Faith and religion are not synonymous. Nor is faith an object in the subject of religion. The notion of “the plurality of faith” is unintelligible as well. This is something the Church must understand if it is to be, once again, an agent of change in humanity. As long as Christians insist on arguing the validity of the “Christian Religion” they will always be entangled in the distraction of arguing the irony of a pointless point-of-view. Likewise, as long we are willing to accept the fallacy that Christianity is a “superior religion” we will always be hopelessly ineffective and helplessly self-contradicting.
There is no religion in the world that is any better than any other (nor can there be). Religion is a human attempt to reach God (at best) and is a human attempt to counterfeit God’s grace (at its worst). Religion (of any sort) is expressed by a varying array of belief systems, built by human beings, where the powers-that-be set moral and ethical norms, rules, liturgies, rituals, and whatever else it deems necessary to enable its adherents to do the best they can to be the best they can (whatever that means). These belief systems, by their very nature, are exclusive (“you must be like us”). They are suspicious of and threatened by any and all other belief systems. Such belief systems enforce their norms and increase their influence by the use of fear and intimidation.
Faith is altogether different. Faith is the single means by which God has moved within humanity. It is expressed by a single action – the faith OF Christ – where the very substance which carried Him to His cross is made available to any and all who will receive it. Faith is empowered by the dynamite (“dynamo” in the Greek) of God – It comes from the grace of God offered only by God. It causes a fundamental transformation in the individual (the person), which equips the corporate (the Church) to be an agent of change in humanity. Faith is a way of life, equipped solely by the living life supply of the Resurrected Christ.
Faith is the fount that all belief systems attempt to imitate, but inevitably counterfeit. While there are many forms of religion (including much of Christianity), there is only one faith (found only in Jesus Christ). Faith does not attempt to convert (which is a key principle of religion) but simply loves. And, perhaps, the most striking counterfeit of all is where religion will sacrifice the one for the sake of itself, but Faith will risk everything, including itself, for the sake of one.