My friend Lisa wrote on her blog Modern Arabian Nights on the recent Faith Shared event. I have never heard of Faith Shared before reading about it on her blog. I went to the Faith Shared website to find out what it is all about. I didn't get very far before I came up with some questions and opinions, not about the group or event, but about different faiths and how people of different faiths can interact with each other.
First of all I am completely against blending faiths. As a Christian, I believe the Bible is absolute Truth and anything that goes against the Bible is false and wrong. I am for people of different faiths being able to live, work, play, learn, and have fun together. I also believe in sharing and spreading the Good News - Jesus bringing peace and salvation to people all over the world. Where these two ideas meet is where I feel uncomfortable.
What if a friend of a different faith invites me to a religious ceremony? Does attending the ceremony in support of a friend count as a sin or will my heart attitude of loving my friend in the hopes of one day she will know the Truth cover me?
I have never been in any of these situations, but I have often thought about what I would do. Obviously you have to go to the ones who need Jesus and that means stepping out of your Christian circles. Sometimes it is in an outreach type event where you are sharing Jesus with strangers and other times it starts off as a friendship and over time the course of the friendship, Jesus wins your friend over.
Jesus calls us to be light to the darkness and to love others, yet He is a jealous God not wanting your attention to be on anything but him. How do you be that light in the darkness and still remain true to Jesus?
I heard about a very successful missionary over in Asia. I am fuzzy on the details, but he was known for adopting local customs - he learned their language, wore their type of clothing, ate their food. He respected the people and their way of life and taught them about Jesus at the same time. He developed relationships with the people- he truly showed he cared. Because of the way he treated the people, he was loved and respected back which I think opened their hearts to receive Jesus. They weren't turned off and ultimately hardened their hearts because of arrogance or feeling that they were inferior.
From his example, we need to know something about other faiths and customs in order to understand and respect others to develop the type of relationships that can open the doorways to Jesus. It isn't a battle of whits or a logical debate on which religion is right, is is a battle of love. And the love of Jesus always wins!