Many believe that all religions worship the same god but give god different names and worship in different ways.

Gandhi said it this way: “The soul of religion is one, but it is encased in a multitude of forms.” Another way of describing it goes like this: There is a holy mountain with many paths providing a way to the top of the mountain. All humanity is on one of the paths to the top. Some take the Buddhist path, some Hinduism, some Shintoism, some Taoism, some Christianity, some Islam, some Judaism, and some New Age. But when we make it to the top, we will all meet god and we will realize he was just known by many different names.

This popular explanation seems to be nice, inclusive, and loving, but it actually demonstrates a significant lack of understanding and could even be considered insulting to most of the world’s religions.

If I could put a group of seven or eight people together and include experts in Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and Shintoism, let me tell you what they would adamantly say: “No, you don’t understand. That is not what we believe.” Now, maybe the person at the far end, the Bahaist, would actually agree with everybody on everything, and we could probably get a New Ager to say, “We feel good about that.” But the truth is that all religions aren’t the same. To say they are all basically the same is not intellectually consistent. It is like saying that black, white, red, and purple are all the same color. No, they are not all the same color. These various belief systems are radically different in who they purport God to be, even if they use the same name.

Chip Ingram, Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2017).