Religion is organized faith and faith is vital to all belief systems. While faith is one of the hardest things to possess in the world, it is also one of the most important things. For Christian believers, faith is necessary because without it, we cannot please God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Ultimately, believing in God takes great faith and having that faith is pleasing to Him.
Should Christians learn about other religions? There are many who believe the answer is “no” and feel that knowing what others believe is unnecessary. What many believers miss is the fact that we can learn a great deal from other religions. In fact, this learning can really help strengthen our faith. Understanding the faith and beliefs of others not only strengthen and verifies our faith, but it can also lead people of other faiths to Christ. Here are five ways learning about other religions can strengthen your faith.
It Can Expand Our Faith
Learning about other religions can help us expand our faith. The Word of God and the truths taught within Scripture are vital to every believer. Peter wrote that God has given us everything we need to life through our growing knowledge of Him. Peter lists character qualities that should be added to the beginning point of faith in order for us to grow and expand in our faith. Our spiritual maturity is important to God. Reading other religious texts and understanding other people’s beliefs can help us grow spiritually because it can secure us in our faith.
It Gives You a Better Understanding Of Why You Believe What You Believe
Learning about other religions is a great way to not only understand why others believe what they believe, but also to understand why we believe what we believe. By doing this, we can give better answers to our faith. This is why so many people find religious studies so fascinating. It’s intellectually exciting because it helps us to understand the mystery of what others believes. By studying other religions, we are presented with the opportunity to understand what moves a person to believe what they believe. It can also help us better understand the mysteries of our own faith.
It Can Give You Leverage
When you ask a question or make an argument about another person’s belief, they may ask you if you’ve taken the time to read their holy book. If you answer “yes,” it gives them pause and shows that you’ve taken the time to understand their religion and the arguments you’re making. You can even challenge them to read the Bible with good grounds. It also shows that you take your faith seriously. You’re not just blindly accepting your faith. You know why you believe what you believe and that can’t be argued.
It Helps You Witness
Learning about other religions can help us witness in incredible ways. It helps us understand the differences between various religious beliefs and texts. It can also help us grow in our Christian faith, securing us even more in what we believe. Witnessing is important because God commanded us to. The Lord died on the cross for our sins and had a victory over death when He was resurrected. Following this, He told the disciples, “Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Here, the Lord isn’t just suggesting or recommending that they witness; He commanded them to do this. We can better witness when we’re secure in what we believe.
It Can Help You Read Through the Bible Better
Reading the Bible from front to back can feel like a great undertaking. Reading through other religious texts can be just as difficult, if not more. Let’s take the Qur’an for example. Many find it repetitive and confusing even with the help of reading tools and resources. Many have said it’s difficult to read from cover to cover. One of the big reasons is because the revelation was given over a period of decades and each verse has a particular scriptural and historical context. The themes of the book are also interwoven among chapters and the book is not in chronological order. If you are able to get through the book, it can help you appreciate how the Bible is written. It may even help you to read through the Bible more effectively.
Some believe that learning about other religions can damage your faith in God but there are more benefits to learning what others believe than you may realize. It can affirm our faith in God which ultimately builds us up as believers. Having real encounters with people of other faiths can reveal how much your faith actually means to you. It can also expand your faith in ways you may not have believed were even possible.