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Christian Delema -- Convert or walk away

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posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 09:59 PM
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I made a thread called walking away about a specific event along these lines, but I think it goes a little deeper. When should Christians walk away from someone and just pray that someone comes into their lives to make the difference we couldn't?

I put this on ATS and not BTS because I've been told most of my Christian life that I can save everyone. This is incredibly arrogant; I may not be who the person needs to hear from, I may not have experienced the experiences needed to bring someone to Christ. So why has the Christian movement promoted pride in this respect, and when should you recognise God wants you somewhere else and all you can do for someone is pray?




posted on Feb, 5 2005 @ 11:24 PM
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well that all depends on how you view Gods appearence to you .. If you thnks he comes to you through Visions, Dreams, Nature, People, then decide how to live like Jesus through how YOU belive he would speak to you ... For me, God shows me whats right through Randomnedd.. i know it sounds really weird, but i get the "feeling' of something i had to do based on spontanious things .. like 'out of the blue' questions asked by freinds or a thought that comes into my head through nature... If you seardh for God, he will come to you.. He is everything and everyone... And like I said, it just depends on how you look.

You also asked why the christian movement promoted pride in the respect of 'makeing a difference'.. this is because it is our responsibility as christians to live like Jesus would.. thats the simplist i can put that.. WWJD ? What Would Jesus Do?

I hope this answers your questions and I hope for a reply back



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 01:22 AM
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As christians we should make every effort to obey the great command 'Make disiples of all nations'. Becasue if someone never hears the Gospel (Good news) of Jesus, they will not be said becasue they will never have saving faith. But also sometimes on our mission we are met with hardended hearts, and even hostility. But I like to think of it as drops in a sponge, every little bit of witnessing helps. It took me 21 years before someone was willing to sit down with me and answer al lthe questions I had, and explain them to me as if I was an equal.

But if they are not willing to listen, dont force the issue, you will only end up alienating other christians from them. Often They need to come to us before they will listen. Chasing them down with a bible in your right and and a cross in your left telling them "Jesus Loves you" is not the best way to witness.

Often the best way is to let them know you are a christian, and when they see how at peace you are with the world, or even how you are bless, they might wnat to know why and that will be your chance.

But prayer never hurt anyone



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 04:46 AM
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Mt 10:14

Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet.
Mr 6:11

"Any place that does not receive you or listen to you, as you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.
Lu 9:5

And as for those who do not receive you, as you go out from that city, shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.
Matthew 13:1-23

3 And He spoke many things to them in parables, saying, "Behold, the sower went out to sow; 4 and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 "Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. 6 "But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7 "Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. 8 "And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. 9 "He who has ears, let him hear." 10 And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" 11 Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. 12 "For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. 13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 "In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, `YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; 15 FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.' 16 "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. 17 "For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. 18 "Hear R486 then the parable of the sower. 19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. 20 "The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 "And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 23 "And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty."


Basically, though we are given the command to teach ot all. We are also commanded to stop when they refuse to welcome tslk of Christ. As long as they are willing to listen, we continue to "sow seeds" . But it is NEVER us who does anything more than sow. That's the fallacy in teaching that we convert and whatnot. You cannot save everyone, otherwise, why would Christ teach a parable that left some sinful, and others that would fall away as soon as the world puts pressure on them? To teach something that does not fall into line whith what your own savior said is rather erroneous.

Also, those that are more willing to listen are those going through a bad time in their life....they are looking for something to hold on to. It is most certainly better to pray for someone than to drive a wedge between them and God with constant badgering.

[edit on 6-2-2005 by jlc163]



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 05:43 AM
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Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen

I try to follow this scripture. I do what I can to try to reach people, and tell them about Jesus, but you can't force it on them. Some people will respond, and some people, unfortunately, will never respond. But I try, and I have reached a few people. It is easier to do this in church, because those people are seeking, but out here in the www, it's tougher, because some just want to bash. I still try to do what I can, because this is the only message that some people will ever hear. I just try to be kind and not get caught up in self-importance, etc.



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 05:53 AM
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In response to all 3 of ya (1 hand, taylored replys will have to wait till March), my delima is knowing when to stop and how far into the faith to go. I've mentioned some of the gifts of the spirit and it's turned people off. I know the Holy Spirit needs to open someone's heart, but when should we walk away to avoid planting bad seeds that will push them away from Christ? How can we know what to say to a beginning Christian vs a mature Christian?



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 06:12 AM
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Several pracitcal things:

Prevention, not cleanup. You do things to make sure that no fallout can be laid on your head.

