Updated: Jan 19
Abu Dhabi, February 4, 2019. The highest authority of the Roman Catholic Church and the highest religious Sunni cleric, a respected scholar, Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, both signed a declaration to increase peace throughout the world, by spiritual coexistence and irreligious dialogue. They call this unifying declaration, "Human Fraternity For World Peace And Living Together." Believe me, I'm going to do a video on this.
It took some time for me to find the actual declaration because I wanted to know their ambition? First of all, before reading some quotes to you from the declaration (source document) understand that if there's one thing that the God of the Bible does not tolerate is coexistence of other gods, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth" Exodus 20:1-4.
Time and time again the God of the Bible, makes it clear that He is God and no other gods of other religions are to be worshiped with Him, stand by Him, or grouped with Him. The Israelites did with a golden calf and God sent His wrath to them. They did it again and God sent His rather to them via famines and droughts during the era of the prophets. They did it again and God sent other nations to placed Israel into captivity. During the time of Jesus, they rejected God so much, they killed His Son, yet they were so convinced they worshiped God, when Jesus said the truth of their heart, " 37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you. 38 I speak what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have seen with your father.”39 They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this. 41 You do the deeds of your father.” Then they said to Him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father—God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me." John 8:37-42
Likewise, after the Jews called for a murderer to be release and cried out for the Holy One, the Son of God, to be crucified, God judge Israel once again and in 70 AD the Romans came and wiped them out, scattering the Jews across the world to be persecuted by other nations.
By the way, at no time did Jesus worship, pray, or advocate inter-religious dialogue with other religions of that time; not with the Greeks and their gods, the Romans, Egyptians, etc. Never did Jesus teach His followers that practicing inter-religious "brotherhood" was the will of God as His Apostle affirm, " 14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For youare the temple of the living God." 2 Corinthians 6:14-16
Yet, this declaration, signed by the most influential religious western leader and the most influential religious eastern leader, has come together on the basis of "peace" through inter-religious spiritual coexistence. How when Christians can't worship with those who deny Jesus as the Son of God, as Islam declares Jesus is just a prophet-a man. God cannot have a son.
Or in the case of Catholics who pray to Mary and other dead saints and statues, Jesus taught the truth and the correct manner to pray saying " 9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name..." Matthew 6:9. No mention of praying to other dead saints including the Lord God. Jesus said pray "Our Father" Him alone.
So if one religious group denies the Son, they deny the Father and if another group prays to others AND God, they pray contrary to what Jesus taught. Yet this declaration urges and calls for anyone who believes in anything and those who believe in nothing, to come together for peace, brotherhood, and tolerance. Remember the first lesson Jesus said of the last days, " 4 ...“Take heed that no one deceives you. " Matthew 24:4
The declaration goes on to talk about every positive and peaceful ambition any person would want to hear and strive for to make the world a better place, through religious means. Human nature doesn't work like that. Following "self" to do good is still following a flawed human nature. Whereas following Jesus who IS the infallible visible image of the invisible God, gives every human being guidance and hope and truth as light does for those finding their way.
Now the real problem with this declaration-not one time does the document mention Jesus. Not one time, does this document express, affirm, or agree what Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Yet the declaration goes on to say, " The first and most important aim of religions is to believe in God, to honour Him and to invite all men and women to believe that this universe depends on a God who governs it. " Whereas the Holy Spirit teaches us " And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. " 1 John 3:23
See to advocate Jesus-alone as the only way to God and uplifting the human being from a sinful heart, would indict other religions as not being the way to God, as Jesus said He is the only way to God. Yet the declaration has a response for that too, " Dialogue among believers means coming together in the vast space of spiritual, human and shared social values and, from here, transmitting the highest moral virtues that religions aim for. It also means avoiding unproductive discussions". What's unproductive? Discussing what truth is and false is "unproductive"?
So essentially, per this declaration, as long as we-human beings, are talking about good morals and virtues through religion, it doesn't matter what disagreement might come up, "avoid unproductive discussion." Wow? Then what is the point of having sound doctrine if you're just going to ignore it, for the sake of religious unity?
If one group does not believe Jesus is the Son of God and His crucifixion atones for the sins of the world for those who believe Him..then why did Jesus go through the pain and suffering of the cross to make that point absolute? That's an unproductive discussion? Really? If you change the truth, then it is a lie. If you deny the truth, then you subject yourself to a deception. The Apostle Paul saw this with the Galatia Christians " O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth..." and this is what its all about. Luring the world to be like the Galatians that they would not obey the truth of scripture. However, we-Revelation Christians are watching, aware, vigilant and believe in what Jesus Christ said. Amen!