Last month, an interfaith organization hosted an event called, 'Festival of the Faiths' to celebrate and promote 'peace between those of different faiths'. Comprised of groups from different religions, there were Roman Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons, and Universalists, to name a few. Throughout the evening, songs advocating peace and 'love' were devoutly sung and everyone seemed to be getting along. After all, this was a night for everyone to lay their differences aside and accept each other for who they were.
That sounds all fine and dandy...for anybody except a Christian. It's kind of hard to comfortably look past the old man wearing a blonde wig and sporting some shiny, pink fingernails. Or the other man with a rainbow shirt on that says, "Love". And how can a Christian just not gasp when they overhear someone explaining to another that Jesus is Buddha?
And I know, I know. We're not supposed to judge. But is it judging to seek the truth? Is it judging to notice the consequences of filthy ideas and despise them?
Take a look at what the above-mentioned religions believe:
- Roman Catholicism teaches that Jesus is an insufficient savior and that those who die go to Purgatory to be cleansed from their sins.
- Both Hindus and Buddhists deny the existence of the biblical God and supreme Creator (embrace idols), and they believe that constantly striving for a better state of being allows them to enter into eternal bliss.
- Mormons teach that there are many gods along with God. Jesus' atonement only applies if one first does the best they can do. And most people are going to heaven, but to reach the highest level of heaven one must do special ordinances in the Temple.
- Universalists deny biblical morality and truth and each individual is encouraged to come up with their own truth based on their reality.
None of this is in the Bible. And yet the main message of all these groups was 'peace'. How can you have peace without God? It isn't possible. We can't jumble a bunch of religions together in a jar, suck God out of it, and declare, "Peace and love abound!" God is the originator of peace, and many times in the Bible when we see peace, it is because the people receiving the peace have put their trust in Christ. And about laying aside their differences to love—in this case whether they were straight or gay or trans—that is not love. Tolerance is not love. By no means should Christians make faces at unbelievers, but they shouldn't just sit back and say, "It's alright that they are living that way. I'm only supposed to love them." One great truth I heard from a pastor named Adrian Rodgers is this: God is love, but He is also the truth. You cannot separate love and truth because they go together. That means that we can't say we are loving someone if we have not shared the truth with them. Sharing the truth is love!
I am not attacking these groups or condemning them as that is not my place. I am simply contending for the faith. Yes, Christians should love, but we should love biblically. And we should all seek peace where peace is truly found: in Jesus. Because apart from Him there is none.
"Grace be with you, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. "
-2 John 1:3
Until next time,