This is most often the number one question, and the answer is an emphatic NO! In embracing Interfaith, as a faith, we are asked to broaden our faith, not to discard it. A Christian who embraces Interfaith does not leave Christianity behind, just as a Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Baha’i, Humanist or a person from another spiritual path does not leave her or his path behind. What we are asked to do is to respect the integrity of each other’s paths.
Our encounters with the sacred are important and deeply, deeply personal. Interfaith, as a faith, does not seek to discover which religion or spiritual path is “right.” Rather, it recognizes that we are all brothers and sisters, and that at different times and in different places we have encountered the sacred differently.
We look at the universe and our world and say there is no one “right” spiritual answer; that all of our spiritual traditions call upon us to love and respect one another and to act in community. We come together neither to convert nor convince, but to share and to listen.
Some may prefer to call it an Interfaith Community, or something else, but whatever we call it, we come together in safe, sacred space, to learn and to honor our diverse spiritual paths. We acknowledge no hierarchy among our paths, and realize that the crucial question is not what path do we walk, but how do we walk our chosen path? If we walk our spiritual path with love, compassion, and community, that path is righteous.
This is really a variation of the first question. And the answer, again, is no. To respect all faith traditions is not to ignore their importance or their differences. As example, Christianity is different from Buddhism. Islam is different from Humanism. Hinduism is different from Judaism. But in each what is the same is the call to compassion, the call to think beyond ourselves, and to recognize that we are all connected.
Interfaith calls upon us not to ignore our differences, but rather to realize that each of our paths call us to love and to be loving. Again, it is not the path we are called to but how we walk that path that truly counts.