Religious tolerance watch

Link: One Hand Clapping � Blog Archive � Religious tolerance watch.

Religious tolerance for thee, but not for me. I’ll start listening to Muslims giving me advice about religious toleraance when Christians can openly, publicly worship in in Saudi Arabia.

But…

While I can understand the frustrations that lead to this kind of conclusion, I do have a problem with it.

The gospels do not say "be tolerant only to those who are tolerant back", they do clearly say "love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you" (see Luke 6).

I fully agree we should be encouraging Muslim clerics to practice themselves what they urging the Pope to do namely

“promote religious tolerance, reconciliation,
religious freedom, human dignity and peace in the world.”

However, as Christians our following the gospel does not depend on a response by anyone else. We are called to be faithful no matter what others do. Therefore our search for "religious tolerance, reconciliation,
religious freedom, human dignity and peace in the world" should come from the gospel, not from the world. We follow this path because we follow Christ and we should do so regardless of the behaviour of others.

So "when Christians can openly, publicly worship in in Saudi Arabia" we will rejoice, but until then we should get on with living the gospel ourselves.

More then that we should be glad when others recognise at least part of the gospel stands for. We should expect them to hold us to account against the gospel we preach, and when they do so we should be able to hold our heads high and say Amen.

Muslim clerics recognising that Christians have something worthwhile and promote in these areas and asking us to take up our gospel and promote Christian values is a great thing. Why would we ever not want to do it?

This in no way condones human rights abuses, but it does say that we do not play the tit for tat game – the stakes are too high, for the price has already been paid by Christ on the cross.

Via Locusts & Honey: Methodist Blogs Weekly Roundup # 10.

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