Why are people offended when others don't accept their faith? If you are sure, why be upset?
Christ never tried to convince anyone to believe in him. He had a purpose, lived it out and people believed on the power of God within him. Why get so defensive?
That's a good question. I have wondered it myself many times.
I suspect the answer is pretty simple: No matter our faith experience or choice, we remain human which means we are full of pride & ego. We may/should be in the process of growth & development, but pride & ego are kind of like dandelions in that they have deep roots & are difficult to eradicate.
We are also tribal in nature & all too often get deceived into thinking we have something to protect.
Personally, I believe what I believe quite passionately, but if somone chooses to believe differently that is entirely their choice & decision.
My responsibility is to be true to what I say I believe, which means that I MUST respect those who have a different belief or perspective. And hope that I receive respect in return, but even if I do not, I am not released from the responsibility to respect them.
Two things have truly set me free from feeling offended when people either reject the Word or attack me, when indeed they are attacking the Word:
First, the Word of the Lord is the "Seed". When we understand that we are the bond-servants who sow the Seed, yet it is only God that brings the increase, we realize we are not responsible for how that Seed is received.
Second, when someone is truly "convicted" by the Holy Spirit, s/he will feel a sense of guilt (conviction) and may react with anger or hostility. We are to rejoice in our hearts when we are insulted, hated, etc. because great is our reward! This is because the "Seed" penetrated!! The hearer is truly not fighting with us, but struggling within and with the Spirit of God ~ hopefully, bringing them to salvation. AMEN!!
If people get defensive, it's either because of their ego or they're insecure of their own faith. They feel they must defend themselves at all costs to perhaps give themselves an extra sense of security.
However, if a person is genuinely and relentlessly trying to convince you, they probably sincerely love you. I mean, just think about it. The people in your life who have never given up on you are the ones who truly love you. Their certainty in the faith is the reason why they're so adamant that you believe too. By the way, Jesus commanded his followers to believe him countless times. He isn't "defensive" in the way a lot of people are today, but regardless, you can sense he was convicted of the reality he was speaking of: the impending judgment of God upon those who did not repent, the free grace of God offered to undeserving sinners, etc.
As a Christian, if I see a multitude of people walking straight towards a cliff, wouldn't it be the right and loving thing to do all that I can to stop them? In fact, it would be very unloving if I did nothing! I might try to yell out to the people, stand in their way, or even tackle them down so as to prevent them from walking off that cliff. Any person who had eyes to see would be grateful for the tackle and not hate me for showing them the cliff.
"My responsibility is to be true to what I say I believe, which means that I MUST respect those who have a different belief or perspective. And hope that I receive respect in return, but even if I do not, I am not released from the responsibility to respect them."
I appreciate the other answers, but here is what made me smile. How would you feel if someone came to you and told you that everything that you believe was a lie and had some things that made sense to show you? Would it move you or would you be steadfast in what you were taught or the thing that rest true with your spirit? You would more than likely remain true to your faith.
This is what others want. They want the respect that we would want.
Jesus had followers and for those followers it was vital that they believe on him because if they didn't there would be division. He and the disciples went all over healing and teaching about Our Creator and the power of God. He displayed that power and taught the disciples how to activate their power as well. This was done through faith. Things were accomplished through faith. Faith & love is key.
We can talk until we are blue in the face, but faith can't be forced. Faith is what most people have in what they believe, this is the reason it works for them. To shatter that by I'm right and you're wrong is against scripture. Romans 14 says that one must be convinced within themselves.
So, I'm not saying not to share your message. What I am saying is that no one has the right to be angry or argue things. Scriptures have been altered. Doctrines have been added. This denomination has their thing that makes them different. We must respect each other rather we agree or not because the real truth is that there are bits and pieces of God's full truth everywhere. And only He can bring it all together. Our job is simply to show love.
You know what treasuresyw I was just telling my wife the same thing. These Christians sure are uptight for people who are the only ones not going to hell after they die. They say it's because they love you but they sure act like they hate you if you don't accept their God. Creeepy. Some of them actually seem like they are enjoying the fact that you're going to hell. Some part of them feels like they are going to be vindicated in some major way and "you'll be sorrrreee." I always feel like they get some sadistic joy and peace from the thought of seeing your face as Jesus wisks them up to heaven and you are left here to be tortured by the devil and his minions. Because they're special to God and you're not. Creeeeepy.
The underlying reason for some is the unresolved questions in their own mind. Experiences which have occurred they don't have a clear answer for. Many Christians need to understand God will allow something to happen for a reason. When we don't know that reason, or the answer has not become clearly evident to us, we're in that grey area.
Some, to answer your question directly, take it personally. They don't see past the apparent direct attack on your person they feel is happening when in reality the person who won't accept your faith won't accept it because of past negative experiences.
They haven't learned how to make the people/God split yet in terms of blaming or not blaming God for something. If they don't accept, it is what it is. Pray for them sincerely and move on.
People get offended because of their insecurity. If a person knows something to be a fact then they should not get offended. If they have doubt then when you challenge a core belief with some people it touches a very sensitive nerve. I do not know many people who want to think the world they live in is a lie, so if the "God" or religion that they serve and their ancestors have served is wrong, that is a situation that would make people uncomfortable and defensive. It doubt and weak faith that make people get offended on disagreements based on faith..
Many years ago (about 25-27 years ago), I decided to stop using the traditional names for the Saviour and utilize the Hebrew names (Y'shua, ehYah-huweh). You would have thought that I talked about someone's Mama!!! Even those individuals who were not particularly religious felt, believed that I had some how abandoned the faith.
I so wanted to tell them that it took months of research, going to libraries that had large sections of religious material. It wasn't a snap decision. I wasn't doing this for myself, I was also doing this for my child who at the time was nine years old.
Was I alienated from friends and family? Sad to admit but yes!
The years have taught me that one day you may stand alone: parents do pass away, friends, family members and associates can and do move on.
Was it worth it? Yes! I had a questions that no one was able to answer for me: what did the Israelite of the time of EXODUS have and why didn't I have it?
What made my faith different than theirs.
Who did they call and why was I calling on someone different (there were several prominent notations in the scripture about the importance of HIS NAME; for HIS NAME sake and yet, it was different.
DID it make a difference? Yes, to me it did. If this is a contractual agreement embodied in HIS NAME, would there be changes (voiding of those terms) if the contract (NAME) changed? How can an individual be held to its terms if changes occurred?
When you are in danger or in a less than savoury place, when you can on that name, do you get a proper response (honestly)? Or even if you are not aware of the danger, does the GRACE MODE kick in?
If you don't or more precisely, you feel your prayers are not answered, could this be the reason or do you "blow it off" by saying to yourself: "He never lays more burdens (on us) than we can bear."
I have always felt that ones faith is personal and there are occasions when one needs to "mind ones own spiritual business" but the Bible does state to prove ALL things... and you know the rest.
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