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An honest open question to Christians

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posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 08:20 PM
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Let's just get this straight right here. this isn't a flame or a trolling post. This is NOT to discuss the reality of whether God exists or not. This is merely an honest to goodness question I have for Christians.

If you approach a non-Christian, be him/her athiest, pagan, or whatever and you speak your piece and find opposition, what is your next move?

Now I fully invite you to break it down into a couple of answers.

1. What do you do if the person answers politely?

2. What if he/she answers rudely?

3. What if they ignore you?

So I am wondering in these cases, do you move on? Pray for them? Keep pressing the issue? Tell them they are going to hell? Nod your head and leave? Listen to their side?

What do you say to a pagan like myself who says he already has a deity and is taken care of?

Thanks in advance and I PROMISE you this will be an open discussion as I really want to learn something here. No bashing from my side

Please by all means tell me all your answers but again...Please don't turn this into a God is fake thread. I am so tired of those...

-Kyo




posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 08:43 PM
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I do what Mark 6:11 says to do:


"And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city."



posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 09:39 PM
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well im married to a wiccan, people are free to believe what ever they choose to believe, although having said that i have more time for some faiths than others

e.g i tend not to have much to do with Baptists, scientologists, members of hillsong or some Muslims.

im polite to them but i avoid them when possible because in general they seem to have the hardest time respecting my choice of faith



posted on Sep, 23 2008 @ 10:23 PM
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reply to post by KyoZero
 


Kyo, Thank you for asking. OT becomes “all things to all men, by all means…to win some.” I Corinthians 9:22

I follow the example of the great men of the past…here’s a few!

George Muller
www.wholesomewords.org...

Hudson Taylor
www.christianitytoday.com...

Jim Elliott
en.wikipedia.org...

DL Moody
www.wholesomewords.org...

These lives say it better than my words…I’m looking forward to the answers you receive…

I hope you have time to review my links...

OT out!



edit:wording


[edit on 23-9-2008 by OldThinker]



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to post by KyoZero
 

I hate to shock you but I have never met an atheist. I did meet a high-school girl who claimed to be wikken.
So out of my long life I only have this one example.
I told her I was going to have a Bible study class.
She told me she was wikken so I told her to come to the class and explain what she thought.
The result was her never talking to me again.
I had a store and I would talk to the kids who came in. I started to come in on Sunday mornings to do a study/worship thing.
Inviting people tended to make people avoid me.
To answer your question, I have never tried to directly convert a pagan because I have never met one who volunteered to be subjected to listening to the Bible.
You Atheists and Pagans have a false sense of your own numbers or almost every pagan will not admit that they are. Being anonymous on the internet allows the few atheists and pagans who are so inclined, to admit it. If every pagan/atheist in the world gets onto a forum, you think there is a lot of you.
Chances are that most ordinary people will never meet one of you, much less try to convert one.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 12:50 PM
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I'll be very honest with you. What we are supposed to do is exactly what we are told to do in the passage NotUrTypical cited. However, when I love someone, I do tend to bug them about it. Sorry but that is the truth. My husband and I have been married for six years in December. This entire time he has been a non-Christian who has made fun of me for being a Holy Roller. Yes, I have been trying to convert him this entire time. Three weeks ago he finally accepted Christ. I'm thrilled.

For other people I don't know as well, I will walk away and pray for them but sometimes I keep trying, much to their chagrin. The following is the best analogy I can think of (although it's not perfect) as to why us pesky little Christians do what we do.
For the sake of this analogy:

Level of Faith = Our knowledge of a bomb's existence.
The Bomb = Hell, the end times tribulation, final judgment, etc.
The Bunker = Jesus.

Scenario One: A person hears there is a bomb due to some information someone else told them. They see the danger of this bomb and believe the message of the person who warned them of this bomb. Their attitude may be, 'Hey everyone. I'm not entierly sure but I'd like to tell you about this bomb and invite you into this bunker.' Upon not being listened to, their response maybe something like, 'Oh you're not interested? Well ok. I could be wrong and you might be safe but I at least wanted to let you know.'

Scenario Two: A person has it on pretty good authority there is a bomb, has seen evidence of this bomb, can smell the burning fuse, etc. At this point they will become more adamant about the need for as many people to get into the bunker as possible and this might come across as pushy to those who see no signs of a bomb.

