There are some things common to the teachings of different religions. However, various religions differ drastically in their teachings on key issues, as the following table shows. Teachings that contradict the Bible are in red.
|Topic/religion||Biblical Christianity ||Buddhism ||Hinduism ||Islam ||Roman Catholicism ||Sikhism |
|How many Gods?||One ||None||Various ideas||One||One||One |
|Is God a Trinity?||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Was the world perfect initially?||Yes||No||No||Not specified||No||Not specified|
|Is reverence before idols good?||No||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Are all men equal?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Is there reincarnation?||No||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|What is heaven like?||Personal spiritual bliss||Impersonal bliss||Impersonal bliss||Personal sensuous bliss||Personal spiritual bliss||Personal bliss|
|Eternal hell exists?||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes||Not specified |
|What is the consequence of sin?||Infinite death||Suffering||Suffering||Infinite death||Infinite death||Suffering in a temporary hell|
|What is compensation for sin?||Infinite death||Good deeds||Good deeds||None||Infinite death + good deeds||Getting rid of the five evils|
|The Creator suffering for man's sin||All important: your only hope||No||No||No||Important||No|
|Can man reach heaven on his own?||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Access to God/heaven is||Purely God's gift||Human achievement|| Human achievement||God's excusing + human achievement||God's gift + human achievement||Human achievement|
|How to go to heaven?||Surrender to God/ Receive His free gift||Good deeds|| Good deeds||Belief+ good deeds||Belief + good deeds||Good deeds|
|How is justice meted out?||God's policy||Natural law||Natural law||God's policy||God's policy||Ambiguous|
|Key purpose of good deeds||Fitting for those who know they're going to heaven||To reach heaven||To reach heaven||To reach heaven||To reach heaven||To reach heaven|
|Bodily resurrection?||Yes||No|| No ||Yes ||Yes ||No|
A few points that we can note:-
Have a look at the evidence for Jehovah (God of the Bible) – you will see that no other belief system has evidence that even comes close in its sheer volume and intensity to it. It is for you to decide what you want to follow. Also see:-
At best, they may be sincerely mistaken and lazy. It is a fact that a lot of people are only nominal adherents of their religion - they don't know what their religion teaches, and don't care. But this is hardly a desirable situation. If you call yourself an adherent of a particular religion, you should know what it means, follow it, and be accountable to it. If you disagree with the religion of the family you were born in, be open about it! It is absurd to complain about being linked with the negative features of a religion when you call yourself an adherent:-
I am a Biblical Christian. By definition, this means that I accept what the Bible teaches as true! I will not mince words for the sake of political correctness. If you're not sure what's right, call yourself an agnostic or seeker. I'm here to help you learn what The Main Message of the Bible is, show you the Evidence for God, and share the testimonies of those who have found the God of the Bible. Also note: sincerity is not enough to reach God.
There are people today of so many varying beliefs and practices that go by the label "Christian". I also call myself a Christian. There is a simple definition of Christianity in the Bible:-
"The disciples [of Jesus Christ] were called Christians first in Antioch [in Syria]". - Acts 11:26
So "Christian" is a term that was originally invented to refer to a disciple of Christ. By definition, this means someone who obeys and follows Christ (no one is perfect in obedience, but true Christians obey at least as a matter of policy). The teachings of Christ are recorded in the Bible and he upheld the authority of the entire Bible (see Matthew 4:4, John 10:35, John 17:17, Luke 16:17), and said that true discipleship is marked by obedience (Luke 6:46).
So, to find out whether something constitutes true or false Christianity, the objective criterion is:
Does the Bible endorse it?
I encourage you to apply this criterion instead of forming your impression about the Bible, God or Biblical Christianity based on the actions of supposed Christians (I know, searching the Bible and learning to interpret it is hard work, but it is the usual case of the easy, lazy way not being the right way).
The Bible began to be written when the universe was created, and there have been people worshiping God (Christians, if you will) since the start of the human race. Adam (the first man) himself wrote part of the Bible (see Genesis 5:1). The Bible records God promising the advent of the incarnation of God in Genesis 3:15, shortly after creation. It’s just that he showed up only 2000 years ago (in the person of Jesus Christ). So then, Bible based faith is not a new thing:-
Thus, the term "Christianity" is two thousand years old. But the practice of revering the true God (which is what true Christianity really is), is as old as the human race. The Main Message that I preach to you is the same message that the first man Adam preached to his descendants. The only difference is that he would have had to use the future tense where I have used the past tense.
Neither. I am merely a follower of Jehovah, the God who has revealed himself through the Bible, and His Son Jesus Christ. I am a Christian as defined in the Bible (Acts 11:26). Catholics and Protestants also claim to be Christians, so I have some explaining to do.
Roman Catholics who devoutly believe what their church teaches are not Biblical Christians because the teachings of Roman Catholicism are opposed to that of the Bible. The most conspicuous and important disagreement is as follows:-
“There is none other name under heaven given among men [other than the name of Jesus], whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12
"We declare, affirm, define and pronounce it to be necessary for salvation for every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff." – Pope Boniface VIII, Unam Sanctam
Protestants owe their origin to the Reformation, in which leaders such as Martin Luther, John Calvin and Uhlrich Zwingli repudiated some of the errors of Roman Catholicism (in particular, the one mentioned just above) and returned to Biblical teaching. The Bible demands absolute authority; although the Protestants claimed to recognize this with their slogan "Sola Scriptura" [only the Bible], they didn't practice their own slogan fully. In several matters (example: Church Offices, Church structure, the nation of Israel, Baptism, freedom of conscience, etc) the reformers retained the errors of Rome.Also see: How to distinguish between true and false Christianity?
I stand here for the truth of the Bible, not for what has been done in the name of Christianity by Martin Luther or the RCC.
"I saw: lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and languages, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; they cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshiped God, saying, Amen; Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen." - Revelation 7:9
When I teach physics, I emphasize the fundamentals: the laws of physics and how to apply them. I have no sympathy for a student who wants to do physics disregarding the fundamentals of physics. However, if a student has a question or disagrees with me, I hear him out and discuss things with him. I do not strap a bomb to myself and detonate it near students with low test scores.
Similarly, when I deal with the Bible, I stress its fundamentals - God's holiness, our sinfulness, what God has done about it, how we respond, how God wants us to live, etc. I discuss with those who disagree with me (that's why this website exists).
So, if by fundamentalist, you mean someone who acknowledges the fundamentals and gives them their right (fundamental) place, the answer is: YES, I am a fundamentalist. If by fundamentalist, you mean a person who does not listen to people with differing views or attacks them, then the answer is: NO.
"I don't respect people who don't proselytize. I don't respect that at all. If you believe that there's a heaven and hell and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life or whatever, and you think that it's not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward...How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?" – Penn Jillette, well known atheist.