U is for Unity and Unite
Is unity among religions a dangerous concept? Can religions unite in love against hatred, persecution, and terrorism?
Some Christians worry when leaders like our President speak the word unity with other religions.
They feel that unity means that we forgo evangelism, and we compromise our beliefs. They are also fearful that other religions seek unity in the guise of spreading their own beliefs or worse, future persecution.
But leaders in other religions fear the same thing from us
What is the answer? How do we stop hatred and fear in our world? Fear that terrorists manipulate to attract extremists to their causes?
We start with common ground. Each religion when practiced fully and according to their tenets espouse love of the stranger and kindness to one another. Only the extremists in the religions seek to force their beliefs through the use of hate and terrorism.
[tweetthis]All religious people must speak out against hate and terrorism and support love, tolerance, and dignity.[/tweetthis]
The mainstream of each religion should condemn the terrorists in their own religions. Condemn and not tolerate those who seek to persecute or kill in the name of God.
Even extremist who say they are “Christian” committed vile acts of terrorism. They are not Christians. They twisted the word of God to support their extremism just as radical Islamic groups do.
[tweetthis]Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu unite in the fight against hatred. [/tweetthis]
Respect our differences and seek to love one another.
How do we build the bridges between the religions? Bridges of tolerance but not compromise? We need to start on foundations of respect and love.
Even Christian denominations seek to persecute each other because they feel that if Christians do no belief as they do then they face hell and are not true Christians.
We argue over Baptism, speaking in tongues, and other traditions. Paul said do not argue over doctrine but unite in Christ. Love Him first and foremost. Agree that all who call upon the name of Christ and ask for forgiveness of sin are saved, period. That is the basic doctrine behind which Christians should unite.
Unite in love as Christians first and foremost.
Next, we need to find common grounds with other religions and meet together in unity services before tragedy strikes. Preach against violence, hate, and persecution of other religions in our pulpits.
What of evangelism? Christians are commanded to preach the Gospel to all the world. We cannot compromise on our basic belief in evangelism in the name of unity.
We must, however, accept that some people in other religions will never convert because they value their traditions that date back centuries. We can encourage them in love to think about the messages of Christ and show how he preached some of the same tenets in their religion. We can pray they will at least consider accepting Christ’s Gospel of love and forgiveness even as they continue with their own religious traditions.
Christians cannot condemn or hate anyone who will not convert. We must pray for them in peace and love. We do commit terrorism and hate in the name of Christ. He said those that live by the sword die by the sword. Those who live in hate and hate others cannot be Christian. They have rejected the basic message of the Gospel.
We also come together with other religions and ask them to agree to the basic principles of love and tolerance. We should all agree never to kill in the names of religion. We should never persecute each other. Even if someone in our own families convert to another religion, we should accept that they feel differently than we do and not ostracize or persecute them for following another faith.
[tweetthis]Our mottos should be : love and tolerance begins with me.[/tweetthis]
I find this call to unity in all Holy Scriptures:
FROM THE “RIG VEDA”
3. Let all your activities be so directed as to lead you to one common goal; let there be conference held among you in a common tongue. Let all your minds be of one accord to acquire knowledge of the various lores. Do thou as the enlightened did in all ages, perform your tasks in life in co-operation and harmony with your mind in full agreement for the acquisition of knowledge and worship of God, the real object of your devotion. (2)
4. Let the object of your counsels be acceptable to all, and the place of your assembly common, your minds in accord, and your hearts united together. (3)
From the Holy Bible
1 Peter 3:8 – Finally, [be ye] all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, [be] pitiful, [be] courteous:
Ephesians 4:3 – Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.