NEW HARVEST’S POSITION ON OTHER RELIGIONS
South Africa is a secular state with a constitution which protects the religious freedom of all its citizens. Christianity no longer has pre-eminence, and we will increasingly find ourselves interacting with folk of other religions.
This factor, coupled with the growing philosophy of relativism, can cause the definitives of Christianity to become blurred so that it appears no longer to matter what one believes about God as long as one believes in God. The choice of path to God becomes insignificant in the light of the greater need to understand and co-operate with those of all religions who are seeking Him.
For this reason New Harvest sees it as being important to say the following about our approach to other religions:
- We take seriously Jesus’ statement in John 14:6 “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We truly believe that there are not many routes to God, but that it is only by becoming a Christ-follower that one can find entry into His presence. Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ alone.
- From this logically follows a commitment to evangelism, a desire to spread the good news in Jesus and to persuade others to find salvation in Him. Our goal is to see all of humanity turn to Christ as Saviour and Lord.
- We believe that this can only be accomplished through proclamation and demonstration. The message of God’s love in Christ must be backed up by the love expressed by Christ-followers. The way we behave must bear testimony to what we preach.
Therefore our approach to other religions is as follows:
- We will gladly co-operate with other religions in humanitarian projects and work related tasks.
- We will seek to understand their approach to faith by listening to them, learning from them and treating their perspective with respect.
- We will strive to be rooted and grounded in our own faith so that we will be clear in our own minds about what we believe as opposed to other faiths.
- We will strive to demonstrate in our lives, and especially in the way we treat folk of other faiths, the distinctive of a Christ-follower as being rooted in the fruits of the Spirit.
- By our words and deeds we will attempt to influence their perspective of Christianity, and by all means possible to make them yearn to be part of the Christian family too.