1. Do you pray BEFORE you post everything, even before you write it? Do you pray for christian persuasiveness? Look at your lack and pray from that point.
2. When moralising, do you either point out what scriptures say (leavign your own condemation out, as it is not your right but God's), or pull from your own experience to offset any accusation of picking on someone specific?
3. Put as much humor in it as possible. It's hard to be pissy with someone you are laughing at/with.
4. DOn't expect anything from your talks. When you expect conversion, and get none, like some areas won't (much of the Internet), it keeps you from getting out of hand.

I can't even say that I do this as much as I need to. We are accused of being militant because, well, some of us ARE militant.

When to stop:
1. A change in writing style that shows someone being WAY too overemotional. Personal insults, ranting, a bunch of

2. Get to know the people you are debating with.... Go read their posts on other threads and see if they have an anti-christian leaning. If they do, you are not likely to change thier mind, though you can still try. With less expectation comes less hurt/anger/resentment.
3. WHen your emotions start to change as a reaction to it. I mean LONG before you are sick and tired of it. I mean back when you started changing the way you write, as you'd have to analyze in number 1.



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 08:03 AM
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I'm not a Christian but....from reading your post, I can answer from my heart, and the way I do with my own faith. If your telling someone about your religion and there is interest, then you continue, if they tell you they've heard it all before, their not interested, or flat tell you to leave them alone...then walk away. Then there is the difference between what can be done in real life and what can be done on an internet bulletin board. You can not see facial expression nor hear voice inflection on BB, but you can still tell interest. I have many people u2u with me questions on my belief, or threads I post in, and I answer as honestly as I can on a BB with people I don't really know.......For me personally, I also feel that they way you conduct yourself in debates on hot topics.....represents your faith and tells others a lot about the people who follow it.



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 09:03 AM
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How long should an Atheist try to convert you? A Muslim? A Hindu? A Wicca?

What's the appropriate length of time they should insert themselves in your life (or your child's life) and turn every conversation into a witnessing opportunity to save you from christianism, belittle your personal beliefs, tell you you're wrong and offer the insight of their own higher understanding of life you so sorely and obviously need in their own superior estimation. Your resistance is meaningless and serves only to prove how much you need the benefit of their enlightenment and correction. They're sure they can wear you down too...eventually. After all, they are right and you are wrong. It's irrefutable dogma to them.

It is possible to have a valuable relationship with someone different from you without being so adversarial and authoritarian as to constantly impose your personal spiritual beliefs you know. Some people never get that though. And they risk losing the entire relationship.

Anecdotally, I finally had to cut off all contact with my father because he can't seem to get that everything doesn't have to be about Jesus and bending the will of men to Him. Hope "they" are happy together. :shk:

I've seen alot of similar dysfunction over the years coming from the Southern Baptists tenants to witness, witness, witness....and lately a reversal of the whole edict to instead isolate. They are increasingly the one's now saying to cut off contact with anyone or anything not in lock step with their beliefs, from family to friends to co-workers to mass media...shake the dust off your feet! It's going to make for a really interesting generation to come, these home schooled Amish among us.

Though I do much prefer being spat from their consideration as a worthy fellow human being to them constantly trying to serve me their Kool Aid. If I wanted Kool Aid, I'd drink it. I know where to find it. I'm not stupid.

[edit on 6-2-2005 by RANT]



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 03:10 PM
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Originally posted by RANT
How long should an Atheist try to convert you? A Muslim? A Hindu? A Wicca?

Gotta' go with Rant on this one. (yikes!
)

Perhaps it's YOU that needs converting.
Look at it from the other side.

How long should I teach you Catholicism until I give
up on conversion and walk away???

We lived in Alabama for 8 years and continually got
pounded on by the fundamentalists down there.

Tuesday night was Church of Christ. Thursday night
the Baptists. Other nights, other groups. Each one
came to the door claiming the only way to heaven
was through their doors. Church of Christ people said
Baptists were going to Hell. Baptists said Church of
Christ were going to Hell. They all said Catholics,
Episcopals, Lutherans, Methodists, etc. were all
going to Hell because they didn't walk through that
Church's doors to and that was the only way to
Heaven.


Sick. Stupid. Tiring. Nausiating. AND ... completely
unbiblical. Funny that a bunch of 'Sola Scriptura'
people just didn't understand the bible and what
evangelization really is and where conversion
comes from (according to the bible).

