• Back to Practical Evangelism

    Are Christians called to be tolerant of other religions?

    By Call of Love Ministries On March 27, 2023 Category Practical Evangelism
    Blog title image

    In recent decades, there has been a growing movement in the world, led by the western media, to coexist and tolerate everything and everyone. The coexist sign we see as a bumper sticker on cars looks innocent and good from the outside, but it has grown to become a tool to silence Christians in the western world. Nowadays, we are being led to believe that sharing the Good News with our friends might be offensive, and professing that Jesus is the only way to salvation is inconsiderate to those who claim other “truths.”

    What is tolerance?

    The original simple definition of “tolerance” is the belief that people have the right to express their opinions without being condemned. It used to mean accepting other people though they may differ from us in their beliefs, opinions, and how they do life. Today, this is not the case.

    Sadly, tolerance has been twisted to mean something wildly different. This new era of tolerance is trying to shut down the presence of truth, and is postmodern and based on relativism– everyone’s reality is right because it is subjective to them. This new version of tolerance means that we are not supposed to say that someone else is wrong and we should not profess our own beliefs if they offend someone else. Anyone who does this is considered prejudiced and intolerant.

    A real life example of this modern-day tolerance comes from the United Arab Emirates, where they recently built the Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi. This building includes a synagogue, a church, and a mosque, each representing part of what is called the “Abrahamic faiths,”  a claim that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam descend from Abraham therefore they are all equal and valid.  This is an example of interfaith tolerance. (Source)

    As the new definition of tolerance continues to spread, it is easy for Christians to feel afraid to speak up or share the truth. We do not want to push someone farther from knowing Jesus by “offending” them, so we tend to keep quiet.

    Are Muslims tolerant?

    One thing to do if you are worried about offending your Muslim friend is to ask yourself, “Does Islam teach tolerance of other religions?” The answer: no! Muslims are taught to convert people to Allah by whatever means necessary, even force, and that it is okay to take advantage of those who are not Muslims. Muslims in western countries might not act on these ideas as often as those in eastern or middle eastern countries, but for more devout Muslims the mindset remains the same. We will examine this topic further in a future blog post!

    Was Jesus an example of tolerance?
    Jesus loved people, but he did not tolerate sin. In the story of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus shows His love and compassion for people while also calling out sinfulness. In summary, the Pharisees bring a woman who was caught in the act of adultery before Jesus to trap Him into saying she should be stoned. Instead, Jesus writes something on the ground and says, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Imagine the relief the woman felt as she watched people walk away from them, one by one. Jesus had every right under the Law to say that they should stone her, but He instead had mercy on her, unlike the Pharisees who were determined to expose and humiliate her.

    However, Jesus’ love also includes speaking the truth. He tells the woman, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” Loving the woman meant He could not allow her to continue to live in sin. Jesus spoke the truth about her actions while also giving her grace and love. The most unloving thing Jesus could have done was to leave her to a life of sin that would ultimately lead to eternal separation from Himself and God the Father.

    (Read the full story in John 8:1-11)

    How should Christians respond to this “tolerance culture”?

    There are certain things that Christians should be intolerant of, like sin, the perversion of truth, and anything that comes from the enemy. Jesus did not tolerate these things, and neither should we!

    However, we should be accepting of everyone, loving and gracious. Jesus was the perfect example of this. He accepted them as they were, but loved them enough to make sure they didn’t stay living in sin by speaking truth.

    John 8:11

    How do I do this with my Muslim friend?

    If the fear of offending your Muslim friend or of coming off as intolerant is holding you back from sharing Christ with your Muslim friend, here is what you need to remember:

    Cultural values and trends change, but Jesus has always been the answer to what people are searching for! Whether we are in a culture of Gospel revival or persecution and relativism, our mission from Jesus stays the same. We are called to go and share the Good News with everyone! This means that we have a duty to speak the Gospel, as well as live it. 

    If your Muslim friend pushes back on your attempts to share the Gospel with them, do not force it. You can tell them plainly, “I want you to experience God’s love like I have, but I will not force this on you. Please know that I am always here praying for you, and I am always willing to answer any questions.” A response like this does not give in to the idea that “everyone is right,” but is also respectful of their desires. And remember, their heart may not be open to hear the Gospel now, but that doesn’t mean that they will always be closed off! Your part is to plant the seed and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

    Pray and ask the Lord to give you the courage to share the Gospel with your Muslim friend even when you might be scared to do so! Remember that you are fulfilling the Great Commission, this commandment that Jesus left for us. We have the greatest news in the world so be excited and ready to witness!   

    “... Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to follow all that I commanded you…’” Matthew 28:19-20 NASB


    Dear Lord, thank you for sending your Son, Jesus. I know that He is the only way to a relationship with You, the Father. Please give me courage to be a bright light for the truth in my city and community, in your ways and timing. Amen.

    what is religious tolerance should Christians be tolerant should Christians be tolerant of other religions religious tolerance Christian tolerance what does the Bible say about tolerance should religions coexist

    Want more educational content?

    Subscribe to receive 1-2 emails a week with our newest blogs!