There’s a particular exchange from the movie Ice Age that I think rather illuminates why intimidation does not draw people closer to God. I know…deep, right? Here’s the actual passage:
MANFRED: You…check for poop.
SID: Why am I the poop-checker?
MANFRED: Because returning the runt was your idea, because you’re small and insignificant, and because I’ll pummel you if you don’t.
SID: Why else?
MANFRED: Now, Sid!
Now imagine how that would play out if you replaced the character of Manfred with God, Sid with a typical person, and changed some of the wording.
PERSON: Why do I have to be the one who repents?
GOD: Because eating the fruit in the garden was your idea, because you’re small and insignificant, and because I’ll pummel you if you don’t.
PERSON: Why else?
GOD: Now, Sinner!
Not quite as funny, at least to me, because I’ve actually heard some of the above arguments used, on occasion. Persuasion by intimidation may yield warm bodies, but it doesn’t yield followers. There, I’m putting my soapbox away.