I'm sure this surprises some people. Some might be saying "But you never talk about Christ or try to convert atheists. You don't really believe that." Other people might say "Really, you think that? I've never had you force your Christianity on me."
This is a good thing. I don't want people to think of me as that person who tries to force Jesus on others, or who talks all the time about Jesus.
There is one analogy which has stuck with me since I first heard it. Imagine the most juicy, delicious, perfect cheeseburger (or tofuburger for the vegetarians/vegans). It is perfectly cooked with exactly the toppings that you want. The bun is not soggy or too dry, and it fits perfectly into your mouth. You are hungry, and a cheeseburger is exactly what you are craving. It sounds almost too good to be true.
Even though you want this cheeseburger, and even though it's perfect... if someone were to take that burger and try to force feed you, shoving it down your throat... you would choke. You would fight back against the person, cough up the burger, and feel sick. The perfect burger, bitten and spit out, would be ruined.
Jesus Christ is the same way (sidenote: please do not try to eat your Christ). If you take Jesus and try to shove Him down the throat of a non-believer, they will cough Him up and dislike both Him and you for it. However, if you inform the person about Christ, and then allow THEM to choose him; allow THEM to pick Him up and accept him- then you'll find a new follower of Christ.
This event does not happen overnight. It is a long grueling process of acceptance and refusal and learning and understanding. But if I may, I would like to provide the example of Angie, self proclaimed AntiTheist.
From my understanding, an Anti-theist is someone actively opposed to theism and religion (at least, organized religion). Angie seems to have had a bad experience with Christianity and religion, and no longer agrees with these beliefs. Let us see how she responds (and how others whom she agrees with respond) to different types of "Christian" speech.
@DeafAtheist Hateful Christians. I guess now you know what the H stands for, in Jesus H Christ. # @antitheistangie1
@antitheistangie reading some of the "christians" comments. I'd much rather go to Hell.2
*snort* "Murdering bitch will be tweeting from hell when she meets her maker" Damn, I HOPE hell has #twitter! #livetweetingabortion #atheist
It seems... pretty bad. These are all comments in response to "Christians" who spoke cruelly and rudely to Angie. They called her names, threatened her, told her she was a murderer and going to hell. This is the response they invoked.
Now, there are some Christians like myself who have not condemned Angie. We have spoken kind words to her, apologized for the words of other Christians, and tried to find understanding in her situation. This is Angie's response to those messages:
Thanks especially to all the #prochoice Christians who read your Bibles! Ha, never thought I'd be thanking someone for that again #atheist
How amazing! She is actually thanking Christians for following the Bible.
@feminismxianity @Kushielsmoon Thanks for being kick-ass #prochoice Christians! #atheist #atheism
There is a vast difference between these comments and the previous ones (there is another positive quote, but I can't seem to find it). Positive, thankful and uplifting. These are *good* comments. Completely opposite of the previous comments, where hate and bullying was seen.
Now, I do not think that I am responsible for these comments. But I do think that they are so much more important than the hate filled comments others sent her way. Did calling her names make her want to become a a Christian? No. Did telling her that she was going to hell make her like Christians? No.
As Christians, we must remember that we cannot shove Jesus down people's throats. We cannot MAKE people love Christ. God gave us free will, and this was for a reason. A person must want to believe in Christ. The words of the Bible are not enough to convince people, we must also ACT like followers of Christ. Christ knew that we are ALL sinners. When a group of Pharisees brought an adulterous woman to Jesus, looking for Jesus to condemn her- Jesus told them "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." John 8:7. We too must remember this teaching, difficult as it may be. We are not to condemn people. Jesus saved people from their sins instead of punishing them.
Sometimes, in our actions, we will succeed at showing the truth of Christ's message. Sometimes we will fail. As long as we try, without shoving Jesus down people's throat, we have done our duty.