Till that time they keep creating situations of conflicts among them due to varying degrees of misunderstandings arising out of imperfect comprehension of truths and untruths. The immature ones would not even allow the peace loving, mature folks among them to live in an environment of social brotherhood of peace, friendship and service!
You may be wondering why I wrote all this? Be patient, and read ahead.
What is the real motive behind Christian proselytism?
Did Jesus really instruct his followers to baptize all people of all nations as his disciples? Why did Jesus gave such an instruction? What did he actually mean by it? Is this the reason why Christian churches, individual evangelists and groups keep on carrying out their so-called gospel missions and conversion activities?
Why do Christian churches sponsor missionaries and try to convert non-Christians to their fold? Are they doing this for their selfish benefits? Are they doing this for taking control of all nations and making their own super power? Is it a political agenda by some vicious Christian leaders to subjugate all other religions and peoples?
The mechanics of 'divide and rule' is nothing new in our world!
When Christians became a majority in the world order by their centuries old collective and individualized proselytism activities, they happened to be viewed as a threat by those who happened to be in the minority faiths. Christians were a persecuted minority in the past, but in many regions of the world over the centuries, they emerged as a well-to-do and progressive class in general. Divisions in the society did not get eliminated in nations and regions even when all people became Christians. Emerging new religions and divisions within the Christendom caused conflicts to keep happening.
Where they are a minority, Christians are generally labelled as a potential threat by radical thought provokers of modern times who keep postulating their theories very convincingly. The Christian haters do get opportunities to bash the former as Christians too are nothing very different from their other human brethren with regard to their maturity levels!
'It was their time earlier, but now it's our time!'. Such a thought also seems very logical for many.
Here is one such essay by a a foreign writer, perhaps from a Christian background.
In my country, many influential writers from all faiths keep expressing their own ideas and opinions.
And to be very frank, I am surprised. I do not find any logic in any person, rich or poor, to convert to another faith because of lures of money, inducements, threats or other such influences in these modern times. At the same time I do not deny the fact about the existence of a few such persons who switch their faith for temporary material benefits. But I have not yet come across a person of that sort. If there are some, they are perhaps people with no self esteem just like those who do any thing for money, fame or for some other very selfish non-spiritual gains.
I have studied other religions very closely. Had the other religions been better to satisfy my inner spiritual urge, I would perhaps had overcome the social stigma to get converted to any one of those where I found that satisfaction!
Perhaps people who get converted to Christianity or other religions are doing that for quenching their spiritual thirsts more than the material thirsts. In my opinion, the material or social prospects alone would not make a person in this modern times to change their faith. In most cases, they overcome the societal stigma of changing faith and convert to another religion because of some inner spiritual awakening about which only they can explain.
Since, voluntary faith conversions take place more to Christianity than to any other religion, there should be some thing special with Christianity that makes it possible.
I had the opportunity to meet several well-to-do and not-so-well-to-do people who have converted voluntarily to Christianity in the recent times. I do get overwhelmed by their spiritual enthusiasm in their newly acquired faith and religion- some thing that either me or the lot like me do not have. In the times we live, religion and faith are very sensitive issues and therefore, I know the various difficulties they might have faced in taking the decisions to convert to Christianity. Unlike those who do religious conversions for purely temporal or beneficial physical gains such as marriage, those who do it for apparent spiritual benefits face much embarrassment in life. Yet many keep doing it. It is perhaps difficult for many to understand the logic or purpose behind it in pure material terms.
I also know several people who while outwardly retaining their original religious affiliations, remain inwardly as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. I also had occasions when a few such individuals trying to convince me- a branded Christian- to convert to the version of the christian faith that they believe as true. I often wonder why they have more of the christian faith than me!
It is not possible in these days to make a person to fall in line with your thoughts, whatever inducements you try to adopt, unless they themselves have taken such a decision willfully. Human beings are will creatures. The mere fact that they are poor or downtrodden does not change that. It is a mere foolishness to think that the poor class are will-less slaves!
Under physical force and also under conditions of torture, it might be possible to make some people to do some religious rituals or to make them verbally pronounce or denounce their faiths. But that would not make their minds to change, unless they themselves decide for a change. But, true followers of Christ have a legacy of withstanding even great violence and torture! They apparently possess a stronger will that could withstand all physical problems.
