Have you ever read or heard someone tell you that there’s nothing new in Christianity, that it contains some of the same truths as other world religions? For example, one website points out the “universality of the golden rule in the world religions”, and then provides some of the following quotes below (Source: teachingvalues.com).
The goal of making these comparisons is to say, “See, Jesus is providing nothing new; other religions said this before Christ.” It’s true that some of these religions indeed stated what we know as the “Golden Rule” prior to Christ coming to earth (of course, God said the same in the Law).
Ironically, this fact actually proves the truth of Christianity. If all of these religions were able to come up independently with basically the same Golden Rule, it begs the question how that’s possible. Scripture gives us the answer.
In Romans 2:12-16, we read:
Paul is not saying here that Gentiles obeyed the Law of Moses perfectly. The point here is that all humanity has the Law written in their hearts. We all know instinctively what we should do. Loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves sums up the entire Law.
While God put this in writing for Israel, He also put it on everyone’s heart, so all would be without excuse when it comes to the knowledge of sin. The fact that most world religions have the Golden Rule plainly demonstrates what is stated here in Romans 2. Therefore, this proves the truth of Christianity by confirming what Scripture teaches.
Of course, what these religions do not teach is that if one does not obey the golden rule perfectly (i.e., failing to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength), the wrath of a just God is what awaits all of us. And, no one - absolutely no one - obeys perfectly.
There is an exception: only in Christ do we find the one who obeyed the Law perfectly, who loved God with all of His heart, soul, mind and strength, and who loved His neighbor as He loved Himself. Other religions may have some truth of what we ought to do, but only Christ provides the solution for what we could not do.
So, when you don’t obey the golden rule, remember that if you are in Christ, He has obeyed it. And if you are in Christ, then your name is written in the book of life. Then, we can say with Paul, “Rejoice in the Lord Always; again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)