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Preaching Against Other Religions vs. Teaching Your Own

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by jonny, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    Do you think that churches should preach against other churches or stick to teaching what they believe to be true?

    I bring this up because I remember when I was in elementary school that many of my friends would come home from Sunday School after they watched videos about my church and were taught about why my church wasn't true. They would tell me I was going to Hell, which was very troubling for a 10 year old. I also had an experience where my sister and I went to a Vacation Bible Camp at an Evangelical Free church with some friends. While there we had a lesson about why the LDS church wasn't true and they even taught the kids some song about those scary mormon missionaries. :sarcastic Let's just say that my mom had some words with the pastor, who was our neighbor. :)

    I personally never had any lessons like this at my Church. We were always taught about what we believe and encouraged to pray about it to determine if it is true. I never in my life have had a Sunday School lesson on why "Church X" isn't true. I have always felt that the only reason that there could be to preach against another religion in this manner is because you are afraid of people believing it and leaving your church. In essence, the church is trying to create a bias against the religion before the members have a chance to do the research and make an educated decision for themselves.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. KirbyFan101

    KirbyFan101 Resident Ball of Fluff

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    Personally, I don't believe in preaching.

    I believe in teaching those willing to listen, and ignoring those who don't.

    Sadly, I do not get the same courtesy back from people who consider me to be "damned". :banghead3
     
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  3. kreeden

    kreeden Virus of the Mind

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    I believe that a Truth , any Truth , will stand on it's own . So unless asked , or perhaps in deeper studies , I don't think that there is a need to preach agaisnt any other .

    Along the lines of your excample Jonny , when I was in highschool , so many years ago ... A group of LDS missionaries asked to show a slide show using the h-school gym . They were givien permision , as long as no religion was brought into it . So they said ok , that they would only show slides of Salt Lake City . Everyone agreed that would be fine . Shortly into the show , there was a picture of the Temple Square . Well that was it . The show was shut down right there . Now , how could one show a slide show of Salt Lake City , and not show the Temple ? Pretty silly if you ask me .

    BTW , I should add that by shutting the show down for such a stupid reason likely did the missionaries more good in the long run . It embarassed anyone there who had the slightless open mind , and open more doors .
     
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  4. ThisShouldMakeSense

    ThisShouldMakeSense Active Member

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    Yes, bit of a tricky one…I don’t agree that a religion should single out another religion in particular and condemn them etc, however, the bible says at Ephesians 4:5 ‘One Lord, one faith, one baptism,’. So from the bible’s point of view there is only one true faith, or religion. This to me says that by default all other religions are false, even those based on the bible as many teach non-biblical teachings.
    However, the trick is finding out if what your religion believes/teaches is the true religion, the one faith, according to the bible. And as far as preaching goes, yes we should. As Christian disciples of Jesus, we are told at Matthew 28:19 ‘Go and make followers of all the nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to do all the things I have told you. And I am with you always, even to the end of the world.’
    That ties in with Matthew 24:14 which tells of this work ‘This good news about the kingdom will be told in all the world. The people in all countries must know about it. And then the end will come.'

    However, those who preach must have this attitude in mind found at Mathew 10:11 ‘And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12As you enter the house, greet it. 13And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.’
     
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  5. Melody

    Melody Well-Known Member

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    In the case of Christianity, how can you possibly spread the good news of Christ if you're bashing other religions? Personally, I've never heard a Christian preacher bashing other religions.



     
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  6. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    I agree completely. Religion is all about Love - to bash other religions would hardly come within the territory of 'Loving thy neighbour':)
     
  7. Engyo

    Engyo Prince of Dorkness!

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    Most Buddhists will acknowledge that Buddhist practice is not the only way to attain enlightenment; it is intended to be the most efficient. Of course, the goals of Buddhism are the same in very broad outline as many other religions, but they differ greatly in detail.

    That said, a Buddhist who claims to have the only, exclusive method for human happiness or salvation doesn't truly understand Buddhist thought or philosophy (granted that I may not completely understand it all either).
     
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  8. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    I would say you can't.
    I concur 100%.

    Sadly, I have heard some 'Christians' bash other denominations for minor differences in beliefs.:( Whether it's female preachers, gay members, or style of music in worship, there are some 'religious' people who put a figurative spotlight on these differences instead of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.
    There's probably some truth to this. I also think some people fear what is different, so instead of finding what they might gain from a new experience, they attack it as being wrong. I'd like to think that deep down, they really believe the message they are delivering is right, but I think they are a bit misguided.
     
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  9. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    Jonny,

    Your " I have always felt that the only reason that there could be to preach against another religion in this manner is because you are afraid of people believing it and leaving your church. " - I personally wouldn't endorse.

    If someone wants to leave the Church and go to another one - why try to stop him? - It's up to him where he goes and in what he believes. I must admit I could never do that.:)
     
  10. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    so what was it that Jesus said would be preached in all the inhabited earth ? as far as i am aware it was the Good news about the( Kingdom ) in other words about rulership by God this is what Jesus wanted his followers to talk about this Kingdom or Goverment by God ,that will bring peace to the whole earth this is what Jesus sent his followers out to talk about

    And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness to all the nations; and then the end will come...matthew 24;14




    (Daniel 2:44) "And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite;





    (Matthew 6:10) Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.​


    (Matthew 10:7) As YOU go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of the heavens has drawn near




    (Isaiah 52:7) How comely upon the mountains are the feet of the one bringing good news, the one publishing peace, the one bringing good news of something better, the one publishing salvation, the one saying to Zion: "Your God has become king!"





