Home > Brian's Blogs > Would You Work Side-by-Side with Other Faiths?

Would You Work Side-by-Side with Other Faiths?

Christianity Today has published an interview with Rick Warren.  In this interview Warren talks about working side-by-side with other faiths, including Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims.  I’ve heard a lot of Christians say they would never work with other faiths like this.  What would you do?

Just for reference, here are the pertinent parts of the interview with Rick Warren:

Will Saddleback’s HIV initiative be willing to work with a leader who puts greater emphasis on condoms and not fidelity and abstinence?

We’ll work [with] anybody on areas we have to find agreement with. This is a thing that everybody has to learn. For instance, there are people who don’t want to work with Catholics because they don’t believe in any birth control. Well fine. I actually admire them for their conviction. It’s not my conviction. There are 600,000 Buddhists, 800,000 Hindus, and a billion Muslims, and over 2 billion Christians. If you say that people of faith cannot do humanitarian care because of their beliefs, you just ruled out most of the world. The actual number of atheists is quite small outside of Europe and Manhattan.

That’s why I can work with gays, who I don’t happen to agree with, for instance, on what they view should be defined as marriage. In fact, when we began to develop our ministry with AIDS, we were far more willing to work with other people than people were willing to work with evangelical Christians. It was reverse discrimination.

But as long as you’re working with groups of other faiths, where do you draw the line?

You never compromise your convictions. I’m not a champion of interfaith dialogue. I think most interfaith dialogue is a waste of time, because you just sit in a room and talk. You’re probably not going to convince a Muslim to change his views, and he’s probably not going to convince you to change your views about Christ. I am interested in interfaith projects. Can we work together on issues that apply to humanity like caring for the sick, assisting the poor, educating the next generation, ending corruption, and promoting reconciliation? I don’t have to agree with you and you don’t have to agree with me on everything, but I’m not insisting that you compromise your beliefs.

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  1. Jonathan Lowe
    April 16, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    This is a sticky subject, but one that I believe should be broached. It may not always be a simple yes or no because each situation may bring with it different stipulations, but in general, yes, I would work alongside of people from other faiths and have in the past…I would agree with what Rick said about not compromising your convictions or scripture. We are to be Holy (set apart) from non-believers, but that doesn’t mean that we just stay inside our house or church and never have contact with anyone. Also, I would say that whenever we work alongside anyone other than a Christian, we are working along side someone of another faith..even Atheists have faith in something…I would go so far as to say that an Atheist is religious, but that’s another topic.

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