Thursday, March 30, 2017

how we treat other faiths

Today we hear from a character named Pseudo-Dionysius in A Year with the Church Fathers. He tells us some really good advice about dealing with people from other religious faiths.

See, it's easy to make ourselves feel better by making fun of other religions. And pointing out how they're wrong and we're right. But it doesn't really help anything, does it? It definitely does not help them consider listening to what we believe and see that it might be true.

So, as Mr. Pseudo-Dionysius tells us, we should treat other people's views with dignity and respect. Just because we prove them wrong (which doesn't necessarily help them) doesn't mean we're right. Instead, we should find points of common truth. We should build on the work that God is already doing in their life. We should help those little flames of truth grow and set their hearts ablaze with more and more truth.

Yes, it might mean very gently and lovingly correcting falsehood from time to time. But not in a "you're wrong and I'm right" kind of way. Rather in a "have you thought about THIS possibility?" angle. Focusing on what IS TRUE, rather than pointing out what is NOT TRUE about what they believe.

This is important not just with people from other religions, but with people of any viewpoint that disagrees with us. Especially in the hypercharged political environment we've been living in for the last eight years and continue to live in under our current president.

Let us love one another.

God, thank You for teaching us how to respect other's viewpoints today through your servant Mr. Pseudo-Dionysius.

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