How Christians view non-Christian religions
Statements by Christians
Positive statements by Christians' about other religions:
|Gaelscoil Chill Mhantáin is a primary school in County
Wicklow, Ireland. It:|
"... operates under a joint Catholic/Protestant ethos acknowledging the unique
contribution of both traditions in Irish life. The Gaelscoil seeks to promote an
understanding and appreciation of worship in both these denominations, while encouraging
tolerance and respect for the values and beliefs of others."
|Johan Candelin, director of the World Evangelical Fellowship's Religious Liberty
Commission, in advance of meeting with the Dalai Lama, said: |
had a very peaceful attitude toward Christianity in general, but there are some countries
today where tension is growing"
He commented that Evangelical Christians are
often criticized for wanting to evangelize the world. "This is sometimes seen as
excessive proselytizing or narrow-minded intolerance by non-Christians."
|World Council of Churches: Interreligious relations & dialogue:
"During the last few decades, questions about
religious and cultural
pluralism have attracted renewed interest in the churches. Everywhere
there is a fresh sense of urgency to build creative relationships between
peoples of differing faiths. As interest in dialogue has grown, so has its
actual practice, enabling various religious communities to understand one
another better and to work more closely together." 3,19
|World Council of Churches: Interreligious relations & dialogue:
"People engaged in dialogue have felt their own faith challenged and
deepened by the new dimensions of religious life which they have observed,
and many find in interreligious encounter a new impetus for doing theology
and reviving spirituality. Communities in dialogue function as the leaven
in the larger community, facilitating the creation of a society
transcending religious barriers." 3
Negative statements by Christians' about other religions:
|Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of
the Roman Catholic Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now
Pope Benedict XVI, published Dominus Iesus on
2000-AUG-06. He discussed the role of rituals in non-Christian religions:|
"... some prayers and rituals of the other
religions may assume a role of preparation for the Gospel, in that they
are occasions or pedagogical helps in which the human heart is prompted
to be open to the action of God. One cannot attribute to these, however,
a divine origin or an ex opere operato salvific efficacy,
which is proper to the Christian sacraments. Furthermore, it cannot be
overlooked that other rituals, insofar as they depend on superstitions
or other errors (cf. 1 Cor 10:20-21), constitute an
obstacle to salvation. ... If it is true that the followers of other
religions can receive divine grace, it is also certain that
objectively speaking they are in a gravely deficient situation in
comparison with those who, in the Church, have the fullness of the means
of salvation." 21
|Gorge Barna, president of the religious polling company Barna
Research said: |
"Diversity may be a rallying cry for the politically correct,
but for the average American, the acceptance of diversity in religion,
as in politics and race, is not a widely embraced notion."
|David Porter, referring to Neopagans: |
"They would claim to be following a Way that predates
Christianity and does not need the Christian Revelation...In the biblical view, there is
no absolute difference between such beliefs and out-and-out satanism..."
|William Schnoebelen: |
"...the difference between witchcraft or Wicca and
satanism is actually non-existent." 6
|Pat Robertson: |
"It is interesting, that
termites don't build things, and the great builders of our nation almost
to a man have been Christians, because Christians have the desire to
build something. He is motivated by love of man and God, so he builds.
The people who have come into [our] institutions [today] are primarily
termites. They are into destroying institutions that have been built by
Christians, whether it is universities, governments, our own traditions,
that we have.... The termites are in charge now, and that is not the way
it ought to be, and the time has arrived for a godly fumigation."
It is worthwhile noting that fumigation does not merely get rid of termites; it exterminates
them. Applying Robertson's suggestions would necessitate the murder of 75
to 210 million Americans for thought crimes, depending upon how one
defines the term "Christian."
|David L Brown, |
"... modern day witches and
Satanists still worship demon gods &
goddesses, practice bizarre & immoral sexual rituals, and certain groups
offer animal and human sacrifices." 8
|Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue: |
"I want you to just
let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of
hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good...Our goal is a Christian
nation. We have a Biblical duty; we are called by God, to conquer this
country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism."
|David L Brown: |
"Though witches like to make a distinction between themselves
and Satanists, there really is NO DISTINCTION biblically speaking...but the power behind
Satanism and Witchcraft is the same-Satan... and his demonic hordes."
