Sunday, August 14, 2011

America's New God

This is the title of a recent article by Michael Youssef, and Egyptian-born Protestant who is kind of well-known these days due to his being from the Middle East and all. It makes for good reading for no other reason than it shows a guy who is interested in the Truth and real Charity. Sure, Mr. Youssef and I are going to disagree on a lot of stuff, but at least he seems like a guy who would be honest about there being differences instead of wanting to play make-believe with the most important subject in the universe, namely, God.

On June 26th, the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.was the latest church to be used for the promotion of syncretism—the attempted union of different religions. The idea was that “Christian” ministers, Jewish Rabbis, and Muslim Imams would co-lead a service in “Christian” churches around America using a multi-faith liturgy.

Sadly, 70 other churches across America signed on to do the same thing. The event was organized by a group called “Faith Shared.” It comes as no shock that the service was designed to promote “religious tolerance.” This is indeed a major step forward in promoting what I believe to be America’s new god of tolerance.

The major problem with this false god of tolerance is that it is not marked by the true love that genuine Christians believe in and are called upon to exercise. Love of others, regardless of their background, religion, or complexion, should be expressed in offering hospitality, and even service, but not at the expense of the truth. Loving people and selling out on the truth of one’s faith are two different things altogether.

These liberal “apostate” denominations are not only na├»ve and ignorant of the truth of the Christian faith, they are acting on emotional impulse in a way that ultimately endangers our nation. They are seeking to engender personal acceptance from others, rather than imploring others to accept Christ as the Savior.

I haven't heard a Protestant drop the word "apostate" in over 25 years. It's a rare thing to hear from Catholics. This is sad. It ignores the absolute tragedy associated with someone falling away from the Faith. Even if we received some kind of special revelation that this person would be saved at the 11th hour, how can we be Ok with their lost time during their life? St. Augustine lamented at how late he was to accept the call of God. If he felt that way, maybe we should as well and not take our time (or that of others) in grace for granted.


Mr Happy said...

Part of the mission of the church is to bring souls to Christ. And getting people 'to' Christ inherently involves getting them there 'from' wherever they are in life. Sometimes, tolerance is a bad thing if it means watering down Christianity to the point that it is no longer Christ centered. But dogmatic intolerance is a barrier to the most basic role of the church, which is the introduction of Christ to a world that needs him so badly.

We cannot tell people raised in a certain religious or spiritual culture that their belief system is irrelevant, and they need to convert to Christianity. (Well, we can, but they'll simply ignore us, thereby making us irrelevant, which is happening the world over at present.)

Christ, as universally objective Truth, along with the benefits of believing on Him will become self evident to the soul seeking truth and by the living interaction of the Holy Spirit.

Let us not allow intolerant, dogmatic interpretation of tradition to become a hindrance to that process. Instead, let us be the ones to encourage and facilitate that process through tolerance (not acceptance) of other worldviews, and promote meaningful dialogue that brings devout people into relationship with one who is worthy of their devotion.

Just food for thought.

Throwback said...

Possibly. Doesn't it seem that there were a lot more converts coming in when the Church was more dogmatically intolerant? These days, it appears that the Church is losing more people to other religions simply because the True Faith is viewed as no different from what is false.

On a side note, dialogue is fine, but it can't be an exercise in perpetual back-slapping as we congratulate each other on how much we agree on. This is patronizing and hypocritical. If we really respect these other, the differences will be at the forefront and we'll be honest about our challenges to these false beliefs and our concerns for the souls of those who reject the Truth.