By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics

There are Thousands of Religions But Most People are in a Few Big Groups

A common excuse for not searching for God is there are thousands of religions so what is the use of searching. Of course if there is a God who loves you, he can lead you to his true religion even if it is one of the thousands of small religions. One might want to start by asking the creator to lead you to his true religion if there is one.

But having said that, if you are not getting any clear signals that a smaller religion is the true religion, you might want to start by checking out several of the major faiths. Yes, there are thousands of religions, and yes without God's help you are unlikely to find the right one if it is small, but what a shame it would be to miss God's truth if he put it some place really obvious. Imagine yourself on Judgment Day explaining why you could not find time in the 70 to 80 years you lived to check out three or four major faiths.

Furthermore, learning about the major faiths has educational value even if you do not find the one true faith. Understanding the major faiths, particularly the major faith or faiths of your society helps you understand the World and the society you live in. For example, if a robber puts a gun in your face and asks, "why shouldn't I pull the trigger," you might want to know whether saying, "because you will be reincarnated as a tapeworm in the gut of a poor man in Bangladesh" or "you will burn in Hell" is more appropriate to the society you are in.

Not that I am recommending a response based on religion in that situation, I am not an expert on crime and do not know what the recommended response is. I don't even know if there is a recommended response.

As you will note from my other web pages the major religions are closely related to one another, so time spent understanding one is not totally wasted when you study another. Reading the Bible will help you evaluate the various forms of Christianity and Judaism, and perhaps provide you with some background in understanding Islam. Similarly, many of the ideas of Buddhism come from Hinduism.

You can not prove the truth of a religion by its size, but that does not mean that the number of followers a religion has should not affect your search strategy. Jesus said that a man does not light a lamp and hide it under a basket, but puts it where it can shed light on the whole room. So the lights that can be easily seen are at least slightly more likely to be from God than the obscure lights, all other things being equal. The logic of Jesus applies even if you are considering several religions other than Christianity, but the fact that the words are in the Bible mean the reasoning is even more important when considering one of the many denominations that accept the Bible as the word of God.

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Last edited November 8, 2019

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