Was Jesus religious or spiritual
Was Jesus Tolerant?
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther published his 95 theses against the indulgence trade - that was the beginning of the Reformation. The Protestant Church is preparing for the 500th anniversary and is putting each year in the “Reformation Decade” until 2017 under a certain motto: 2013 is the theme year “Reformation and Tolerance”. Three questions to Oberkirchenrat Matthias Kreplin.
What does tolerance have to do with the Reformation, which in the 16th and 17th centuries brought about bloody religious wars?
Kreplin: At the time of Luther, tolerance in our modern sense was not yet conceivable. Different, competing truths that nonetheless tolerate one another were unacceptable in the 16th century - and for a long time afterwards. After the attempt to reform the entire Western Church had failed and such a split had broken out, there was bound to be massive conflict. Only in these conflicts did the societies and denominations of Europe painstakingly learn tolerance.
If we are commemorating the Reformation on the way to the great anniversary of 2017, then we must also look at this shadow of the intolerance of the Reformation, but at the same time point out that the Christian denominations in Europe have learned something new here.
Was Jesus Tolerant?
Kreplin: Jesus could deal freely and openly with people who came from a different religion and culture than himself. He did not put any pressure on people to follow his path. But he also took a clear position and dealt intensively with other positions. He could also criticize wrongdoing violently. In that sense, Jesus was tolerant.
What does tolerance mean for Christians today - and where is its limit?
Kreplin: Tolerance means two things: on the one hand, a clear positioning and, on the other hand, toleration of other divergent positions. Tolerant Christians are on the one hand clearly rooted in their Christian faith, but on the other hand they can also accept people of different faiths and enter into a fruitful dialogue with them. There are two limits to tolerance: The first is where people cannot accept other positions and then use force against them. The dispute about the truth is then conducted with a severity that is no longer tolerable. The second limit is to fundamentally deny the justification of truth claims. Then everything will somehow be equally valid and there will be no more arguments about the truth. In our present German situation, I see the second danger as more likely than the first.
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