I’m a faithful Christian. I believe with all my heart that Jesus died for my sins and He is the way, the truth and the life. But one question has been bothering me a lot. The question is- How can we say that Christianity is the true religion if there are many other religions (specifically Hinduism) which are older than Christianity as well as Judaism that teach righteousness and morality which resembles that of Christianity? Do you think God thought of putting some essence of truth into the hearts of people through some early religions and then thought of proclaiming the truth through Judaism and Jesus Christ. I want you to focus more on Hinduism. I hope you can give me a convincing and honest answer.
There are many who hold to the philosophy that all religions are more or less the same and that all, ultimately, lead to the same place, which is a relationship with the ultimate reality of the Universe–whatever that ultimate reality is. I will have to say that this belief is utter nonsense. Please forgive me for using such strong terminology, but this philosophy is not logical or rational and we must reject it for this reason.
Here is why. If Hinduism is true, then Christianity is a lie. If Islam is true, then Christianity is a damnable lie. If Buddhism is true, then Islam is a lie and does not help us to come to truth. These are diametrically opposed worldviews and are mutually exclusive and incompatible. If the Hindu concept is true, then there is no personal God. In fact, if Hinduism is true, then you and I are God. If Hinduism is true, then the majority of everything Jesus taught is a lie, he is a false teacher and his teaching should be strongly rejected. On the other hand, if what Jesus taught is true, then Hinduism is a false description of reality. If Muhammad taught the truth and if Islam is true, then Christianity is a lie because the Bible teaches that Jesus is God and that he was killed on a cross. The Qur’an absolutely denies the reality of these things. If Jesus is not God and if he was not killed on a cross, then Christianity as a religious system is an absolute lie and Jesus as a teacher ought to be rejected in the strongest possible terms. On the other hand, if Jesus was not a liar and if he was indeed killed by crucifixion, then Islam denies the essential truth about the most basic teaching about how we come into a relationship with God according to Christianity. If Jesus is not a liar, then clearly Muhammad is a false teacher whose religion ought to be denied in the strongest possible terms.
This idea that the essence of Hinduism and of Christianity are the same and that the good and sincere hearts of believers in both religions ought to put them in good stead with God makes so sense.
Well, where did this idea that Hinduism and Christianity are both paths to the same place come from? It came from wishful thinking and sentimental feelings, which are natural to humans, of course. It also comes from a lack of clear thinking because common sense tells us that two things which are in direct contradiction with one another cannot both be true. However I would say that the purveyors of this idea have one point in their favor. They point out that the moral/ethical teaching of all religions is quite similar. This is true! All religions have much ethical teaching in common. All teach that violence and lying and greed and anger are bad things. All teach that prayer/meditation are good things. I will concede that there is at least some level of “truth” in all religions. This is true, but it does not make all religions True (capital T used on purpose). I will agree that Muhammad’s moral teaching has much to be commended in it. However, having some truth in your religion does not make your religion the Truth (capital T on purpose again). The problem with Islam, for example is that Muhammad denies salvation to come through the blood of Jesus. In other words, if Muhammad is right, then the absolutely most fundamental teaching of Christianity is a falsehood. The same, more or less, goes for Hinduism or Shinto or Buddhism of Taoism or Sikkhism, etc. If the basic understanding of Taoism is true, then Jesus is a false teacher, the very basis of Christianity is a gross lie and Christianity ought to be rejected absolutely. Of course, the reverse applies. If Jesus was indeed a prophet and a teacher of truth, then Hinduism is a false religion and those who fall for this false teaching are in peril for their souls.
You make a point that Hinduism is older that Christianity and therefore surely it cannot be completely rejected. This is a logical fallacy. The fact that something is older does absolutely nothing to make it more believable or true. The practice of slavery was accepted everywhere in ancient times. This does not make slavery right or true. Let me talk just a little bit more about Hinduism, since you ask about this religion. Although there is some moral teaching in Hinduism which is commendable, the basic premises of this religion are simply false. Hinduism teaches that the universe is eternal and it was not created ex nihilo (out of nothing). Well, the Bible teaches that the universe WAS created ex nihilo. Which is true? Was the physical universe created or was it formed of recycled material, as Hindus believe? Can both be true? Obviously not. So, which is true? The Bible, of course. We know from science that the universe was created ex nihilo. Another point. Hinduism teaches what is known as pantheism. According to this theology, God is not a personal God, but he is a universal entity who coexists with the universe and we have that essence in us. Essentially, Hinduism teaches that we are God. Well, this is either true or it is false, but it certainly cannot be true if Christianity is true. Christianity teaches that we are born once, we die, and after that we face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). Hinduism teaches reincarnation. Well, either reincarnation is true or it is not. I believe that it simply is not true.
I could go on almost indefinitely. Instead I am attaching a document on the Christian worldview that will address many of the questions you have. Apologetics and the Christian WorldView Please read this document carefully. Let me know if you still have unresolved questions.