I trust you’ve seen the above graphic on a bumper sticker. And, like me, your reaction may not have been positive. The intent of the displayer is often assumed to be a statement about the equality of all religions and world-views. Since Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, we know that is not the case. If, however, we are to live in peace in a diverse and pluralistic world, we can, and must, coexist.
A recent article in Touchstone had some relevant thoughts I found worth repeating as we enter a new year.
“Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Clearly not, if one takes their sacred texts seriously. The Koran repeatedly and unequivocally declares Allah as one and indivisible and rejects the divinity of Christ, and for this reason calls Christians blasphemers. Christians, on the other hand, worship the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Salvation, they believe, comes only to those who believe that Jesus Christ is God. Jews reject the notion that in Jesus the long- awaited Messiah has already come. And between the Children of Isaac and the Children of Ishmael there is a diametrically opposed reading of God’s promises and intentions vis-à-vis the Children of Abraham. To gloss over these differences is not only foolish but also unnecessary. History is replete with examples of people with these different beliefs living and working together in harmony, but this didn’t happen by their simply denying or failing to acknowledge their differences. To do so shows either ignorance or disrespect.
“Whatever their differences there is in all these world religions something upon which to build a harmonious and diverse community. … Christians have no warrant in their Scriptures to force their beliefs on anyone, and they are instructed by Christ to love their enemies and pray for those who abuse them.”
Without turning a blind eye to the reality of Islamic terrorism, we can coexist and live in peace with any who will do the same with us. Please pray for peace in 2017.
God Bless, Rick