RANT - I feel for ya'. I hope your situation works out.
BUT I just gotta' say in reference to your 'home school'
comment ... we home school and we aren't
radical religious people. We home school because we
don't trust government schools.



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 03:41 PM
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My response to this is to simply offer up your beliefs but keep a watchful eye. If this person wants to know more then they will inquire if not let it go for the time being. The most important thing you can do for this person is to lead by example. Show them that this is the right way not by trying to "sell" it but by your life style. Be their friend and help them every step of the way but do not walk away from them just simply because they will not convert as you wish. We need to realize that arrogance is what has turned so many away from the Christian faith and that we are no better than any other people of this planet. Christianity is not a badge, or ribbon, to proudly wear it is a guide/rule that Christians must follow in order to achieve salvation. Discuss your beliefs, and theirs, and open up dialouge but never, ever, look down on this person for they have same right to be here as you do. Sometimes those that disagree with you can make the best of friends and help you strengthen your faith. Remeber, a simple rule of thumb is to abandon no one and help all.



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 04:17 PM
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Originally posted by skychief
My response to this is to simply offer up your beliefs but keep a watchful eye. If this person wants to know more then they will inquire if not let it go for the time being. The most important thing you can do for this person is to lead by example. Show them that this is the right way not by trying to "sell" it but by your life style. Be their friend and help them every step of the way but do not walk away from them just simply because they will not convert as you wish. We need to realize that arrogance is what has turned so many away from the Christian faith and that we are no better than any other people of this planet. Christianity is not a badge, or ribbon, to proudly wear it is a guide/rule that Christians must follow in order to achieve salvation. Discuss your beliefs, and theirs, and open up dialouge but never, ever, look down on this person for they have same right to be here as you do. Sometimes those that disagree with you can make the best of friends and help you strengthen your faith. Remeber, a simple rule of thumb is to abandon no one and help all.


skychief....I have quoted you because I really think you have said everything that is important in conveying our beliefs in Christianity. Nagging will get us nothing, examples shown in our life styles may defuse the hatred against Christians. Although I believe Jesus did say we could expect it.

I believe in trying to live as Jesus taught. We try to follow the Commandments. Those laws cover almost everything in life. We don't all agree on the definitions in some of the wording. I, myself, don't always "walk the talk". Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice so that I can be forgiven.

I lived in Istanbul, Turkey for three years and had some wonderful friends. My best friend and her family were Muslim. Another friend of ours who lived on the same street was Jewish. We were all young and so not too deep in the meanings of our various religions.
We had fun with life and remembered not to have pork for dinner when some of our Turkish friends came. And, I wouldn't want to be forgotten to be invited to the feasts after Ramadan. The food was special! You can see how deep into religion we were. lol

Within the last few years through study of genealogy and looking for descendants from my ancestors I found many Mormons. They had migrated to the west. Two years ago I invited one long distance cousin and her husband to visit with us. I asked if there was anything about her religion I should know so that we wouldn't offend. She came back....
and said, "I hate fish". We had a big laugh and then began to compare the points in our religion that were the same. Through this we found many, and dispelled some major misrepresentations of the others religions.
This same journey happened with a Jehovah Witness co-worker and my own Protestant sister.

It has turned into a journey of love and understanding. We didn't change our minds about our core beliefs. But we did come to the conclusion that we shared many of Jesus's teachings. Sometimes we found that we really believed in the same thing except the definition of the words were different in each religion.

I am a Catholic and find that many people believe incorrect myths about my religion. So, I am not about trying to change your mind about your religion I would just like you to know what the Catholic Church really teaches before the hate rants begin.


[edit on 2/6/2005 by Mahree]



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 04:34 PM
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Whats always gotten me about this whole discussion is when christians knock on my door or we meet somewhere and they start in with their sales pitch i always have the same response:

"I'm not a christian."

At which point they either drop the subject or walk away as I close my door.

This has always baffled me. You'd think I was the one person that they had met that day that they really wanted to talk to, but no, after informing them i'm not a christian they have always walked away.

Who the hell do these people talk to?????

If someone opens the door and tells them that they are a christian are they going to try and save the already saved?????

They won't talk to me, a confessed heathen, so just who do they talk to?

I find the whole concept of trying to save souls to be, well, strange.

Love and light,

Wupy



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 05:25 PM
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I only really speak when I hear untrue or unfair statements being made. I am not learned enough to try and convert anyone, though it asked, I will share my views on things. I do not believe in damning anyone to hell, as I don't know and it isn't my job to guess. (yes, obviously I believe in heaven and hell)

Things that turn me off are people who are looking for ways for things to be God's will, when it really may not be. I hate to hear people talking the talk, yet doing nothing to help themselves. God will provide..... yet not go work.

