Should Chrisitans teach about religions other than Christianity to their children?

There are some who believe that teaching children about religions other than Christianity will help them be more loving, be tolerant, not judge others and help them evangelize.

Let us look at this in detail.

I understand the idea that Christians are not supposed to judge, but we need to take a closer look at what scripture says.

One of the passages people use to say we should not judge is Matthew 7:1. But let us look at the context, Matthew 7:1-12. Notice, it tells us not to judge so we will not be judged, but that we will be judged by the same standard which we use. The passage continues on, saying that we should not be hypocrites, but remove from our own lives a sin before we worry about that sin in the lives of others. The passage continues, stating that we should pray and we will get what we are looking for. The passage ends with this statement:  “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” We are to treat others the way we want to be treated. Christ is not saying to not judge – he is saying to be kind and not  a hypocrite and to treat others the way we want to be treated. 

1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

   6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.

Prayer and the Golden Rule

    7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

   12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

We see a similar passage in Luke 6:27-38. Jesus tells people we are to love our enemies, doing good to those who hate us. Indeed, we are to pray blessing for those who mistreat us. We are to be merciful. In verse 37, we see that If we judge others, then we will be judged – the way we treat others is how we will be treated.

Luke 6:27-38

 27 “But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you29 Whoever hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also; and whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold you shirt from him either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31Treat others the same way you want them to treat you32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to receive back the same amount35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

   37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned pardon, and you will be pardoned. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

But before we try to say that we should not judge, we need to realize that Christ TOLD us to judge rather than go to a magistrate to have a case judged.

Luke 12:54-58

 54 And He was also saying to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming,’ and so it turns out. 55 And when you see a south wind blowing, you say, ‘It will be a hot day,’ and it turns out that way56 You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze this present time?

   57 “And why do you not even on your own initiative judge what is right? 58 For while you are going with your opponent to appear before the magistrate, on your way there make an effort to settle with him, so that he may not drag you before the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I say to you, you will not get out of there until you have paid the very last cent.”

Jesus told the Jews that they should judge with righteous judgement in John 7:19-24

  19 “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do you seek to kill Me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?” 21 Jesus answered them, “I did one deed, and you all marvel. 22 For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Jesus told us in Luke 17:3-4 that if your brother sins, rebuke him and if he repents, forgive him – and to do it over and over again. So we HAVE to be able to discern the difference between right and wrong to be able to know someone has sinned – and we are supposed to call people on their sins.

3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”

We are definitely to discern the difference between right and wrong.

1 Corinthians 5:12

For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?

But there is a difference between judging between right and wrong and judging a person with contempt. We are not to do the latter.

Romans 14:3

The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is notto judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him.

Romans 14:13

Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this— not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

We are told to recognize sin, expose sin, not sin, and have nothing to do with those who call themselves brothers and yet do these sins. In order to be able to do that, we must recognize what sin is; we must decide sin is bad; we must call sin what it is;  we must be able to decide when someone is sinning; we must decide to have nothing to do with those who call themselves Christian and still choose to sin.
Ephesians 5:6-12
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes uponthe sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in allgoodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret.

Where Paul say we are to judge those within the church – he is not saying condemn them, but to recognize their actions and call them what they are and to have nothing to do with those who call themselves Christian and choose to live lives of sin.

1 Corinthians 5:9-13

 9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES.

We must discern what is going on around us.

Matthew 16:1-4

1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times4 An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.”And He left them and went away.

In Philippians 1:9-10, Paul prayed that our love will abound in real knowledge and discernment so we can approve what is good, so we can be sincere and blameless when Christ judges.

 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;

Indeed, a maturing Christian will grow in practicing discernment of good and evil, as we see in Hebrews 5:12-14

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

No where in scripture do we see examples of the people of God learning about other religions for any reason being a good thing. Indeed, in Acts 17:16-34, we see that Paul got so upset as he was seeing the city Athena full of idols that he started  evangelizing – everyone. He did not talk about all the various religions or try to make points about how this religion is better than that religion. He talked about the one god they knew nothing about and he shared Christ.

Acts 17:16-34

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols. 17 So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present18 And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What would this idle babbler wish to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming? 20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean.” 21 (Now all the Athenians and the strangers visiting there used to spend their time in nothing other than telling or hearing something new.)

Sermon on Mars Hill

 22 So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are veryreligious in all respects. 23 For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.’ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served by human hands,as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26 andHe made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determinedtheir appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, 27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and [g]exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ 29 Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. 30 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”

 32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.” 33 So Paul went out of their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

We see in Romans 1 where God condemned those who suppress the truth and followed idols.

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

Paul warned that some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons and  worldly fables – these would be false religions and twistings of the doctrine presented by God to man.

1 Timothy 4:1-8

1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods whichGod has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

A Good Minister’s Discipline

 6 In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. 7 But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women. On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Colossians 2:8 tells us we are to not be taken captive by philosophy and deception

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

There are those who think it is unloving to say that someone’s religion is wrong.

Yes, we are to love others, but Jesus was not tolerant about denying Him.
Matthew 10:33

“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

Luke 12:8-9

8 “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God ; 9 but he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

Jesus was not tolerant of people who would cause children to stumble.

Matthew 18:5-7

5 And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

In fact, Jesus got upset at people who kept others from having faith. We see in Matthew 23:15-32 that Jesus called the Jewish scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, blind guides, fools, blind men, serpents, brood of vipers, full of robbery, self-indulgence, and hypocrisy – BECAUSE their hypocrisy kept people from believing and trusting God.

Matthew 23:15-32

15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

   16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple is obligated.’ 17 You fools and blind men! Which is more important, the gold or the temple that sanctified the gold? 18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, that is nothing, but whoever swears by the offering on it, he is obligated.’ 19 You blind men, which is more important, the offering, or the altar that sanctifies the offering? 20 Therefore, whoever swears by the altar, swears both by the altar and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple, swears both by the temple and by Him who dwells within it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven,swears both by the throne of God and by Him who sits upon it.

   23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

   25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also.

   27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

   29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves, that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of the guilt of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will you escape the sentence of hell?

We must teach right doctrine and we must have the right heart. But we must also stop the teaching of wrong doctrines and myths.

1 Timothy 1:3-4

As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,  4 nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.

How do we tell if a religion is false or not? Scripture tells us.
1 John 4:1-16
1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God,because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God :every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God ; 3 and every spiritthat does not confess Jesus is not from God ; this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you haveheard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world. 4 You are from God, little children, andhave overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 5 They are from the world ; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God ; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.
If a religion denies Christ was sent from God to live a sinless life, to suffer and die to pay the price of our sins, was raised again on the third day and now sits at the right hand of the Father, then it is a false religion and needs to be labeled as such.
So no, Christians should not be teaching strange religions, or doctrines. We should teach the word of God. We should practice the word of God. We should avoid religions other than what Christ has given us.

So if we are not teaching the right things or if we are teaching the right things but do not have the right hearts, we are in error.  We need to teach what GOD taught us – God’s doctrines from the Bible.


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