Through talking with Christians it is often insinuated that we need be quieter and keep our beliefs to ourselves as to not cause unneeded quarrel. They often quote verses that talk about not judging others, looking at the plank in our own eyes, and casting the first stone if you are without sin. Although these are all perfectly applicable scriptures, I think the interpretation that we should NEVER speak up to others and keep our faith to ourselves is incorrect in light of other scriptures. I don’t think there is anything wrong with interpreting scriptures, but I think the number one rule in doing so is to be sure your personal interpretation aligns with all other scriptures.
The first major problem I see with thinking that we should keep our faith to ourselves and never “preach” to others is the obvious Biblical call and example of missionary work. Jesus told us to go into “all the world” spreading the news. You can’t minister to someone else without technically inferring that they are a sinner. If you think we are never to offend anyone with our beliefs, then missionary work is out of the question. You are free to hold this position, but it is obviously not compatible with the Bible. Now it just depends on how willing you are to go against the word of God to hold to your position!
Now, that first point should cause a person to change their opinion, but if not; here are some more verses that are extremely difficult to reconcile with that position:
2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV) – “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.”
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) – “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”
Colossians 4:6 (NIV) – “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – (‘salt’ being the key word here)
Matthew 18: 15-20 gives us an undeniable layout of how one should confront a known sinner, from the lips of Jesus himself –
“If your brother sins go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church”
Also keep in mind that whenever Jesus was challenged on an issue, the first thing he did was quote scripture constantly saying “it is written”. He verified that scripture is extremely important in defending our faith. Eventually he was put to death for these radical stances. Apparently he was not afraid of offending others, and if the word of God is true and trustworthy – neither should we.
The thing is we are all sinners. Yes, we are not to go around judging others and constantly calling people out on their sinners while we are yet sinners ourselves, but that does not mean we should remain silent and keep our amazing grace to ourselves! If this is your interpretation of Christianity, perhaps you need to meditate on the verses above, as well as consider your stance on missionary work, and the example of Christ himself. God bless.