Actually, this is a great question, but it does need a little clarification. You say all the gods of the different religions are the same, but the examples you site are not the gods themselves, but people’s experience with those gods. The difference is crucial. I will concede that people involved in different religions have very similar experiences. I think this does show a universal need for humans to find some meaning beyond this short life on earth. It also points to the great ability of human beings to imagine or create certain experiences. But that doesn’t mean the gods are all the same. It only means you need to be very careful about putting your faith in your feelings and emotions and the circumstances of your life and instead you need to have more concrete reasons. Perhaps you should be a Logical Christian.
The Christian God is actually almost the complete opposite of every other religion’s god. I’ll try to show you some of the differences.
- The god of every other religion in some form or another requires its believers to some how become good enough to be rewarded. The god may, or may not, offer help in this test, but the person must achieve his/her own goodness, and is capable of doing so. God (when I capitalize it I mean the Christian God) declares that we cannot achieve goodness on our own and loves us so much that he himself accepts our punishment for us and gives us his own goodness as a gift if we are just humble enough to accept it. Only Christianity has a God that makes this declaration and is this loving. It is actually so different that it is logically impossible for Christianity and any other religion to both be correct. If you study logic you will learn that two opposites cannot both be correct at the same time. If “A” and “B” are opposite “A” can be right and “B” wrong. “A” can be wrong and “B” right. Both “A” and “B” can be wrong. But “A” and “B” cannot be opposite and both right. The Christian God is so opposite the gods of other religions that if He is real, all other gods are false, or if they are real, He is false.
- While some other religions have resurrection stories, the resurrection of Jesus is completely different. In all other resurrection stories, the person that comes back to life comes back as a pure spirit or in a completely different body. The dead body is still dead. Jesus’ resurrection of his earthly body in a touchable and solid form is entirely different. As a matter of fact, it is so different that Greek language of the early church had problems describing it. And this is not an idea that developed over time. All the early writings of the church agree completely on this physical rising of Jesus’ body. Why is this so important? It gave the church immediate credibility because the church would have been crushed had someone just produced Jesus’ body. The agreement of all the early church writers on this physical resurrection made their “religion” immediately stand out from every other religion before and after it.
- There is logical and physical evidence for the history of the resurrection, which gives God a credibility that is miles ahead of every other god. This evidence would have to be the subject of a completely new paper but it is real and convincing. I cannot say it is a irrefutable, but it is exponentially better than the historic evidence for any other god. Very briefly:
- There are a lot of writings outside the Bible that confirm Jesus was a real person who died on a cross because he thought he was the son of God.
- The complete agreement of the early writings on a physical resurrection is itself evidence because it is a totally new idea. Stories made up by multiple writers over time would seldom have such agreement.
- The fact that the stories all have Jesus first appearing to women makes it unthinkable that the stories were made up. No author of that time would have women in that position because their testimony was considered so unreliable it wasn’t even allowed in trial proceedings etc. Made up stories would not have women as the first witnesses.
- The tomb was obviously empty or the Romans and the Jews would have simply produced the body.
- The apostles believed he physically rose from the dead because they all died for that belief. Lots of people die for wrong beliefs, but this is different because the apostles would have know for sure if it was all a hoax. People don’t die for something they know is a lie. You may find one or two, but not ten people willing to suffer greatly and die because they insisted on Jesus’ physical resurrection if they knew for sure it was a lie. At least a couple of them would have expressed enough doubt to save their own skin.
- Writings in the Bible that we can prove were written long before Jesus’ life on Earth, very accurately predict major events in his life, like his death on the cross. No other religion has prophecies that are as clear and precise regarding their god’s future actions, and the historic evidence outside their own writings, that those prophecies were fulfilled. Christianity does hinge entirely on Jesus’ death and resurrection and thankfully we do have a lot of supporting historic evidence that it actually occurred.
People’s religious experiences are similar so do not base your faith entirely on them. Christianity is different and our God is different, and there is real proof and evidence for those differences. Christianity has much logical evidence, but I hope you also do experience the living Jesus.[cref logically-christian Logically Christian Home Page]