Do Unto Others’ Texts And Traditions As You Want Done Unto Yours

Do Unto Others’ Texts And Traditions As You Want Done Unto Yours July 2, 2019

I’ve suggested in the past that the Golden Rule is a good guide to interreligious interaction. Ironically, people who subscribe to it as a core principle in their lives, having been taught it through their religion, sometimes feel that their commitment to that religion means that they should approach the religious ideas of others in a manner radically different from the way they want their own to be treated. I still think that the Golden Rule applies here just as everywhere else. Perhaps it is worth noting that there seems to be a corollary with a willingness of some Christians to love their enemies who are simply hostile people in the workplace, or outsiders to their faith, but not people who are fellow Christians that disagree with them about matters of theology. In both instances, it seems that a set of beliefs has been turned into an idol to such an extent, that defense of it is felt to completely override the core ethical teachings that are, at least in theory, a part of that very set of beliefs.

Of related interest, Randal Rauser wrote the following in a discussion of whether the Qur’an is more violent than the Bible:

The Bible and the Qur’an both have violent passages and the religious communities formed around both texts have justified many acts of violence in the name of those texts.

The three-fold lesson: don’t throw stones in glass houses, deal with the log in your own eye first, and treat others as you’d like to be treated.

Chaplain Mike discussed a recent book that highlights how team allegiance interferes with our thinking.

Hendrickson had a post about how Christians should approach controversial books.

Teaching Outside Your Tradition: Four Suggestions Toward Transformational Pedagogy

Why Do Christians Divide Over Doctrine?

Keith Giles also blogged about what Christians and Muslims share in common.

Finally, Pete Enns shared an infographic that I think deserves to be circulated, about how to communicate with those we disagree with.

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  • Kyllein MacKellerann “

    “Treat others as you want to be treated” is a simple and direct commandment found in virtually all religions. Why is it so hard to bring into practice, outside of the fact that you, as the “treater” cannot be “special”, rather you must be fair, honest, and open – and a lot of people find this too hard to incorporate into their lives.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    The big difference between the Koran and the Bible in terms of violence is that Muslims are told that they should use violence only to defend themselves and their coreligionists, whereas Christians are told never to fight back even in self defense but to turn the other cheek. The vast majority of Christians however prefer explain away Christ’s clearest teachings so that they can act like Muslims do instead, as the Islamic view is much more in line with normal human moral intuitions.

  • John Gills

    Also, be respectfully aware that others may not want to be treated as you yourself would like to be.

  • Joan BlondeAle

    A few liberals will try to do this. Not single conservative ever will.