Why we force our religous views on others?

17 10 2007

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I have been drawn into the world of atheists and have had some great discussions with a number of them who admittedly have some good reasons why they do not believe. I have found that the prime reason most do not want anything to do with Jesus or religion is not because of the belief system but because of the way it is practiced.

 In other words when they look at Christians they are disgusted and do not want to be involved in such lifestyles and the words “Hypocrites” arise quite often.

I want to investigate this with you if I may. The prime reason is that what one sees is not the understanding of the Bible which speaks of humility, love and selfless service but the establishing of power bases or self interst and also simply silly people dong silly people things. What have we as churches and yes, I am in a “church”, done to drive these people away? I have found that many Atheists or non-believers have better moral values and stronger ethics than many Christians.

The concern I have is that Jesus is judged by the behaviour of His followers. When being judged it is also far more harsh than normal because so much more is expected of a person under the name Christian.

There is a great recording by DC talk with the opening passage which states, ” the greatest single cause of Atheism today is Christians, who acknowledge Him with their lips and walk out the door and deny Him with their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world  simply finds unbelievable!”

 That is a shocking remark on a belief which prides itself on TRUTH, HONESTY, LOVE.

It goes on to say, “What if I stumble, what if I fall, what if I lose my step and I make fools of us all! Would the love continue when the walk becomes a crawl, what if I stumble, what if I fall?”

Indeed we as Christians are judged with a different set of rules and in fact I accept that! It is a continuous fight to be true to ones belief and it is particularly difficult in a world which does not believe what I do and have proof of success in their environment and many other areas. 

That is the problem. We are operating in two different environments. One group is operating in the physical sense and another is operating in the spiritual and they are not compatible and the one would not understand the other. This is the bridges we are confronted with, with those on one side crying out to others on the other side, but no movement made to cross and experience the others world.

As a Believer I am continuously challenged in numerous areas like finance and lust and all other areas like a normal person. The difference is that I have an understanding on what happens at the end. I understand it is not about the here and now as the world teaches us, but about the future. What happens as we depart (as Paul said he desires to depart from this world which is a nautical term meaning to loose anchor) earth is what is important and that is why we strive for as that is where eternity is. My driving motivation to tell others should be out of love, so that they also have the choice to embrace the possibility of eternity. This concept can only be understood through your spirit in faith. That is the difficulty.

What do we do instead?

We try to fear people into a decision made by the head based on centuries old traditions, whereas I believe it should be made by love and because of faith. That means I am to provide the information only and can pray to ask the Lord for revelation, but that is about all what I am to do as a believer. I suppose I could force a tract indicating doom and destruction as well as embarrass them by asking everyone to pray out loud for this unbeliever! Well, that would be the last of this sinner in my environment I suppose.

I am sure you can see how ridiculous we are at times.

Jesus himself told the rich man the way to obtain eternal life and when the rich man walked away making a choice…Jesus did not run after him and try to convince him or force him into something he should not have. It is a choice by each and everyone of us and the choice is based on the believer sharing in love and truth what the Word says.    

I think the prime reason we do these strange things is that we believe we are able to convince someone to accept the Lord and thereby find an extra seat in heaven for us. Dear Beloved, there is nothing as a Believer that you can do to make someone else make a decision for Jesus, but simply do the will of the Father which is to pray for them, love them and advise them of His love, grace and mercy available for all.

I have used “them and us” language throughout simply for ease of writing because there is really no “them” or “us”, as we are all sinners fallen far short of the expectations of God and that is why it is so amazing that he has still offered His Son for me. We are all in the same boat and one day, will be before God and have to declare our choices on which He will judge us. It is personal and we all will account personally for our behaviours.

Be encouraged, He loves us and desires us to be with Him for eternity and we simply, like children must skirt around our mental patterns and entertain the possibility of Him. Ask Him to speak in your depths as He says if you do He will answer. That small emotion or conscience or doubt you experience, is Him speaking to your soul, respond and embrace Him.

I pray for all who read this that indeed He will expose His desires for you.  Forget all you know about us Christians, the non-smoking, non-drinking and super good folks always dressed impeccably:)  We are like you, sinners who by the grace of God manage through the day.   

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