Those Arrogant Intolerant Christiansor Not
by Robert Driskell 5/10/2011 / Christian Living
The Christian is often accused of being condescending and arrogant when trying to share their views with those who do not agree with them. However, it is disingenuous to pick out the worst behaved people in a group and claim that their actions represent the entire group. Certainly there are arrogant and brash Christians who come across with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, but this is the exception and not the rule. This is not how Jesus approached people and it is not the way a true Christian should act.
Consider this: Imagine you found an endless supply of money and were told to tell everyone about it, because there is plenty for everyone. Would you not be selfish to keep it all to yourself? Would not most people accept your words with gladness when you tell them that their financial woes were over? Wouldn't they at least want to hear the details of your claim?
The Bible tells us that, without God, everyone is spiritually dead in sin (Romans 3:23). This means that we are separated from God and cannot be reunited with Him by our own strength. It also means that, after a brief life on earth, we will spend eternity either in God's presence or forever separated from Him and any semblance of love (I John 4:8). Every person's destiny is either an eternity of bliss or an eternity of loveless misery.
Christians believe that they have the words of life and that they have been commissioned to share those words with others. The Bible never says that the believer should attempt to force his or her beliefs on anyone. Just as love cannot be forced or it ceases to be love, so a decision to trust Jesus cannot be forced either. The Christian is to present the case for his or her belief, pray for the person, and let God do the rest.
Christians are not somehow smarter, better, or in any way deserve God's favor any more than anyone else (Ephesians 2:8-9). They have merely accepted the gift offered from God. But that gift must be received by each individual. For it to be received it must be offeredand that is what the Christian is doing.
The reaction from people to whom Christians attempt to share this good news is sometimes explosive. This is understandable. The normal gut reaction to having your views threatened is to strike back to protect yourself and your beliefs. However, it is not a 'threat' that is offered by the Christian, but rather a choice (Deuteronomy 30:19). A choice to live your life the way God intended: in close fellowship with Him nowand forever.
The accusation that Christians want to force their beliefs on others is completely unfounded. Beliefs, by their very nature, cannot be forced. They must be accepted. In certain instances, one may be forced to say that he or she believes something, but for that belief to be internalized (truly believed) there must be a change of the heart.
The Christian does not seek to help people understand the truth of the Bible so that he, the Christian, can earn points or good standing of some kind. They do it because they have come to know the greatest truth in the universe and want to share that truth with others. They do it because they love God and they love others.
The message of the Christian can be summed up in the words spoken by Jesus himself: "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16 NASB)
It is the prayer of every true believer that all humanity would know and accept the Truth contained in these words.
Seeking to introduce people to Jesus Christ and to help them become "transformed by the renewing of their mind."