Religious Views of Humanity
Our youngest daughter is studying various world religions in school. This has lead to some helpful and insightful conversations at our home. One point of discussion we have had centers on the differing ways that various religions view humanity. In Christianity, the Bible teachers that human beings are alone created in the image of God but have fallen into sin and inherit a sin nature from Adam (Genesis 1:26-27, 5:1-3, 9:6; Romans 5:12-21). Other religions do not believe the same thing about humanity and as I explained this to my daughter I thought it might be helpful to share the differences with you as well.
Mormons: Humans are the preexistent spiritual offspring of God; basically good; gods in embryo.
Christian Scientism: People exist in God’s image and likeness, therefore are divine. People are spirit, not matter (which is unreal).
Unitarian: All people possess the Christ-spirit within.
Scientology: Each person is an immortal, divine soul, basically good, in three parts: soul (thetan), mind (the accumulation of all past experiences), & body (physical).
Unification Church: Human beings broke relationship with God through disobedience & misuse of love & are now related to Satan as result of sexual sin in the Fall.
Native American religions: Human beings are subordinate to supernatural forces and spirit-beings.
Hinduism: Divine eternal soul part of God or Ultimate Reality. Physical body has little worth.
Buddhism: One lifetime for each person, composed of skanda (parts), but many lives for the parts. Concept of anatta (no self) denies existence of a self beyond mental and physical attributes.
Islam: Humans are basically pure, but fallible and need guidance. Created by Allah with ability to follow his will, human beings must give account of their conduct on the day of judgment.
Sikhism: Each person is a soul (and part of Universal soul) who has been reborn in this present life.
Baha’i: The human soul, created by God, is basically good. Men and women of all races are equal and responsible.
New Age: Humanity is not distinct from God. Human beings are essentially divine; God is within each person. Everyone has the “Christ spirit”; everyone is potentially good.