Relating to people
of other religions
Objectives of the Lesson
At the end of this Lesson, the participant will:
- Feel confident to relate to persons of other traditions, and not be nervous;
- Be able to show sensitivity in the presence of persons of other traditions; and yet not feel apologetic about the Christian uniqueness;
- Explain what the Bible says about Christians relating to persons who belong to other religions.
The question of how Christian should relate to non-Christian believers is complex one. Christians are admonished to live consciously in the world as strangers (John 15:19; 17:14-16); that is, while they live as citizens of their countries and members of their neighbourhoods, their lives must be controlled by the values of the kingdom of God (Philipp. 3:20). Yet, we are commanded to be the “salt and the light” of the world (Matt. 5:13-16); we are commanded to preach the gospel to all nations (Matt. 28:18-20). This means, Christians cannot isolate themselves from society because of their faith. Nevertheless, guidance for the permissible level of our involvement with others is provided in several passages in the New Testament.
Questions that often exercise Christian in this direction involve issues such as, friendship with unbelievers; marriage between a Christian and a non-Christian believer; and social or business partnership with non-Christian believers.
Main Message: The Christian message is unapologetically grounded in the teaching that there is only “one God and one mediator” between God and human beings – the man Jesus Christ (1Timothy 2:5). But neither does this mean isolation from our non-Christian believing neighbours, nor disrespect for them.
After reading the information and watching the video, go to the quiz for this topic and check your understanding and newly found knowledge
Now go to the Puzzle to have some brain excercise to make you grounded in this topic. when you are not sure about anything, come back to the text or rewatch the video as a reminder.
Passages such as, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers” (2Cor 6:14) and “Bad company ruins good morals” (1Cor.15:33) seem to caution Christians to be careful in entering into business or other partnerships with non-Christian believers. In certain cases, absolute caution should be exercised when it is about Christian versus non-Christian believer relations. For example, matters such as marriage, business ventures or participating in non-Christian worship, require deep reflection and some exercise of discernment. The Lord, though, says Christians are “in the world, but not of the world” (John 17:14-16), he did not mean Christian should isolate themselves from their neighbours. He wants Christians to influence the world. That is what He meant when He described His beliers as, “light and salt” of the world (Matt. 5:14-16). Relating to others in any sphere of life, the Christian must always keep four things in mind:
1) You have a responsibility to stand and not to be swayed into unbelief or sin;
2) You have been called to witness to Jesus Christ in words and deed;
3) You have been called to pursue peace (So walk away from potentially explosive arguments);
4) In everything you, your goal must be to bring glory to God.
Do you have non-Christian neighbours/friends? Can you share with the rest of the family, how you have been able to relate to them satisfactory over a long period?