Lie of Pie–Religious Pluralism

 

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Lie of Pi:
An Examination of the Lie of Religious Pluralism

 

Michael Hildreth

 

“Life of Pi” hit theatres on November 21st, 2012 and many have been calling it a “visual masterpiece” ever since. This author concurs that the film is nothing short of a graphic triumph with a charming plot, as well. Yet, a portion of the movie dedicates itself to the commonly advocated worldview of religious pluralism. Hinduism, a religion which promotes the veneration of millions of gods, also incorporates other gods into its pagan system of faith.

At the introduction of Christianity within their borders, many Indians began to acknowledge Jesus as just another god worthy of praise alongside Krishna, Vishnu, Ganesh and the other objects of their worship. This is the background presented in “Life of Pi” which is a story of an Indian boy’s childhood and his experience of being lost at sea with a Bengal tiger.

The young man and main protagonist, Pi, dedicates himself to the worship of all gods and the practice of all religions equally. He starts off in Hinduism and moves his way into faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. At one point, Pi prays, “Thank you, Vishnu, for introducing me to Christ.” Later, he adopts Islam and begins to worship as a Muslim, as well. He says, “God works in mysterious ways. And so it was, he introduced himself again; this time by the name of Allah.” Finally, he mentions his practice of Jewish Kabbalism and he articulates that “faith is a house with many rooms.”

This narrative within the film demonstrates the very essence of religious pluralism. It is the belief that multiple religions or all religions of the world supply equally valid ways to God and eternal life. Each religious doctrine that Pi adopts does not replace the previous one but supplements it with the worship of another god as equally worthy of devotion and adoration.

This is a doctrine which implies Universalism — the ultimate salvation of every human being, regardless of religious adherence. It also upholds Relativism, which declares that there are many paths to the Creator and that any path will suffice as the relative truth for the one taking it. One may even take all of the paths, according to this philosophy!

Pi’s argument that “faith is a house with many rooms” stands in clear contrast to the words of Jesus Christ concerning the rooms of God’s mansion in Heaven (John 14:1-6). The inhabitants of this dwelling place will be limited only to those who surrender their lives to Jesus alone and obey his will for their lives. For those who reject his gospel, an unfavorable judgment will be the consequence (1 Pet. 4:17). Jesus is the only way to the Father and there are no alternate paths, excluding a living faith in him. His words will judge all men (John 12:48).

The words of the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, the Zohar and all other “sacred” texts will perish and be proven to be worthless at the second coming of the Lord Jesus. The adherents of these books will be destroyed by Christ himself, when he comes to be glorified in his saints on the Final Day (2 Thess. 1:7-10). His Father will root up every false religion of the world and cast it into the lake of fire (Matt. 7:19; 15:13; Rev. 19:20). It is important to realize how religious pluralism stands in sharp contrast to these Biblical evidences and that it will be manifested as a lie.

Religious pluralism is a lie because it presents God as an author of confusion. According to this deceptive teaching, God does not mind what path you choose because all paths are equally valid before him. However, we learn from the Bible that the Lord does not authorize a mishmash of doctrines which contradict each other. He is the source of absolute truth and not of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33). There is not a solitary promise from him which is a lie because, by his very nature, it is impossible for him to lie (Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18).

If God authored both Christianity and Islam, he authored a belief system which states that he has a Son and another belief system which rejects the idea that he has a Son (John 3:16; Surah 4:171, Koran). Both of these mutually exclusive statements cannot be from God because one has to be a lie. This is but one of many examples which denote the impossibility that a noble and true God would create a plurality of conflicting “faiths” and doctrines.

The true God is of the “one faith” and he supplies only “sound doctrine” to be believed (Eph. 4:5; Tit. 1:9; 2:1). He demands worship of himself alone and not of multiple gods (Matt. 4:10). While it is true that almost all religions of the world contain some truth, it is not true that all religions contain complete truth which leads to the one God.

Religious pluralism is a lie because it supplies false hope to those who are lost. The mission of Jesus Christ to this earth was “to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus was not interested in coddling the deceived to make them feel better about their beliefs. He was not interested in tolerance and being “politically correct.” He had no qualms with offending people who failed to believe his message (e.g. Matt. 23). He advanced truth at the expense of having unity with people who were mistaken (Matt. 10:34-36). He exposed error and called out the liars of his generation as “blind leaders of the blind” (Matt. 15:14).

It is not merely anyone who says, “Lord, Lord” that will enjoy the reward of an eternity with God but only those who are doers of the word which Christ spoke (Matt. 7:21). All others are deceiving themselves (Jas. 1:22). Simply claiming to follow Jesus is not the equivalent of taking up one’s cross and actually doing it, faithfully (Matt. 10:39). It will be very few who find the path of Jesus Christ and enter it unto eternal life (Matt. 7:13,14). Religious pluralism provides an easy road which is exceedingly broad and simple to find; for every religion of the world offers it! It is this false message which undermines the purity of the gospel and will result in the loss of souls.

Religious pluralism has become the falsehood of our time. It is an error of errors. It is a lie of lies. It is foolishness of a grand scope. Barack Obama, the current U.S. President, has popularized this ideology during his time in office. He calls himself a Christian but refers to the religion of Islam as “the truth” and heaps an abundance of praise to his “inclusive philosophy.”

Having essentially been raised a Muslim; he presents his roots in the Islamic religion as something beautiful and aspirational. However, his doctrine profanes God’s word and leads souls to hell through deceptive error. His leadership has become a modern symbol of the Devil’s work to trick people out of inheriting a blissful eternity with God. It is this most sinister of evils, which debauches people into the ditch of deception by the millions. Not even the deviousness of atheism can lay claim to the amount of damage wrought in our society by religious pluralism. It has proven to be the single most destructive force against faith in Jesus that this world has ever seen.

One must worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, as Jesus taught and demonstrated (John 4:23). One must be aware of the Holy Spirit and that he is given to renew and refresh the believer at Christian baptism (Acts 3:19; 19:1-3; Tit. 3:5). One must confess the Name of Jesus Christ as the true Lord and God (Matt. 10:32; John 20:28). One must stand fast in the message of the gospel which produces the correct faith in the heart (Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 15:1-4). Since none of these concepts are present in the other religions of the world, salvation is not in any of them.

It requires an examination of the Bible as God’s perfect and complete revelation for man to dismiss the other “faiths” of the world as fabricated imitations. Only in the word of God will man find the instruction for a spiritually blessed and holy existence which is acceptable unto the true God and results in eternal life (1 John 5:20). It is Jesus alone who truly speaks to the world today and offers a path to Heavenly citizenship (Heb. 1:1,2). In view of these truths, it is the Christian’s duty to expose the error of religious pluralism which has become so widespread in our society and let the light of Jesus Christ shine as the one, true faith.

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