Typical evangelism for any religion involves someone going out at some degree of expense and risk to share what one believes to be true. It is a pretty simple and logical concept: If you think you know the true path to forgiveness, joy, peace and eternal life and you truly care about others, then of course you’ll want to share the Good News (regardless of how you define it).
However, some people hold the view that all religions are equally valid paths to God. As I was reflecting on the discussions on the Jesus is still the only way thread, I was reminded that people who hold the “all religions are valid” view should have a completely different model of evangelism. Wouldn’t it be most loving for them to send “reverse missionaries” to encourage everyone to follow their local religions? After all, consider the persecuted people around the world who could avoid pain, suffering, economic loss, prison and even death if they just held beliefs more palatable to their culture.
For example, you’d want to send people to Christians in India, N. Korea, China, all Arab countries and more to explain to them that Hinduism/Islam/Buddhism/etc. are just as good and that they should leave Christianity to maximize their comfort and happiness. If you follow any organizations like Voice of the Martyrs you are probably familiar with how much Christians suffer for their faith in many parts of the world. Why suffer like that if other religions are just as good?
And loving universalists (those who believe everyone is going to Heaven, regardless of what they believe) should go to China to encourage people to be atheists.
What a tragedy that hundreds of thousands or even millions of Christians died unnecessarily for their faith over the centuries. They should have just recanted and gone with the local religion, right?
What I’ve found is that religious pluralists and universalists do no such thing. They typically think their “home religion” is correct (why else would they belong to those denominations?) but are afraid to offend someone or risk rejection for sharing their view, or perhaps are unwilling to work to learn their beliefs well enough to defend them.
Shouldn’t false teachers who insist that all religions lead to God lend their time and money to being reverse missionaries? Yet I never hear of them undertaking such efforts to reduce the “needless” suffering of Christians around the world. Real faith is behaving as if what you say you believe is true. Yet these folks don’t follow through to the logical consequences of their worldview. This is one of the easiest ways to spot false teachers.
Of course, since I hold the view that Jesus is the one way to salvation then it is on my heart to share that with people.
If you encounter “Christians” claiming that other or even all religions are valid paths to God, ask them simply and politely if that means we should end Christian evangelism efforts and “evangelize” people to follow whatever “valid” religion will result in the least persecution for them. It will help expose their false view and hopefully encourage them to think more carefully. They shouldn’t judge God for “only” providing one way to salvation, they should be eternally grateful that He offered a way at all.