Sunday, March 16, 2008

Interfaith Respect

I’ll be candid. As regards respect between faiths there is none.

We often and properly put on a face of politeness that is supported by equal measures of compassion and desire to get along, but each of us in our heart of hearts would defend his or her faith as absolutely correct and therefore, by default, all others as inherently faulty. This is quite true even among denominations within the Christian church.

A Baptist was recently quoted at our Lutheran church as having said that “Not one Lutheran is saved.” The founder of the Cornerstone Church, John Hagee, has called the Catholic church “The great whore,” “the anti-Christ,” and a “false cult system.” That’s mainstream trash talking here, we haven’t even gotten to Scientology or the Latter Day Saints. And we won't.

For my Christian brethren of such talk I say look closer, please, at the concept of loving your neighbor. And yes, allowing them to happily accept whatever afterlife they may believe in or you may believe for them but if unkind, let it slide. There’s a story of Jerry Falwell, I think, coming to a draw with a prominent Rabbi and both agreeing that they hoped to see each other on the other side, then they’d know who had it right. Chuckles, handshakes, pats on the back, making nice. That’s how to do it.

World Muslim leaders met for a couple of days last week in Dakar, putting forth a statement yesterday that condemns terrorism. The leaders of The Organization of the Islamic Conference, with 1.5 billion Muslims in 57 nations to speak for, said in the “Dakar Declaration,” “We continue to strongly condemn all forms of extremism and dogmatism which are incompatible with Islam, a religion of moderation and peaceful coexistence.” And “It’s in this vein that we support the dialogue of civilizations, … by organizing a major international gathering on Islamic - Christian dialogue that involves governments, among other players.".

That statement was preceded with several declarations of needs as regards Al Quds, those of the Palestinian people and other territorial disputes.

I wish there were an easy answer to the overlapping lands of importance to faith and it would be easy to preach it from afar, but truth is those people and those lands are really unknown to me and the wars are millennia old. As an American I say it’s not our battle. As a Christian I say it is in God’s hands, with ours unneeded.

While maintaining an acceptance of all faiths vigilance is required against those that are not accepting of others. I’d like to see a bit more of the love of Christ when hearing different Christian denominations berate each other, and I’d sure like to see the Ummah come forth even more aggressively against those of extremist views within their mosques and countries.

Because if they don’t, it’s all just window dressing.

6 Comments:

Blogger kiril said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/17/2008 8:53 AM  
Blogger Katherine said...

Excellent. I've linked your blog in mine, if that is okay with you.

4/05/2008 6:23 PM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

I'm sittin' here laughing. The first comment on this piece I had to delete because it was simply a link to some prescription site, and now comes Katherine with a kind link, requesting/informing so nicely, and no way to say thanks other than to put it here.

Thanks, Katherine. Much appreciated.

4/06/2008 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Nichole said...

I miss your blog posts here! Hope you update soon :-)

4/17/2008 9:49 AM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Thanks Nichole - I try to keep my postings pertinent and that isn't an every day occurrence.

But thanks for the kind words.

4/17/2008 10:05 AM  
Blogger PacerD said...

In my mainline Christian church, my pastor tells us every Sunday that salvation is not about whether we are a Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Lutheran, or whichever "religious nametag" we choose to affix to ourselves. It's not religion; it's a relationship.

However, this notion of sanctification without sects goes over the congregations' heads most weeks. While nobody will implicitly state it, it can be easily inferred that the only ones who will be truly saved are people like us. The others probably aren't doing it right.

Such talk angers me. I don't always respond as I should. While I can understand that some switched sects for reasons they found deeply compelling (as I did myself), religious prejudice still repels me. I figure that anyone who accepts the Gospel and lives it out may call him or herself a Christian.

May I aspire to that calling!

6/11/2008 7:25 PM  

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