Published on March 31st, 2009
A group of Christians and Hindus in the Indian state of Orissa were talking together about their beliefs. Some of the Hindus became angry and set fire to a Christian’s home. The fire spread, and 31 homes were destroyed.
“Tolerance” is showing kindness and respect to someone who has different customs or beliefs. But today many people believe that tolerance means agreeing that other beliefs are just as true as your own beliefs.
Hindus say they are tolerant because they say they believe that others’ religions are just as valid as Hinduism. In reality, many Hindus seem tolerant of others’ beliefs as long as the beliefs do not say that Hinduism is false.
- Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
- “There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12, NIV).
- A Christian should always be prepared “to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15, NIV).
Read each pair of statements below. Which statement in each pair best shows true Christian tolerance?
a. We should believe that all religions teach the truth.
b. Christian tolerance means understanding that God wants us to share the gospel with all types of people.
a. It is fine to get angry with people because they have different beliefs.
b. It is right to treat those who believe differently with kindness and respect.
a. Keep the truth to yourself so others won’t be offended.
b. Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.
a. Agree with others who have different beliefs to make friends with them.
b. Love others with different beliefs enough to share the truth about Jesus with them.
In each pair of statements above, “b” best shows true Christian tolerance.