Question and Answer
Followup to "Who Created Religion?"
The previous answer says that God created religion. Why did he create many religions, most of which have no followers? I read that of all the religions known to modern western historians, over 99% have no followers. Even so, there are a huge number still practiced. As you must know, they are highly geographical. Anyone born in Iran will almost certainly practice a different religion from someone born in Italy or India. In addition, anyone born more than 2,000 years ago could not have been a Christian or a Muslim. How can we make sense of such puzzling facts?
All of the world's religions, except for one, were created by sinful people. The Bible clearly says that man was not a sinful being when he was first created. At that time there was already religion because God created Adam and, in him, all mankind to be religious beings. As wise Solomon put it: "God made man upright, but they sought out many inventions" (Eccl. 7:29).
It is true that someone born in Iran will "almost certainly practice a different religion from someone born in Italy or India." But almost is not the same as all. There are Christian believers in Iran (dangerous as it is to be one) as in virtually all other countries. God has his elect in every place. He promised Abraham that in "his seed" (that is, the Messiah) all nations of the world would be blessed. I've been in some places in the world where the number of Christians is small, but that was once true of the part of the world where my ancestors lived (Scotland). And of one thing I am certain. When Christ returns there will be a multitude that no man can number, made up of people from every tongue, tribe and nation. They will all be there to celebrate the victory of Christ and to live with him in a renovated world through all eternity. Read your Bible more and more and you will see more and more clearly that the future belongs to Christ and his people.
"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)
The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.
The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.
While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.
You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.
The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.
Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been editedall personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expandedto make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.