One of the central tenants of Protestantism (as opposed to orthodox Catholism) is the primacy of an individual’s personal relationship with God. This relationship is a result of the individual freely accepting Jesus Christ as his or her personal savior, leading to the experience of being “born again.” Baptism is a symbol and an expression of this rebirth, a rebirth that’s only possible because the individual freely accepts Jesus and his teachings. It is this concept, which includes the concept of free will, that is the central core of Christian religious belief. Without free will, and without the free acceptance of a personal relationship with Jesus, there can be no true conversion, and no salvation.
One stumbling block to belief often expressed by athiests is this notion of an all-powerful and all-knowing God providing mankind with free will. If God is truly all-powerful and all-knowing, the argument goes, and if he wants humankind to worship him, why gift humanity with free will? Wouldn’t it be simpler just to create humans with an innate belief and understanding of a personal God? Why go to all the trouble of providing humans with free will, and then allowing them the choice not to believe, if belief is what God wants from us?
To this argument the believing Christian has two answers. The first, of course, is that God’s motives and methods are inherently unknowable, and so cannot be questioned by human rationality. The second, and more important for our purposes, is the notion that God allows us free will because he values our worship precisely because it’s freely given. In other words, the ability of an individual human to reject God’s worship is part of God’s plan for humanity.
It is for this reason that the attempt of believing Christians to enforce God’s will upon non-believing Christians is inherently blasphemous.
By setting themselves up as God’s agents on earth, to enforce what they perceive to be the creator’s will, Christians who seek to legislate religious rules through governmental action are placing their own judgment above God’s will. They are seeking to supplant God’s plan with their own.
They are blaspheming against God.
So, next time a Christian believer tells you that he’s only seeking to enforce God’s will when he tries to pass a law restricting your freedom to ignore God’s will, tell him or her that what he’s doing is pure blasphemy. Tell him that God endowed you with free will, and that you must be allowed to act upon your free will if God’s plan is to be fulfilled, and that any attempt to restrict your free will is clearly unGodly, and that whoever does so is sinning in the face of God.
Let’s see how they like them apples.