Defending the Faith: When it comes to religious differences, first show charity, then get charity
Proverbs 25:21-22 recommends treating opponents well, though with a humorous twist:
"If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee."
The apostle Paul echoes this somewhat cynical advice in Romans 12:20, but then goes on to advise that we "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
We cannot expect to be treated with charity if we don't treat others charitably. We may still be treated poorly even then, but, if so, that's not our responsibility.
Daniel C. Peterson is a professor of Islamic studies and Arabic at Brigham Young University, where he also serves as editor in chief of the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative. He is the founder of MormonScholarsTestify.org, the general editor of "Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture" online at www.mormoninterpreter.com and he blogs daily at www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeterson.
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