Four Thoughts from Non-Christians about Christians

UPDATE: Listen to the podcast on this topic.

Several weeks ago, I wrote a post about how non-Christians perceive Christians. The article was based on an interchange with one non-Christian lady on this blog. I was surprised at the number of responses, including those from a number of non-Christians. I am grateful for all who responded.

A few Christians were concerned that I might be compromising my beliefs and convictions by writing the post. To the contrary, I still hold firmly to the exclusivity of the gospel and the mandate to evangelize. But, while I am convicted about the never-changing message of the gospel, I am concerned how we messengers sometimes treat others who don’t believe as we do.

For now, I have provided four examples of what non-Christians are asking of Christians. They were all comments at different points on my blog. Each section represents a different non-Christian.

Demonstrate Respect and the Interest of Others

I can certainly understand that it might be very uncomfortable for you to witness – as a technique for attracting potential followers, it seems very forced and artificial, and it renders any attempt to express real friendship towards the recipient seem insincere and not a little sinister.

I’m an atheist, so you may be tempted to disregard my views. However, I’ve been on the receiving end of numerous attempts to witness, and I’ve never felt that any of the people who made these attempts had my interests at heart, or would offer me the basic respect of considering the possibility, however faint, that I’d put genuine thought into my position; that I might be sincere in my lack of belief.

Try to put yourself in the shoes of your prey – I suspect that you’ll become better people for making the effort.

Don’t Condescend and Discriminate

First I want to thank you for posting this, for being forthcoming and for all the encouraging comments.

I use the moniker darb because I live in the heart of the Bible belt and am concerned about repercussions of being a public atheist. We are, after all, the most reviled groups in America, even behind Muslims. I am concerned about hiring bias. I am concerned about downsizing bias. I am concerned about my children being ostracized or bullied. I am concerned because I have seen it happen.

It is SO refreshing to hear the accepting attitudes I hear in these comments. I only wish I could be assured that these were majority attitudes amongst Christians. I wish that good folks like you would speak out against those who would discriminate against me. I wish I could be myself without fearing proselytizing, condescension or worse. After all, we are all just humans trying to make our way in this uncertain world.

Really Care about the Non-Christian and Show It

This is very much how I tend to perceive approaches from would-be witnesses. I’ve read several posts in which people (believers) have expressed the desire to witness through ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’ and I’d personally have a lot more respect for someone whose life expressed the spirit of their religious belief as opposed to attempting to fill that quota. The Christians I’ve remembered with fondness were those who actually cared about other people; the ones who appeared to express the legalistic, judgmental and relentless and cultish urge to convert were, honestly, kind of a pain in the —. Not people I respected or would want know.

As a non-Christian, I have to say that 90% of these comments continue to back up the point from the article. Most of them talk about “waiting to develop a relationship before witnessing” or something of the sort. There are over 20 major religions in the world, never mind the number of smaller subsets. Has it ever just occurred to Christians that we just don’t believe the same thing you do? That we don’t think you’re right? That we don’t, at any point, want your prayers or your opinions on how we should think? If Christians are going to be so narrow minded that they are only going to have relationships with people that think the same thing they do, or think that they are better than people that don’t agree with them, why would we want to have a relationship? If you can’t look past my religious preferences (or lack thereof) and see me as a PERSON, I’ll just hang out with my open minded, non-preachy friends.

Demonstrate Compassion and Respect

Here’s a bright idea: STOP PRESSURING OTHERS TO JOIN YOUR RELIGION. If someone doesn’t want to join your church, that doesn’t make them a jerk. They’re entitled to their own beliefs, just like you’re entitled to yours. I’m sorry if that sounds harsh, but if you really want the rest of the world to accept you, then you need to accept the rest of the world. Stop focusing on how many souls you can save and start focusing on being a good person. And by ‘good person’, I mean being compassionate and generous, not paraphrasing a book written three thousand years ago on a street corner.

I don’t hate Christians, but because of the way I’ve been treated in the past, I’m wary of them. If you want to be respected, then do some respecting in return.

What Do You Think?

What do you Christians think about these admonitions from non-Christians? What do you who aren’t Christians want to say to the Christian community?

Posted on July 31, 2013

With nearly 40 years of ministry experience, Thom Rainer has spent a lifetime committed to the growth and health of local churches across North America.
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  • If we listened to these suggestions, we would stop witnessing at all. We may need to do a better job of seeing unbelievers as real people, but we cannot keep quiet about what we have seen and heard.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      That certainly is not what I wish to communicate Kirby. Certainly we must speak. Your reference to Acts 4:20 is right on. But as we speak, I would hope that we could do so with love, kindness, and humility.

  • Personally, I am grateful for the insight such interviews with non-believers offers to us as Christians. I’ve been a follower of Christ for 54 years now and one ever present struggle has been how to fulfill His command to “go and make disciples”. I can honestly say that I have arrived at long last to a point of being comfortable as a witness. That comfort is rooted in the conviction on my part that salvation is God’s work. The greatest need of lost people is not to hear from me, but it is to hear from and experience God. The very last thing I ever want to do is persuade another person to pray a prayer for salvation. At the same time, no experience compares with sharing the truth of His Word with a person in whom God is already working in some way which allows them to at least be open minded. And I am completely comfortable with planting seeds of the Gospel whether or not I see results.

