How Does Christianity Differ From Other Religions?

Some people are very good at spotting similarities. When speaking of religion they speak in broad generalities and claim that all religions are pretty much the same. The similarities they identify are usually real. But they are not always useful.

When I look through my cabinets, I find that bleach, laundry detergent, and milk all come in plastic bottles with handles. That’s similarity. Fortunately, the bottles are sufficiently different that I can easily tell them apart. I wouldn’t want to drink bleach and neither would you.

Most religions have something to say about a god or gods. Most have similar ideas of right and wrong. (Don’t steal. Don’t cheat on your spouse. Don’t lie or murder.) Most have some concept of life after death.

The most important difference between genuine, Biblical, Christianity and other religions is grace. The other major religions of the world are about laws and rules and effort. Christianity, alone, speaks of God as one who saves those who have done wrong.

For Christians (especially Lutherans), the first purpose of moral teaching is not moral living, but to help people realize that they have failed to live up to God’s standards of morality and that they desperately need someone to save them from condemnation.

That someone is Jesus Christ: God in human form, who became accountable for our wrong-doing and took the resulting punishment upon himself. God forgives and welcomes all who believe this and hope for eternal life because of it. It doesn’t matter what they have done.

Any religion can teach you right from wrong. Only Biblical Christianity offers a savior.

That’s part of The Lutheran Difference.

Next: Liturgy the Visible Difference