Have you ever heard of the Indian Elephant Analogy/Parable? It goes something like this:
An elephant was brought to a town one day filled with people who had never even heard of an elephant. Among the residents was a group of blind men. These blind men inspected the creature via touch.
The first person who touched the trunk said, “It is like a thick snake!”
The second person who touched the ear said, “No, it is like a large fan.”
The third person who clung to its leg said, “Not so, it is more of a tree!”
The fourth person who placed his hands on its side said, “Surely, it is like a wall.”
The fifth person who touched the tail said, “It is like a rope.”
The sixth and last person who rubbed its tusks said, “It is hard and smooth like a spear.”
This story was originally used to teach perspective but later it became known for explaining away various religions. Many people use this analogy to show that every different religion is like a different blind person. They only have a part of the story that is informed by their biases and they are all correct and incorrect to some degree.
However, this interpretation ignores the presence of the narrator who knows without a doubt that the creature is not a snake, or a fan, or a tree, or a wall, or a rope, or a spear. The narrator sees the entire picture and knows an elephant when he sees one.
All Religions Are The Same
The above phrase was intended to show tolerance to all religions. After all, we currently live in a world where everyone is right all of the time. We do not want to offend or hurt anyone’s feelings. However, this phrase “All religions are the same” is actually extremely offensive. In stating that all religions are the same, you take away the complexity, the authenticity, and the detailed nature of each religion and you offend those who practice it. Buddhism is not Hinduism, Hinduism is not Islam, Islam is not Christianity.
Every Religion Has a Different View of God & a Different View of Salvation.
I believe that there is in elephant in the room and that elephant is religion. All of the religions of the world attempt to understand that elephant. However, I stand by the idea that we have a narrator who depicts what true faith is and that narrator is Jesus.
John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
One of the major differences between Christianity and every other religion is that in other religion’s man is the hero. In Christianity, man is weak and God is the hero. Perhaps we do not like admitting our own weaknesses, but I can admit to mine.
It’s a large concept to grasp, I know. If you are interested in hearing a more in-depth discussion of this concept, I really encourage you to watch the video by Claude Hickman. He has traveled all over the world and studied all different kinds of religions:
I do believe that faith in Jesus is the only road to salvation.
However, please know that this does not mean that I do not love or respect others any less due to their religious beliefs. I share my faith because I believe that it brings about salvation and because I want everyone to have the opportunity to hear or read about the love of God at least once in their lives.
I am more than open to discussing my faith or your questions in the comments, but please remember I will never approve any hateful or derogatory comments.