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 christdeaf.org > Faith Sharing > FAQ > criticism #3

"You shouldn't force your religion on other people."



People in the world often criticize Christians for trying to introduce other people to Jesus Christ.   They say, "You Christians are wrong to force people to believe and follow your religion.  That's wrong!  You can't do that!  Leave them alone!" 

Hold on a minute!  People who make that criticism misunderstand what we are doing. 

It is impossible to force anyone to believe!   Faith happens where?  In the heart.  Faith means trusting.  Oh, we know that laws can force changes in behavior.  But trying to force someone's heart to change never works.   Just look in the Middle East.  There you will see religious laws which strictly enforce certain behaviors.  But when the person in control is gone, watch how the people respond -- chaos! -- because their hearts never truly converted.

So we can never force someone to believe.  But we invite them as we share the Word of Christ with them.  How they respond is a matter that is between them and God;  they must do business with Him, not with us.

Consider an example from 911 emergency services.  Suppose Grandma falls and her family calls 911.  The paramedics arrive and they examine her.  They offer to take Grandma to the hospital.  But Grandma is awake and she absolutely refuses to go.  What do the paramedics do?  Do they ignore Grandma's wishes and take her anyway?  No.  If she refuses help, that is her decision. 

We are like the 911 paramedics.  We invite people.  We offer them God's salvation.  And when the Holy Spirit touches their hearts, they trust Him.  They say "Yes" to a relationship with Him.  That is not our work.  That is God's work. 

But sometimes people say, "No.  I want to stay the way I am.  I don't want Him."   They must live with their decision.   Certainly, we pray for them.   We continue loving them and will continue to try to winsomely invite them to trust God's Word in their hearts.