- Pathfinder

Reply To: What are 3 tangible ways that you can personally improve your relationships with Christians from other traditions?

Connie Hammond

When interacting with Christians from other traditions, it is important to listen and ask questions, to not assume that you know what they believe already, and to give them genuine respect. When listening and asking questions, we should seek to understand the traditions and beliefs of the Christian individual who is different than us. Asking them what they believe is much better than assuming that just because they are Catholic they believe a certain thing or just because they are Orthodox, they believe a certain thing. People’s beliefs cannot be totally summed up by the name of their denomination or Christian belief structure. Also, we should not assume that they believe something in particular just because they are associated with a certain denomination. For example, if someone goes to a certain meeting with a preacher, we should not assume that the preacher at that meeting describes their whole theology. Furthermore, we should give them genuine respect, which involves not jumping to conclusions and calling them condescending names. I have heard this be done in Christian setting before, even hearing the word “heretical” being used to describe people of other denominations. Using that strong word in that context disturbs me because that is such a strong word.