Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

religious empathy

7/8/08

 

I notice with some irony that certain Christians consider it an affront to their sensibilities when someone of the Islamic faith gains a public audience as in the recent case of a local school presentation by an Islamic organization. Who are the ones constantly working to include Christian principle and theology in the school curriculum?

 

As purveyors of an exclusionist religious theology, Christians should recognize that the Islamic claim to a special relationship with God (Allah) is fundamentally the same as their own. Both groups recognize a sacred text which in their minds proves beyond a doubt that they are God’s elect. If Christians react negatively to another exclusionist religion propagating within their midst, why can’t they empathize a little with those of other cultures who fail to embrace their own brand of exclusiveness?

 

The heated reaction to the Islamic presentation I mentioned sounds a lot like is a culturally induced religious arrogance which fails to recognize the basic similarities between all exclusionist religions. This religious blindness can easily be perceived by others as hypocrisy. There is absolutely no reason why Christians should expect people of other religions to accept relative to Christianity what they reject about the others’ religious heritage.

 

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