Our world talks a lot about tolerance and that word is charged with many differing meanings. One effort to create tolerance between religions is Multi-Faith groups. Again, you may have to define this Multi-Faith endeavors. Different religious groups may come together for a common cause such as feeding the poor, helping the underprivileged, or sending relief supplies to a foreign country. This a good and noble thing, however there are other reasons that just don’t make sense to me. Reasons that are loaded with intent.
However another meaning of Multi-Faith is based on different paths leading us all to the same point of spiritual truth. Yet there is a big problem! Different religions are not dissimilar on the surface and at the core pretty much the same. They are at first look similar, a search for the Divine and at the core all different and exclusive.
Additionally, as a Christian I have noticed that it can be all to easy for believers to have all Christian friends, listen to all Christian music, read only Christian books that agree with their viewpoint. I have to say that this is a big mistake. How can we reach people we know nothing about? What about the Great Commision? It is not, as many have called it the “Great Suggestion”. If we so isolate ourselves to the point of knowing nothing of our neighbors we are only fooling ourselves and missing the point. We need to know about other religions, the basics on each, what we have in common, what we really disagree on, history, myth and legend. It will speak to our intelligence or our ignorance, especially if we are talking to a person of say a Muslim, Mormonism or Buddhist.
I am all for working with leaders of different faiths to help people in need, however to sit around a table and say that we all agree on the definition of “truth” is just wishful thinking. So when talking about Multi-Faith, just like many other aspects of life, it is important to define terms. It is important to remember that we can get along, and even be friends with those of contrasting religions and not agree, and that’s okay.
Points to Ponder?
How can we work with people of other faiths in without being tolerant, to mean that we accept everything they claim as our own?
What can we do to leave pride at the door when working with people of other faiths?
How can I demonstrate respect and even genuine curiosity about their faith?
Even if our beliefs are very divergent there is no doubt some issues we can agree on, what are they?
How can we balance the truth with love as Christ always demonstrated?