Contra "One World Religion"
As he was agonizing through the concept of the project with the group, and trying to respect his religious call to convert his people to the gospel faith, and the class was feeling uncomfortable with his seeming ambivalence about the difference between assimilation and conversion, a Korean student said, quite vehemently and in his short, eloquent way,
"I don't know why you're trying to find the ways that Buddhism and Christianity are the same. I was raised a Buddhist. I became a Christian because it is not Buddhism. In Buddhism, I learn that I am the one who can make my own salvation. But I do not think I can make my own salvation, and that is why I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. I choose Christianity because it is different. If I want to have the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity, I would stay a Buddhist."
Boy, did that shut everyone up for a good minute.
This is at the heart of why I have always been leery of the whole "one-world-religion" brand of universalism that became so popular in the 1950's.
(As opposed to classical Christian Universalism, about which Boy In the Bands speaks here: http://www.universalistchurch.net/boyinthebands/archives/john-murray-the-obscure/)
There's no way to really do one-world-religion with integrity unless the whole world embraces the idea, and Lord knows everyone in the world doesn't think this is a good, worthy or legitimate idea. What ends up happening in "one world religion" stuff is that its adherents create another religious entity of their own, which usually smells something like "White European Liberal Feminist Psuedo-Version of Your Exotic Religion We Don't Know Much About, Taken Out of a Cultural Context We Also Don't Know Much About."
I don't have the energy tonight to discuss this in any more detail, I just wanted to share that moment in class with you. I am still thinking about it.