Scenario Three: A person has seen the bomb and sees the fuse has almost reached the end, etc. Suddenly their warning becomes less of a suggestion and more of a, 'Everyone get into the bunker... NOW!' This will be extremely irritating to those who insist there is no bomb or that the bomb is a dud but the person doing the warning sincerely wants to save those people and to see them safely sealed inside the bunker.

The above is not true for everyone, of course, but that pretty much describes the evolution of my evangelism style. The more I know of God and the more I see the time is short, the more 'pushy' I become to get people into the bunker, salvation through Jesus Christ. I'm not saying that's the right way to do it- it only explains why. That also sounds like I am scaremongering or focusing too much on the tribulation. However, the reason it comes across that way is because the signs I see occurring in the world all point to that time being very soon. I try to, instead, tell everyone how wonderful the bunker is but I don't shy away from proving evidence how the bomb is also indeed very real and will be going off in due time.

The only thing we CANNOT do is physically carry someone into the bunker, so to speak. They have to cross the threshold on their own. This becomes very frustrating when you see the condition of the world and cannot understand why people willingly reject the bunker or claim the bunker and bomb do not exist when you're trying to show them the signs that they are both very real. It's up to the individual to enter into safety of Jesus Christ.

So that is my personal view and style on the whole thing. I SHOULD walk away, sometimes do, and sometimes don't. People might see me as a holy roller and Bible thumper for behaving in such a manner but it is done with the best of intentions. As for people's reactions, it really depends on my own mood, how well I know them, how strong my feelings are for them, etc.

Good thread.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 01:05 PM
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One line was not to try to martial evil and the next to only speak to those you know will agree. When you find opposition just move on. Unless you repeat what you've just told them more frankly as in go to "H".

This , I think turns most people off about the approach. One of my first church going experiences was for the pastor to stand in front of the congregation and tell them all they were going to die.

Now I wound up with the same feeling as many people. One, NO ONE is killing me, two, IT is not sending me anywhere. Whatever soul I may have belongs to moi and IT better get it straight.

Now for my present experience of being approached by the all but so faithful, I found that the way I beleive is correct because every time some one approaches me and I listen to them something marvelous, if not miraculous happens for me.

There is no need to bow down if there is no need to repent, the death by shame sermon is only a selling point.


[edit on 24-9-2008 by rightwingnut]



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 02:51 PM
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1. if the listen keep talking yet do it with love and grace, not judgemental tone.


2. if they answer rudely, then leave unless you can refute their arrogant tone which usually comes from a fear of judgement.


3. If they ignore you? It means they aint interested, in this case you pray even more for their souls.


Now even though Notyourtypical was correct about the bible passage, it doesn't mean we need to stop praying. Grace is something we cannot see and it works through prayers.

God grants more graces to a person by someones prayer for them. Some people accept the graces and some reject them.


But always pray for souls even if they punch you in the face.

peace.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 05:24 PM
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Woo doggie!

Lot's of answers. I truly was hoping you would all realize that this isn't a 'Is God real' argument. Clearly you have and what a sigh of relief it is to have this not erupt into such a debate...so then! Since most of you have been lovely enough to answer in such a graceful tone, I would like to respond piece by piece.

Demandred

A fine response. I can imagine the occasional difficulties that may take place (if I am reading right and you ar a Christian married to a pagan)

If that is the case, have there ever been arguments or do you fear for your spouse?

OldThinker

Thanks for the thanks. I may not agree and while I grow tired of people quoting the bible and saying it is truth, but I really grow tired of people who just have a stout refusal to believe that some things aren't possible. I will read some of those proably tonight after class. I love the approach you opted for. Words are less than actions I agree. So with that please allow me some time to be educated before I answer to you.

jmdewey

I had to take a deep breath before answering this because I am going to honestly admit it sounds as if you don't care much for me. If that isn't the case then I apologize. If it is well I am not going to apologize for who I am.

Now then...

Just because you haven't met many doesn't mean many don't exist. Yes our relationship, as it were, is online. You may think this is what makes me brave enough to discuss my faith but quite frankly everyone who knows me knows what I am. You say that 'us' pagans and athiests overestimate our numbers. Well I can freely admit you outnumber us. That's quite fine because the true pagans won't run and tell you that you are wrong. Yes I agree most Pagans won't admit it. Frankly that is their loss. I am however a very educated pagan and prefer to keep myself as such. Please, don't say 'you' as in me. I don't work like the 'internet-safe' pagans. I am very open because quite frankly gay, pagan, athiest...whatever you are you should be free to talk.

