DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I have my own views about spirituality, but I don’t believe in forcing them down anyone else’s throat. I think people ought to be free to believe anything they want to about the Divine. Why do you Christians insist on forcing people to believe exactly the way you do? — A.L.
Jesus certainly didn’t force people to believe in him; many, in fact, openly rejected him. Nor did Jesus ever tell his followers that they ought to force people to believe in him. On one occasion, he told them, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet.” (Matthew 10:14).
At the same time, Christians want to share their faith with others, and for good reason. Imagine for a moment that you were a medical researcher, and one day you discovered a cure for cancer.
Would you say to yourself, “Oh, well, I don’t think I’ll bother sharing this with anyone. Let them discover their own cure for cancer”? No, of course not. Instead, you’d do everything in your power to let others know you’d found the answer to this dreaded disease.
Cancer is a deadly disease, but even more deadly is the spiritual disease the Bible calls sin. Sin is nothing less than rebellion against God, and not only does it bring us into conflict with others and cause turmoil in our lives, but it also cuts us off from God. The Bible warns, “For the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23).
This is why we need Christ, for only he can bring us the forgiveness and new life we need. Don’t be deceived into following a road that may seem good at first, but actually leads away from God. Instead, by faith turn to Christ and open your heart and life to him.