Religious tolerance rouses open debate

American tolerance makes it easy to call myself a Christian. I can pray whenever and wherever I feel like, protest policies in the name of a higher cause and publicly admit my faith. My objection with this issue is it is simply too easy to be a Christian in this nation.

But America has its problems. Our culture is enriched with a greed for material things. No other country in the world has the same access to clothes and electronics. As one of the richest nations in the world, everything and anything we want is at our fingertips, if we’re willing to go after it. But as a disciple of Christ, I do not fear for my life or the safety of those I love. Yet millions of Christians around the world do.

This summer I was in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and one day, we went door-to-door to share the Gospel. Boldly, we walked up to doors and asked if we could talk to people about their thoughts on God and spiritual matters. The worst thing that happened to us was having a door shut in our face or someone angrily yelling, “No thank you.” This is the persecution I face in America.

And yet, I still shy away from spreading the “good news.” It’s a terrible problem many believers face, all for different reasons. Some may not feel they are worthy enough to share it, but that’s false because we have been told to do so. Some even begin to doubt their faith, which is the most difficult situation to encounter after being persecuted by words and ideas. Ultimately, I think it comes down to acceptance.

American Christians do not fear government officials killing their family members because of their faith. I do not fear my dorm room being ransacked by non-believers because I write a column about Christian faith. Nor do I fear receiving a lesser grade in a class because I might mention my belief in God during a class discussion or in a paper. Of course, there are stories of people being denied promotions or receiving poor grades due to a statement of faith – they do occur. As for me, I fear being chastised.

Jesus even told his followers that, if you love him and follow him wholeheartedly, people are going to mock you and call you idiots. When I share my faith and try to explain the Gospel to people, I am not called to convert them. The Bible does not tell Christians to strike non-believers and tell them to repent or burn. Nor am I told to drag people to church and coerce them into belief. I am simply commanded to spread the name of Christ and what he did for humanity – nothing more, nothing less.

But even that seems impossible at times, because it is so easy to be a Christian in America.

The column was originally published on Sept. 9 by Washington State University’s Daily Evergreen. Content was made available by