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Every Knee Will Bend

I often get into prolonged conversations with fundamentalists. Usually after a little while our conversation changes from antagonism to a genuine exchange of ideas. The fundamentalist then starts to see where I am coming from and begins to reason on his or her own through the theological bullshit that has been drilled into their head. Then all of a sudden out of seemingly nowhere, a brick wall goes up and he or she informs me that I should just give my life over to Jesus right now while I still have a choice in the matter. Apparently, in the Bible, God said something like every knee will bend to his will whether we want it too or not… or something or other (Romans 14:11).

When this happens, I often feel at first like all the progress that I made in our conversation has just been flushed down the toilet. But in reality, the opposite is true. This is one of the last desperate defenses of the fundamentalist who has run out of arguments. They are basically saying that they have nothing left, but are too stubborn in their indoctrination that they are not giving up. In fact, this line is often used as a way of transitioning out of the conversation all together.

Fortunately, I don’t see that line as a transition away from the conversation at all. Quite the opposite, I use it to bring them further into the conversation. If God is going to force my worship anyway, then what is the point of that whole free will thing? If God is going to force my worship anyway, then why is this Christian trying to convince me of anything? Why not wait for God to do it?

Most importantly however, why would I worship a deity who will force people to worship him if I still had a choice about it? Wouldn’t that be immoral? I mean think about it, if the leader of some country some how had this weapon that would force people to obey his commands (think James Bond plot), shouldn’t a moral person do everything they could to stop this tyrant from doing that for as long as the moral person could choose to do anything? Wouldn’t it be not only cowardice but also immoral to instead worship this tyrant before he made every knee bow and every tongue confess to him?

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