today’s society, the Christian faith grows ever more difficult for Christians
in our globalized world, compared to other religions such as Judaism. As humans of this world, there is no more time
to ask questions about different religions.
As humans we explore our Earth, and interact with others from many different
cultures. All in all, what
do you think the majority of the world thinks about the many religions in the
world? How do we compare the Christian
faith to other religions such as Judaism?
Does it make a difference if we automatically think
about the religions as if Jesus matters?
If we all use Jesus’ rule of central values, will it change our approach
to the issues of religious pluralism? I think that, following Jesus’
rules, the main idea this paper – to follow God and to love our neighbors –
will not only help others, but help us reach salvation. We should form
our understandings more in terms of serving Jesus’ commands, instead of spending
our time to distinguishing between different religions.
First, I think that we should realize that the term
“religion” is a human category. It looks like we believe that religions
exist as real subjects, rather than as labels that we have created as support
system on to our experiences. I believe we do need these titles, but they
are not real, and they only exist in our minds.
According to the chapter of John, Jesus said, “I am
the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” By this quote, it could be perceived that
Jesus meant that Christianity is the only true faith. That would be false. I also do not believe he meant to say that a person
must pass a test that clarifies one as a Christian and gives one a one-way pass
to heaven after one passes away. Jesus
absolutely did not mean this literally, and did not mean for us to forget about
his call to love our neighbors and others of different practices.
A key point to reflect on in the quote is, what Jesus
meant by “the way.” What is “the way”
Jesus is talking about. He gives us a very important criterion for judgement in
the story from the book of Mark about the Sabbath. Jesus says that the
Sabbath is meant for human beings, not vice versa.
The Old Testament and Jesus’ Hierarchy
The Bible illustrates a broad-angle view at Jesus’
hierarchy of values. His core message
was not extraordinary. He supported his
message in the Bible, with the message of God that He gave to the Israelites
through He’s prophets. The Bible
preaches that God wants us to act in peace for the good of the Earth. God has made us to know what peace is and
share it with the rest of the world. The
religion that God preaches, exemplifies this teaching.
For example, the beginning of Genesis repeats this
message. Earlier in Genesis, the Bible
introduces Abraham and Sarah – the barren.
God promised to change that condition for them.
In the story, God shows mercy to the Abraham and Sarah
by blessing them with offspring. In
return, God ask Abraham and Sarah to develop a community where they
reside. In addition, their descendants
will continue fulfilling God’s promise. God
promised that the people who know God, will bless all the families on Earth. This vocation of Abraham was the beginning of
Christianity. In conclusion, this story
makes it clear that the purpose of this revolution had to do with God blessing
Abraham and Sarah with children, and not praising any people who are “chosen.”
The religion is built on the foundation of servicing other regardless of their
Jesus’ Affirmation of the Prophetic Message
Jesus delivers a similar message. At the end of Jesus’ ministry, in the book of
Matthew, he talks about the theme of salvation, when telling the story of his
sheep and goats. Like in the book of
Isaiah, he focuses not on religious beliefs, but on the everyday lifestyle. Jesus speaks on his message as if he is in
shock. He says, those who practice the
religion that unites them with God, are those who inherit the kingdom. In addition, he also says the same towards
take care of the unfortunate, those who care for the sick and support
The lesson here is that the true
faithful people, who are faithful in their hearts, do not even recognize the
significance of the Godly actions. It is
not the great acts of religiosity that matter here. It is the simple fact of caring. “Just as you did it to one of the least of
these, you did it to me.” In this story,
Jesus assists explicit religious practice to strengthen his ministry. Jesus does not envision a universe without
ethics, where everyone discovers God no matter what. However, he also does not envision religious
groups who exclude others to say that they have the only correct doctrine of
Instead, Jesus differentiates between those who God
will welcome and those who will be sent away.
