All religions, including “Christianity” as people know it, look alike because they are all trying to defend the idea of a good and powerful God in a world overwhelmed with evil.
The idea of free will is used as a remedy in a few ways. First, people think human free will moves the blame for evil from God to man: evil is caused by man, not God. Second, free will seems to make good or evil the result of man’s own choices: each person gets what they deserve. Third, religions differ only in the particular advantages (or disadvantages) they offer for using our free will to please God, so that God rewards us with a good rather than an evil life.
Thus, all religions except one are ethics-based in saying that each person will have good or evil life depending on the choices they make with their free will in relation to the teaching of God via that religion. At least two problems remain with this approach. One, how to explain why good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people? Why do innocent children suffer? Why do villains prosper? Second, human failure inevitably leaves a person asking for grace from God; a person wants God to give him a good life even though he has been and is being evil. All religions except one have some notion of grace because we would be hopeless without it. But why should God be gracious? And even if God wanted to be gracious, what is the basis of that grace and will God be gracious enough—as gracious as I need Him to be?
There is one religion that explains how God is absolutely and universally gracious and who makes all things work together for good. Before moving on to that model of the world, we need to expose a few more problems with a material world in time only—red pyramid world and its religions.