This GCSE RE Christianity quiz looks at other faiths. Although Christians believe Jesus was the Son of God in human form ~ and that He claimed ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no-one comes to the Father except by me’ (note: not just ‘a way’!) ~ they recognise that other people may have valid religious experiences through other traditions.
In the case of Judaism, most Christians readily acknowledge that Jesus was Himself a Jew, but that in Him the Messianic prophecy was fulfilled, whereas Jews are still waiting. The other great monotheistic (i.e. ‘one-God’) religion of Islam shares a deep respect for what we know as the Old Testament, and honours Jesus as a special figure, though not on a par with Mohammed.
Once we move away from the monotheistic faiths, interreligious dialogue is into another realm again, since at least Judaism and Islam believe in broadly the same one creator God. When European colonists set themselves up in the Far East, they needed to seek common ground with the Hindus, who have and worship a range of deities (this may have reminded colonial administrators with any Western classical education, of the Graeco-Roman pantheons), but the Hindu approach is to respect all other faiths and look for goodness in a common cause. It is probably worth recalling St Paul’s tactic on arrival in Ephesus, whose citizens already honoured at least a dozen gods and had built a shrine ‘to an Unknown God’: he then told them he had come to explain exactly this one that they had been waiting for.
On the other hand, there is a well-known analogy about all religions leading to the top of the same mountain by different routes.
Obviously, if anyone believes they have had a deep and genuine religious experience or revelation, they are unlikely to wish to turn back on it; but anyone of true religion should be able and willing not only to tolerate, but to respect what is most precious to others (even if they happen deeply to believe those others are mistaken and have ‘got the wrong answer’.
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