Chances are most ordinary people won't meet me is very false. I have been met by many 'ordinary' people. I do have to ask, am I not ordinary? Of those who have met me I have tons of different reactions from disgust, to honest interest, to attempts at hostile AND peaceful conversion.

I'll await your response. IF you didn't mean any of this in an inflamatory way, once again I apologize for the assumption. Sadly I can only go on what I see.

AshleyD

And I am very happy for you. I truly am. When it is someone you love I can imagine the difficulties in such a large disagreement. Please don't ever think that I think you are pesky. Truthfuly so long as it is peaceful AND a free exchange I would happily listen to you for a long time so long as the oppurtunity was afforded to me as well.

I'd like to thank you as well for the excellent breakdown. Funny pick me being an 2W2 in the Air Force. (google 2W2...it may make you chuckle a bit)

Obviously I would much prefer a less abhorrant approach to me. I have seen you fight for your cause on this forum for quite some time now and I truly do appreciate the excellence in your arguments and your steadfastness. I of course wish all the best on you and your husband.

PS...there was ZERO sarcasm in that

rightwingnut

I agree completely. Whether a Christian likes it or not, the approach you mentioned is terrible. There is no quicker way to find yourself ignored than becoming beligerent. I mean that on both sides of course.

JesusisTruth

I actually adore your answers in every situation. I love your manner despite our numerous disagreements.

In fact...thanks to you I would like to make a little statement.

If I have ever hurt anyone's feelings or been less that a good person I apologize.

Looking forward to more responses.

-Kyo



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 06:27 PM
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reply to post by KyoZero
 


yes i am a catholic, ill admit sometimes i do alittle eye rolling about somethings she says but if its what she believes in then thats fine with me we both accept each others beliefs.

when we got together she gave me a pentagram amulet (wiccan protection symbol) which i keep in my wallet she had it for along time and was given to her by her wiccan teacher, in return i gave her my rosary beads which were given to me on my first holy communion which she carries in her handbag with her.

she has always encouraged me to maintain my faith and i encourage her to maintain hers if she wanted to convert she would, no amount of praying on my part will change that, just as no amount of spells on her part will make me a wiccan.

at the end of the day religeon is about Love, Acceptance and Tolerance.

trying to convert people just gives my faith a bad name....

edit- God gave us all freewill to make our own decisions and choices, i sometimes think people forget that when they are preaching at others.

its never caused any arguments and i dont fear for her she is a good person, she is just following a faith that makes more sense to her.

[edit on 24-9-2008 by Demandred]

[edit on 24-9-2008 by Demandred]



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by KyoZero
jmdewey

I had to take a deep breath before answering this because I am going to honestly admit it sounds as if you don't care much for me. If that isn't the case then I apologize. If it is well I am not going to apologize for who I am.

Now then...

Just because you haven't met many doesn't mean many don't exist. Yes our relationship, as it were, is online. You may think this is what makes me brave enough to discuss my faith but quite frankly everyone who knows me knows what I am. You say that 'us' pagans and athiests overestimate our numbers. Well I can freely admit you outnumber us. That's quite fine because the true pagans won't run and tell you that you are wrong. Yes I agree most Pagans won't admit it. Frankly that is their loss. I am however a very educated pagan and prefer to keep myself as such. Please, don't say 'you' as in me. I don't work like the 'internet-safe' pagans. I am very open because quite frankly gay, pagan, athiest...whatever you are you should be free to talk.

Chances are most ordinary people won't meet me is very false. I have been met by many 'ordinary' people. I do have to ask, am I not ordinary? Of those who have met me I have tons of different reactions from disgust, to honest interest, to attempts at hostile AND peaceful conversion.

I'll await your response. IF you didn't mean any of this in an inflamatory way, once again I apologize for the assumption. Sadly I can only go on what I see.
I do not dis-like anyone on this forum.
I am not trying to criticize you directly but your question and how it makes assumptions. Like you assuming that when we encounter an atheist/pagan, our fist response is to try to convert them.
My point is that I would consider it an oddity and I would be more interested in finding out why that person believed the way they did.



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 09:06 PM
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jmdewey

I don't recall once assuming that you all do that. My OP said IF you encounter such and such...

This is merely a question. If someone seriously wants to know why I believe what I do I will happily tell anyone.

