Knowing the Religions of Our Times
What is a religion? You might be tempted to answer that it is any kind of belief about a god or some gods. However, that's not complete enough to cover all religions. There are many old religions – not to mention the new ones – that don't believe in any gods at all in the traditional sense!
Some religions even claim to be nonreligious because they reject any idea of God. Did you know that the United States Supreme Court has recognized the beliefs of Secular Humanism as a religious expression covered under the constitution's protection of religion? All of which is to say there are many religions around today, some of which we forget are religions. And some pretend they are not religions.
If we do not see ourselves as creatures, we cannot recognize the Creator. If human beings don't recognize the Creator, they are destined to try to take His place. If His values are not central in our lives, our own values will rule. If His definition of who and what we are is not part of our lives, we will make up our own definitions.
This is exactly what many are doing today. There is no shortage of religious leaders to encourage them, no matter how outrageous their beliefs. As faithful children of our Creator, we need to understand the religions of our day. We need to know what people believe so that we can show them how Jesus Christ answers their questions better than some guru or popular writer. The Great Commission gives each Christian the need to know the religions of those with whom we come into contact.