I cannot begin to tell you how many times people have wrongly judged me just because I picked up the phone and spoke with someone who was not a Christian, or I associated with a non-Christian person. I say the following to prove a point, and not to boast. The people who have been quick to judge and condemn me disregard the fact that (a) I am a Pastor with many years of Bible education under my belt (b) I have tithed hundreds of thousands of dollars to various Churches over the years (c) I have never ever given a single dollar to any other religion or religious cause in my life. (d) I would not renounce my love for Christ or my US Citizenship for even a trillion dollars. My love for God and Country cannot be traded away for anything in the world.
Yet, people are quick to judge and criticize me. Oh, that Paul, did you know he left Christianity? Oh, that Paul, did you know he has Secular, Jewish, Pagan, Buddhist and Hindu friends? Seriously? Well it turns out that over ninety percent of my friends are white American Christians, and the rest hail from all nationalities, colors, creeds and religions in the world. Did you begin to think that perhaps my influence and persuasion might turn some unbeliever to faith in Christ? As Christians, we cannot live in an isolated world. Everyday we interact with others at the supermarket, at work, at the gym and elsewhere, from other religions, belief systems, cultures, and perhaps even nations. How should we interact with these people? With the knowledge that Him (Jesus) who lives within us is greater than he which is in the world. “...because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” [1 John 4:4-6]
Yet, with this knowledge comes awesome responsibility. We are called to be lights in this dark world. We are to shine the way to glory and to the truth. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” [Matthew 5:14-16]
We are also called to go forth and to make disciples of all nations and of all peoples. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." [Matthew 28:18-20]
We cannot therefore reject those around us who do not believe. We can and should reject their unbelief or their belief in some other religion or way of thinking, however, we cannot and should not reject them. The goal must always be to make them see the truth that there is only one way to God: Only one true religion, and only one way to connect with God, and that is through Christ Jesus. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”[John 14:6]