"I want to know you. Why? Because you're seeking after God," Roberts said from the Northwood pulpit Sunday as he addressed the multi-faith audience, which included Rabbi Jeremy Schneider and Imam Zia Sheikh.
"If we're going to get along ... I need to understand your core convictions, how it impacts your worldview ... and I want you to understand Christianity," he told them. "I want us to be honest about our differences so that we can build a relationship."
Shifting from interfaith to multifaith is critical in the 21st century, Roberts said.
"The old conversation of interfaith basically said if we all agree on everything then we can get along. So what we need to do is minimize our differences ... and only talk about what we do agree upon," the Baptist pastor said Sunday. "But there's a problem with that. That's great if you're liberal, if you're a liberal Muslim or liberal Christian or liberal Jew, that's fine."
"Because truth is truth. Truth is not relative," Roberts said. "Multifaith says 'we have differences.'" The greatest conflict in the world today, he pointed out, is between fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims. "There has to be a new platform," Roberts stressed.
Some pastors have criticized Roberts for the multifaith event and attending different places of worship with his congregation. But the Northwood pastor said he would respond to his critics by asking, "Why do you go to restaurants where people get drunk? Why do you go to movies where people undress and do things on the screen that break the heart of God ... Why do you want to get in a car built by an automobile industry driven by greed? But I don't want to have a relationship with someone who's trying to seek God? That makes sense, doesn't it?"