How can we build positive dialogue between different faith groups?
How can those of us outside organized religion help build healthy dialogue between the different groups? I would like to think that God as we understand him or her would like his or her children to play nicely together rather than fighting all the time about who is right.
Let's face it. All of the religions of the world have different beliefs. Some of them can be reconciled, some cannot. For instance, all of the world's religions, except Christianity, are man having to do something to get to their god. Christianity says that God reached out to man and salvation comes by grace through faith. The main issue is that Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, but by me." That statement alone will never allow Christianity to agree with the other religions. All of the world religions cannot be true.
There currently are many Interfaith discussion groups in most major cities. By supporting these groups, their meeting places, and being polite and listening, you can help people from various belief systems feel more comfortable and respectful of others religions.
There is an interfaith group where I live - I will make a visit. Good suggestion
Interfaith group, never heard of that, so intrigued, I love to learn, let me know if you ever write a hub...
What I've learned is that to say that your religion is right is not bigoted fundamentalism as many groups would like to label ardent followers. It only demonstrates one's acceptance of revelation, and many faiths are grounded in revelation. We're supposed to believe "hard," or fervently. But when it comes to coexisting and plainly having to do with one another, we must all be willing to meet at the round table to talk and share and agree to let our bibles and holy texts speak for themselves. I say this as a devout Christian.
Thanks. The problem is that some of the texts you refer to have been written oftentimes with a historically political agenda in mind.
"Speak for themselves" as in the fact that religions may never agree with one another but we adherents can be agreeable. We can agree to disagree, so done without hostility. We would have to put our texts aside to accomplish this.
I have noticed in the past years that people of different faiths get along well and in discussing many topics of interest in an informal environment, however, the moment they are put on the spot of formality, their demeanor changes remarkably, and there is more stiffness and less communication of human feelings shared. Groups such as the one mentioned in the inner cities are wonderful and are a great way to share religious beliefs and I have found just by talking informally, that there are many very interesting precepts in many, and some that were totally misunderstood, previously by myself.
Respect. Listening to what others say. Yeah, you might not agree, but that does not mean that you should make fun of what they believe. I believe in something that I cannot see. I feel Him and for me I know He is real. To laugh at me is like laughing at a blind person for believing that the person they are talking to might not be their intended speaker. I treat others like I wanted to be treated. So if you disrespect me, i will respect you. I will listen to you and create discussion. I will challenge you, but if you step over that line, I will walk away from the situation because then you are jusst insulting me.
It can be establish through eternal love and not by any clash. Peace and love are the only way to maintain a good atmosphere between different groups.
1. Remind that these discussions are not a contest of who is right or wrong.
2. Ask for people to keep in mind that this is about trying to learn about the differences in the religions not necessarily understanding the differences.
3. Advice people to be open to listening to the differences and they must resist the urge to jump in and state why they think the theories are right and wrong at the moment of listening to differences.
4. If possible try to divide the discussions into varies topics which are preset to allow for preparation and to help keep defenses down. When people feel prepared their is a chance of feeling more comfortable and not feeling that their religion is under attack. It is about listening, learning, and discovering different religions.
5. Make it clear these discussions are not about changing someone's religion and are not about constantly trying to persuade to change. It is about learning the theories, history, practices and about different religious cultures as a whole.
6. Advice and have people understand that when others ask questions it is not about attacking them and/or their religion it is about research.
7. If at any time anyone in the group does get verbally aggressive and starts to rebut or starts personal attacks or comments make it clear they will be banned from the discussion. For example, Blue says Blue walks always on the right lane. Red says Red walks always on the left lane. Yellow states "you are all stupid, everyone knows the right way is to always walk in the middle." This particular Yellow is should not be in the discussion, find another Yellow who is more mature and understands the purpose of the discussions. Blue and Red are stating how they practice their religion and so they each can learn. Yellow is also stating how they practice their religion but is confrontational and will delay the research and learning process for all and is instigating arguments.
8. I would also recommend to advice all that these discussions are also based on a small group's opinions, interpretations, observations, and does not mean that everyone in the same religion sees it exactly the same way. In another words just because on Yellow is being immature not all Yellow's are immature.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you would want more tips. I don't know if this is just a theoretical question or something in which you are really going to partake. But some of my best memories have been great discussions and learning about different religions. Good luck!
Nice Question... I am a Muslim and Islam tell us that... Come to common terms which are same between you and us. Don’t fight each other and just look that which thing is common between you and us.
I'm not sure I see the problem with interfaith dialogue. Religious extremists can't seem to have meaningful dialogue with ANYONE, including people who are supposedly of the same faith. Extremist Muslims are blowing up other Muslims. Extremist Christians spew hateful things about other Christians on a daily basis.
I tend to be strongly opposed to organized religion. Yet I've had a Muslim friend who is one of the nicest people I've ever known. I had a Jewish teacher once who was the most generous person I've ever known, and have been friends with people from all over the world. Reasonable religious people don't seem to have any problem at all having positive dialog.
And while dialogue can be more or less constructive, I think it is always positive. The only problem, then, are extremists who believe that violence and hatred are acceptable ways to prevent dialog. Personally I think, and wish, that religious leaders would do more in this regard. Too often, in America anyway, spiritual guidance comes from entertainers: politicians like Peter King and Michelle Bachmann, pundits like Pam Geller and Rush Limbaugh, and alleged pastors such as Fred Phelps and Terry Jones. Maybe they should make the Nuns on the Bus a permanent gig, and send them around the country smacking these wayward children on the wrist with rulers.
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