BY JONATHAN TUMWEBAZE
The Bahai faith holds the belief all religions are one, and that Jesus is one of the many prophets.
While I consider their intentions noble – it was started to create unity and togetherness among the warring sects in the 1800’s, it is false to assume that there is a fundamental similarity among all religions.
Aristotle’s law of non-contradiction applies to reality. The law states that two contradictory statements cannot both be true at the same time.
Ideally you cannot claim that a glass is empty and at the same time claim that it is full. Thus, exclusivity is a reality in truth.
This is because truth is primarily a property of propositions. We see this in the court room, when a witness is brought before the jury and all that the jury is looking for is, for example, an answer to, “Were you in the room at the time the incident happened, or not?”
When Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6), he made a propositional and audacious claim. But the question we should ask here is: “was this sustained through his (Jesus’) life, ministry and so on?
Gautama-Buddha was born a Hindu, and he renounced two of the fundamental doctrines of Hinduism: that is the authority of Vedas, and the Caste System. This set a new tone for the four noble truths, and the eight-fold path.
Islam is not the same as Christianity.
Every faith has its own doctrine that is exclusive to itself. Thus even Baha’ism, which claims to be syncretic in nature, actually excludes the exclusivists.
It is simply given that you cannot be an exclusivist in nature and be a Bahai at the same time. This is the nature of what truth is. So, rather than being upset by an exclusive claim, reason tells you and me to examine these claims and see if they stand the test of time.
Jonathan Tumwebaze is a lecturer in the foundations department at Uganda Christian University