Religion and Salvation

                  By Vic Odarve

Nearly almost all religious leaders in all eras of history claimed that by following their religion would mean your salvation. That is why followers have advised their adherence to their rites and customs that go along with their teachings, inculcate a strong belief that their denominations profess to be “the only true way to God, and build to believe that outside the flock has no salvation. Thus, whether the holy books have been twisted, misinterpreted, and perverted the real message, they have one thing in common; their own denomination would save their soul and lead to the eternal life.

Salvation and mathematics must be taught in school

As always in our observations, these religious rituals and customs develop the lives of the followers’ greater depth of understanding and direction toward spiritual perfection. And since we have various denominations around the globe, each group differs on their own beliefs and practices. With these practices, it is believed that followers understand the ultimate purpose of life. With the greater understanding of what they live for, significant numbers of followers embraced their religious teachings. Thus, customs and rituals become the significant features of religion and on salvation.

With the latest trends of teachings around the globe, religious leaders often inculcate to their followers the strong belief that their denominations profess to be “the only true way to God”. They lead the flocks to believe that their salvation is being sourced from heavenly teachings with all sorts of heavenly grace. This belief gives rise to a follower with extreme behavior or extremists, irrespective of religions… Hinduism, New Age, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Today, these extremists vowed to fight people that do not belong to their group. Worse, they often have a belief that killing people who opposed their religion is a statement of their martyrdom. But we must think it over that with many religions around the world, they can’t all be right, and more likely the only one serves God.

Jagna Cathedral, Jagna, Bohol

What is ironic is that almost all of them claimed that outside their own religion, there is no salvation. They have on their minds that God favors their denomination over the others. What is more intriguing is that each of these religions has sects with differing beliefs and wants to save during the judgment day. Protestant and Islam religions, for instance, take in different denominations claiming to be the genuine followers of their God. Because of these differences, religious wars break out. Nowadays, in the Middle East, Islam religion is fighting with each other due to misconceptions of the teaching from their holy book. Each one claimed to be the favored ones.

Whatever the beliefs and differences might be brought about by these different religions, one matter is clear; that, that everyone must serve their Lord, your Lord, and my Lord. It is a matter of being one with your Lord and Saviour, the Maker and Redeemer of all matters.  There are good people in all sorts of religions, and it is a matter of being one with whom you believe your God and Saviour by following the true teachings of the holy book.

This beautiful scenery is the work of thy hands

There are complexities along the interpretations and understanding of the word of God breeding confusion among the people. The books of God can be interpreted either directly or indirectly by the different religions and may still result in salvation. Just like in mathematics, there are many methods in finding the roots of an equation, but draw different steps to draw the similar answer. God’s infinite wisdom cannot be fully understood by mankind that like mathematics, different religious beliefs may end with the same result…salvation to the believers. Bible verses explain to us by the Apostle John.

John says (2:24) that Jesus “knew all men,” and then adds (2:25), “and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” 

 Romans 10:9-13.

 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Today, we live in a society that has many cultures and many religions and denominations, and we are to treat each with respect. It is good to be tolerant, but that does not mean that we have to agree with everyone in their religious belief.Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10.

Then, can religion save us? The belief is ours when it is the time to meet the One sitting on the throne.