Friday, January 29, 2010

more emergent confusion

Samir Selmanovic demonstrates the confusion that results when one rejects Truth and typifies the emergent failure. His bottom line in reference to other religions is that "we borrow faith and optimism and strength from each other." In contrast, Ed Stetzer offers a view from the vantage point of a mind renewed in Christ. He rightly states that "we [don't] know how to speak of faith and treat people with respect at the same time. We can come across as arrogant, superior, and sometimes condescending because we have the truth. If we have the truth - we should be the most humble of all and the most serving of all. Keeping our young people and children isolated from other religions in an attempt to keep them in our faith - is a dangerous move." But this is his second point following a higher first point, that is to tell others who Jesus is and what we believe about him. He acknowledges that we must learn to interact in love and respect but does not see that as inconsistent with upholding truth and a need to elevate false religions.

Stetzer does a nice job articulating his approach (in contrast to others).

I'm not a particular fan of interfaith events. It takes all religions and tries to merge them into a "all roads lead to the same place" kind of approach as well as mixing worship to multiple gods thereby denying the truth of most views of God. At the synagogue they did their worship and we observed, at the mosque the same and at the church the same. Interfaith is mirky, it's more about feel good. It doesn't allow us to be honest about our differences. It's build on the premise of the lowest common denominators of our belief of God so we can all sit down together. How can we build relationships if we don't speak honestly to each other. I'm tired of having to be religiously politically correct. I'm also tired of the arrogance of some evangelicals who don't know how to disagree and treat others with respect.

Those of us who are conservative are serious about our faith, our views of God, our views of our Holy Books and we are not going to compromise them for the sake of "getting along" because we have an eternal and truth paradigm view of God. THEREFORE, since we DO NEED TO GET ALONG together in this world we have to change the platform for meeting and shift the conversation. That's what multi-faith does - it moves the platform for conversation and engagement from the least common denominators of faith - to the most irreconcileable truths and says even so, we can treat one another with respects. At one point I told the group as the rabbi, the imam and myself were talking - "We are one another's worst heretics!" It says, I believe who I believe God is and am not willing to compromise truth but in my truth there is the teaching that I should respect others, get along with them.

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