What’s really going on in this picture?
Look at this pic for a moment:
People who don’t think about things much, might look at this photo and think, “Well, they’re praying. And since the Church assures us that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, I guess it’s more or less OK. It’s just another expression of the same thing, right?”
But what if that’s not true? What if the Church teaches no such thing? What if this is a kind of Catholic urban myth that has been repeated so many times that everyone just sort of assumes it and moves on without examining it?
What do the Scriptures have to say about it?
“They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations…”
“For all the gods of the Gentiles are devils: but the Lord made the heavens.”
“But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils.”
Now what does the Church tell us about “other religions”? Do the popes, saints and doctors of the Church tell us that it doesn’t matter what we “call” God, that we’re all worshiping the same being, no matter what? That “all paths” are more or less the same as long as your heart’s in the right place?
13. Now We consider another abundant source of the evils with which the Church is afflicted at present: indifferentism. This perverse opinion is spread on all sides by the fraud of the wicked who claim that it is possible to obtain the eternal salvation of the soul by the profession of any kind of religion, as long as morality is maintained. Surely, in so clear a matter, you will drive this deadly error far from the people committed to your care. With the admonition of the apostle that “there is one God, one faith, one baptism” may those fear who contrive the notion that the safe harbor of salvation is open to persons of any religion whatever. They should consider the testimony of Christ Himself that “those who are not with Christ are against Him,” and that they disperse unhappily who do not gather with Him. Therefore “without a doubt, they will perish forever, unless they hold the Catholic faith whole and inviolate.”
So, go look at the picture again, remembering that there are only two teams to play on, and ask, “What if they’re worshiping something else?” What does that photo look like now?
What do we think might happen in the world when, say, a billion people give intellectual and willful “submission” to a demonic power? What are these people unleashing into the world?
And what happens when we allow it, with the excuse of indifferentism?
When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly “the bottomless pit” is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws — in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.
What does the Bible say happens when the people God chooses for His own betray him and lust after idols?
24 See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth
and devastate it;
he will ruin its face
and scatter its inhabitants—
2 it will be the same
for priest as for people,
for the master as for his servant,
for the mistress as for her servant,
for seller as for buyer,
for borrower as for lender,
for debtor as for creditor.
3 The earth will be completely laid waste
and totally plundered.
The Lord has spoken this word.
4 The earth dries up and withers,
the world languishes and withers,
the heavens languish with the earth.
5 The earth is defiled by its people;
they have disobeyed the laws,
violated the statutes
and broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore a curse consumes the earth;
its people must bear their guilt.
Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up,
and very few are left.
7 The new wine dries up and the vine withers;
all the merrymakers groan.
8 The joyful timbrels are stilled,
the noise of the revelers has stopped,
the joyful harp is silent.
9 No longer do they drink wine with a song;
the beer is bitter to its drinkers.
10 The ruined city lies desolate;
the entrance to every house is barred.
11 In the streets they cry out for wine;
all joy turns to gloom,
all joyful sounds are banished from the earth.
12 The city is left in ruins,
its gate is battered to pieces.
13 So will it be on the earth
and among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
or as when gleanings are left after the grape harvest.
14 They raise their voices, they shout for joy;
from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty.
15 Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord;
exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel,
in the islands of the sea.
16 From the ends of the earth we hear singing:
“Glory to the Righteous One.”
But I said, “I waste away, I waste away!
Woe to me!
The treacherous betray!
With treachery the treacherous betray!”
17 Terror and pit and snare await you,
people of the earth.
18 Whoever flees at the sound of terror
will fall into a pit;
whoever climbs out of the pit
will be caught in a snare.
The floodgates of the heavens are opened,
the foundations of the earth shake.
19 The earth is broken up,
the earth is split asunder,
the earth is violently shaken.
20 The earth reels like a drunkard,
it sways like a hut in the wind;
so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion
that it falls—never to rise again.
21 In that day the Lord will punish
the powers in the heavens above
and the kings on the earth below.
22 They will be herded together
like prisoners bound in a dungeon;
they will be shut up in prison
and be punished[a] after many days.
23 The moon will be dismayed,
the sun ashamed;
for the Lord Almighty will reign
on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem,
and before its elders—with great glory.