2 Peter 1:16 (NIV) For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
At its essence, every religion is an embodiment of a system of philosophy through which devotees can transcend the challenges of the material nature and achieve a higher state of awareness in fellowship with a divine being.
“The foundational core of every religion is found in its ultimate goal.” –Rev. Juan C. Rivera
For instance, in the Vedic religions, the ultimate goal is to be freed from the cycle of reincarnation unto total liberation from material suffering. Some Eastern traditions envision this liberation (moksha) by seeking to immerse each individual conscious back into the impersonal divine (Brahman). In order to reach the impersonal divine, the main form of religious praxis is transcedental meditation.
For other Vedic traditions that view God as a fully conscious person, their philosophical praxis centers around interaction with the divine via Bhakti, or the devotional life. Moksha is guaranteed for souls who are awakened from spiritual unconsciousness to a loving relationship with the Creator.
One could say that the concept of salvation (liberation, moksha) in the Vedic traditions is approached through different methodologies because the ultimate end goal is defined differently according to each particular school of thought.
One main observable difference between the Vedic and Abrahamic religions is the level of importance that is given to mythology.
Among scholarly circles, the word mythology does not necessarily refer to unhistorical accounts, but rather, a narrative that cannot be corroborated by modern means of historical criticism.
At its core, the Abrahamic religions cut through much of the ancient mythologies of the world, and while keeping a focus on the end goal (ultimate salvation), they focus on the present age and their particular relationship with God as a chosen people, rather than on what some would classify as mystical speculation.
Of all the religions of the world, Christianity cuts through all the mystical speculations and holy myths by claiming to have experienced the embodiment of the way, the truth, and the life that leads humankind back to Godhead. (1 Peter 2:9-11)
At the very epicenter of Christianity is the claim that Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead in tangible form. 1 Corinthians 15:17 (NIV)-
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
At its core, Christianity does not discount the truths that are found (in various degrees) in all the natural religions of the world. In fact, one could say that the Bible classifies all natural religions as bonafide ways to the divine, since they have existed by God’s Sovereignty since the inception of human civilization. (Ex. 19:5-6; Dt. 4:19; Acts. 17:27)
The core claim of Christianity is that salvation is something that can be attained through the means of Christ’s personhood. In other words, true religion is found in the person of Jesus Christ. (John 14:6; 17:3)
At the core of every world religion is the struggle to achieve salvation through philosophical and devotional means.
For the Christian Faith, salvation was attained by Jesus Christ through the Cross and secured by his literal, bodily Resurrection. All who place their faith in Jesus and become his disciple, can experience transcendental liberation while living in this plane of existence.
In other words, the salvation that is promised by other religions to be received in a higher (or spiritual) plane of existence, can be fully realized now.
1 John 1:1-2 (NIV)– That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us.
The main message of Christianity is that the variegated visions and hopes of salvation found in all bonafide religions, has undeniably become flesh and blood in the person of Jesus Christ.
The transcendental and blissful life of the age to come can be experienced now, because Jesus conquered the ultimate power of this age -death- and became the ultimate source and progenitor of a new age of light and bliss, through the power of his resurrection.