RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE- An Introduction
Why can’t Christians just exercise their own faith, and leave alone those people who have other beliefs? After all, isn’t it judgmental and unloving to criticize someone else’s religious beliefs?
RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE- The Age of Tolerance
Because we live in an age of tolerance where almost anything goes, openly questioning or criticizing other people’s belief systems can quickly get you labelled as judgmental, narrow-minded, bigoted, hateful, and even ignorant. And with regard to Christianity, Matthew 7:1 is often quoted (or should I say “misquoted”) to discourage Christians from putting other religious teachings and practices to the test.
RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE- Do Not Judge?
This assertion, however, is simply false, as the Bible clearly speaks out not against passing judgment in general, but against rendering inaccurate and unfair judgments (Prov. 24:23; 31:9; John 7:24). Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 2:15 that Christians are called to make “judgments about all things.” Our judgment, though, should not be based on what God has not revealed, rather on what he has revealed and not on human wisdom alone (v. 13).
RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE- The Way, The Truth, The Life?
Now, God’s revealed Word, the Bible, tells us that Jesus Christ is the only way we can possibly reach God — that there’s no alternate route (John 14:6). It stands to reason, therefore, that other beliefs which offer detours to God in fact only lead to a dead-end. And if we as Christians really want to follow our Lord’s teaching to love our neighbors, we can’t escape our responsibility to warn them about the spirtually-destructive roads paved by non-Christian belief systems (Prov. 14:12). True love and compassion should move us believers to sound warning cries — even in the face of opposition — in order to avert countless lives from heading toward an eternity of doom.
RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE- The Heart of the Matter
Let’s realize that when we call teachings into question, it’s only because we’re concerned about the eternal destinies of people — they are not personal attacks. Let’s also keep in mind that Scripture doesn’t command us to go out and rail against false teachings; rather, it encourages us to offer biblical reasons with gentleness and respect (1 Pet. 3:15). And remember that tolerance when it comes to personal relationships is a virtue, but tolerance when it comes to truth is a travesty.On Religious Tolerance, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.