Thursday, January 3, 2008

Advice for Inter-Faith Discussions

Krister Stendahl - Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Stockholm and Dean of Divinity Emeritus, Harvard University gave the following advice for inter-faith discussions:

"1. If you're going to ask the question, "What do others believe?" in their various faiths. Ask them... Not their critics, not their enemies.

Because what one religious tradition says about another is usually a breech against the commandment, "thou shalt not bear false wittiness."

2. If you're going to compare... don't compare your "bests" with their "worsts" - But compare "best" with "best."

Most people think of their own tradition as it is, "at it's best" and use caricatures of the others.

3. Leave room for "Holy Envy."

Let me give you an example of my "holy envy" for the Latter-Day-Saints: We Lutherans, when we lose our loved ones, we have funerals, we have cemeteries... but that ends our concern with those who have gone before. But the Latter-Day-Saints care about their for-bearers that they want to bring the blessings of Christ's Atonement to them so they build Temples.... and according to Paul's instruction in 1 Corinthians they perform baptisms for the dead. I have "holy envy" for that.

In a world where we finally have learned what I call "the holy envy" - it's a beautiful thing! - I could think of myself as taking part in such an act [baptisms for the dead]: Extending the blessings that have come to me in and through Jesus Christ. That's Generous, that's beautiful and should not be ridiculed or spoken badly of."

- (from the DVD, Between Heaven and Earth) - to obtain your own copy of this DVD for $4.50 no shipping and handling click on this really, really long link :)'between%20heaven%20earth'%20Search&


Jamie McKeon said...

I apologize... but are you Lutheran or a memeber of the Church of LDS?

Alicia said...

Hi Jamie,
No reason to apologize.... I am a Christian. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.