I frequently hear people say Christianity is intolerant. After all, it calls all people – no exceptions – to think and to act as God commands. It requires all people to bow to Jesus alone. Yet in that sense, all religions are intolerant. Every religion requires people to follow what it says is true and right.
“Believe like I do” is easy to spot as an intolerant or “exclusive” claim. But other statements sound more accepting, like “You have to let people believe what they want.” But you can put the plea for openness to this test: Ask yourself, “What does the person mean by ‘You must be open to everything’?” What it almost always means is, “You must be open to everything that I am open to an disagree with anything I disagree with.”
The person who sounds tolerant will never leave you free to believe as you wish. That’s intolerance – and the worst kind of intolerance, because it is intolerance that doesn’t admit it is being intolerant!
Ravi Zacharias and Kevin Johnson, Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Truth of the Christian Message, Youth edition (W Publishing Group, Nashville: Tennessee, 2000), 9.
By Khechyon Maharjan
My take on this topic is not to condemn the Western Christianity. Rather I would like to point out to the history and learn from it. Back in mid 20th century, Western Churches and missions realized why pouring millions, if not billions, of dollars in Asia and South Africa failed to bear fruits in the mission field. Churches from the West thought that their evangelistic model, tools and guidelines would be the best mean to win souls of those who were utterly marinated into animism and civilized into pluralistic society.
The West imposed their understanding of the Gospel into very different culture with distinctive values and characteristics. And history is there for us to learn how badly they failed until they realized that their blueprint evangelism would not work in the context they were toiling at the time. They trained indigenous people to reach out to their people in their context in their own language.
Indigenous churches have flourished since the western blueprint for evangelism is not strictly followed or implemented. However, the western branded Christianity and its ghost of worship, parroting doctrine, and individualistic salvation culture have been serenely haunting Nepalese churches. This is not only our problem but half of the globe has gotten the same branded imported Christianity from the West.
“We are going to have to fight much more against religious pluralism, the idea that all religions are on a par, that all religions are ways to God. It will take us also a couple of decades to get out of the swamp of what’s called postmodernism, where you have no notion of absolute truth. In the churches, we will have to be constantly speaking against that because God does speak truth.
We also need to recover a true understanding of human life, a sense of the greatness of the soul. We need to recover the awareness that God is more important than we are, that the future life is more important than this one….That would give people a view of the significance of their lives on a day-to-day basis, which so many at the moment lack.”
 Leadership: A Practical Journal for Church Leade. Interview: Children of a Larger God: How Good Theology Expands the Soul. 3rd ed. Vol. 19. N.p.: n.p., 1998. 113. Print.
Note: the full interview can be accessed online here.