This one is probably going to cost me some Twitter followers, blog readers, Facebook friends.

There’s been a firestorm this week over U.S. Rep. (and sentate hopeful) Todd Akin’s comments concerning abortion.

Are you familiar with this sign? If you live in a part of the country with these kinds of roads, you know this sign is telling you “Danger ahead! Be alert.” That same mental signal should go off in every blogger, politician and public figure’s head when they approach the subjects of abortion and rape. These are hot button issues. The sign should be twice as big with DANGER written in large red letters if the writer/speaker is a male.

(Full disclosure, I am a male.)

We have to be very careful when discussing these subjects. Rep Akin’s either didn’t see the danger sign or ignored it.

I need to heed my own advice here and choose my words carefully.

Unfortunately, the Christian community has done such a bad job communicating its message that the only message most people have heard with any clarity is on homosexuality and abortion.

I find that incredibly sad.

In both cases, it seems like Christians have tried to get laws passed that enforce the Judeo-Christian moral system.

Christianity has a moral system. It says somethings are morally right and some things are morally wrong. But there are plenty of people who disagree with those morals. We have to understand that God has given them that choice. Forcing them to try to live up to your morals with laws, and statutes isn’t going to change anyone’s heart. It’s not going to invite them into a relationship with God.

That’s why I’ve never understood the large billboards that quote Deuteronomy or Leviticus. They educate on the commandment, but don’t point to a relationship with the God that gave it.

The New Testament Jews did the same thing, so we shouldn’t be surprised we’ve messed up in a similar way. They were all about the laws, precepts, and commandments. Yet, Jesus called them hypocrites, and a bunch of snakes. We’re just as guilty when we try to force people to live according to commandments before they come to know Jesus in a personal way.

I’m just curious why Christians insist on forcing people without the Holy Spirit to try to live a life that only the Holy Spirit can enable. Yes, there are morals in the Christian faith, but without the Holy Spirit, none of us can possibly live up to them.

It seems to me the God of Christianity values choice. He gives the freedom to choose Him or not. Did He not have His prophet say “If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” He didn’t say make Baal worship illegal. He said ‘choose you this day whom ye will serve’.

We can influence our friends where we have the relationship to do so. If a friend sought my advice on abortion, I would encourage her to evaluate adoption, or other alternatives. But I would make sure I left the discussion with her knowing that I cared for her as a friend regardless of the decision she made.

Does that make sense?

photo: http://blog.willis.com/2012/06/the-three-biggest-eu-challenges-for-general-counsel/