After the publication of the article How does God want Christians to treat the Jews? (meditations after the anti-Semitic act that took place in Chisinau) I was asked this question:
But how shall we treat the Islamists? Shall we beat them? Shall we stab them? What shall we do to other religions? What to do if their religions draw us? If they attract those close to us in their trap? Do they deserve to ne swept away by tsunami waves? What about tsunami from 2005 were they sent by God as punishment for those who did not believe in Him?
Here’s how the Gospel teaches us to treat people of other religions…
To be at peace with all men
If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. (Romans 12:18)(NASB)
To be living epistles for all people
When he wrote the Christians from the city of Corinth, the Apostle Paul said:
You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men. (2 Corinthians 3:2)(NASB)
Our behavior, as Christians, must be such as to send the message of love of God’s truth.
To pray for the salvation of all men
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)(NASB)
To be full of gentleness to all people
When he was teaching Titus how to advise Christians on the island of Crete, the Apostle Paul wrote:
Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. (Titus 3:1-3)(NASB)
To honor all people
Regardless of the religion of those who are around us, God tells us:
Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. (1 Peter 2:17)(NASB)
Were those from Sumatra the most sinful?
It is known that many Europeans and tourists from around the world went to Sumatra just for sex tourism that was flourishing there. Then, Christians were persecuted beyond limit there and even then, before that Christmas evening when tragedy would have happened, many Christians were forced to leave the town and go to the mountains because they were not tolerated by the representatives of the majority religion and were forbidden to celebrate Christmas in the city. Yes, it is true that tsunami waves were a punishment for the sins of those who were on the island of Sumatra. But, I want to make reference to this case from the Gospel:
Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. And Jesus said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were greater sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered this fate? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or do you suppose that those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them were worse culprits than all the men who live in Jerusalem? I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:1-5)(NASB)
God give repentance to all people of all nations and all religions.
Translated by Felicia Rotaru