In my experience, I have found that there are a few qualities of Christianity (actual Christianity) that distinguish us, the followers of the one called Jesus, from other religions.
I. While other religions seem to require man to do something to get to God (sacrifices, good deeds, ceremony, etc.), in Christianity, God is the one who made the sacrifice to get to man. And while other religions impress upon man that he can save himself by certain means, Christianity crushes the ego and says that we can do absolutely nothing to remove our guilt. The cross, it seems, not only removes our guilt, but also our self righteousness. Read Galatians 3. It seems that being in relationship with God requires you to first confess that you don’t have what it takes to be holy, that you cannot save yourself. To be let in you must first confess that you deserve to be left out! Weird.
II. While other religions seek to escape the world, Christianity seeks to redeem the world. Heaven, in Christianity, is in the end going to be brought to earth. The two shall become one and God will renew all things. I had always had the impression that there was a difference between the ethereal and the physical. When we die here on earth our soul will go up to heaven to be with God forever, but looking at chapters such as 1 Thessalonians 4, and Philippians 3, as well as 1 Corinthians 15, I have come to see that this is not true. Read Isaiah 11, or Isaiah 65. Great news is that this God we profess does not abandon our humanity one bit, in fact, he joined us in our humanity!
III. The third was a very simple observation abundant in the scriptures. Ceremony and outward appearance amount to nothing, not even if one were to give a fortune to the church. The heart is the heart of the matter in the Bible, and no amount of outward actions will ever please God like a tender and soft heart towards him. Check out the widow in Luke 21, or the thief in chapter 23. Read what Jesus says to the pharisees in Mark 7. this emphasis on the heart condition is even in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 10:16, 30:6, Jeremiah 4:4, 9:25,26, Ezekiel 14:1-5, Joel 2:13, Lev. 26:41,42)
Though I am not a scientist, an archaeologist, a historian etc. I have concluded that if there is a God, it would have to be the God of the Christians.
If you have any thoughts on this, please, fire away. Thanks.