John’s second epistle is way back in the Bible, and I wonder how many people give it short shrift because it, itself, is so short. Shortest in the Bible. But what 2 John lacks in length, it more than makes up for in its fierce defense of basic Christianity.
Brothers and sisters, there is only one creed that counts for all Christians. It, like 2 John, is quite short: Jesus is Lord. Three words. There’s more, much more, that goes into knowing Christian doctrine. But if one does not start with “Jesus is Lord,” all the rest does not matter.
Should Christians “respect” other faiths? No. Tolerate, perhaps. Respect means one has a good opinion of someone’s ideas. If that someone worships a god who commands believers to behead infidels and to hate Jews and Christians, well friends, it’s pretty hard to give that god any respect.
So, too, does John deal with those who deny Christ. In fact, he calls those who deny Christ as having lived among us in the flesh the antichrist. From 2 John:
7For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. 9Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.
Strong medicine, indeed. While 2 John may have been written to specifically address the docetism heresy, this passage shows what great nonsense it is to attempt to find common ground with Islam or Hinduism or any other faith that does not accept Jesus as Lord.
We should always talk to those of other faiths or no faith at all. But let’s avoid, at the cost of our soul, the notion that all faiths are equal in truth. They are not.