As I prepare for our upcoming series on Jesus and World Religions, I find this video to be encouraging. We need all our stories. We need Lutherans and Anglicans and Calvinists and Baptists and Pentecostals (and Nazarenes) because we all have stories to tell and practices to share that help us to understand our amazing God.
But this raises a few questions for me. Do we also need Buddhists and Muslims and Hindus and Secular Humanists and Ancestor Worshipers? They also have stories to tell. They also have practices to share. They also have meaningful questions to ask.
My tentative answer is: Yes. Yes, we do need people of other religions. But we need them in a different way. The difference between denominations within Christianity is very different from (but somehow also similar to) the difference between Christianity and other religions. Yet perhaps as we discuss, dialog with, and engage other religions, our practice of Christianity is enhanced. Perhaps, this discussion will open us to parts of our own tradition and faith which have been buried or ignored for too long. Perhaps, through discussion and dialog, we will all grow closer to God together.
Don't get me wrong. I am in favor of evangelism. I believe it is good for people of other religions to become Christians. However, I also believe that (ironically) people of other religions also have something to teach us about Christ and Christianity and engaging God.
I know that's a radical statement, but that's where we're going with our sermon series for the next 7 weeks. I would appreciate your feedback along the way.