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"Why Don't You Respect Others' Beliefs?" Print E-mail

How come you can't accept other religions and beliefs instead of always trying to convert them to Christianity? I was brought up in a Christian family and was always taught that you should accept others for who they are instead of forcing them to be how YOU want them to be.

I personally am an aetheist and have told my family that since I was old enough to fully understand my own feelings on religion, and my own family have not tried to convert me as they respect what I think and feel. But when I read your replies to people's e-mails you try to convert people you don't even know. I fully respect your beliefs and thought that since you were Christians you could respect others. I am not trying to be disrespectful but I have friends from almost every religion in the world and yet even when we come to together we never try to (for lack of a better word) force, our views on each other instead we respect each other. I am sorry if I am sounding rude when I say this but would you please email me back with your views on this and I will gladly read them and attempt to understand them.

Dear ______,

I very much appreciate the respectful tone of your letter. Bless you!

There is a difference between accepting others for who they are and forcing them to be someone you want them to be. I am not aware of anything on our website that attempts to force anyone to do anything; we do OFFER the way to know God through a personal relationship with His son Jesus, and we do OFFER a Christian perspective on many topics, but I would be grateful if you would help me see any place where we're forcing anything on anyone. Especially since everyone who reads our website freely chooses to come here and freely chooses to continue reading once they discover our position.

We don't have the power to convert anyone. We will do our best to explain why Christianity makes the most sense because it's true, and you have no doubt discovered that we have a lot of confidence in our position. But everything we say comes from a deep understanding that God created us with the ability to choose. We understand the power of influence, and we try to use whatever influence we have by way of what we have learned about the evidence for Christianity being true to help others understand what is right and true.

Many people think that respecting others' views and beliefs is the same thing as affirming that they are all equally valid, and we can't do that. For instance, what if you met someone who believed that red lights mean go and green lights mean stop. Would you respect that view? Really? Or would you do your best to convince the person believing it that it is a wrong and dangerous view to hold?

That's what we do. We believe that God has spoken to our world through the Bible and through the person of Jesus Christ, and thus we can know truth because God has communicated it to us. And those who believe differently from what God has specifically said, hold wrong and dangerous views because it can keep them separated from God forever.

I hope you understand us better now, even if you don't agree. And if you get to the point where your life seems pointless and meaningless--because if there is no God there is no meaning-giver--then we'll be here to help you.

Respectfully,

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries


About the Author

Sue BohlinSue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565

info@probe.org
www.probe.org

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