This is an interesting article on the subject of indifferentism. Let me know what you think.
Religious Indifferentism, the belief that all religions are on an equal footing and are simply different ways to the one God, is really a heretical position that has never, throughout the history of Christianity, been seriously entertained either by the Catholic Church or mainline Protestantism. In fact, ultimately it is a kind of relativism in disguise. Nonetheless, there is something very appealing about this heresy, and I believe its appeal lies in the fact that it tends to gloss over the difficult reality of the fallen human condition. As such, it is a kind of “good news”. In other words, if Religious Indifferentism is true, then man is not lost. He can save himself.
Indeed, this news sounds good, but it is true? If it is, it renders the good news of the gospel completely redundant. Moreover, it actually refutes itself; for Indifferentism is the belief that all religions are equally legitimate attempts to explain the truth about God. Such a claim, however, completely undercuts the claims of Christ and the fundamental beliefs of Christianity. At best, then, all religions except Christianity are legitimate attempts to explain the truth about God. Let me explain.
Indifferentists often employ the metaphor of the wheel. Just as the spokes on a wheel all lead to and converge upon the hub in the center, so too all religions are regarded as various and diverse ways that lead to the one God at the center of existence.
This is a very positive and reassuring image. If it is accurate, it is difficult to understand why the vast majority of people would not, in the end, find their way back to the center. But this is a very subtle denial of the most fundamental doctrine of Christianity, namely Original Sin. We believe that the human race is fallen, broken by sin, over its head in a debt that it cannot hope to repay. In short, man cannot save himself. Recall when Jesus said to his disciples that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. They said in reply: “In that case, who can be saved?” Jesus gazed at them and said, “For man it is impossible, but not for God: because for God everything is possible” (Mk 10, 26-27). And so a more accurate illustration of the human condition by means of the metaphor of the wheel might be the following:
Man has been cut off from the source of divine grace through sin. It is simply not within any man’s power to rise above his inclination to sin and make satisfaction for himself or anyone for the infinite gravity of his own sin against God. That is why man needs a saviour. The faith of Christians is that God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, joined a human nature, dwelt among us, suffered and died to reconcile the world to God. And so the wheel should look more like the following:
It is now possible for anyone on the rim of the wheel to make it to the center, but he or she can only do so by the wood of the cross. This does not mean, as Fundamentalists tend to believe, that only professed Christians will be saved. Far from it. But it does mean that if anyone makes it to heaven, be it a Christian, Muslim, Hindu or Jew, he or she does so only because two thousand years ago, the “Word made flesh” died for us all on Good Friday and he or she cooperated with the grace that Christ made available by virtue of his death. In short, if we made it, we made it through Christ: “I am the Way; I am Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through me” (Jn 14, 6).
Religious Indifferentism is insidious in that it subtly denies a fundamental truth about sin, namely, that the gravity of sin against a God of infinite dignity is nothing less than infinite. It is a denial of Original Sin and its radical wounds that have infected human nature. And it denies that the world needs a redeemer who is both fully God and fully man, who as God can cancel a debt of infinite gravity, and who as man can offer a sacrifice on our behalf. Religious Indifferentism is simply another example of how something that looks and feels good on the surface is, underneath the appearance, dangerously deceptive.