Search This Blog

Friday, November 19, 2010

Multi-Faith: Lessons from Global Faith Forum

Many people have been asking what I learned/taught at the Global Faith Forum, but most people have been asking me, "what was it like?" (For those who haven't heard about the GFF, check out There were many amazing speakers from all faiths represented and I was humbled to learn from them.

Here's a few of my thoughts and what I took away.

First off, in being with Muslims, Jews, & Christians on the same platform, you learn to appreciate and love them for who they are. It puts a face on the issue of Park 51 (NYC Mosque) and the Israeli history. That's one of the things we really stressed in our breakout session we led, because relationships change everything. The reason there is so much misunderstanding between all of our faiths is because we do not have relationships with each other. Therefore, we talk about the other with our own instead of talking about each other with each other. However, if we have real friendships, not just conversations, then everything changes. We begin to care and love people, serving them with the love of Jesus because they matter to God, but also now because they matter to us. Bob Roberts, jr spoke on how we have to start with the hand (serving & working together for the good of the city) instead of the head (all of our theological differences) because if we start there, relationships will be extremely hard to form.

Second, we do not have to demonize other religions to make ours look good. If we really believe what we believe is Truth, then why do we feel the need to tear someone else down? For Christians, let jesus speak for himself and stand on that. We do not need to demonize the fact the Jews reject Christ as Messiah or demonize Mohammed in order to make Jesus look better. If we really believe Jesus is God, does he not look better himself? Relationships help us not to do this as well.

Third, we do not need to get our information on what we think of other religions from the media or from our own tribes, we need to go to the source. A lot of the speakers at GFF really stressed this. We have to be careful not to form our opinions of one another based on the media and chain emails. We have to have real conversations with people of other faiths who really know what they believe in order to really understand. We do so much damage with our tweets, emails, and Facebook statuses by spreading information about other religions that we do not even know to be true because we did not get it from the source. We should be using the media platform to spread the news of what we do know: what we believe and loving others.

Fourth, we live in a global world and we must learn to love each other, stand for religious freedom for all people, respect each other, and help fight injustice together. I am an evangelical which means this: I believe God created all things, we sinned and needed redemption but couldn't do it ourselves, so God became fully man while staying fully God as Jesus and died for our sins, redeeming us back to a relationship with God and is coming again.

However, just because I believe Jesus is the only way to get to God, does not mean that I do not love others. In fact, because I believe this about Jesus I love others even more. Why do we see the need to demonize, hurt and build barriers between us and other people because of different beliefs? That's not what Christ would do. That's not what the Quran teaches. That's not in the Talmud.

We need a new platform called Multi-faith. A platform where we do not compromise what we believe, admit we have irreconcilable differences, but began building relationships and loving one another as well as serving together.

Serve and love others not to convert, but because we are converted.

I love people and will continue to love people whether they accept Jesus or not. Relationships and serving others for me cannot just end because they believe different than me or reject Christ. If this was so, Christ never would have gone to the cross (ultimate serve and ultimate love) because we all rejected Him. But because i have a relationship with people I am able to share what I believe. So, I love and serve because I am converted, not to convert. I believe Jesus does that part, I'm just called to love Him and love others.

Will you join this multi-faith platform?

No comments:

Post a Comment