There were a couple of stories in The Age this week about the involvement of Access Ministries in schools. Other than the qualifications of volunteer teachers working through Access Ministries, especially in the CRE program, the chief concern was proselytizing. I guess the idea that proselytizing is unacceptable is based on the idea that everyone’s religion is right to him or her and one has no right to try to convince the other to switch his religious affinity.
I think therein lies the danger of downplaying the emphasis on truth. One should not poke fun at the importance of right and wrong, of truth and falsehood. Too many contemporary Christian teachers want so much to be ecumenical or perhaps more accurately, to accept religious plurality. It has become unfashionable to say “what you are saying is wrong”. I understand the need to be accepting and to bridge any gaps between groups to overcome differences and achieve a harmonious society but that must be done by accepting differences, not glossing over them or refusing to analyse the truth or veracity of an idea, a proposition or a teaching.
When the focus on accepting each other becomes more important than an examination of whether something is true or false or whether it is right or wrong, then I think that form of acceptance is not one which builds up. Acceptance can become a problem for true construction of a body, instead of a solution. If numbers in church and vibrancy in services are more important elements than people being taught the right stuff, then I also think we have a problem. It is not about how many are responding to church services, it is also about what they are responding to and what church goers are vibrant and excited about. Truth should never be sacrificed or compromised for the sake of being fashionable.
- Biblical monotheism and religious pluralism (vmohanty.com)
- Archbishop Chaput: Charity Isn’t Proselytizing, It’s Professing (onecatholicnews.wordpress.com)
- Contemporary Christian Music and Worship: A Variety of Composition From Christianity Today (heidelberg26.wordpress.com)
- We are not converting kids: Bishop (theage.com.au)
- Chaplain joins school religion row (theage.com.au)
- Access Ministries: Bishop Hale and Relative Truthiness (greylining.wordpress.com)
- We are not out to convert children in schools: bishop (theage.com.au)
- Christian group cleared of urging students to convert (theage.com.au)
- Push to expand religious teaching (theage.com.au)