This topic is by request of a friend known only through the blogosphere. I hope I address it suitably and it is about the accusation by some that Christians seek to control others. Indeed, this accusation eminates also from other, more liberal Christians of those more conservative. It is baseless either way.

Christians of the more conservative variety seek to spread the Word of God in order to glorify Him. It is done by evangelism and preaching what the Word of God is and means for us in our day to day lives. I personally belive that everyone benefits who lives a Christian life whether one believes in a deity or not. I believe a society benefits as more of its people follow Christian teaching regarding behaviors. In fact, I believe the only proper response to the preceding statements is as follows: DUH!

I often gravitate to issues of sexuality because there is no better arena where the beliefs stated above are so well illustrated. As everyone knows, the Bible sanctions sex only within the confines of the traditional marital arrangement of one man/one woman. If this was followed by everyone, as well as the Biblical description of what love means in a marriage, is it not easy to see how society would be better off? No divorce, no unwanted children, no STDs, no abortions, no Monday night football (wait a minute…) So the Christian desire to see all follow the Way of the Master is a desire that all should benefit by doing so.

But this hardly means we intend to control or force others to join in lockstep under a malevolent God or religious leader. Heaven forbid. This is not beneficial. Rather, we seek to persuade only and hope our arguments are compelling enough that others join us willingly. God gave us choice and free will. We only seek to provide intel that would lead to others making the choice to follow of their own free will

So why the charge? Two main reasons, really. The first is that some enjoy certain activities God considers improper and/or forbidden to us. They simply don’t want to stop enjoying them.

The second is that while they continue to enjoy these forbidden activities, they don’t want to be considered wrong, bad, sinful, and strongly resent such implications. Of course, for most of them, theydo believe those actions are wrong and their anger betrays this. As the person reminding them of the sinfulness of the actions, the Christian is considered to be “trying to shove their ideology down their throats”.

In addition, it is far easier to dismiss the source of the opinion, in this case the Bible, rather than to debate the merits of the position. As indicated above, there are indeed practical benefits for society in adhering to Christian teaching. But those insisting on answering the call of their personal desires are confounded by any reminder of what they know inherently about those desires. The admonishment, “Shame on you!” has long fallen from favor, but the nagging feelings of shame still plagues and to whomever aroused that sense of shame in the sinner is guilty of cramping of the style. A most heinous crime. But consider: most people who are secure in the knowledge that their actions are righteous cannot easily be aroused to anger by those who say they are doing wrong. They simply ignore the accuser. Those who get angry do so for having been forced to face the unrighteousness of their actions. A very awkward and uncomfortable situation.

Also, Christians are also labelled as controlling for voting according to conscience. We’ll vote to support traditional marriage, for example, because we feel it aligns with the Will of God as well as for the benefits for society in doing so. The accusation begs the question of why the opposition isn’t being controlling for voting as they see fit? Frankly, I don’t much care about the source of an idea if the idea is a good one and I don’t care about the source if the idea is crap. Each side weighs an idea against their own ideology and common sense.

So in conclusion, charges of Christians forcing their will are really akin to tantrums by those who understand that their position on a given issue is indefensible, just as a child throws a fit when he doesn’t get his way.