The Bible leads people to salvation, but sometimes is unclear about what is required. What are the core beliefs that one must have to be a Christian? When the apostles tell us to follow the fundamental truths of the Faith, what do they mean? What can followers of Christ disagree on without breaking fellowship? What differences in theology are so serious that Christians must separate themselves from people who hold wrong views
By Mark D. Harris
Our Sunday School class has been working through the letters of John for the past several weeks. In them, the Apostle repeatedly calls for his readers to know the truth. Most people, even those who deny objective moral truth, believe in some kind of truth. Religions, and non-religious philosophies, claim to contain and convey truth, and ask their adherents to accept it.
The word “saved” differs from one religion and/or philosophy to another. To a Christian, one is saved from separation from God. To a Buddhist, one is saved from false beliefs. To a Marxist, one is saved from economic oppression. To a Muslim, one is saved from hell. Keeping in mind that “salvation” differs by context, we will investigate how to achieve it.
How to be “saved” in major non-Christian religions
Every religion requires adherence to a set of beliefs and actions by those who wish to be part of that faith. For example, Islam expects its followers to do the five pillars:
- Shahada – testify that “there is no God but Allah, and Mohammad is His prophet.”
- Zakat – pay tithes.
- Salah – pray towards Mecca five times per day.
- Sawm – fast during Ramadan.
- Hajj – make a pilgrimage to Mecca.
Muslims are likewise required to perform good works, having just dealings with others, and may be called to fight in a holy war (jihad). Islam has dietary requirements, such as prohibitions on alcohol and pork, and rules for the social order. If one believes and does these things, he or she can justly consider him or herself to be a Muslim and will be considered so by others. After death, if a Muslim’s good deeds outweigh the bad, or if he is killed in a jihad, he or she will enjoy paradise.Continue reading “What must I do to be saved?”