|Frank G. Huling: |
"They are the two groups in the world, children of God-- those
who have received Christ (John 1:12), and the children of the
devil--those who reject
Christ (John 8:44)." 10
|Texe Marrs: |
"...in reality, the New Age simply represents another feeble
attempt of the Adversary [Satan] to pollute Christianity, promote
immorality and foster
unethical attitudes." 11
Christian-Jewish dialog and proselytizing:
There is division among Christians about the status of the Judaism:
Southern Baptists and some other conservative Protestant denominations
believe in the concept of supersessionism: that God unilaterally abrogated his
promises to the Hebrew People, and recognized the Christian Church as the new "spiritual
Israel." 12 Thus, Jews are viewed as having the same
status as Hindus, Buddhists and other non-Christians: unless they trust Jesus
and become saved, they are doomed to spend eternity in Hell. Some statements
reflecting supersessionism are:
|A former SBC president and founding father of the Christian
Coalition, The Rev. Bailey Smith, said, at the 1987
Convention general meeting, "God Almighty does not hear the
prayer of a Jew." He was given a standing ovation. In 1994-JUN-24, during a talk before
15,000 people at a Religious Roundtable meeting in Dallas TX, he said: "With all
due respect to those dear people, my friend, God Almighty does not hear the prayer of a
Jew." 13 The audience
reacted with thunderous applause.|
|R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
in Louisville, KY said: "We are firmly convinced that there is salvation in no
other name, but we are also confident that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be
saved. Thus, when most faithful, Southern Baptists are to be found sharing the Good News
of salvation through Jesus Christ. We have no right to exclude Jewish persons from the
promise of the Gospel." 14|
However, most mainline and liberal Christian denominations feel that God has
not abrogated his covenants with the Jewish people. The Hebrew Scriptures
(a.k.a. Old Testament) describes a path to salvation for Jews, just as the
Christian Scriptures (a.k.a. New Testament) describes a parallel path for
Christians. Thus, many in these denominations feel that Christians who proselytize Jews
are acting in an arrogant manner and are engaging in harassment. Some
|The Alliance of Baptists issued a statement
about Jewish-Christian relations in 1995. They asked all Baptists to join them in:
God has not rejected the community of Israel...'since the gifts and calling
of God are irrevocable' "...Renouncing ...religious stereotyping and
prejudice...Seeking...a dialogue built on mutual respect and the integrity of each other's
|The United Church of Canada issued a document in 1998 called "Bearing
Faithful Witness: United Church-Jewish Relations Today." It calls on the church
to stop trying to convert Jews to Christianity, to reject the concept that Christianity is
superior to Judaism, and to reject the concept that Christianity is a replacement for
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Gaelscoil Chill Mhant?n's home page is at:
- World Evangelism Fellowship, "Evangelical Protestant cleric to meet
with Dalai Lama," News release, 1998-JUN-17.
- "What do we do?," World Council of Churches, at:
- George Barna, "Christianity Has a Strong Positive Image Despite Fewer Active Participants,
1996-FEB-5, at: http://www.barna.org/
- David Porter, "Hallowe'en: Trick or Treat," Monarch
Wells, UK (1993), Page 115.
- William Schnoebelen, "Wicca: Satan's Little White Lie," Chick
Publications, Chino CA, (1990), Page 9.
- New York Magazine, 1986-AUG-18.
- David Brown, "The Dark Side of Halloween," essay by Logos
Communication Consortium at: http://www.execpc.com/
- The News-Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana, 1993-AUG-16
- F.G. Huling, "Is it Right to Judge?" essay at:
- Texe Marrs, "New Age Cults and Religions," Living Truth Publishers,"
Austin, TX, (1990), Page 25.
- "Saving our souls,"
The Southern Shofar, Birmingham, AL, at:
- Quotations by Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and others, at:
- R. Albert Mohler, Jr., "Against the Stream: The Southern Baptist Resolutions,"
- "Alliance of Baptist statement on Jewish-Christian Relations," at:
- "Jewish-Christian Relations," at:
http://www.jcrelations.net/ This group promotes Christian-Jewish
- "The United Church of Canada: Bearing Faithful Witness," at:
- Joan Breckenridge, "United Church Reaches out to Jews," The Globe and
Mail, Toronto ON, 1998-MAY-23, Pages A1 & A10.
- The term "pluralism" is ambiguous.
It is sometimes used to refer to religious diversity. Other times, it refers
to the belief that all religions are true.
- Joseph Card. Ratzinger, "Dominus Iesus,"
Copyright © 1997 to 2007 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2007-MAR-17
Author: B.A. Robinson