On Sundays at the moment we are focusing on and exploring ‘The Questions of Faith that People Ask.’ Here is the final part of the fourth question.
How can I answer the question: ‘Why do you want to force your opinion on me?’<
1. Avoid trading personal opinions by pointing people to something Jesus said or did. Confronted people with Jesus so it becomes their opinion verses Jesus.
2. Suppose I spot a serious fault with your car that will soon cause a life-threatening and so I warn you of it. It would be madness to say, ‘Don’t force your opinion on me.’ Suppose I knew of a wonderful free gift available for all who ask. It would be madness to say, ‘Don’t force your opinion on me.’
3. ‘You may make it sound like a noble struggle for freedom. But the truth is you simply want the right to be selfish.’
4. When you say, ‘Let me decide for myself,’ you are saying, in effect, ‘I know better than God. I make a better god than God.’
5. “One of the most frequent statements I heard was that ‘Every person has to define right and wrong for him- or herself.’ I always responded to the speakers by asking, ‘Is there anyone in the world right now doing things you believe they should stop doing no matter what they personally believe about the correctness of their behaviour?’ They would invariably say, ‘Yes, our course.’ Then I would ask, ‘Doesn’t that mean that you do believe there is some kind of moral reality that is “there” that is not defined by us, that must be abided by regardless of what a person feels or things?’ Almost always, the response to that question was a silence, either a thoughtful or a grumpy one.”
6. Christian missionaries are often accused of destroying indigenous cultures. Sometimes this has been true, but more often Christianity has adapted to, and reinforced, local culture. God himself came not in a transcultural form, but as a first century Jewish man. Unlike Islam, Christianity has always translated its message into local languages and practices. This has often created a new sense of cultural identity. ‘Now God speaks to us in our own language,’ said one tribal leader. The Bible celebrates cultural diversity and looks forward to a future when people from ‘every tongue, tribe, people and nation’ worship Jesus together and bring their glory into his kingdom (Revelation 7:9, 21:24-26).
Cited in Tim Keller, The Reason for God, Dutton, 2008, 47.