I seem to be getting some post ideas from an ongoing discussion at TitusOneNine. Here's a thought experiment I posed there in response to a comment from one of that blog's more rigorously-orthodox participants.
THE SETTING: Imagine that:
- A group of Hindus, Jews, Muslims, and doctrinally-orthodox Christians, meet regularly for prayers.
- All are devout, all their beliefs and prayers are sincere.
- When a specifically-Christian prayer is said aloud, the non-Christians mentally ‘translate’ the prayer into their own respective religious idioms. The same is true when a specifically-Hindu prayer is said, etc.
QUESTION 1: In general, does God take a lesser view of, say, Hindus than he does of Christians? How about orthodox Christians versus heretical ones?
QUESTION 2: Does God take a lesser view of Christians when they pray in a theologically-heterogeneous congregation?
QUESTION 3: Do Christians' prayers lose some portion of their effectiveness if they're prayed in a congregation that happens to include non-Christians?
If your answer to any of these is “yes,” then please explain.