Demandred

Very lovely to hear of that relationship you have. Well done.

I agree with what you said that trying to convert gives it a bad name. And yes Paganism/Wiccan makes a ton of sense to me. It answered questions that other spiritualities didn't.

Thanks again both of you for responses

-Kyo



posted on Sep, 24 2008 @ 09:06 PM
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jmdewey

I don't recall once assuming that you all do that. My OP said IF you encounter such and such...

This is merely a question. If someone seriously wants to know why I believe what I do I will happily tell anyone.

Demandred

Very lovely to hear of that relationship you have. Well done.

I agree with what you said that trying to convert gives it a bad name. And yes Paganism/Wiccan makes a ton of sense to me. It answered questions that other spiritualities didn't.

Thanks again both of you for responses

-Kyo



posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 12:41 PM
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Kyo--

I am NOT Christian, but when Christians speak to me about the principles of the bible and why or why not my beliefs are different from theirs I'm usually always told (in some way) that I'm going to hell. Maybe because my beliefs are so strong, I'm not sure but when I get into arguments with Christians, I usually walk away from the argument with the message that my beliefs will send me to Hell...



posted on Sep, 25 2008 @ 03:27 PM
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Originally posted by CrusaderOne
Kyo--

I am NOT Christian, but when Christians speak to me about the principles of the bible and why or why not my beliefs are different from theirs I'm usually always told (in some way) that I'm going to hell. Maybe because my beliefs are so strong, I'm not sure but when I get into arguments with Christians, I usually walk away from the argument with the message that my beliefs will send me to Hell...


That's wrong, what "sends" a man or woman to Hell is that is where people go who don't have payment for their sins.

That payment is a free gift to any that want it. Most people don't even want a free gift.



posted on Sep, 26 2008 @ 10:57 AM
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With respect for my colleagues here, I cannot apply the words of Mark 6:11 to shake the dust from my feet. This was spoke to the seventy who were commissioned to take the Gospel to the sons of Israel, who already were "Bible-believing" or however you want to call them.

Among the nations, some people are ready to hear and others are not. Telling people that they are going to Hell is just as judgmental as telling them they are going to heaven. Christians have no authority to judge either way.

Here are two quotes that speak volumes, from the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions:


Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words. —St. Francis of Assisi



Acquire the Holy Spirit and thousands around you will be saved. —St. Seraphim of Sarov


This is very consistent with the words of Christ Himself:


Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.—Jesus of Nazareth, Matt 7:1-6


Most "evangelizing" is nothing more than recruiting. And many of the people doing it know this in their heart. They do it out of a sense of obligation because that is "what God wants them to do" but it is hypocritical. If you are sincere and live it, people will ask you. Will will not typically need to "witness" unsolicited. Christ said that the world will know us the the love we have for one another. Yet how many "churches" are packs of wolves or social clubs?



posted on Sep, 26 2008 @ 11:53 AM
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reply to post by ScienceDada
 

I do not think it is right for one person to tell another person they are going to Hell.
It would be helpful to point out that continuing on as you are, will lead to Hell.
Still, it has to come from love and not hatred. If you have the wrong motives, you need to examine yourself.
There is a limit to the usefulness of pointing out people's errors and it should be used sparingly. (as in almost never)



posted on Sep, 26 2008 @ 03:27 PM
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reply to post by KyoZero
 


Hi.

To be brief: in this case I have to disagree with NOTurTypical, AshleyD & JiT that Mark 6:11 is anything other than a specific instruction to the 12 for a particular time and place. I believe firstly that it was simply a reflection of God's will that the Jewish nation who had been promised the Messiah should hear first that he had arrived and that he had a clear message for them, and secondly that on closer examination the context clearly bears this out. As such I am in agreement with what ScienceDada said, and hope I can help Ashley (and others) to see that the love that compels her to patiently persevere is not at all misplaced.

It just so happens that I was challenged to explain what I thought about this passage a few days ago, and gave my reply on this page. (You'll see that it started with my response to malcr being questioned by alienesque specifically because of Mark 6:11. I explained why the 'brushing the dust off your feet' approach does not apply today, then further down gave a final clarification.)

If you love someone as yourself you ain't gunna give up lightly.

