Be Strong in Christ and Love Neighbors of other Faiths
Based on the biblical call for unity and peace, we engage in relationships with people of other denominations. We enter into these relationships firmly grounded in our own faith identity. This gives us the necessary strength and confidence to be open-minded, curious and filled with good will towards the other. After all, this is not about conversion, but about making peace and building community! We start our conversations with what we have in common. This starting point usually brings to light that we have much more in common than we thought! We build on what we have in common, and work together in those areas in which cooperation will lead to better results for the common good. But we also learn to live with the differences and contradictions in our theologies and cultures without fear or judgment. In principle, the same guidelines apply to building relationships with people and organizations of different or no faith. We live in a pluralistic world, and the call to love our neighbors becomes, maybe more challenging, but definitely more urgent in this setting. Loving your neighbor is the foundation for a united and peaceful world. Our country is one of the most diverse places on earth! If we want this country to thrive and prosper, to be united in its diversity, we will need to build peaceful relationships across differences. Our choice is really quite simple: Build relationships and live in a world of co-operation, peace, and prosperity; or: Avoid and destroy relationships and live in a world of conflict, war, and poverty. Deeply rooted in our faith in Christ, we are called to build bridges and to be peacemakers in our world.
Rev. Kristin Luana Baumann, sermon, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Port Angeles WA.
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