I’m doing a series of posts about the short and often overlooked book of Jude. Jude’s letter is a warning, almost a rant, about ungodly people who are in the church.
Among their sordid characteristics, Jude says that they “speak abusively against whatever they do not understand.”
That seems to be an accurate description of what I often hear when people talk about others who hold differing spiritual perspectives.
This is perhaps most pronounced within Protestantism, with its three major divisions and 42,000 disparate denominations. (See my posts about unity for more info.)
This idea of speaking against what is not understood not only occurs from within the major religions, but also between them.
It seems that many Christians fear Muslims, but I understand that many Muslims also fear Christians. While there are historical reasons behind this (consider the crusades, for instance), the main cause today is a lack of understanding about the beliefs and practices of others (setting aside the radical fringe that is found in every group).
As an alternative to speaking against what is not understood, is Paul’s encouragement to “speak the truth in love.” That beats hateful rhetoric every day.