A very common bumper sticker is making the rounds these days. This bumper sticker contains one word – COEXIST. Each letter of the word coexist utilizes a different religious symbol to spell out the word. For example in some renditions the C is a crescent moon representing Islam and the T is a cross that represents Christianity. Other religions such as Hinduism, Judaism, and Taoism are also represented. The meaning is clear – all religions must coexist if there is to be world peace.
This idea is not new. There has been an ongoing effort for decades to find common ground among the world’s largest religious groups. What is new however is that the effort is now being publically advocated by the United Nations as well as several so-called “World Congresses” that meet yearly or bi-annually to discuss strategies to unite the religions of the world into one homogenous whole.
The first issue that I have with this thinking is that it is illogical and demonstrably false. The idea that all religious people must learn to coexist for peace to occur assumes that religious people are responsible for conditions other than peace. While it is a common refrain of the easily duped, the idea that religion has caused the most death and war is easily refuted.
Joseph Stalin of Russia and Mao se-Tung of China are responsible for nearly 50 million deaths of their own citizens. We don’t even need to take into consideration other despots, tyrants, and dictators throughout history that easily dwarf any deaths caused by religious fanatics.
A second issue that the COEXIST mentality overlooks is this - How do you convince people who believe in diametrically opposite religious principles to forsake those? The clear answer is by coercion. That means that if the current trend of COEXIST manipulation continues you can expect to see various attempts to pass laws that drastically curtail religious expression. We are seeing this strategy being employed today in America, aimed specifically at Christianity.
A third issue with the misguided COEXIST philosophy is that advocates believe that the creation of a religious utopia will result in a global political utopia. Again, the primary cause of wars, crime, and evil generally speaking is not religion. It is the unregenerate heart of sinful man that refuses to acknowledge the Creator.
Finally, the thinking that supports a COEXIST theology ignores the impossibility of the task. In order for all religions to coexist peacefully, the primary points of difference will need to be removed completely. No other religious system teaches a personal God who came to earth and died for the sins of mankind. For Christians this means that the teaching that there is salvation in no other name but Jesus Christ will need to be denied. That is the definition of apostasy and will never happen for true believers.
Friends, do not buy into the dream of the religious utopians. That path leads to death. Stand firm in the Lord Jesus Christ and continue to proclaim the good news of salvation in Him alone. That is a transforming truth.
You may contact Pastor Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit www.drmikespaulding.com for more encouraging and edifying articles.
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