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How Should We View and Respond to People of Different Religions?

First of all, we view them as created in the image of God, valuable, precious in God’s sight, and therefore they should be precious in our sight. We should treat everyone with respect. As a matter of fact, even if we have an enemy and that person was attacking us, Jesus said, “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27). (And I don’t regard people of other faiths as enemies.)

Clearly we should have respect, love, kindness, mercy, grace, all of those things, toward others. There are very honest differences between people of different belief systems. So it doesn’t mean we are going to agree on everything. Clearly we are not going to agree on everything! But I think we need to disagree with grace and respect. Just because we don’t believe the same thing doesn’t mean we should have an antagonistic attitude toward other people.

However, as Christians, to be understanding and tolerant of other people also coincides with our need to be faithful to what we believe is true. So I can believe that somebody without Jesus Christ is actually going to Hell for eternity (Matthew 25:46), but still love that person and respectfully disagree with their belief system. I also need to be willing to protect them from harm, die for them, speak the gospel truth in love, and do all that I can to show them the love of Jesus. All of that fits together.

Randy Alcorn

Randy Alcorn is the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries and a New York Times best-selling author of over fifty books, including Heaven (over one million sold), The Treasure Principle (over two million sold), If God Is Good, Happiness, and the award-winning novel Safely Home. His books sold exceed ten million copies and have been translated into over seventy languages. Alcorn resides in Gresham, Oregon with his wife, Nanci. They have two married daughters and five grandsons.

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