The Christian faith is based on the reality of God and the reality of life after death. By combining the old and the new together, the Christian Bible makes one understand the evolutionary aspects of faith under love, compassion and service. The contrasts between the old and the new together with the fatherly love of God to all his creations are great help for all spiritually starved persons to realize the reality of God as their divine father. The history of Jesus as depicted makes one understand the way Jesus made his followers understand the power of simplicity, service, love and humility rather than the material power. Physical power is easier to perceive and understand, while spiritual power, though superior, is difficult to perceive.
As with any other religion, Christianity too have been used by evil forces for meeting their vested interests. But it also possessed the self healing systems within itself to overcome such difficulties and to function as a great agent of modern civilization and progress. Perhaps it enjoyed some divine over-care during times of difficulties.
As with any faith, Christians are also not a unified or cohesive force in this world. There are several groups, churches or denominations and all have their differences and agreements of thoughts. Many follow a religion about Jesus Christ and not necessarily the religion of Jesus Christ. Yet, Christianity as it stand today is a religion that essentially nurtures human personality, values and character rather than chaining its followers under regressive mores, rituals or traditions. While they have institutionalized the churches, the churches are all essentially democratic and the individuals members enjoy freedom of expression and thought.
The foremost principle of being a Christian is the principle of loving service to fellow beings, not necessarily fellow Christians. So those who are in Christian faith are more willing to share their wealth for common good. While they contribute for a common cause, very often they are neither doing so for gaining some immediate material gain from a satisfied deity nor to please a God who would otherwise become angry.
I am a member of an Indian church. All members contribute voluntarily to the church for various purposes. Funds are required for maintaining the common infrastructure for the church as well as for doing welfare measures for others in the society who might benefit from it. Those contributions from the members help the churches to build hospitals, schools, training centers and such other things for areas and peoples who really need it. Just as the Indian Christians, all Christians in the world do it as a part of their small commitment towards making a bit difference in the lives of several of their unfortunate human brothers and sisters. Besides, most Christians feel the internal joy of sharing the spiritual wellness of being a follower of Jesus that actually helped them to become an individual capable of sharing both physically and spiritually.
Once a senior bureaucrat and a Hindu by faith who was a fellow air passenger with me on a flight from Port Blair told me some thing he found as difficult to explain by any simple logic. He was the government commissioner of the Nicobar islands. How could the many remote islanders of Nicobar become Christians several decades or centuries ago? Who converted them and by what method at a time when there was no modern communication methods available? Even with all government support, he said, these islands are difficult to reach. Then how these people speaking different languages or dialects were contacted so that they changed to a new faith in large numbers? He had no answer, nor had I.
But that is the manner in which the world population got converted to Christianity. It started with the Jews, Greeks, Egyptians and the elite Romans some 1900 odd years ago. Human inducement or divine intervention? I do not know. But humans alone cannot do it. That I am sure.
If my fellow Christians start discarding their faith and embrace other faiths in large numbers, I would not get angry. I believe religious faith is a matter of personal choice. But I would be perplexed and puzzled to know the reason. My human curiosity would try finding the reasons by talking to those of my fellows who changed their faith. If I get convinced, I too would perhaps join them. Otherwise not. But would I ever get convinced to overcome the various barriers to take the decision for a conversion? I doubt. I would need an irresistible spiritual boost to over come the mind barrier. If it is like that for me, it might apply to others as well.
Why did Jesus tell his disciples the way it is written in the Bible? He was not interested in becoming the king or the emperor. But then why did he tell that way? Why did he want the whole nations of the earth as his disciples? For political power or for some thing else?
I was curious to know the details of what he might have actually told. Then quite surprisingly I got the answer in my favorite book (the Urantia Book). The book says that Jesus taught most authoritatively after he got resurrected the third day after his death on the cross. One day before his ascension, he instructed his followers about preaching the good news and about the realities of the kingdom of God to all people who live in ignorance.
Let me quote what is written in this book:
My dear reader! I now have the answer to the question that was in my mind for so long. Christians are not there to defend and protect their religion or their god. It is the God that acts through many of them, if not all of them. The baptism that Jesus preached was about the baptism of the mind and a change from ignorance to wisdom and loving service. Since all men and women are children of God, there is no need for any one to make a formal declaration or a physical ritual to embrace the good things that he revealed.
Read the above quote once again. You would know the difference!