Recently I was on a mission trip to one of those trendy, touristy, new agey towns. As we prayer walked up and down their streets I saw a lot of Coexist bumper stickers. I agree with what the sticker says, but necessarily what people read into it or think it says.
What I mean by coexist is giving humanity room to decide for themselves what they will believe.
What I don’t mean by coexist is the accompanying assumption of many, namely that it doesn’t matter what you believe. It does matter what you believe. Jesus is the truth. But you cannot glorify God by physically forcing someone to accept this truth. Faith requires that they choose to accept it. Love for God, like any other love, only means something when it is freely given.
On the other side of the coin though, I do not believe that discussion, education, or witness is a form of coercion. People who are offended by hearing the religious views of others, need to grow up and toughen up. Words and ideas are never to be feared by people who are seeking the truth.
So coexistence is a matter of religious freedom. I believe God gave us religious freedom because it supported His purpose. He wants us to have the faith to choose to serve Him, or alternatively to choose the consequences of rejecting Him. Therefore being Christian naturally leads to a belief in religious freedom.
However, not every religious viewpoint supports religious freedom. The very first symbol in the normal Coexist bumper sticker does not believe in religious freedom, and in fact believes that forced conversions and religious war have a place in God’s will.
This is a major falsehood in what people think they are saying with those Coexist stickers. They think they are saying all religions are basically the same, that all are equally at fault in sowing disharmony, and that it is possible to maintain your beliefs and peacefully coexist. This is a deep pile of false ideas.
Wouldn’t you rather work from a foundation of truth, morality and genuine religious freedom?