Reposted from a local message board I enjoy perusing…
Originally Posted by Benztech:I’ve spent several hours today David trying to find Christian scripture that specifically advises Christians to tolerate religions other then the Christian religion. I had a very difficult time.However, it was very easy to come up with multiple scriptures from almost every other major religion on Earth that specifically instructs that they tolerate or honor another mans faith.In the instances where I did find Christian scripture such as, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill to all people. (Luke 2:14)”, in the Christian explanation or attitude this seems to imply, “goodwill to all Christianpeople”.My question, Do you believe that Luke 2:14 applys to Mormons, Scientologists, Buddists?
I sincerely hope you don’t blow me off here, because I am genuinely troubled.
And depending on your answer I feel I owe you a great apology, or if not, this would be an exercise where you might gather some personal insight as well.
If I may give you a little history here so you won’t question my sincerity.
It might also explain why recent conversations have been so intense and penetrating.
There was much spiritual conflict in my youth being from a Christian (Baptist) and non-Christian (Jewish)family. Almost entirely these conflicts came from the Christian side. Ultimately, this left me on my own to seek spirituality.
Fortunately, I relyed on morality and I’ve been fortunate in my choices in life.
In recent years I’ve been looking, trying to find a spiritual house where I can be happy and comfortable.
I’ve shared this with a close friend who is a devout Catholic and he has been working on me for a couple of years now.
David, I have to be very honest with you here. This Christian intolerance of other peoples faith has me very worried.
From the intolerance my Baptist grandmother had for my Jewish Grandmother. To the intolerance my friend has towards other faiths, including other Christian faiths. To your own intolerance towards Mormons, Scientologists, and probably others.
Indeed, it seems Christians have a problem not only with non-Christians, but with other Christians as well!
I have to reaffirm that if this intolerance is part of the Christain faith, that’s fine, G-D bless all you Christians. I will tolerate Christians and respect and honor your faith. But at last it will narrow my search for a spiritual home considerably.
This was directed at David, but may I respond as well?
First of all, you’ll notice that some Christians are indeed intolerant. It is my opinion that this is the case because they’ve been told that there is no other acceptable way of attaining salvation other than what they believe. They confuse “tolerance” with “acceptance”, not realizing that to be tolerant does not mean one has to be in agreement.
Some truly want to help others, and they think that if they do not get through to those they are attempting to help, they’ve failed and lost a soul to eternal torment. They take this very seriously and make all efforts to save as many souls as they can.
I’ve begun realizing that intolerant Christians make up the minority, but receive the majority of the attention. This is the same with just about any “negative” in the world. We hear about kidnappings and people killing each other, but we don’t hear so much about all the every day human kindnesses that are extended around the world.
In the past I have been very vocal about all of the things I hate about Christianity. Now I realize that being judgmental of the judgmental… is still judgmental. I can sit around and complain about Christians not being what they SHOULD be, or I can get in there and do my best to follow Christ.
Choosing a religion to fill the spiritual void inside should not be based on the actions of those who follow that religion. Christ isn’t always well represented by those who claim to follow Him, but HE lived an amazing life full of amazing teachings that are very relevant to this day.
Just earlier today I was talking to an acquaintance online. He told me he was looking into Buddhism. When I was producing porn I looked into Buddhism (and several other religions). He was open to hearing why I chose Christianity. Here is part of my reply to him:
The things I like better about Christianity rather than Buddhism is that in Buddhism attaining salvation comes from worldly sufferings, universal brotherhood, peace and non-violence. Jesus taught that salvation comes from His (God’s) grace and then he calls us to brotherhood, peace and non-violence of our own free will and out of love for others. Salvation is then no longer based on works, but rather on the grace of the creator. Good works are not the goal, they are the result of loving both Him and our fellow humans.
Buddhism tells us that Nirvana is when our soul is freed of materialism. Jesus says pretty much the same thing: give up all your material possessions and follow my teachings, loving everyone, feeding the poor, taking care of the widows, etc. They really are quite similar when all the Christianese is removed.
If I remove all the negatives implanted in my mind by the actions of idiots who have done a poor job representing Christ, I clearly see that for me it makes the most sense to follow Him. It also happens to be the EASIEST religion in the world. Grace, rather than works, results in “nirvana” or salvation. When the reality of how HUGE grace really is sets in, our lives change and we become better people. LOVE is what changes us.
When deciding where you fit in, please consider the fact that you have the power to improve the perception of those around you in regards to your chosen path. Instead of being scared off by what you perceive to be poor Christians, for example, you could resolve to be a stellar Christian.