Teaching & Testing Biblical Truth

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Forced Love

Love cannot be forced: it must be freely given – we fool ourselves if we think otherwise.  We may want someone to love us but we cannot win that person’s love by force.  Even if we demanded love at the point of a sword, people might go through the motions of showing it but only out of fear – in their hearts they would despise us.

When nations have forced their religious views on others (the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc.), it has always ended in disaster.  These unfortunate episodes have blighted Christianity, creating international distrust which has lasted for centuries. The ‘Cause of Christianity’ will never be won at the ‘point of a sword’.  We should remember this when making national policies, work policies, school policies, and family policies. One of the primary goals of Christianity is guiding people to receive salvation and come to love the Lord, but if we think we can achieve this noble aim through legal action, coercive bullying or nagging, we fool ourselves.  Christ has shown us the way by living the example.  People flocked to him seeking forgiveness, compassion, grace and love.  Christ never forced himself on anyone.

1 Corinthians 13:4-6 defines love: Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth. When we start living our Christian beliefs instead of forcing them on others, people may stop fleeing from Christianity – and run towards it.

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