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So how can we tell the difference between God’s truth and Satan’s deception? If
we choose religion based on emotion and not rational thought, how can we be sure we’re
on the right path? The God­given faculty of judgment is based upon cognitive reason; to
think otherwise is to assume that a rational creation was given an irrational law. God
directs mankind in Isaiah 1:18, “‘Come now, and let us reason together …’” Nowhere does God teach, “Feel your way along.” Satan’s doorway—the stress­cracks of human
weakness through which he gains a handhold—consists of the base emotions, the lower
desires. Nobody ever sits down over a hot cup of tea in the fading twilight of a pastel­
colored sunset and tabulates the pros and cons of adultery, theft or avarice. Nobody ever
arrives at sin through deductive reasoning—it just doesn’t happen. Mankind arrives at sin
through following base desires to the compromise of better—that is, rational—judgment.
Sins of the flesh are dangerous enough, from both worldly and after­worldly perspectives.
How much more dangerous are errors of religion based upon the emotional appeal of
proposals of spiritual exclusivity?
In the past, such claims of spiritual exclusivity were largely limited to the domain
of the Gnostics, who were burned at the stake as heretics right up until the time (or so it
would seem) that Trinitarian doctrine found itself naked and defenseless in the woods of
theological debate. Dependence upon the “holy spirit” and “guiding light” mystical
religious defenses, though previously considered a Gnostic heresy, became the trademark
of Christian orthodoxy. And it has served them well. The claim that a person lacks the
“holy spirit” if they do not accept a given ideology serves as the ultimate storm­wall of
religious discussion, diverting the thrust of rational argument away from those who
would prefer the evidence to go away than be confronted by its inconvenience. The claim
that a person will understand Jesus if they only accept the “Holy Spirit” into their lives
meets resistance from those who seek to avoid such Gnostic ideology—ideology which
implies an arbitrary nature to God, Who grants mystical understanding to some while
withholding it from other Strict monotheists may try to redirect discussion back to the main point. For
example, many religious groups (Muslims included) accept Jesus, but as a prophet of
God. They believe what he taught, including his oft­repeated declaration of himself as
nothing more than a prophet and a man. In contrast, many don’t believe what Pauline
theologians taught, preferring to rely upon the clear truth of the prophets in preference to
the turbulent contradictions of those who followed in their wake. No matter how sincere
Paul may appear to have been, he wasn’t a disciple, never met Jesus, and in fact
persecuted, imprisoned, and killed his followers (Acts 22:19 and 26:9­11), consented to
the stoning of Stephen (Acts 7:58­60 and 22:20), and made havoc of the church (Acts
8:3). Many admit Paul may have had a mind­warping vision or dream, but that the
engineer behind the curtain­of­illusion on that yellow brick road to Damascus couldn’t be
divine if the alleged inspiration contradicted revelation. In the creed of Unitarian
Christians and Muslims, God is neither fickle nor inconsistent.
Those who deny Paul’s claim to divine inspiration speculate that, following his
alleged vision, he continued to make havoc of the church, but this time from within.
Some would call it subterfuge. Others, apparently, consider his actions sufficient for
sainthood. And not just any ordinary, run of the mill sainthood, but sainthood of the first
Any such exchange of ideas usually ends abruptly, because disagreement between
fiery emotionalism and calm rationality is doomed to frustrate both parties. One side
speculates on an imagined “WWJD”—“What Would Jesus Do?” The other focuses on
the documented “WDJD”—“What Did Jesus Do?” The vast majority of Christians claim
to follow Jesus, when in actuality they follow not what he taught, but what others taught about him. Unitarian Christians and Muslims claim to follow Jesus, and then actually do
so. Christians who claim to take their teachings from Jesus should feel humbled when
they find his teachings better exemplified in the manners of the Islamic community than
in those of the Christians themselves. * Practical examples include the following:



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