If no one should attempt coercion, why do so many Christians insist that laws be made to force their beliefs on everyone (gay marriage, creationism in school, public prayer and religious icons, etc.)? All of this is coercion and all of it is being fought somewhere. It is a never ending battle to keep the Christian faith to itself and not allow it to force itself onto the rest of the population.
Christians should have no part of government, I agree with that, I have not voted for nearly 30 years, but I do pray that God will give us a good government frequently over the same period.
You see I truly do not want to be a part of this world, don't get me wrong, I love my family and want to enjoy time with them, I love sunsets and most all of what God has given us, but I hate the world for it is against God in the most part.
But I do not seek to impose Christian values by force or ballot box on anyone, and would be much happier if we believers kept to preaching Christ and leave politics to those who politic.
So I have a paradox, and one which most Christians will baulk at, for the unfortunate fact is, though they have faith, they would be frightened to TRUST God to keep their children safe from evolutionary teaching in school, hence they want creationism taught alongside evolution.
I sent my son to a half private school, basically a secular/ex catholic school that taught evolution in class and the Roman Catholic doctrines in religious education.
For most evangelicals that would be a horror story and they would not allow it to happen.
When I wrote 'Evangelical Christian' on the enrolment card, they asked if I wanted him to skip[ Religious Education, and I said "'no way'.....let him have it from you, but I warn you, he may ask questions your teacher cannot answer."
You see I had taught him the ways of God as we walked in the highways and bye-ways of life, his bible was ME, and if I had taught him well, then he should be able to decide whether the evolution his school taught, or the Catholicism his school taught, were correct, or whether what he saw me walk was right.
Later his secular mother wanted him to board at a secular school, and I let him, and they taught him how to lie, and smoke and drink and chase girls, which was OK, because he was 14 and that's what the world teaches is OK, and besides they had been issuing them condoms for two years before that anyway.
Was I going to forbid him being exposed to that hell hole?
Again, no way, if he was going to do all those things, he would either do them and come back to God, or not. You see if my son was not destined to be a believer, that was his problem, and though it would have hurt me if he had died unsaved, I will not rebel against Gods decision, one it's pointless, and two He knew my son better than me.
I'm also not a hypocrite, and I was doing far worse than he managed until I was 42 years old.
I may have wanted my son to be a good Christian and never openly sin, but God chooses His time to call or appoint who He will, and like I said, I was 42 before I came to faith.
Fact is we either trust God or we are trusting ourselves, and I know full well that I cannot be trusted to do the right thing on my own, and equally I cannot do the wrong thing when I have placed God in control of my life.
For the record, my son came to faith with no encouragement of leading from me when he was 18 years old, and now ministers to street kids in Brooklyn NYC.
But he raised hell for a couple of years and was stoned pretty constantly for that time.
Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.
No Christian would like to see, or would allow, a display of Wiccan ceremonies at a public meeting - just their own version of the same thing. Complete unwillingness to treat others as they would be treated.
Sorry, not me, I was a Wiccan for a while (42 years searching is a long time)not good for me as I was too likely to drift into the darker side.
But in PUBLIC (i.e. secular) ceremonies I have no concern what or who they present, indeed I relish the fact that the 'enemy' camp is being exposed, for it will make believers think and hopefully draw them closer to God, and it will make the sheeple realise that they ARE being let to the slaughter by those who seek to destroy them, whilst smiling gently at them saying 'be tolerant' whilst trying to ban Christ from the public arena.
Scripture tells us that apostasy MUST take place before the end will come, and I thank God that I do see this apostasy happening, for it means our redemption is near, and the iniquity will be washed away from our lives.
I grant you that many professing Christians who do not TRUST God seek to manipulate, intimidate and coerce the world by force into acceptance of Gods morality and principals, and they are wrong, which is sad, but like I said the Apostasy must happen, and they are just aiding and assisting it to take place.
When you join with the world, you become like them, and remember we believers are instructed to be IN the world but not OFF the world, for if we trust in God, then the world has nothing on us.
Matthew 22:14 may be used by you as a reason to publish your hubs, but it is also used by the nut on the street corner screaming through a bullhorn that we will burn in Hell if we don't conform. One is not only acceptable but welcomed, the other is obnoxious and coercive.
Sorry - I get a little riled about the coercion from Christians claiming they never do that. To the point I wrote a hub about it - the only religious hub I've ever written.
- The Great Fraud Of Christian Ethics, Morality And Morals
Christianity is not the bastion of morality it professes to be. Find out why.
The 'the nut on the street corner screaming through a bullhorn that we will burn in Hell' actually means well, he has probably just stopped feeling the fires of hell burning his pants and wants to save everyone, he has a little or a lot of bible and not much understanding, he is looking like he is a liability to Christ.
But equally he may reach one fellow sinner who is also feeling the flames leaping up his pants, and that is what makes him OK with God.
For the Son of man came to save [from the penalty of eternal death] that which was lost.
What do you think?
If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray and gets lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one that is lost?
And if it should be that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost.
I was one of them for a while also, and know how both you and he feels.
Did I bring anybody to Christ with my bullhorn?
No idea, but if I see someone come up to me in eternity and thank me, I will know then.
One sows, another reaps.
I once had an enormous problem with Benny Hinn, would rage in front of the TV cringing at what he did..."Why do you allow Hinn to do this" I asked God, and got the reply, "Could YOU reach these people" and looking at his audience I could see that I could not.
Horses for courses and the human being comes in all shapes and sizes, and therefore God uses ALL the tools that are in the toolbox to get the job done.
So you see nothing is quite what it may seem in the Kingdom of God, and secularists can be forgiven (literally) for not understanding how things work in the kingdom.
It's an upside down kingdom, where the first come last, where the weak are strong and where those who exalt themselves on earth will lose their reward in eternity.
The man who professes to have knowledge, but does not know God is considered a fool, and naturally (literally) secularists get insulted by that, which again is understandable, but also unavoidable.
We all have a God shaped hole in us, what matters is what we fill it with.
In summation if Christians spent their energy on seeking to trust God 100% instead of getting involved in world politics, we would all benefit, for those efforts, matched with prayer to God, would cause a revival in this dead and hopeless world.
2.5 billion believers who learned how to trust God, and to let God answer their prayer, would bring about widespread restoration of morality, good governments who cared for their people and greater prosperity and assistance to those who needed it most.
Wars would cease and the money spent on the military establishment would or could be diverted to solving world hunger and poverty.
Islam would crumble as the power of the LIVING GOD was unleashed over the world, and Muslims saw Christ revealed.
But I fear this will not happen, for God HAS knowledge of the end as well as the beginning, and His word tells us that apostasy will prevail before the end game is played, that humanity will seek ever more knowledge and have less understanding, and that iniquity will increase, along with wars and rumours of wars, that earthquakes and floods will rage in 'diverse places' and that the AntiChrist will impose a New World Order that all will need to swear allegiance to when they collapse the money supply.
All these things are happening NOW, together, and our redemption (as believers) draws near.
All the citizens of the world need to decide is how to fill that God shaped hole.