How should we tolerate various religious beliefs?


In our age of "tolerance," moral relativism is touted as the supreme virtue. Every philosophy, idea, and faith system has equal merit, says the relativist, and is worthy of equal respect. Those who favour one faith system over another or – even worse – claim a knowledge of absolute truth are considered narrow-minded, unenlightened, or even bigoted.

Of course, different religions make mutually exclusive claims, and the relativist is unable to logically reconcile outright contradictions. For example, the Bible makes the claim that "man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment" (Hebrews 9:27), while some Eastern religions teach reincarnation. So, do we die once or many times? Both teachings cannot be true. The relativist essentially redefines truth in order to create a paradoxical world where multiple, contradictory "truths" can co-exist.

Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). A Christian has accepted Truth, not just as a concept, but as a Person. This acknowledgment of Truth distances the Christian from the so-called "open-mindedness" of the day. The Christian has publicly acknowledged that Jesus rose from the dead (as explained in the book of Romans 10:9-10). If he truly believes in the resurrection, how can he be "open-minded" concerning the assertion that Jesus never rose again? For a Christian to deny the clear teaching of God's Word, the Bible, would indeed be a betrayal of God.

Despite all of this, when disputing or dialoguing over prominent doctrines, the Bible teaches that all Christians should show respect and "be full of graciousness" (Colossians 4:6). It is one thing to disagree with a position; it is quite another to disparage a person. Like Jesus' example, Christians should hold fast to the Truth while showing compassion to those who question it.

Adapted from an article at

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