As a Christian, one of the fundamental dictums I embrace is to spread The Word. “Go ye into the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” reads the Bible. (KJV Mark 16:15) The verse encourages Christians to spread the Word of God to others who have not heard it or have forgotten it. That is the fundamental function of almost all Christian organizations. Among them are the evangelist Christians. Almost all religions have similar driving forces to encourage more members to join their ranks.

The American continent was dominated under the order to “spread The Word” to the natives occupying the land. Many atrocities – even genocide – was committed while “spreading The Word”. Unfortunately, the “spreading The Word” continues to be a plague the world today, although most do not realize it.

The driving force behind the election of Donald Trump, the never-ending gun control debate, nation building, cultural and gender wars and immigration strife derives from the “spread The Word” dictum that has been bastardized by many.

To be clear, there is a fundamental difference between “spread The Word” which I believe is what Our Lord Jesus Christ intended instead of what is driving many today – the imposition of The Word.

Imposing The Word is demanding that homosexuality be erased from the community, for example.

Spreading The Word is sharing my personal belief that I am not comfortable with certain lifestyles.

The problem that drives the anti-Muslim narratives, or the dangerous border arguments and why gun control cannot gain legislative traction is because the United States has morphed into the idea that spreading The Word means dictating what is and is not acceptable in any society.

The pilgrims set up the first foothold that soon became the United States as the result of religious persecution. The pilgrims wanted to be left alone to worship as they liked. As the United States matured as a country, the separation between state and religion eroded and the idea that worshiping is a personal thing was bastardized into dictating what is acceptable.

The erosion first started as the United States expanded westward absorbing land that it did not own. Natives were outwardly absorbed into the union but inwardly the imposition of the religious value system was systematically imposed on them. But imposing a value system is difficult at best especially when the imposition is implemented clandestinely.

An example of this is the English language. The demand that everyone speak English to be assimilated into the country remains a controversial national debate across the nation. Attempts have been made to impose English as the official language of the country. For example, for many years Hispanic students were punished for speaking Spanish in the classroom. Workplace discrimination to Spanish speakers remains frequent.

Nonetheless the Spanish language remains a significant part of the country’s preferred language.

That does not mean that the attempt to eradicate Spanish from the landscape has stopped, it has just been replaced with other priorities. The other priority being imposing The Word on the world.

Liberating the world from Hitler and Imperial Japan morphed from liberation from tyranny towards stopping the expansion of communism during the Cold War. When communism imploded, the spreading The Word dictum became the rallying cry behind the continuation of nation building across the globe.

This became very visible when the rallying cry behind the movement became the danger of radical Muslims.

But the spreading The Word cannot sustain itself without its base of operations, the United States. When the U.S. political system started questioning the need to evangelize by the rising demand for equality from disfranchised populations such as the LGBT communities resulting in legislation that started to threaten the neatly packaged historical perspectives of the country with ideals of reparations for slavery and equality for dissimilar thoughts, the need to strengthen the country’s internal spread The Word evangelists looked back inward to strengthen their base.

As a result, the homegrown terrorists started to make their appearance on the national scene.

The problem being that imposing the world view of The Word without teaching Christ’s dictates of charity, inclusiveness and respect, among others has left many lost without the direction to do as Christ has taught but with the need to impose The Word on others.

Thus, some of the directionless feel the need to act out to be part of The Word. The others just cast votes for politicians that clearly do not follow The Word but seem to be “the chosen” one that will help impose The Word on the rest.

This may not be readily visible, especially on the gun control debate and homegrown terrorists, but it exists, nonetheless.

However it is too complicated to simply post about it without building a base of data from which the thesis can be fleshed out. In today’s post, I want to expose you to the idea that the driving force behind many of the national controversies derives from the bastardization of spreading The Word. Over time I will develop the thesis further by adding examples and discussion points to prove it.

As you consider this, it is important to remember that there is a clear difference between “spreading The Word” and imposing The Word on others. Therein lies the division between what God wants and what certain people believe is what should be done.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

One reply on “Spreading The Word Versus Imposing The Word”

  1. Yesterday Ben Howe, author of “The Immoral Majority: Why Evangelicals Chose Political Power Over Christian Values”, was on the CSPN discussing his book. I thought it was a very interesting discussion but the best part was the call-in part. He took a lot of heat from the hard-core trompatistas; he got involved in a sort of hard debate with one of the callers. Howe was able to defend his work and withstood his ground.

    I’m thinking I may check it out and decide if I wish to read it. Anyway I’ll be looking forward to your posts on the subject.

    The discussion may be of interest to you in relation to your work.

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