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Christians Have To Face The Equality Of Other Religions

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Posted by John Morgan Powell on April 9, 2001 22:25:38 UTC

I wonder if what happened is that Christianity didn't have to compete with other religions like they have to today. During the Middle Ages they competed with Jews and Moslems, but they might have considered them incomplete or false traditions, inferior brothers to Christianity. They competed fairly easily with more primitive barbarian beliefs (primarily due to superior technology). The distinctly different, and independent religions of India and China probably had little influence on them. Atheism was rarely seen.

Christians developed an unjustified sense of security, that their own beliefs were superior, partly because they thought their military power was superior.

As the world's ability to communicate improved then Christians had to deal more often with these various traditions that were as rich in history as their own. At first they probably degraded them, but as more reasoned thinking set in they had to deal with the real possibility that the Shinto or Buddhist faiths, for example, were good.

Today some Christians have a problem. They don't want to admit they don't have the truth, but they also don't want to be forced to claim they do. Many religions have no problem claiming all non-Christians are deceived.

Mormons have a fairly easy time handling this "We've got the truth" problem. A typical Mormon would say every religion has part of the truth, some more than others, but Mormons have the "Fullness of the Truth". They handle the problems of other good people by expecting to do missionary work in the afterlife. As non Mormons die they are supposed to listen to spiritual Mormon missionaries. Baptisms and marriages for the dead are performed in LDS temples by stand-ins in behalf of these dead people expecting that they will listen or already have listened to and accepted the Mormon theology in the Spirit World. Mormons do geneology work because it's part of their religion.

If I had been in the circular discussion you had I probably would have changed the question to something that might seem more concrete. Perhaps I would ask "Who should decide whether murder, child sacrifice, slavery, rape, incest, adultery, child abuse, or abortion are acceptable behaviors? Should each person or family or community or religion decide what's right for them and the rest of us accept that without argument?" Do you think this would have helped break out of the circularity?

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