    (Matthew 9:35) And Jesus set out on a tour of all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the kingdom and curing every sort of disease and every sort of infirmity.......yes this is what Jesus himself spoke about .this Good news of something better .jesus showed on a small scale then ,what it will be like on earth under Gods goverment no more sickness that is Good news




    (Matthew 28:19) Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit,





    (Mark 13:10) Also, in all the nations the good news has to be preached first.​


    (Romans 10:18) Nevertheless I ask, They did not fail to hear, did they? Why, in fact, "into all the earth their sound went out, and to the extremities of the inhabited earth their utterances."​


    (Revelation 14:6) And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, and he had everlasting good news to declare as glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people.......yes and its still being preached right now before God steps in to the affairs of humans

     
  11. Sabio

    Sabio Active Member

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    I agree that bashing is not right.

    But this is not to say that we should not point out the shortcomings or misbeliefs in an effort to enlighten those that may be astray.

    An example would be when Paul preached to the Greeks in Athens:

    ACTS 17

    16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. 17 Therefore he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and with the Gentile worshipers, and in the marketplace daily with those who happened to be there. 18 Then[b] certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?”
    Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.
    19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new doctrine is of which you speak? 20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears. Therefore we want to know what these things mean.” 21 For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.

    22 Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:

    TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
    Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood[c] every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”
    32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, “We will hear you again on this matter.” 33 So Paul departed from among them. 34 However, some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.


    Sabio
     
  12. ThisShouldMakeSense

    ThisShouldMakeSense Active Member

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    i agree sabio
     
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  13. michel

    michel Administrator Emeritus
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    You guys have a point; if someone came to me for advice, then I would find it perfectly OK to say what I believe, but I would 'respond' to a hint of 'I need help' - I couldn't preach a) because I don't know enough b) I would feel that I am 'selling' my beliefs.


    To me, our religious feelings emanate from a desire to get to know God - and if that takes you to Christianity, then that's fine. If it takes you to Judaism, or Islam, then that is just as fine. I believe we have to find our own way. But that is only my opinion, for what it's worth....:)
     
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  14. CaptainXeroid

    CaptainXeroid Following Christ

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    I keep reading this paragraph, and thought that in addition to Frubals, it needs special emphasis.:clap It is, IMHO, this very sentiment that makes preaching against other religions an unfair and might I say despicable thing to do.
     
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  15. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    I'm just curious about how many of you were shown Godmakers when learning about the LDS church in Sunday School? Lots of my friends in middle school and high school were shown this at their youth groups. Perhaps it was only a trend in the area I grew up (Washington), but I doubt it because many of my LDS friends from other areas of the country (especially Texas) told me that their friends have watched this at church also.

    This video does not accurately portray my church, but it shown anyway to "point out our shortcomings or misbeliefs." The National Conference of Christians and Jews stated, "The film does not - in our opinion - fairly portray the Mormon Church, Mormon history, or Mormon belief. It makes extensive use of 'half-truth', faulty generalizations, erroneous interpretations, and sensationalism. It is not reflective of the genuine spirit of the Mormon faith."

    If you are not accurately portraying the beliefs of a group, it isn't enlightenment or education, it is bashing. Christ would never try to persuade someone to believe in the truth by teaching lies. Half-truths and lies are tools of the devil. I think that some of the churches have a tendancy to spread lies about other religions to promote faith in their own.

    I want to point out that I am coming from an LDS perspective, but I'm sure that there are other faiths that receive the same type of bashings at these churches. I also want to make it clear that I'm not necessarily refering to occasional occurances such behavior (there will always be someone who makes a stupid comment during sunday school :) ), but systematic preaching against other religions.
     
  16. DeepShadow

    DeepShadow White Crow

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    I agree, Jonny, but here's a counterweight: how many times in Sunday School have you heard fellow LDS take to bashing other churches? I find it pretty hypocritical, and I've said so whenever I've had the chance.

    We have our differences, sure, but there's a huge difference between saying, "We don't believe X, and here's why," and saying, "Oh, those stupid (insert denomination here), I'm so glad we don't believe in X!"

    I always try to remember the Apostles during the last supper, when Christ said that he ate with the one that would betray him, nobody said, "I betcha it's old Judas, there, look at him with his shifty eyes, always grasping at that bag of coins!"

    No, they said, "Lord, is it I?"

    Despite all they had to learn at that point, I think they must have learned a lot to be able to do that.
     
  17. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    I have heard some of this on occasion, and it has always made me very uncomfortable. Luckily, it is rare. In my experience, comments like this are very generalized (not directed towards any particular religion or denomonation). I'm glad you speak up about it. I can't ever remember such comments being made by any church leaders.

    On the contrary, I love what President Hinckley said, "We must not only be tolerant, but we must cultivate a spirit of affirmative gratitude for those who do not see things quite as we see them. We do not in any way have to compromise our theology, our convictions, our knowledge of eternal truth as it has been revealed by the God of heaven. We can offer our own witness of the truth, but never in a manner that will give offense to others. . . . We must learn to accord appreciation and respect for others who are as sincere in their beliefs and practices as are we."
     
  18. DreamQuickBook

    DreamQuickBook Active Member

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    Wow. I can think of several.
     
  19. jonny

    jonny Well-Known Member

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    This is kinda off topic, but imagine seeing this on your way to church... It sure makes me want to convert!

    http://www.fairlds.org/apol/antis/200404gc.html
    http://www.fairlds.org/apol/antis/2004mesa.html
    http://www.fairlds.org/apol/antis/streetpreachers.html

    I quit attending our general conference because I was sick of being yelled at on my way to worship. Luckily, I can still watch it on TV. I know that some of those protesters a Christian preachers.
     
  20. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Well, I have heard of people who claim to be Christians bashing other people who claim to be Christians.
     
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