In answer to your questions, KZ:

1. What do you do if the person answers politely? A. Do/say anything that reflects Christ's love

2. What if he/she answers rudely? A. Do/say anything that reflects Christ's love

3. What if they ignore you? A. Do/say anything that reflects Christ's love

It's not so much arguments that cause people to follow Christ as a realisation that his message is one of unmerited, non-condemnational love and acceptance offered by the One - ultimately the only one - who has any real right to condemn.

(Praise his holy name, he died for me, a true sinner.)





[edit to add]

Sorry, I was working from memory rather than looking at the passage. It is Matthew 10:1-15 that was quoted in the other thread, which is the parallel passage to Mark 6:7-11 and which provides the information that clarifies that the instruction was peculiar to that particular errand, with v.5 providing the key.





[edit on 26/9/08 by pause4thought]



posted on Sep, 26 2008 @ 04:15 PM
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1. What do you do if the person answers politely?

2. What if he/she answers rudely?

3. What if they ignore you?

The result of this line of questioning would be determined me prejudice regarding the individual in which I am asking.

Questions regarding this matter would only be posed to a receptive audience considering that the person posing the question currently exists in a culture within which respect and dignity are important as are found with all religions.

To ask a questions regarding matters such as religion, which for many is a holistic lifestyle choice, would need to be approached in a non invasive manner else the recipient of response may not receive the answer with which they had been seeking.

If you ask such questions to individuals without first understanding the basis of that individuals beliefs then the particular line of questioning made to the 'stranger' would warrant any of the above responses of which you have mentioned. However, the reaction t this response should not alter the reaction of the individual instigating the line of questioning of that of an respectfully of dignified approach unless the individual initiating the line of inquiry were looking to not only to challenge peoples ideas but to also get his/her face punched to custard (or the verbal equivalent).



posted on Sep, 26 2008 @ 11:40 PM
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Hi ...
Ok here is what I do ...first I get to know them ...I do not believe I should just run up to anyone and say hey do you know Jesus Christ ...and I have never told someone your going to hell ...that is not gonna bring them to the Lord at all ....in fact the main thing in my opinion is just to be an example of Christ and they will want to know why you are the way you are (Like all the love you SHOULD have in your heart for everyone you meet) ...it is that love that draws them to the Lord ..and if they do not feel your love then maybe you do not really have the real love of Christ in you ..He was very gentle with everyone except the Pharisees and Scribes ...they are hard core ..and he knows it ...
In fact I wont say anything most of the time except just getting to know the person I am talking with .....I actually wait till the subject comes up ..Because the bible says they cannot even come lest the spirit draws them first ..I always consider that when they bring up a subject and it ends up about our beliefs then that is when I will say what I believe ...I do not argue with them at first lol ..since I dont want to run them off right off the bat ..and in fact I pretty much just wait till I have all the facts about them that I need to know so I do more listening than talking at FIRST ....

Later when the subject does come up I am very careful with what I say and how I say it ..and for sure you need to go very slow with explaining it to them ...mainly because alot of times we Christian try and give them milk and meat all in one sitting when they first have to have just the basic milk .
Which is do you know how much God loves us ...and do you know how badly he wants you to have a relationship with him ..etc etc ....

It really takes alot of time and alot of trust to really get anyone to come to the Lord ..but the main thing is the Lord will prepare their hearts when it is that time ..and then he will send just the right person to them who will have that love that they can feel and will see the light shining in their heart and it is that that will get them to ask ..I want what you have ..how can I get it .


Thats what my Athiest stepfather did after a few months of discussing things with him .he is the one who brought up the subject every time ....(he started out angry and wanted to show me that the bible is BS) ...I just kept my cool and stayed loving and kind and very lovingly discussed it with him ...After 2 months of this ..I came home one day and he was crying and humble and said to me ..You have changed so much in the last several months and your light is shining so much in your heart and in your eyes ..and he said I emanated love so much that it touched him ..then he just said ..Whatever you have I want it ..now how can I get it ..
I then led him to prayer (real simple one like a one on one with the Lord) ..and he gave his life to the Lord that day ..Then he became like me in a very short period of time (Very happy and content and loved the Lord so much his eyes twinkled when he thought about him ..He never fell away ..he died a few years ago ...and he suffered terribly for months in the end ..but still had that light in his eyes even with his last breath ...


LOVE ,PATIENCE ,and MORE LOVE and MORE PATIENCE is what is needed from YOU the believer in order to really reach someone ......


[edit on 26-9-2008 by Simplynoone]

[edit on 26-9-2008 by Simplynoone]




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