On Other People's Beliefs - What Do We Teach Our Children? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 01-02-2002, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Other people's beliefs -- what do we teach our children?

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Author Topic: Other people's beliefs -- what do we teach our children?
Member posted 05-13-2001 06:55 PM
[Please note: I am trying to get the subject of this thread changed to "Other people's beliefs -- what do we teach our kids?". Sorry about the misleading subject. This is addressed to everybody, not just Christians.]
Do you think your religion is the only "true" religion, that your prophet or religious leader was the only true messenger of God and your religious text / scripture is the word of God and the only true religious text? If so, how do you prove this? (See http://www.religioustolerance.org/inerrant.htm for an interesting discussion of this) And what do you teach your children to believe about other people's religions?

Or do you think that all religions are expressions of humankind's yearning towards the mysteries of life, with none of them being the one and only right way. That Jesus (or any other spiritual leader you follow) was one of many enlightened spiritual leaders that have blessed the world with their presence through the ages. That the Bible (or any other scripture) is a book put together by many people over a long period of time, reflecting cultural values of the time and that it is only one of many religious texts of the world, none of which are the one true text but all of which have something of value. If so, how do you reconcile your beliefs with those of your faith who believe the former? Does it get in the way of connecting with each other? And how do you explain the differences to your children?

The main thrust of my question is what do we teach our children about other people's belief systems? That they are simply delusions -- just plain mistakes? Or half truths, whereas ours is the whole truth? Or also valid, even though different than our own? Because the concept of the relativity and multiplicity of truth is a very complex one that even many adults cannot grasp -- how does one explain it to a kid?

[This message has been edited by summermom (edited 05-14-2001).]

Member posted 05-13-2001 07:41 PM
I believe that Heavenly Father gives all people truth, not only those who practice a certain religion or a religion at all. He loves us all the same and wants us to accept what ever amount of the truth we are willing at the time it is given. We teach our children to love all people and respect their beliefs. We try to share our knowledge of the truth with others, as a gift. I know that Jesus is the son of the living God, but also know and accept spiritual truths from many other sorces, such as Confucius, the Buddah, Plato, etc.....there are so many people who have truth to offer. They can have truth, but I know that Jesus had the whole truth. Along those same lines, I beleive that there are many texts that hold truth.

Moderator posted 05-13-2001 09:50 PM
No, I do not think that Christianity is the only true religion. I'm a Christian and I strongly believe that the universal divine spirit manifests in many ways - Christ is one strong and visible manifestations of God's divine love, but not the only one.
I actually struggle with my Christian faith because of this issue. I know so many Christians who are closed to other ways of knowing God and it makes me sad. I can't imagine a God who would not show him/herself to all persons open to the spirit of love.

I'm interested to hear what other people have to say...

Member posted 05-14-2001 03:57 AM
I echo what youngnhappymamma said. She summed up my beliefs very precisely, and much more eloquently than I could.

Member posted 05-14-2001 05:39 AM
Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to true salvation. I believe the Bible is the word of God and only true religious text. I believe by faith and faith alone. I have no personal need to defend any of my religion. It is my PERSONAL faith and relationship with the Lord. I teach my children the Bible. I teach them that a relationship to the Lord through Christ is the only way to have salvation.
If so many on this board believe that "all religions are expressions of humankind's yearnings toward the mysteries of life, with none of them being the right way," then why the constant attacks on Christian beliefs??

This is the second day in a row I have come to this board to only find posts that question and ridicule the Christian faith. If you all truly believe that we all have a RIGHT to choose our own faiths--then why don't you get off the Christians for a while??? Let's delve into the "whys" of Buddism, Muslim, Jews, Athiests, Wiccans....... Let's stop the constant barrage on Christians!!!!!

Member posted 05-14-2001 06:32 AM
macsmom,I totally agree with you that we should delve into the whys of all religions because in every religious group there are people who believe that theirs in the only right way. This is definitely not something that is limited to Christianity. That is why I had originally addressed my post to believers in general (as opposed to atheists), not just Christians.
Then I thought well, Christians are such a large majority in the US (88% I believe) and the other religions are such tiny minorities (I don't know the stats but probably not more than 2 or 3% combined) that I may as well address it to Christians because what are the odds that anyone else is even out there at least on these boards. I mean, I have never seen a single post from fundamentalist Islamic or Hindu or Buddhist AP parents on these boards -- have you?

