I use to live in a part of the US that was very spiritually diverse. It seemed like most people were either New Age, Buddhists or Pagans. They kept saying that all religions are basically the same and all lead to God. Well I disagreed with those good people.
I have studied the major religions and I found while they share some points such as, worship of a deity, life after death, and to be nice to each other, the theology of the various religions are very different. And theology is what it is all about!
To keep my point simple and short, I will compare the core teachings of just two of the many religions, Hinduism and Christianity, as they apply to God and what happens after a person dies.
Hinduism teaches that there are many gods, with Shiva, Vishnu, Kali and Krishna as the top four. There are local and regional gods, who are limited to a geographic area. When you die you are reincarnated into another person or animal, depending on the laws of karma and how good or bad of a person you were in life. The goal of a Hindu is to reach nirvana. In nirvana a person loses his or her personal identity and becomes one with the cosmic consciousness. It takes many, sometimes thousands, of reincarnations to achieve nirvana. (Buddhism is like Hinduism, except the Buddha taught that there are no gods.)
Christianity teaches there is only one God, who is present everywhere at the same time. God is not bound by time or space. People only live life once, no reincarnation. When you die you either go to heaven or hell and you retain your separate, personal identity. Whether you go to heaven or hell is not dependent on your good works, but on whether you personally accept the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross and allow Him to be your savior.
Now how can these two religions be viewed as being the same or similar? Either there is only one God and a person lives once or there is more than one god and a person lives many lives. I don't see how both of these theologies can be true.
I want to add that I subscribe to the concept of objective reality, meaning that what a person believes does not change truth or the true nature of reality (no offense intended to New Agers)
What do you think?