I was watching the Today Show yesterday morning and they interviewed a fellow whose wife was missing for eight days because she was trapped in her car, which had wrecked on the side of the road. Granted, the interview took place at 4 in the morning for the fellow. But it is during those times of candidness that our true colors shine.
Of particular interest was when the interviewer was trying to wrap up the time. He wanted to invite people to come to the prayer service they were having the next day for his wife – she is in recovering health. What he said was typical for the way people in our culture speak of religion – and it was patently proud. He said, in effect, “I want to invite everyone to come to the prayer meeting tomorrow. It doesn’t matter what religion you are because they all basically teach the same thing. They are al confused as to what the truth is and the more people we have praying, the better.” My question is, and you should be asking the same question, “How does he know that all religions are confused? Who told you that we are all confused?” It seems that he has cornered the market on truth and that he can make a totalizing statement over the heads of all people of religion. The sad truth is that this is how most people who are too lazy to udnerstand religion say. That is, rather than evaluate the religions (even if only one!) of the world the proud and slothful say that they all believe in the same god.
As a person who places his faith in the Triune God of Christianity, I do not believe in the same god as the Hindus or the Muslims or the Satanists or the materialists. What is more, the prayes that I offer up will be different than those of the Muslim, Hindu, and materialist. So when I pray for this man’s wife, it will be not only nuanced, but diametrically opposed on different levels. For example, I will pray that this woman’s experience would be used to bring her to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. I will pray that the husband will be a loving husband who will love his wife as Christ loves the church. I will pray that the woman’s health will be restored so that she wil have faith in the only living God who heals and who is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. These are merely three prayers that are different than the materialist, who will pray for immediate healing…On a larger evaluation, my prayers will all point to the sufficiency and glory of the Triune God.
What is sad is that so many people speak foolishly like this man did yesterday morning. They do it, however, on their lunch breaks. They have no excuse for such folly. If our co-workers and friends and family paused long enough to think through their answer, they would be able to see the inherent pride of their position. They would be able to see that the god they worship is not the true God. Honestly, I don’t think it being 4:30 am made a difference.