This week’s Quick Challenge Answers the challenge “You shouldn’t
push your views on me”.
This is one of those statements that are meant to shut the
Christian down. You’re not really supposed to continue on with the conversation after someone utters this phrase. But does the statement “You shouldn’t push your views on me” actually make sense?
Notice first of all that this is not a challenge to Christianity,
or a refutation of your view. This is a character attack. Basically, the person saying this is accusing you of doing something immoral. They are saying that you are doing wrong. When confronted with this statement, most Christians will shrink from continuing on with the conversation.
“You shouldn’t push your views on me” turns out to be a self-defeating
statement, however. By making this statement, the person is actually doing the very thing they are accusing you of. They are saying “you have violated one of my rules, and I want you to stop your behavior”.
But isn’t that exactly what they are taking issue with in the first place?
Most Christians are in fact not forcing their views on
others. We are contending for our views, just as everyone else is contending for their views. If it is legitimate in one case, its legitimate in the other case as well.
Provided you are not being rude or overly forceful, this is simply name calling by your opponent.
How Do I Handle This In Conversation?
Simple ways to point this out are to use something similar
to the following dialogue:
P1: You shouldn’t push your views on me.
P2: In what way am I pushing my views on you?
P1: You are trying to pass laws to make everyone follow your
view of things.
P2: Well actually, everyone is trying to get laws passed
that support their views, even the people who are on the opposite side of the
issue from me. So why is ok for them to contend for their views, but not ok for me?
Don’t fall for this simple conversation stopper. You are doing nothing wrong by contending for your views. Don’t be fooled into silence by a statement that it turns out is self-contradictory. Contend earnestly for your view, but do it with gentleness and respect.