by Joe McGinnis
This discussion of “other religions” is one that is bound to enter your home at some point of time during your child’s early adolescent years. These discussions occur as a result of discussions at school, with a neighbor, a friend who is not of a like faith, or at least a television program that is promoting “all faiths are equal”. As parents, how are we to handle times like this? Here are 3 steps that you may find helpful:
1. Be informed
It’s important that you have a basic awareness of other religious beliefs such as, “What’s the difference between Islam and Buddhism?” If your child is older have them look up books or resources on these religions in the library. Then (and most importantly) SIT DOWN WITH YOUR CHILD and learn more about their beliefs together. Talk about how this religion differs from Christianity and what the Bible says about such faiths.
2. Be discerning
It’s important to understand that your child is probably genuinely seeking answers, so please don’t just blow it off. This is an opportunity for the two of you to seek out answers. Know this: all religions are not equal. In John 14:6 Jesus says that HE is the Way the Truth and the Life and that NO ONE can see God except through HIM.
3. Be gracious
This is also the opportune time to show your child how to be gracious towards people of other faiths. You can disagree on faith (even your eternal destiny) and still express unconditional love for people who are far from God. What a great opportunity this is to explore the heartbeat of missions. Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”