Tom Cruise ... Christianologist?

Tom Cruise says:

"It's like, you could be a Christian and be a Scientologist, okay."

I say:

"It's like, no you can't be a Christian and be a Scientologist...not okay, okay?"

Tom Tom Tom Tom Tom – you should probably stick to what you do best – acting and doing couch jumping/psychiatry assaulting interviews that make people go... "huh?"

But definitely avoid the subject of Christianity, because by that statement alone you assume something that simply cannot be. To say that you can be a Christian and a Scientologist is like saying you can be a dead/alive person, or that you can be a tall/short person. Christian-Scientologist is the ultimate in oxymorons. In fact, Christian-anything else is in the same category.

• You can't be a Christian-Buddhist.
• You can't be a Christian-Hindu.
• You can't be a Christian-Muslim.

Oh, you can say that you are, but saying it doesn't make it any more true than if I said I could swim to Hawaii. The words came out of my mouth, but the facts don't back them up.

And they don't in this case either. So let's take a look at the facts, so you won't ever be caught in the lie that apparently has gripped the Cruiser.

Fact #1: All religions DO NOT basically teach the same thing.

There are definite overlaps in some of the principles (i.e. play well with others, help the needy etc.), but the core beliefs of the major world religions (and especially Scientology) are in complete contradiction with each other. The god of Islam is not the God of the Bible. Hindus and Buddhists don't even believe in one God, Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses believe in many gods, and Scientologists believe in alien gods.

Fact #2: The title “Christian” has an extremely narrow and specific definition.

One of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted words in the English language is “Christian.” Some people think it applies to people who believe in God. Others believe if you're born in the good ole' USA , you're automatically labeled that. Most people picture a Christian as someone who goes to church.

Wrong. Wrong. All wrong. Here's what the Bible says:

It was there at Antioch that the believers were first called Christians. (Acts 11:26 )

Notice what this verse says: "the believers were first called Christians". They didn't call themselves was a title given to them by those who didn't believe Christ was who He claimed to be – God of the universe and Savior of the world (i.e. 'the Christ'). The outside world was so impacted by these people who walked and talked Jesus everyday, they basically said, "these people are so committed to Christ, let's call them 'Christians'" – which essentially means “little Christ” or “belonging to Christ.”

So “Christian” can only truly apply to those who belong to Christ, and the ONLY ones who belong to Christ are those who are trusting Him alone as their ONLY hope of salvation.

Fact #3: The beliefs of a true Christian are completely unable to coexist with any other belief system.

Let's get real here. The only people on the planet who have an accurate view of and complete trust in Christ are Christians. In this sense, all religions except Christianity do teach the same thing – that Jesus either didn't exist or He's not the only way to heaven. This is why you can't be a Christian and a (fill in the blank). For example, to truly be a Christian-Buddhist, your beliefs would sound something like this:

"I'm trusting in Christ alone as my only hope of salvation, because I don't believe He was either God or a Savior – justan enlightened man..."

Huh? That's like saying

"I absolutely believe in the death penalty because I don't believe in the death penalty."
Speaking of the death penalty, there is an eternal one on everyone who doesn't belong to Christ. All they have to do to receive forgiveness in put their trust in the God who came to earth, lived a perfect life, died a horrible death, and came back from the dead to prove He was who He said He was – the only way to heaven.

Christian and a (fill in the blank)? Sorry Tom, that's the ultimate Mission Impossible, but getting into heaven isn't. I hope to see you there!

Lane Palmer is the Youth Ministries Specialist for Dare 2 Share Ministries in Arvada, Colo., where he works with to provide resources for youth leaders and students. Dare 2 Share exists to energize and equip teens to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information on Dare 2 Share Ministries or the GameDay youth conference tour, please visit Send feedback to