If we take away anything from religious pluralism from this story, it
should be more than religious pluralism not making distinctions between faith
and un-faith. The main difference that Jesus cares for, is not a
difference that separates any group from one another. Jesus speaks on the faithfulness in our lifestyles. Those who help the homeless when needed, go
with God and those who ignore the needy, will go astray.
Towards the end of the Holy Bible, Revelation delivers
a concluding image of the New Jerusalem, God’s promise of serenity, and discovers
New Jerusalem being healed. This
understanding of the Bible for Christians is to seek a challenge toward our faithfulness
to God’s will. Unfortunately, it is
highly likely that us humans will make mistakes and go against God’s intentions
for our faith communities, when we focus on excluding others to God. Our job instead, is to focus on the love and
healing that our religious practices depend on us to perform. As a result of that, we will bless all the
families on our Earth.
The Center of the Torah
According to Jesus and other
prophets, the heart of the Torah, may be found in the fear for serving others
and differing cruelty and injustice. These
are of the many commitments that religious faith and practices are obligated to
serve. The Holy bible places the highest
emphasis on such duties – much more so than on fostering religiously authorized
boundary lines that imply that religious groups matters more to God than
efforts of love. Prophets needed separation
between religious groups, only for the well-being of protecting faithfulness to
Torah’s message of shalom against the wrongs of the rest of the world’s groups.
The efforts of love is recognized in
the familiar passage from the Gospel of Luke in the Holy Bible. The story of the “Good Samaritan” illustrates
the main message of the earlier texts that were referred to.
Someone asked Jesus, asked about
eternal life. How is this
initiated? The story portrays only one
other situation of Jesus being asked the same thing. In this other situation, Jesus’ replies with the
commandments then focuses in an ethical demand.
He says, “Sell all that you own and distribute the money to the
poor.” From this passage in Luke, Jesus’
response also talks about the laws and the prophets. Love the God the almighty and love your
neighbor. It is that simple. “Eternal life” is not about being a part of
an exclusive religion nor about the correct faiths. It is all about giving and receiving love.
The passage continues after
that. Jesus needs to illustrate his
point even more to show what he means by love God and your neighbors. Jesus’ is questioned – “so who is my
neighbor? Isn’t this normal, love our
neighbors who share our same religion and practices, and practice the formal worship
of God?” Jesus’ answer could not have
been more straight forward and clear. He
explains the story of the Jewish man on a journey to Jericho, who is assaulted
and left to suffer. Many people pass him
by, including people from so-called “religion.”
It looks highly likely that these religious leaders positioned a huge
priority on the evasion of uncleanliness than on compassion. Afterwards, surprisingly, the assaulted man
was helped and save by a random merchant.
Jesus’ story makes its clear, that the neighbor is anyone who can use
In addition to that, the
extraordinary neighbor, the one who shows Jesus just talked about, is not even
a Jew. He is not affiliated with any
religion that is associated with Jesus or his followers. Jesus clarfies that supporting faith that
finds expression in efforts of mercy and kindness is available to everyone with
the concept of good will. It is not stem
from being part of a religion. The
people who were a part of the of the religion who consider themselves “members”
failed to assist the helpless man. They
are not neighbors especially when they neglected the Torah’s most important
Lastly, Jesus takes the situation
even further. The person who expresses neighborliness,
not only is not a follower of the Jewish religion, he is a member of the most hated
religion imaginable to the Jews. He was
a part of the Samaritans and at the time, aka the enemy. The person who saved the helpless man was one
who did justice from his heart. He loved
his neighbor and did not care about the helpless man’s religious affiliation.
views of Religious Pluralism in Christianity, are one of the ways to reach
salvation and achieve with our neighbors on Earth. By having the ability to live with others and
not judging them by their religion, but by however they treat their neighbor
and fellow human family, will allow many people to live happier and create
harmony on Earth. Jesus emphasizes this a lot and it is a core practice in
Christianity. In the end, Jesus wants us all to recognize each other as equal.