Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Paganism and Ecumenicalism

Seraphina and I were talking the other day about the Church's stance on other religions (non-Christian, Muslim, or Jewish), and how it synchs with Sacred Scripture. It seems as though God condemns paganism and idolatry over and over in the Bible. How then, could we say that something good comes out of these religions, especially since they do not know God? How is there a possibility (and how slight would it be?) that some in those religions might be saved.

Well, looking at the Scriptures, we noticed that many times God isn't condemning the fact that they don't know him as much as he is the fruits of that religion. In other words, what was so wrong with Paganism? As Romans 1 describes, it led to rampant immorality, something that God really hated.

Looking at other religions around the world, we can see that some (take Buddhism for instance) will have many elements that actually push people to do good and show love to their fellow man. These are the elements of religion that come from God. He does not condemn them for their good works. Ignorance in and of itself may not be the fault of the individual either. God's grace may be able to reach these individuals because they find God through Creation and see the inherent wrongness of immorality. Will they come into fullness with Christ? We can pray, but leave the judgment up to God himself. The wickedness of false religion comes in the downfall of morals that can so easily happen with it, but we shouldn't overlook the positives of other religions as well...

3 comments:

mattwatson said...

That is so true. I think we look at the world too narrowly sometimes and forget that God created the Muslims too. And everything that is good about other people (and ourselves) has to have come from the Light of the World at some point along the way.

~Joseph the Worker said...

Interestingly, the Early Church Fathers spent a lot of time talking about Philosophers like Socrates and how they discussed the "Word" to find morality. I have not delved too deeply into these writings, but they are interesting to say the least.

mel said...

Good thoughts. Remember that no one comes to the Father except through the Son.