In the last few sermons, the pastor at my church spoke on this subject (particularly concerning the Pharisees) and I've thought about it myself.
Christians are currently, in the secular eye, most known for their proselytizing. Most likely because their version of it usually entails telling people about extremely severe (read: fiery, painful, eternally damning) consequences for not attending that particular service, or giving money to this particular church. But the truth is.........everyone proselytizes! I guess, it's only considered proselytizing when Christians do it.
Just earlier today, a simple walk to the bank and barber shop alone introduced me to huge ads for things from allergy pills to "Watchmen" to technical colleges to whatever is Mercedes' or Hyundai's new attempt at an environmentally friendly vehicle is. At said barber shop, whilst having the black wool shaved off my scalp, about 5 different companies with probably 5 different unsaid agendas assaulted me with requests to buy their product or donate money in the matter of a 6-minute break in between viewings of "The View". I could probably fill up enough pages to make a book with the amount of envelopes I get in the mail asking me to donate to the Dalai Lama, or the Wildlife this-and-that, or this political magazine, or this movement.
Now, surely, I don't mean to inspire distrust or say that all of these people are just out to take your money. In my ideal self, I'd faithfully give money and time to all of the justified movements and organizations in the world, but I'd probably have to tap into Dunkin' Donuts' earnings through a weekly night shift at one of their locations in order to afford this. All beside the point, though.
All kinds of organizations, movements, franchises, companies and conglomerates try to push themselves on the public everyday. I wouldn't say that they shouldn't do this; some products are good for society (medicine, health insurance, books, iPod) and should be made known that they are available in stores. But there's a difference between making yourself known and shoving yourself down the public's throat. Which brings me back to the Christians.
I wouldn't dispute the perceptions that Christians are known for forcing their views on you. I'm mainly talking about the Jehovah's Witnesses (you want a true dream vacation land with rich green trees and flowing meadows and white people that respect you even if you're Mexican? Take this pamphlet and save yourself! Then tell others to follow you.) and the Mormons (you are to JOIN GOD'S ARMY. You are to REPENT. You are to dress like a used car salesman and hit the streets for recruitment into the Holy Military! I want 30,000 new members by the end of this month. Huuuahhhh!!!). But a stronger, intelligent and more discerning mind would not let these people destroy the validity of the Word itself.
I'm not trying to convert or force anyone here into my "brand" of Christianity (although I may be indirectly proselytizing by criticizing other Christian groups), but I do think that people should take the time out to examine the principles and imagery and ways of Christianity before judging it, and not just resolving yourself to silly stereotypes ("they're just feeding you lies!", "they're trying to take your money!", "The preacher probably has a couple of little boys in his office closet somewhere...."). Furthermore, a quick note of what and what's not a good church or movement or whatever is that: a bad organization would expect you to completely throw your own life away to completely join whatever they're trying to affirm, while a good organization will take pride in who you are as an individual and show you how to make your own life better.