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Christians are frequently accused of trying to impose their values or their beliefs on others. The oft-heard accusation is that Christians are trying to "shove their religion down our throats." In ...
I am glad you asked this question. Many years ago, I heard an interview by Katie Couric on TV where she asked basically the same question to former President Jimmy Carter. Her question to him was something like "Why can't you Christians keep you beliefs to yourselves? Why do you have to bother other people? My excitement rose in expectation at the opportunity she gave him on national TV to witness to the world. He totally blew it. Saying something like" Christians and Muslims worship the same God. We should respect their beliefs." Forgive me if I misquote him for it has been many years but I believe that was the gist of his answer. I have often thought how I would have answered the same question. Thanks for that opportunity. My answer would have been: I believe that Christians have mistakenly been thought to be meddling when what we really have been doing is caring and loving. We don't always do it well but the intent is there. Then I would say, let me explain this way. "if I knew that a thief was planning to break in to your house and kill everyone in it, would you want me to warn you or keep it to myself?" As Christians, we believe we know that there is coming a time when that will happen. A thief is coming to your house. Unless you make preparation, that thief will be successful. The Bible tells us that "the theif comes to kill, steal and destroy". And as Christians we have the only Way for you to protect your home. Your family. Your very life. He IS coming. Should we remain quiet? Do you know that if I knew that someone was going to break in to your house and I did not warn you, under law I would be guilty of the crime? But in reality, I would be guilty of so much more! And after it happened, how could I sleep at night knowing I could have maybe prevented it. That is the real answer to your question. Because not only do we know that thief is coming, we know the only Way to stop him. Only Jesus can protect you. Without Jesus, You will die! And we don't want that. We want you to live! So you see, we are not just meddling. We are loving you.
If the bible is not our standard for righteousness, then everyone will do whats right in their own eyes. People say that the bible is not relevent anymore and we should make our own laws because it just makes us look bad. Well Duh. But, I do think that we cannot expect unbelievers to act like believers. That is totaly unrealistic. The bible says that unbelievers will call evil good and good evil. That is pretty much where we are today. The bible also says that we are not to judge unbelievers as God alone is their judge. But we should vote for the people that stand on biblical principals because God judges nations and people according to His laws. God has been very slow in to judge the USA for our sins, but I believe judgement is comming. No nation that has been blessed so much as ours can so decline into sin and not come under the hand of Almighty God. I believe judgement is coming. It is the only way to turn people back to God. Just my own thinking here, but if you think the twin towers burning to the ground and many being killed was bad, that the tornados and floods are bad, that the earthquakes are bad. I believe it will be much worse. But I also believe that we are in the last days and that the Church age is about over. Maybe the Lord will come for the true believers before He brings judgement upon us, but I am not counting on it. We have killed many unborn babys. We say homosexuality is ok now and that people are just born that way. Well! People are born that way because we are all born sinners. But even in our sins good does come. There are millions of babys in heaven that have been aborted. You would think their mothers would want to see them and trust in Jesus so that they would go to heaven and see their baby. I don't know what the future brings, but I know the one that holds the future. Us Christians need to get back to loving the Lord with all our hearts and loving our neighbor as our self. Keep on keeping on. Or as the bible says, occupy till I come.
Michael's answer is an excellent analysis of how there must be rules & law in every society, and that there must be a reliable, constant basis for those laws. Judeo-Christian values have been the basis of our laws in America from the very beginning. If our citizens lack understanding of Judeo-Christian beliefs, our citizens lack understanding of our society. (And we see that now, don't we?) There is another reason that we Christians are accused of "forcing" our beliefs upon others. If we are to be true to our beliefs and if we are to follow the directive of Jesus to go out into the world and tell everyone about Him and His sacrifice and His saving grace, we feel compelled within our souls to do just that. None of us who truly believe and who understand the consequences of sin and eternal death want to leave one soul behind. We do not want to see any souls lost! While we certainly recognize that we do not have the ability, of our own words and actions, to turn the thoughts and hearts of unbelievers towards God, we do know that God will do that with those whom He chooses. We are simply implements of God. But certainly, most Christians will want to raise awareness in others and to passionately and sincerely extend an invitation to nonbelievers to consider, to explore, to learn about God. And we all pray that having done these things, their hearts will turn and they will repent and seek God and follow Jesus.
We want to choose our own values and standards of conduct because it is in our nature to do so. We are all infected with a terminal cancer called our sinful nature. This nature causes us to rebel against God's absolute values and perfect standards of conduct. You see God created us and only he knows how each one of us can live an abundantly fulfilling and deeply satisfying life. He gave us his owners manual, the bible, to be our guide to finding this life. But our sinful nature wants its own way. Whenever we are confronted with God's perfect value system we get agitated, upset, angry, indignant, put-off, etc. This is called conviction of sin. God is showing us our incurable disease and pointing us to his miraculous cure, the person of Jesus Christ. When we come to the place where we are willing to acknowledge our rebellion (sin), be willing to turn away from it and accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, a miracle happens. The old sinful nature in us is put to death and we are born again spiritually into a brand new life that wants to please God, that wants to embrace his absolute values and live by his perfect standards of conduct. When this miracle takes place we are so excited about the amazing changes that are taking place in our lives that we want everyone to know about the cure. The miracle also includes Jesus giving us his Holy Spirit to live inside us to help us learn how to live this new life. To discover the abundantly fulfilling a deeply satisfying life that he intended when he created us. But God never takes away our free will. We have the choice to walk with the Holy Spirit or indulge the desires of our flesh and allow sin to have its way again. You may have seen some Christians at their worst. I hope and pray that you will see some at their best and that they will inspire you to accept God's miraculous cure for our sinful human condition.
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