals, you escape this shadow world and archive nirvana (enlightenment). Hinduism is similar is some aspects in which reincarnation based on the moral life you lead eventually will lead to the disillusion of self into the vedic paradise. Islam teaches by following the 5 pillars, and how well you keep these allows you to enter paradise. But there’s a chance you must go through purification first.
The common misconception within Christianity is that by living a moral life and separating yourself from sin, that you’ll eventually end up in a cosmic paradise where God will eventually nuke this earth. Very similar to the other religions. However, the heart of Christianity is that no amount of good works will ever earn you a spot in heaven, and is repeated in the biblical texts that your righteous acts are offensive to God because it means God owes you for being a good person (as if you can somehow put God in your debt). It’s simply through what Christ has done on the cross and his grace alone that you can be saved.
Another misconception is that we wait for God to nuke this Earth and fly off to an ethereal afterlife. But over and over again in our sacred text Christ teaches he is in the renewal of all things. The book of Revelation teaches that heaven isn’t some ethereal place outside the Milky Way, but that the new heavens and earth will be on the current Earth where everything will be renewed and restored to its original glory. That old hymn, I’ll Fly Away? Nope. Your happy ass is gonna fly right back down to Earth at the consummation of all things.
Whereas all other religions teach you have to earn your way towards God and will escape to an ethereal afterlife, Christianity teaches the EXACT opposite. However, the message of Christianty has been hijacked most often by the moralists, so it most often looks the same as all other religions (and is often, sadly, backed by political messages too, which our founder was directly against).
In my search during my 20's, I researched many major world religions. When I found the heart of Christianity and the truth of the Gospel, I discovered no major religions taught that your salvation is a free gift and not earned through good works. Had I written all that out, the blog would have gotten wordy and more scholastic than my intent, so that why I kept it short and allowed people to question and search on their own.
Anyway, I hope that clarifies it a little bit more and again, I appreciate your feedback. Gives me things to consider in future blogs.