The complaint goes something like this: “The problem with Christianity is that too many people who claim to be Christians automatically dismiss anyone who thinks in any way different from them as wrong.
It’s arrogant and hypocritical. Didn’t Jesus say ‘Judge not’?”
Decades ago, when two people had a disagreement, they had three options: continue to disagree, adopt the opponents view, or mutually agree on some third viewpoint.
In modern times a fourth option has been invented and become practically mandatory: everybody’s viewpoint is correct. It is not a problem if the two ideas contradict one another because truth is like ice cream: it’s a matter of opinion. Your taste in truth is as valid as mine.
Alternately, people now believe that no one can really know what is true. Everyone operates off of the limited information they have, but can’t say with any confidence that they are right and someone else is wrong.
Given these viewpoints, it is understandable that people get offended when Christians act like they know the truth and reject all viewpoints that differ from theirs. However, there are some obvious flaws with both of these concepts of truth.
In the first case, two people’s beliefs cannot be true if they contradict one another. They can both be false, or one of them can be true, but there is no third option. To say that everyone’s beliefs are true is a copout because then the person is not forced to have to do the hard work of evaluating their own view, they are not forced to consider the alternatives, nor are they forced to have to take a stand against an idea they believe to be wrong. There is no conflict, but there is also no resolution.
The second idea, that no one can be certain of anything, is self-refuting. How are you certain that no one can be certain? Isn’t it possible that there is some way that a person can be certain, and you just don’t know about it?
If a Christian has become confident that their viewpoint is true, then logic forces them to regard all opposing viewpoints to be false. People can disagree and still be respectful of one another.
Why, then, do Christians have to try to convince others? Again, the reason is very simple, and has nothing to do with arrogance. Christians believe they have found something that everyone needs. It is the answer, the key, the meaning to life. Additionally, they know that every person has an expiration date after which they can no longer receive the tremendous truth the Christian has found. It is out of compassion that Christians assert their beliefs, not arrogance or condemnation.
Certainly some Christians are arrogant and obnoxious with their attitudes, but this is not in keeping with the teachings of Christ. It is also possible for Christians to go too far and to be too pushy in their attempts to persuade others of their need for Christ. One cannot nag or argue someone into changing their mind. Such actions, although possibly misguided, are still well-intentioned. For the Christian it is a matter of utmost urgency that they convince others to join them. The Apostle Paul puts it well when hesays, “To those outside the law I became as one outside the law… that I might win those outside the law.
To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.”
So are Christians arrogant? Quite the opposite. The first thing a person does when they become a Christian is to realize the awesome power and purity of God, and the fact that they could never, ever meet His standards. A Christian has to acknowledge that he or she has no worth in themselves, and humbly plead to God for the forgiveness He offers through Jesus’ sacrifice. A person must abandon all arrogance and pride in order to become a Christian, and once they do, it is difficult for them not to share it with everyone.