There are many different religious beliefs, and practices, and communities, and “paths”. Yet I think everyone would agree there can only be one truth. Contradictory things cannot be true simultaneously.
The only way we differ is in how sharply we define that truth.
You could believe there are many paths to God and all are of equal value. Then you would have to take the contents of each religion with a big pinch of salt, because most religions claim only they are the right path. You would have to take a fairly detached, philosophical perspective on it all.
Or you could believe the details matter and therefore there is only one right path. You would have to be convinced on that religion being right on all points where it differs with other religions.
I am a bit schizophrenic about this. On one hand, I can’t bring myself to say only one belief system is right and the rest are doomed. But on the other, I am engrossed in picking over the details of religions to see whether they make sense and if they could be inspired by God. With the implication being that I don’t want to join a religion unless I think it is “of God”.
I suppose the split is caused by believing that we can all come to know the truth naturally (we are born muslim, we have fitrah, or in Christian terms, the law is written on our hearts) – but at the same time, believing that God sends explicit guidance. And of course I’d rather belong to a religion that consists of well-preserved guidance from God than one based on mere human intuition.
I met a woman at a Sufi workshop who had tried a number of different spiritual practices before she “found” Sufism. It just agreed with her personality, the dancing and everything, and she felt she had found her spiritual home. At the time I was gobsmacked that someone would make a decision like that based on a feeling. But now I realise that it is really a matter of confidence – confidence in oneself not to need any particular detailed guidance, and so not needing to seriously investigate religious beliefs. I’m putting words in her mouth, but I’d say she probably believes that there is no important information in any religion beyond those things that are common to all spiritual paths. So no need to worry.
I kind of wish I could be sure of that too. It would save me a lot of headaches.