Christians and Other World Religions
As America welcomes more and more immigrants to our shores, American Christians will come into contact with people from many different cultures, ethnicities and religious beliefs. The key to peacefully coexist with these folks is not to judge, but to understand them, to reach them on a personal level, and thus be better equipped to do evangelism.
Our example is the Apostle Paul traveling in Athens, and recorded in the Book of Acts. As Paul was traveling through the city, he noted many statues that were worshiped as idols. When he preached to the Athenians, instead of ranting on about the idols or mocking his audience for honoring them, he compliments his listeners and seeks common ground with them. Rather than quote Scripture, Paul carefully cites commonplace themes. There is no sarcasm in his introduction: “Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are.” Paul seizes upon their altar inscribed “To an unknown God,” and identifies this figure with the God whom he preaches. For the moment Paul highlights what they have in common and pushes their differences into the background. He then clarifies essential points of difference.
Pastor Paul is teaching a series of classes each Wednesday night at 6:30 on a survey of some of the world’s major religions. Come join us as we attempt to enlarge our understanding of something we might initially approach with preconceived ideas (and bias).