“Freedom is essential for the true worship and true obedience or for any place that the Spirit of the Lord will come. The use of guilt, pressure, manipulation, and control to compel people to do what we think they should do is not tolerable to the church of Jesus Christ, who came to set those same people free.”
— Rick Joyner, “A Prophetic Vision for the 21st Century”
This is exactly the kind of point and argument that needs to be made and said and repeated and shared across the board, across all religions and denominations and faiths, and across the world. You cannot force someone to live according to your preferences or personal beliefs or biases– it is an imposition and a challenge to their individual rights as human beings. It is also making the statement that you don’t trust what God is doing when He puts someone on this Earth who doesn’t seem to be what you hoped they would be. It is not about your wish to be around more agreeable people or more people like yourself– it is about God’s plan to open more hearts and minds to the wonders of His creation and the power in variety and diversity.
There is a reason why the story of the Tower of Babel was included in the Old Testament. There is a reason why no two people are alike. There is a reason why no two snowflakes are exactly alike– or two grains of sand–or two blood cells even in the same body. We may not ever fully grasp those reasons but we can be in awe of the diversity and glimpse at the wonder that is God’s limitless power to create beyond our imaginations. And we can only hope and assume that everything under creation serves God’s purpose or plan.
If people have the freedom to be themselves and the freedom to make their own choices– then their choices will have far more value and weight. It also means that the consequences or rewards of those choices will also have more value or weight as well. It is far more meaningful when someone willingly invests their heart, mind, and soul to their faith or religion of choice than to try and yoke them or tether them or guilt trip them into compliance. Coercion and force and manipulation only breeds suspicion, rebellion, resentment, and animosity. The best and most honest way of building a church is by open invitation… providing sound information to folks… letting folks make their own informed choices… let them see with their own eyes and senses how God works through you and through that church. This will build trust and build faith.