I know many people who grow infuriated when people say something that is found not only disagreeable, but blasphemous according to their belief system. Whether it’s by faith, by politick, or even merely a personal opinion about someone’s characteristics, some people grow greatly offended by other people’s opinions, surmises and other biased words.
But why do they grow so angry?
For example. Someone I know recently posted this story: “‘Jesus was a Muslim,’ Religion Teacher Makes Unbelievable Argument.” According to my acquaintance, they “Saw red.”
You have someone who claims that the figurehead of your personal faith is something different than what you believe he is and you’re getting angry.
I know plenty of people who think Jesus simply doesn’t exist, or that he may have been a prophet but in no way holy. You don’t get red when people express their belief that Jesus was only human. But you grow angry when someone says Jesus was a muslim? Or gay? Or buddhist? Or liberal? Or what?
There is likely evidence in most cases to support opposing arguments. Even if you feel personally connected and supported through long experience for your argument, you must ask yourself of what great threat an opposing argument may have?
Now, let’s break down how to define threats. If I believe in the right to own personal fire arms and someone I don’t know says I don’t, the neutrality of our opposing arguments should mean absolutely nothing to us. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. If we can legitimately recognize a threat, it must be by the person who is willing to use the threat by personal or governmental means to force you to live as they believe, then it is not so much their belief system but the threat of force, itself, we must fight against most.
If our neighbor wants what we have but can be held at bay because we can shoot back at him when he comes in our home, we live a mutually canceling lifestyle that prevents others from infringing our rights. When that balance is tipped, for whatever reason — whether the person now in power wants to use it to force their help upon us or their greed — we must then fight to preserve the balance, not destroy their opposing point of view.
Should we attempt to go after their point of view, we provoke nothing more than a theological war of who’s “God” is bigger. If God is real, he doesn’t need us to win that argument for him, much less even engage in it. If God is real like I believe He is, He will show himself and his glory in ways I never could. And as we live in a free society, I will continue to fight for everyone to believe what they want to believe.
What we must fight, instead, is that someone of any particular point of view is put into a position by which they can push their own belief system upon anyone else. Politically, legislatively, theologically …
We live in a marketplace of ideas. Just because someone claims Jesus is a Buddhist gay midget doesn’t mean he was, nor does it mean it’s worth my anger.
“Person A believes ____. I believe that’s very wrong. I could get A) Excited, B) Indifferent or C) Furious. I will actually accomplish absolutely nothing whatsoever, no matter how I FEEL about it or otherwise emotionally react to a situation that has no changing power in my life.”
Should someone gain that changing power in your life and threaten to use their personally selected belief system to oppress yours, I recommend you do anything necessary to preserve it. If that involves picking up a gun to rebalance the power they have stolen, then arm yourself and prepare to do whatever is necessary to remove their threat to your life and your conduct of it.
Until then, so long as someone is making their opinion only a voluntarily selectable option in the grand tapestry of beliefs, save yourself the emotional heartache and artery-troubling stress and just trust your own belief system to be bigger than one man or woman’s poor opinion of it.
If nothing else, especially when it comes to faith, remember that God doesn’t hold you accountable for other people’s opinions. He holds you accountable for following the faith, yourself, and sharing that faith in love to other people. Don’t let anger come between you and loving people most in need of knowing the truth you believe has brought you peace.