Ok. Yes, technically you are correct. All of the world’s other major religions and pagan secular humanism are imperfect imitations of God’s wisdom, power, and love in the Incarnation. And yes, they are reflections, to one degree or another of, despair. What their adherents -who seem as different as chalk and cheese, refuse to embrace is God as flesh in Jesus Christ. And so they end up with forms of earthly or spiritual salvation that don’t redeem body, mind, and spirit eternally, but beginning here and now. This is fair, since they don’t claim to. And there is no doubt that they do not so much as try to embrace Christ because of Christianity’s history as sin. So to them Christ and His Church alone coalesce as Sin in the flesh i.e. they won’t consider Christ because they think that Christians don’t either! So they are moved and determined by bad Christians. That any of them should look for the sin in themselves that cries out for the salvation that Jesus alone brings is not on the table.If you criticize their unsubstantiated beliefs or opinions, they react violently and venomously. Their passion crucifies their reason.They are unwilling to separate the Savior from those whom He desires to save. In like manner, they cannot separate the sin from the sinner. Thus they judge us to be hating them if we don’t agree with what they do. Would that they might embrace the philosophical dialetic of Plato or Aristotle that carries a man beyond Thumos -spirited appetite, into the realm of Nous -thought,that relies solely upon persuasion and not the forceful imposition of belief! But, alas, they -with all of us, are chained to the Fall. They are rooted and grounded in spiritually ungoverned irascibility. And so their sacred cows alone are allowed to moo or baeh (Urdu) in the naked public square.
Having said this, why should Christians expect much more? Are post-modern Christians any more Incarnational than the devotees of the world’s other great religions or pagan secularists? Are Christians any less devoted to the distant and unapproachable God? Are Christians any less fleshly than their pagan neighbors? Are we less moved by money and mammon? Are we more forgiving? Are we more hopeful? Are we more loving? Are we praying day in and day out for the conversion of the nations? Do we desire the use of force for the imposition of belief any less than our neighbors? (You really don’t think that planting the ten commandments on the front lawn of City Hall is going to magically convert, do you?) Are we any more intellectually capable of converting others? Are we more likely to look into our own dark souls to find the sickness and disease of the Fall -that all men share regardless of creed, and that cries out for God’s response to it in Jesus Christ? Are we less earthly and more spiritually minded than they? Do we share the love of Jesus in our hearts indiscriminately with friend and foe alike?
It is high time for us Christians to start working out our own salvation in fear and trembling. We need to start judging ourselves. The world is not more Christian because we Christians are not more Christian. And until all of Christ begins to live our hearts once again, the transformative mercy and love of God will not be made flesh in the souls of others. So let us embrace the merciful forgiveness of God in Jesus Christ in this season of Resurrection, so that through His irresistible passion we might convert the world….mostly through a quiet and conscientious love of all men.