This is also known as religious pluralism. Right at the beginning we need to make a distinction. We live in a world with many cultures and many religions and each should be treated with respect. The word commonly used today for this concept is tolerance. Tolerance is good, we should be tolerant, but that doesn't mean we agree with everyone who puts forth a religious conviction. The problem is religious pluralism goes well beyond tolerance to say that each religion is equally valid or true. The fact is- truth divides. There are many different and opposing beliefs among the competing religions, they can't all be true.
So why is Christianity the right one? There are many reasons I could give in support of my belief that Christianity is the one true religion. Many reasons are found elsewhere on this site, and there will be more to come. The purpose of this particular page is simply to argue that people who say that all religions lead to God probably haven't looked closely at the various world religions to see that that statement can't possibly be true. In addition, I'm not a big fan of the word "Religion". Religion is humanity's attempt to reach up and become acceptable to God through acts that appease Him. The whole concept of Christianity is that God condescended to humanity to become one of us to save a people for Himself. It's about what God has done for us, not about what we do for Him. The fact is that every other religion teaches some form of works salvation (doing something to get to heaven). The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of grace, which is truly good news. On our own merit and effort it is impossible for us to earn our way to heaven. God's standard is too high. He demands total righteousness and perfect obedience, and Jesus is the only one who meets those requirements. Many people don't have that high a view of God, so they believe in a god who accepts people into heaven if they have completed certain steps or followed certain rules, at least to the best of their ability. All people everywhere, including me, are in need of God's grace, which is found only in Jesus Christ. Why? Because He's the only one who lived the perfect life and offers us His perfection as a free gift. That's why Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." John 14:6 He is the only one who can say that because of what He has done. Therefore, "There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Acts 4:12
If you wanted to drive to The White House, could you just get in your car and go in any direction? No, you would need a map and have to follow certain directions, otherwise you'd get lost. If you're in Pennsylvania and you set out going north in an attempt to get to Washington DC, you wouldn't make it there. If I said to you, "You're going in the wrong direction." - Wouldn't that be a kind thing to do? Now, if Washington DC is actually north of Pennsylvania, then you'd be right and I'd be wrong, but let's not say that we're both right.
This is an issue of truth not preference. To quote a brilliant thinker named Greg Koukl, he says, "Forgive me for stating something so obvious, but there is a difference between choosing an ice cream flavor and choosing a medicine. When choosing ice cream, you choose what you like. When choosing medicine, you have to choose what heals. Many people think of God like they think of ice cream, not like they think of insulin. In other words, they choose religious views according to their tastes, not according to what is true. The question of truth hardly even comes up in the conversation. Much of religion in people's lives is a placebo. It's like a sugar pill that they take to make them feel better-not a pill that does any medicinal good, but a pill that helps them talk themselves into believing it will do some good. A placebo is given to people who are hypochondriacs and aren't really sick, but just think they are, so you give them a sugar pill. And they think it does some good and they feel better, but nothing has changed. If you are looking for a religion that suits you, a religion that fits what you like, it may be that you are simply manufacturing a religious view of your own invention. If I were inclined to invent a religion and a god, the God of the Bible is the very last God I would ever invent. I rather like the pantheistic god myself, the god of eastern religions. Eastern religions are high on individual freedom and low on personal responsibility. I like the notion that god is in all of us and we are god, and we are a law to ourselves. Life would be a lot easier if that were the case. I certainly would not invent a holy God whose perfect moral character becomes the absolute law of the universe. He is utterly demanding, encroaching on every corner of our life. Who would invent a god like that?"
There is an old tale about a number of blind men who tried to describe an elephant. It is said that once upon a time a king gathered a few men who were born blind. They were asked to describe an elephant, but each one was presented with only a certain part of it. To one was presented the head of the elephant, to another the trunk, to another its ears, to another the leg, the body, the tail, tuft of the tail, etc. The one who was presented with the head said: "The elephant is like a pot!" The one who was presented the trunk answered, "The elephant is like a hose." The one who touched only the ears thought that the elephant was a fan, the others said that it was a pillar, a wall, a rope, a brush, etc. Then they quarreled among themselves, each thinking that he was the only one right and the others were wrong. The obvious truth is that the elephant is a unity of many parts, a unity that they could not grasp in their ignorance. The king then comes out to reveal to them that it is an elephant and each of them had a piece of the truth.
At first glance this fable seems to be a reasonable way to harmonize the various world religions. Let's take a closer look - What if the elephant speaks? Christianity says that we don't learn about God by feeling. Instead, discovery comes through God's own revelation. He is not silent, leaving us to guess about his nature. God tells us what he is like and what he wants. God makes himself known. The parable of the blind men does not take this into account. Yet three of the world's great religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam - make this claim.
Secondly, it could be equally true that the lesson from the analogy is that none of the blind men were correct. The blind men are, in fact, mistaken. It is an elephant and not a pot, wall, rope or a brush. Their opinions are not equally true, in fact they are actually equally false. At best, such an analogy of religious pluralism would show that all religions are false, not true.
Another problem is it presumes that Christians reject pluralism merely because they lack exposure to other beliefs, the blind men were mistaken because each had explored only a part of the elephant. It's as if to say Christians are just uninformed and ignorant of the other world religions. We reject pluralism, in part, because the defining beliefs and doctrines of different religions contradict each other. It's not that we haven't discovered the other's views, it's the fact that they are incompatible. Contradictory claims can't be simultaneously true. Our job is to find out which religion does the best job at explaining humanity's ultimate reality.