The whole issue of true and false religions and a classification that demonstrated the claims of each led to the necessity of defending one religion against another. Unfortunately, this type of classification, which is arbitrary and subjective, continues to exist. For example, in the sixteenth century, Martin Luther, the great Protestant reformer, went so far as to label Muslims, Jews, and Roman Catholic Christians as false. He held that the gospel of Christianity understood from the viewpoint of justification by grace through faith was the true standard. Another example would be Islam, which classifies religions into three groups: the wholly true, the partially true, and the wholly false. These classifications are based on the teachings of the Qur'an (Koran, the Islamic sacred scripture) and are an integral part of Islamic teaching. It also has legal implications for the Muslim treatment of followers of other religions.
“Since Luther's time there has been a conviction, more or less rooted, that a man may by an intellectual process think out a religion for himself, and that, as the highest of all duties, he ought to do so.” — Walter Bagehot (1826–1877), Physics and Politics, or Thoughts on the Application of the Principles of “Natural Science” and “Inheritance” to Political Society, 5.1, 1872
Of course, such classifications express an implied judgment, not only on Protestants, Jews, Roman Catholics, and Muslims, but on all religions. This judgmental nature arises from the loyalties that exist in every society and religious culture. It is human nature for people to defend their own “tribe,” and by association decry other tribes.
The field of psychology maintains that in the religious person, emotions such as wonder, awe, and reverence are exhibited. Religious people tend to show concern for values — moral and aesthetic — and to seek out actions that exhibit these values. They will likely characterize behavior not only as good or evil but also as holy or unholy, and people as virtuous or nonvirtuous, even godly or ungodly.
The Greek philosopher Plato (428–348
It is well known that in times of trouble — whether personal, national, or international — the number of people who embrace a religion increases. It could, therefore, be said that since trouble isn't going to go away, neither is religion. Both are here to stay.