Multifaith Event this Wednesday in Fort Wayne

I am participating in a multi-faith dialogue event this Wednesday night in Fort Wayne at Canterbury Middle School (More information here). My role will be to provide an evangelical Christian perspective on several questions: the perspective of Evangelical Christianity: According to your faith what constitutes wrong-doing? According to your faith what are the consequences of our choices? According to your faith how good must I be? How should I live my life?

What has been your experience with multi-faith events? This is my first participation in a public dialogue about religion and I am interested to hear about your experiences with similar events. Did it foster mutual understanding? Was it a debate? What was the tenor of the interaction? I have the impression that many evangelical Christians are skeptical of events like this because they fear it promotes relativism. Has this been your impression?

This event is organized by a group in Fort Wayne with the purpose of fostering mutual appreciation of different beliefs in order to promote peace in the community. It is very intentionally not a debate nor does it attempt to create a common theology. Here is an excerpt from the event website:

The premise of the Multi-faith Events is the theologies of the various faiths are different. The purpose of the events are not to find a common theology. As Rick Love of Peace Catalyst International has written, “Multi-faith dialogue is based on common ethics and the common good rather than common theology.” At the Multi-faith Events the common ethic is discovered but the goal is not to create a common theology.

The mission of [Haven Interfaith Parents] is to, “encourage an understanding and appreciation of all beliefs and faiths, with the goal of promoting peace in our community.” With the goal of promoting peace, dialogue is what must occur at the events. I recently heard someone say dialogue is listening to someone as if your life depended on the information. In order to survive everything must be remembered. That is intense listening. When I have truly listened to others I find that they are more likely to listen to me. This is the basis of all relationships. For us to understand each other we must be in relationships and we must listen to each other.

There is a passage in the Bible that tells me how to dialogue. I Peter 3:15 states, “Always be prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” It is in dialogue that we can be honest and with gentleness and respect say what we believe. Being in dialogue says we care about the relationship.The Multi-faith Events are intentionally designed to be a dialogue because I desire for those in our community to be in relationship with each other.

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2 thoughts on “Multifaith Event this Wednesday in Fort Wayne

  1. Given the foundation of what faith IS as described in Hebrews and that all men have a measure of this faith.it is a continual wonder to me that so called ‘world faiths’ are not faiths at all .But blind obedience( of no understanding) to a set of religios dogma of whatver hue the religion dictates.
    Multifaith gatherings with the best will in the world are therefore trying to reconcile that which cannot be reconciled.
    For true biblical faith “sees Him who is invisible…” all the worlds faith see nothing and know not what they worship.
    Your in for a hard time then my freind.

    • Your comments assume that the purpose of every multifaith gathering is in fact to “reconcile” different religions. This is not the case. This event, in particular, was not seeking to reconcile the inherent differences between religious belief systems but to reconcile relationships; it sought a greater understanding of one another’s deepest held convictions and the cultivation of friendships through dialogue.

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