Multiculturalism is a term we hear a lot today. In any academic field from high school to graduate school, it is a required course. Multiculturalism has spread across the world like wildfire. Most large companies require multicultural training. The idea behind this concept is that we should respect and accept all cultures because it makes us better. That sounds reasonable. Prejudice against any people is condemned in scripture because God looks at all people in the same way.
However, multiculturalism goes further than embracing the value of all human beings and denouncing racial prejudice. It encompasses the idea that all religions are equally good. We should, therefore, welcome all religions and give them an equal place in our belief system. Our constitution indeed establishes freedom for a plurality of religions. However, it is essential to know that multiculturalism judges anyone as bigoted and intolerant that does not entirely accept this concept.
It is here that we must part ways with multiculturalism when we are told that we cannot judge another religion. We cannot say Christianity is the true religion, and that there are false religions. To say that is to demonstrate societal prejudice. Multiculturalism spawns reverse bigotry and hatred toward those it deems to be the perpetrators of racism, thus “White Guilt.” The Biblical approach to solve the racial divide of the world is summed up by Micah, “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
The prophet Elijah confronted multiculturalism when he challenged the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. He called all Israel and the prophets of Baal to a contest to decide who is the one true God. Elijah laid out the rules—offer a sacrifice but put no fire to it and the God that answers by fire will be proven to be the true God (1 Kings 18:20-29). This story is about whether there is really a true and living God who reigns above all other gods.
The account of the prophet Elijah on Mt Carmel challenging King Ahab and the prophets of Baal is relevant because it was a contest of religions. Ahab and his queen, Jezebel, welcomed other gods and tried to silence the voice of the prophets of the God of the Bible. Have you noticed how tolerant and inclusive societies welcome religions of all kinds? At the same time, these same societies do their best to silence the voices of Christians. There is a clear parallel to our time and the hostility we are seeing toward the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We see tolerance toward Islam and other religions while seeing hatred and intolerance toward Christianity. Bakers, florists, photographers, printers, and all kinds of business people are being sued and prosecuted by the state for their religious beliefs. In contrast, people of the Islamic faith who hold similar beliefs are tolerated and even celebrated. One might object that Christianity is rejected because of its exclusive view of One God, but Islam has the same view.
Mount Carmel was the Lord’s demonstration of the emptiness and futility of the Baal religion. Baal was not real because he had no voice. That matters because the Lord is real. The persistent problem with religion is that it replaces the reality of trusting God. All religions might seem harmless, but they are not. Paul told the Colossians, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Col 2:8). Paul emphatically said that reality is found in Jesus Christ. Religion is a set of beliefs, but Jesus is a living person that transforms your life.