Posts Tagged ‘Does Christianity coerce people?’

who's getting hurt? 8.14Sadly, there was a time when the message of this graphic (found on an atheism internet community) was very true.

Arrogance ruled the roost. Christians, often in positions of influence, sought to increase their power over people who, because they refused to believe the same thing, were obviously defective and could be treated like enemies.

Indeed, 500 years ago, ISIS (the murderous radical Islamic terrorist group) could just as easily have been Christian.

So this meme was correct. Was.

Things are very different today and pretty much everyone (except the creator of this graphic, perhaps) knows it. Maybe it’s because Christians are not in positions of power. And that’s a good thing.

We all know power corrupts. The history of Christianity is certainly compelling evidence. Now, serious Christians understand that God is primarily about love and love does NOT threaten or coerce. Love offers a gift.

In Christian terms, that gift is Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is God’s son. Jesus – His teachings, His sacrificial death on a Roman cross and His resurrection – is offered to a world that I think we can all agree isn’t doing very well.

For much of my life, I thought I was was doing just fine without this gift. In fact, I believed what North American media, and most of my friends and colleagues, said about Jesus: nice guy (if he lived at all), but long gone and what does he have to do with anything?

He has everything to do with making people like me – and you, if you say yes to Him – more thoughtful, less greedy, more compassionate and less judgemental.

He has everything to do with seeing the things that our culture values in a new and discerning light – and discovering most of those things are trivial and ultimately irrelevant. Just think new cars, better smartphones, bigger TVs, yet another pair of shoes.

He has everything to do with feeling less lonely, less worried about the opinions of others and less concerned about what our culture defines as “success”.

He has everything to do with answering the most important questions of life: Why am I here? (To have a relationship with God through Jesus.) What happens when I die? (If Jesus is my saviour, then I’ll spend eternity in Heaven with Him because His death wiped away all my wrongs.)

Does this sound appealing? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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