I don't like when I have had groups come and try to frighten me into their denomination. I have actually had baptist "jokingly" tell me that only pieces of me will make it to heaven(I was sprinkled not dunked) I have had those say I needed to be "born again" which is all fine, but don't try and scare me

Spreading the news is fine, but it needs to be done in a non confrontational manner. There is one Christian poster I know who it at this point in time, typifying the radical intolerant christian stereotype. It is no one on this thread.

If a Muslim wanted to talk to me about Islam, I would be happy to listen and learn. If a wiccan wanted to talk to me about Wiccan, I would be interested and probably ask questions. Same goes for most religions

I think how one is taken, is directly related to how things are shared. There are many I have seen that do just want to bash Christians. Who WANT to believe the worst and nothing you say will change that. I just tend to not even read those threads because such mean spirited things really bother me. It shouldn't as it is only the internet, but it is really disheartening to see people dislike a whole group so much just on a few bad apples. Or what they see on the news.

I guess because I don't inherintely dislike people, I just don't understand it

My answer to the original question, I stop when the people seem to feel uncomfortable. I am not one to say anything close to "Have you accepted Jesus or are you saved" which are two things that freak people out (including me) pretty fast. I am really not learned enough to start a conversion conversation anyhow



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 06:08 PM
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People are who they Are. You, me or anyone else should except a person for who it is that they are because to 'change' them is to make them who they are not. If a person changes themselves, then their change is truthful and honest otherwise it is just a mask that they place over who they are. It is about acceptence and humility.



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 06:13 PM
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Originally posted by ivanglam
well that all depends on how you view Gods appearence to you .. If you thnks he comes to you through Visions, Dreams, Nature, People, then decide how to live like Jesus through how YOU belive he would speak to you ... For me, God shows me whats right through Randomnedd.. i know it sounds really weird, but i get the "feeling' of something i had to do based on spontanious things .. like 'out of the blue' questions asked by freinds or a thought that comes into my head through nature... If you seardh for God, he will come to you.. He is everything and everyone... And like I said, it just depends on how you look.

You also asked why the christian movement promoted pride in the respect of 'makeing a difference'.. this is because it is our responsibility as christians to live like Jesus would.. thats t
he simplist i can put that.. WWJD ? What Would Jesus Do?

I hope this answers your questions and I hope for a reply back




TEST.



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 06:18 PM
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Well, this is what I've gotten from outside (of ATS) sources. People must be aware of where you stand in your faith. Then you pray to God that the Holy Spirit open their heart. Live the life and show people that you're a Christian. When God puts the calling on their heart, they will know they can come to you for some answers.

In other situations, just make sure the person is aware of salvation. In America this usually involves correcting misconceptions where as in other countries you may be telling them the Good News for the first time.

Oh, and FliersFan, do you believe I'm going to hell because I'm not a Catholic? I, as I've told you before, don't believe you're going to Hell because you're a Catholic.



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by Jonna
People are who they Are. You, me or anyone else should except a person for who it is that they are because to 'change' them is to make them who they are not. If a person changes themselves, then their change is truthful and honest otherwise it is just a mask that they place over who they are. It is about acceptence and humility.


Dang, we kinda agreed on this point.
This thread is making some strange bedfellows...


I'm a little confused about that test, tho...



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 07:25 PM
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Originally posted by llpoolej

I have actually had baptist "jokingly" tell me that only pieces of me will make it to heaven(I was sprinkled not dunked)



Hahahahaha.....Thats the funniest thing i've read all night. I had to highlight it and say thank you for the belly laugh.

Gotta love them baptist


Love and light,

Wupy



posted on Feb, 6 2005 @ 10:41 PM
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From my experiance, i think those that want to come to saving faith, will come to you. You just have to be ready to help them.

For a christian the hardest thing is trying to understand about Gods Elect, and how he has allready chosen those who will be saved, and yet waiting for those who are not saved to become envious of those that are, and come back to faith.

btw, for people like Jehovah witnesses, they earn "points" for talking to people about thier bible (they have thier own 'special' translation), these points wil earn them favor and hopfulyl fi they get enough, they belive they will arrive in heaven. they also get more points if they invited into your house.

last time they showed up to my door I pointed out how their bible verse was, and started teaching them about basic law, gospel, and grace. They practically threw a copy of the watchtower at me and ran away.



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