This is one of several articles (083) (084) (085) (086) in which we have been discussing the possibility of harmony within a community of religious diversity. We have asked if it is possible to have community unity in such a setting. We have given three possible ways for unity to exist in the face of that diversity: 1) If everyone says let's set aside those teachings that divide us and just love one another, harmony can exist; 2) If everyone in the community has a deep sense of personal significance and security so that differing personal opinions do not ruffle feathers harmony can occur; and 3) If those who have no strong convictions are willing to go along with those who do, and if those who do are all of the same group, harmony can exist. We have shown (085) (086) that the first two possibilities won't work in reality.
We want to show why the third one is also unworkable. This is easy, for there are no people alive who have no strong convictions. People who are alive are alive because they have strong beliefs about how to stay alive. The general run of the masses has developed a hit-or-miss method of manipulating things in order to preserve life. But hit-or-miss, or carefully thought through, the fact remains that everyone has something(s) that they will not back up on.
Therefore, religious or not, the members of any given community have some fundamental beliefs about the present and the future, and anyone who contradicts those fundamentals is going to suffer some form of aggression (verbal, physical, legal, emotional, etc.) from those who hold them. Aggression is not the key to community harmony.
Now, do not misunderstand: aggression is not itself a bad thing. The proclamation of the Gospel is a form of aggression: the aggression of love. Jesus said that, since such proclamation was aggressive, the world would be antagonized. Antagonism is not the basis for community harmony.
So, there is no valid basis for harmony within a community of religious diversity. Conflict is inevitable when there are people who believe the truth and others who do not. We should not be alarmed by that. But, we should be willing to make sure that what we believe really is the truth.
How do we do that? Not by accepting some church's dogmatic claim to be the repository of the Truth. Not by accepting some parent's dogmatic claim to be right. Not by believing what our beloved pastor says is the truth. Not by ignoring the whole issue and going about our mindless daily business.
There is only one way: to make the search for the Truth our first priority. God said, Ye shall seek Me and find Me when ye shall search for Me with your whole heart. If we make no commitment to such a search, how can we complain against those who are likewise making no such commitment? If we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem. The problem at its roots is one: a lack of an abiding interest in knowing the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ. The solution is also one: making an emotional, volitional, and intellectual commitment to seeking for God in the pages of His Word, the Bible.