Why can't there be just one true religion and why does there have to be so many to choose from?
There may have been a time in the dim past when there was only ONE religion. That time would have been when the first human mind came up with the concept of there being a superior entity out there somewhere and they had a desire to make contact with it. That person's search for that entity became their religion.
Now, tackling the TRUE portion of that question gets a lot tougher. I believe that religion is so personal, each individual has their own specific religion. Their religion will vary or differ from some other individual's religion even if they have the same God as their focus for worship.
I know this is true. I have studied it for a long time. When you take a religion, let's say Christianity and break it down into tenets and doctrines, reducing them to statements of belief and posing each one to several individuals, you will discover disagreement concerning several or many of those statements.
The scriptures of the Christian Bible warn us not to lean upon our own understanding. Then again, it goes on to warn us about accepting the explanations and understanding of others also. There seems to be no end to the instructions found in the scriptures. Study to show yourself approved. That one has always caused me some confusion. Show myself approved by WHOM?
So Christians, needing to reach agreement with some other seekers, align themselves into denominational groups. Yet, if you look closely enough, you will find disagreements about something even within that select denominational group. Those differences and the continuing search for TRUTH is what keeps them digging through the word and discussing topics in Sunday School and Bible Study.
All these boards and forums you come across out here on the Internet are involved in that same activity. If it were not for disagreements and debate most of these boards would not exist. To myself, this whole area of activity is involved in one thing...searching for TRUTH. In my own views, what we are participating in is MISSION IMPOSSIBLE.
As human beings, we have this predisposed habit of thinking everything to death. Truth is so personal, it has become impossible for us to reach agreement. Jesus said "I am the truth!" How many of us can agree on what He meant by those words? Who Jesus IS as pertaining to our Christian religion is basic and essential. Isn't He what we base our salvation upon?
If you will just take a moment, step back and look around yourself, you will see that many Christians cannot agree on even that essential TRUTH. Some believers rely upon what Jesus taught, his words, his preaching, but they do not always agree about who He IS. Is He God? Is He the Son of God? Is He the Son of Man? Is He the Son of Mary? Is He the son of Joseph? Is He a created being? Is He an Angel? Is He a Man-God or a God-Man? Is He all man or is He all God? Did He really die? Was He actually resurrected? The questions never stop. If we Christians can't reach agreement about these matters, might I ask each of us...upon what are we basing the salvation that we claim to have? Just how secure are we in our faith?
Is there a God...the one and only LIVING God? Did you at some point in time reach out to Him in some unexplained way and touch Him? Did He react to your touch and respond in some way? I would ask "Do you know Him" but I don't want to tempt you to tell a lie. Who can KNOW God? What person has looked UPON Him? Here's the truth...you know as much about God as I do...no more...no less. For some reason unknown to any of us, He chose to reveal Himself to us in some vague unexplainable way and we KNOW that there is a living God.