Why is Christianity So Controversial?
Most assume the dispute of Christianity is due to the restricted views and inability to tolerate alternate points of view.
In our surrounding culture most people assume the dispute of Christianity verses other faiths and beliefs is due to the restricted views and inability to tolerate alternate viewpoints. Some are so belligerent toward those who claim this title that they charge them as fanatics or religious zealots. Some are more accepting as long as they are not “proselytized” or criticized for their beliefs or choices.
The topic of Christianity has even stirred such emotional upheaval to the point of provoking hostile rebuke and actually seeking ways to furtively or openly retaliate, by sending hate emails, going to websites that promote the Christian faith with the intent to, instigate, to spam or even hacking them to sabotage them. Others are more openly sinister as to provoke open conflict in dialog and rhetoric to justify, sway or outright contradict the truth or redirect the focus from its rightful intent. Their goal is to break down the very fundamental structures built and dependent up Christian beliefs.
Getting to the True Issues
So what is the root provoking such intense rebuff?
Admittedly people may express personal tirades spurred by the scares of their past, inherent manful pride or current experiences. Some even strike with retaliation when they feel they are trapped or challenged to confront their faults. Others rant in defense of their own abilities (stating, “I don’t need a crutch”) or their logic (“I have to see it to believe it”). But both views defy the basic principle of “faith”.
But one other word comes to mind that should be seriously considered as a contributing factor… FEAR.
Before you shut me down, consider the varied dynamics of the word fear.
Fear is a strong word that in itself immediately conjures a negative emotional response.
Our reaction is usually to cover our fears by hiding from them, trying to avoid them or blatant retaliation. Sound familiar?...
But why would Fear be used in the context of conflict over Christianity?
The pressure of being forced to do or face something, as if your back were against the wall, feeling trapped even unwilling or unprepared to make a decision because it’s too hard or may change things, forcing you from your comfort zone - that seem best left alone can. You fear making the wrong choice, making a change or losing someone or something. It may be too painful or others may be upset or hurt.
Why Should I Have to Choose?
Christianity rocks the boat!
And most people, as do I, get motion sickness and don’t want anything to disturb our balance. We prefer to simply hide our faults or attempt to justify undesired challenging choices.
An extensive survey would likely show, most people would prefer to avoid change. People’s willingness to consider other faiths or change their traditional view of faith, it is easily assessed that most would find it undesirable to discuss. Yet, each of us unknowingly choose every day. We choose to acknowledge or ignore or abstain from our faith in our actions, our thoughts, our choices even when we claim to have no belief.
Every man chooses whether they realize it or not.
So, what would happen if you faced every part of your life with your guard up and an unwillingness to expand or experience change for fear of the unknown, what might happen?
Most none-Christians assume being a Christian is boring and restricts the possibility of a life of excitement and joy and action a challenge is offered.
Assuredly Christians will experience lows and excruciating difficulties as does everyone (there was never a promise of avoidance) but these lessons of intense growth and sustaining grace propel you to great summits and unbelievable peace.
I explore the world with new perspective; experience some fantastic challenges that would have been out of the question in my past. And rather than avoiding conflict or change, face them, sometimes even with caution or discretion but without incarcerating fear. How?
Who’s In Control?
The other part of fear that is found to be most unchallenging is relenting to “the release of control.”
Men particularly have such a natural instinct to grip fiercely and relentlessly to control. The thought of something or someone else mastering it for them is unthinkable, even threatening.
This one area makes a man instinctively tighten his hands into fits poised for battle. And battle they do. Our society now promotes the power of control as entitlement and to dominate, to overpower, to rule as justification. And if you don’t exhibit control, you are weak, you don’t matter, you are considered inferior.
But these areas of fear and control are so far from their identity in light of Christian belief
Christianity, the Unlimited Gift
So, how do you handle the impossible, when there’s no distinction of right and wrong, hopelessness, our limitations, failures or frailties? Or when it’s all said and done, and you’ve gained all the right accolades, the best toys and riches, the position and status, then what? Is this all there is to life? Have ever experienced true unleashed, unmerited hope?
Christianity absolutely contradicts fear and control. Those who are meek, who humbly relent their will and control over to God and the Holy Spirit are counted as His children. They gain His inheritance. What is the inheritance? Grace and mercy, unbelievable peace, hope, joy both here and now and in eternity, which is the greatest gift of all.
So how do we handle conflict? Because of “sin”, Christianity will forever remain controversial fighting the universal battle of good and evil. As long as there are choices. But that’s true with any faith.
So, why is it more so with Christianity than with other faiths?
The one point that brings it all to the forefront, One God and One Son.
Acceptance of the One True God has always been and will always be man’s pivotal choice. Although many claim there is no god, most faiths acknowledge a Superior being but struggle with the belief and need of a savior. Most acknowledge Jesus’ existence but do not choose to accept the unlimited gift of Jesus Christ as God’s Son, the only choice for eternity with God, as does the Christian faith.
No matter what is written on this topic, some will automatically shut down from the very mention of it.
The not so simple fact is, as long as man has a choice and Satan is alive, there will always be rivalry. As long as there is sin and evil there will be conflict. Until sin is eradicated…
The controversy will always remain.
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