Christianity is a challenge for many philosophical and religious systems. But at the same time it meets the demands of most of them. And the strongest thing in Christian spirituality is not denial, but affirmation, all-embracing and fullness.
If Buddhism is permeated by a passionate desire for deliverance from evil, a desire for salvation, if the Buddha claims that, like salt in seawater, his teaching on karma is imbued with the idea of salvation, then this thirst for salvation and the promise of salvation are inherent in Christianity.
If in Islam we find the absolute devotion of man to God, who is the sovereign ruler of the cosmos and human destinies, then we find the same in Christianity.
If in the Chinese worldview the sky – Qiang – is a reference point for man in the things of life, even in the smallest and least important, in the various shades of tradition – then this is also present in Christianity.
If Brahmanism, modern Hinduism, reveals to us the various manifestations of the Divine, then Christianity does the same.
If, in the end, pantheism asserts that God is in everything, that He penetrates every atom of the universe as a mysterious force, then Christianity agrees with this, although it does not limit itself to understanding the influence of God, only with this pantheistic omnipresence. .
We would be mistaken if we consider Christianity to be some kind of eclecticism, which simply contains elements of previous beliefs. The colossal power of something new is manifested in him. And this is new not so much in doctrine as in the breakthrough of another life into our unenviable life. The great teachers of mankind – the authors of the Upanishads, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Buddha, Muhammad, Socrates, Plato and others – perceived the truth as a mountain peak, which they climbed with great effort. And rightly so. Because truth is not something that is easily attainable, it really looks like a high mountain that we climb, breathing hard, digging into the ledges, often looking back at the past, feeling the difficult road ahead.
When we turn to the gospel, we fall into another life. Not in this world, which offers us exciting searches in the rush to heaven, but we find ourselves in front of the secret of the answer. Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the future Buddha, spent twenty-five years in an ascetic effort to attain contemplation. The same work was done mentally, spiritually and psychophysically by yogis, philosophers, ascetics, while Jesus Christ came from an ordinary village, where he led the life of an ordinary person. In Him everything was given in advance and He never had to climb anywhere. On the contrary, He condescended to the people. Every great sage was aware of his ignorance. Socrates said, “I know I know nothing.” The greatest saints of all times and nations considered themselves to be the greatest sinners to a much greater extent than we did with you, because they were closer to the light, and every stain on their life and conscience was more -noticeable than in our gray life. Christ has no awareness of anything achieved by Himself, but He comes to men, bringing to them that which is in Him originally, by nature.
I must draw your attention to the fact that Jesus Christ did not begin to preach Christianity as a concept. What He announced to the people, He called “besora”, in Greek “gospel”, which translates as “good news“, “good news”. What is this good news? Man has the right not to trust the universe. One has the right to feel oneself on earth in an alien and hostile world. Contemporary writers such as Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre and others often speak of the terrible absurdity of being. We are surrounded by something dangerous, inhuman, meaningless, absurd, and impossible to trust. A cold, dead or killing world. Indeed, I would like to insure myself – these writers, novelists, playwrights, philosophers come from the position of the atheistic worldview – this is the atheistic existentialism of Sartre and Camus, and somehow they have not seen one thing. When they say that the world is absurd, that is, meaningless, they know this because the opposite concept, the concept of meaning, is embedded in man. He who does not know what is meaning will never understand what is absurd. He will never resent the absurd, he will not rebel against it, he will live in it like a fish in water. It is precisely the fact that man rebels against the absurd, against the meaninglessness of being, that speaks in favor of the existence of meaning.
People of different nationalities and religions can live in peace. First a purely human understanding is reached, then the problems are solved. This is how the Christian works. In the understanding and sympathy between people of different nationalities and religious communities there is always some divine element, a sense of peace coming from above. Any dialogue between people of different faiths could develop on a good basis – the similar requirements for integrity and correctness that we encounter in different religions. This would create trust and tolerance. And at the heart of Buddhism are good norms of human behavior: abstinence from bad desires and violence, not to lie, swear and gossip. The Jewish religion forbids murder, adultery, theft, lying – in the realm of morality, Judaism and Christianity draw from one treasury – the Old Testament. According to Islam, everyone should do good, be honest, praise the love of truth, the need for unity among people, mutual forgiveness and giving alms. God does not wish evil on the people we call non-Christians, and they are dear to him – when they do good, it proves that God guides their conscience. Thus our duty consists in this: not to fight with anyone, to pray for both friends and enemies, so that we do not remain blind to the beauty of another’s soul. One of the methods of the modern search for ecclesial unity is the “hierarchy of truths.” This expression appears as a result of the Second Vatican Council and finds its place in par. 11 of the main document on ecumenism – “Unitatis Redintegratio” (1964), which reads as follows: “In ecumenical dialogue, when Catholic theologians participate with the separated brethren in a common study of the divine mysteries, adhering firmly to the teachings of the Church, they must carry out the task with a love of truth, clarity and modesty. When comparing teachings and views, they should remember that there is an order or “hierarchy” of truths in Catholic teaching, insofar as they vary in their relation to the nearness of the Christian faith. Thus he will discover the way in which this kind of “fraternal competition” will arouse a deeper consciousness and a clearer expression of the immeasurable and unsearchable fraternities of Christ (cf. Eph. 3: 8). The ecumenical interpretation and theological study of this concept was prepared in 1985 in the Joint Working Group (MWG) between the WCC and the Roman Catholic Church. Representatives of Orthodox groups initially perceived it as a new concept that could lead to doctrinal compromises and that is alien to the Orthodox theological approach, because the truth cannot be divided and distinguished “in varying degrees of validity.” In the Holy Scripture, on which the unity of the Church is based, no distinction is made between major and minor truths, essential and insignificant teachings. Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life.” The understanding of the truth is a result of the grace of St. The Spirit of truth (John 16:13), who guides us to the fullness of this truth and testifies of Jesus as Lord (1 Cor. 12: 3). The Orthodox Advisory Group of the World Council of Churches clarified that this critical position does not mean that there is no distinction or distinction in Orthodox theological discussions and formulations. Orthodox theologians believe that the concept of “hierarchy of truths” could help to recognize and recognize permanent and common teachings of the faith, such as the seven Ecumenical Councils and others. expositions of the Christian faith. The assertion of a “hierarchy of truths” is based on the belief that there is indeed a difference in the “closeness” of each individual truth to the foundation of faith, and the center and foundation is the person of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, to whom faith and life are oriented. .
For almost a century now, the Orthodox Church has been participating in the ecumenical movement, in various international Christian forums, in bilateral and multilateral dialogues. Ecumenism is a multi-layered concept.