At the present time there is a very common tendency, and in some quarters apparently a deliberate intention, to use the terms Christianity and religion as synonymous and interchangeable. Properly used, religion is a much broader term than Christianity. All that is Christian is religious; but there is much that is religious which is not Christian. The truth is, that the attempt to confuse Christianity with all religion, or to include all that is good in other religions in Christianity, is a narrowing instead of a broadening of religious ideas, as it is generally assumed to be. On the one hand, it eliminates from Christianity those elements which make it distinctive from and indefinitely superior to all other religions, and also necessarily excludes those features of the ethnic and natural religions which are plainly incompatible and irreconcilable with the religious and moral ideas of Christianity. The result is an indefinite, hybrid, chaotic so-called religion which can be classed as neither natural nor supernatural. Far better than this mongrel syncretism is it to allow every religion to stand on its merits and demerits; to discover and frankly acknowledge the good in all forms of religion, and sharply to distinguish the errors and evils. Only thus can Christianity take its place of superiority among the religions of the world, and only in this way can it perform its intended services in lifting all mankind to a higher religious plane, and in bringing humanity into communion with God through fellowship with Christ Jesus. When thus clearly and fairly analyzed, it is found that other religions have very much that is good in common with Christianity. [Rev. J. Estlin Carpenter, D.Litt., D.D., in Christian Commonwealth.]

March 29, 1913

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