If I were in India, I would have addressed it to Hindus, and if I were in an Islamic majority country I would be asking the same question of Muslims. But most of the readers of this board seem to either be North American or live in North America, so I changed the subject of the post and addressed it to Christians. Now I wish I could change it back, but I can't figure out how to. I can only seem to edit the content of the message, but not the title.

And while I think it's valuable to question ALL faiths, I don't think it's okay to ridicule any of them. I'm sorry if you felt ridiculed -- I really didn't mean to. I'm not into bashing ANY religion at all.

Member posted 05-14-2001 09:25 AM
To be honest, I'm still working on that one. Is that an answer?

nursing mother
Member posted 05-14-2001 07:37 PM
Hi Summermom, well since you asked. Yes I believe in the inerrancy of the scriptures and I teach my children that. I looked on the website given and was not to impressed. At least they were fair and mentioned some books on both sides of the coin. In John 14:6 Jesus says "I am the Way the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through me. My eternal hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ. All other religions that do not point to Jesus Christ as their only hope of salvation in my opinion are wrong, but that doesn't mean that I hate others, or think of them as less than me, I believe that we must be tolerant of others and love one another even if our belief's are different.
Summermom, what I tell my 5 children is that the Bible is the Word of God. Salvation comes through Jesus alone and yes all other religions and belief systems are wrong, but they must search their own heart and let God speak to them in a personal way. My 16 year old is questioning things now, and I encourage that, because I know his heart is right and the Bible says "He who seeks for the truth will find it through Jesus Christ"

I expect to be called closed-minded because I have been called that before and it doesn't bother me. I love reading about Becca's pagansim, Yammer's secular humanism, and the others who post, I have a very inquiring mind. Yet nothing has made me question my faith at all. I've lived it to long and have felt so in touch with God through the trials and tribulations that the peace and comfort I've received cannot be matched. His Holy Spirit indwells, what more could I want.

By the way I am not one to push my faith on other, but since Summermom asked, well....

Member posted 05-14-2001 09:42 PM
I believe that God sends many messengers but he only sent ONE SON.
After delving into other faiths I am sure without a doubt, no tiny waiver in my faith that Jesus is the only way for my soul to spend eternity with my Creator. Many other faiths have wonderful doctrines of love and peace and simple living etc, but Jesus is the only one who defeated death in human form. He rocked the world and it hasn't been the same since. His radical Truth is threatening therefore his followers are often harrassed.

I enjoy learning about others' faith and where they are coming from. It helps me alot to understand differences to hear about them, but it doesn't sway me off my faith.

Member posted 05-15-2001 12:05 AM
I believe that I am saved through Yeshua, but that He can choose to save anyone He wants & *I'm* not gonna argue if he has a different plan for saving Buddhists, Muslims, or Little Green Men (of course, as CS Lewis pointed out, who's to say that the Little Green Men would've come from a sinning race and needed saving?)
I am only aware of His plan for me; He hasn't needed my input as to His plans for the other folks, so I'm leaving that to Him.

(That doesn't mean that I avoid The Great Commission; I am merely cautious not to drive people away from the Gospel with the zeal to
spread it. There is a spiritual gift, discernment; which I find much more valuable than say, tongues.)

In the meantime, I try to act in faith and meanwhile be as unhorrible of a human as possible (with God's help).

Good topic!


PS YoungnHappyMama, Plato was a misogynist fascist! I can find some quotes from Confucius that make me depressed to be a woman, too! Let's not give all the patriarchal BS credit to The Big Three Western religions! We sometimes have a tendency to lay into Paul, but if anyone has an equal to the 'the greatest of these, yadda yadda'(ok, my scriptural memorization needs work, plus newborn mama no-sleep brain)speech I've yet to hear it.

[This message has been edited by suseyblue (edited 05-15-2001).]

Member posted 05-15-2001 04:03 AM
I believe that God speaks to us in different ways. I think He has given us the gift of many different religions in order to accomodate the many different cultures and people living on this earth. I teach my children that I, as a Catholic, have certain beliefs that are different from other people of other religions - heck, I have beliefs that are different from other Catholics!!! I tell them that that is OK. We all have to look deep into our hearts when looking at our faith...God will tell us how to praise HIM.

Member posted 05-17-2001 09:01 AM
Great points, Suse . Ann, too. Within my own denomination (ELCA) there are so many viewpoints on some topics, like abortion, gay marriage , or evolution, it's impossible to say there's a "Christian" viewpoint on any of these..ok I got a little OT, but I guess my point is....well, Suse, I think you said it.

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