  • Great article! You’re really showing compassion and thoughtfulness in how you’re dealing with this issue, and I very much appreciate that.

    Personally, I think what all people should be striving for, whether they’re Christians or not, is open-mindedness. It’s natural for all of us to feel like we “know” what’s true, none of us can be 100% sure. So when we talk to people who disagree with us, we should at least consider the possibility of their beliefs being true just as we want them to consider the possibility of our beliefs being true.

    As an atheist, I can tell you that most non-believers are not evil, stubborn infidels who secretly know Christianity is true but rebel against it. Instead, most of us were once believers who became disillusioned for a myriad of reasons. We’ve come to our current conclusions through a lot of thought, study, and difficulty. Losing one’s religion is a very painful process. So if Christians want to have traction with non-believers, don’t forget that we’re also humans who are just doing our best to live well. We are not bad people. We have real reasons for our beliefs, just as Christians do. Finally, try to consider the possibility that we could be right. I think aiming for that approach will lead to a good conversation with friendships intact, even if you’re never able to come to an agreement.

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Thanks for your comments Nate, and for your civil spirit in what could become an antagonistic discussion.

  • Dr. Rainer,

    Great post with refreshing perspectives. It reminds me of something I wrote a couple of years ago that might interest you:

  • Joyce Marie Pace says on

    I was raised in a strict, Bible belt home where following the law of the Bible was the ultimate goal regardless of what others thought of me. Yet our house was also always the one where all of our friends came because they knew they were loved and accepted. I did not fully escape having a critical attitude though, especially when it came to what some view as the most offensive of sins, such as a homosexual lifestyle. I truly felt that by avoiding these types of people I was being a “good” Christian. Then God had the audacity to place me in an office working with a high number of homosexuals. I was so mad at Him that I decided I would share my faith so boldly, which was against the rules of the workplace, that I would get myself fired. God has such a sense of humor. The more I interacted with these people, the more compassionate I became towards them, not because I agreed with them, but because I started seeing them as broken, hurting people who struggled in the same ways that I did. Once God changed my heart about how to interact with and love them, I became quite good friends with several them. The pinnacle of this was when I had to work on Thanksgiving with a scant crew. When I entered the office, I came up and stood behind my friend, a gay male who was seated, put my arms around his shoulders & told him I was thankful that he was my friend. He began to cry & told me that he considered it a privilege that someone like me would call someone like him a friend, because after all, Christians hated gays. I began to cry too (who wouldn’t?) & told him that he’d been hanging out with the wrong Christians.

    It’s fine to be a Christian, but God showed me for nearly 18 months that you need to be the right kind of Christian. That takes real courage. Amazingly enough, not once did I get criticized or reprimanded over boldly sharing my faith. However, God taught me to meet people where they were at before I presumed to tell them how they should be living differently. I will always treasure that period in my life, even though it was one of my most difficult. I will never fully know the impact I had there. To my knowledge, none of those people ever gave their life to Christ. I do hope, however, that some seeds were planted that fell on fertile soil and that someday, when someone else loves them the way Jesus does, that they’ll respond & I’ll get to see them in heaven. That is our ultimate reward.

    • Bruce Garner says on

      I gave my life to Christ well over 50 years ago. You know what has always been remarkable about that? God made it clear to me that my being gay was never an issue. The issue was that I always needed to love the Lord my God with all my heart and soul and mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself. The focus of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has never been on such issues as sexual orientation. It has always been on relationships and whether they were right relationships, whether with God or each other. And by simply looking at what Jesus condemned and what he did not, that’s pretty easy to determine. A right relationship is one that is NOT coercive, exploitive or abusive. It respects the God-given dignity of every human being and it seeks to serve Christ in all. So simple that we either miss it altogether or cannot believe it can be so simple. When I stand before my Maker, I doubt I will be asked a single question about my sexual orientation. I WILL be asked how well I loved my neighbor, if I fed the hungery, watered the thirsty, clothed the naked, visited the sick and imprisoned…for in doing these things for others I did them for Him.

      • Thom Rainer says on

        To all –

        I posted Bruce’s comments since I did not say anything otherwise. I respectfully request that we stay on topic. The issue of the Bible and homosexuality is a topic discussed in many other venues. This blog’s focus is church health.

      • Bruce Garner says on

        With all due respect to you Thom, and I truly appreciate what you write, sexual orientation and gender issues are a big part of what makes for a healthy church. What I wrote was mostly in response to the post before me, but it also speaks to how those outside the Body of Christ view us. Among younger folks, including the “spiritual but no religious” group, one of the main criticisms is the way the church has dealt with both the role of women in the church and the role and acceptance or lack of acceptance of those of a different sexual orientation. We are labelled as hypocritical for zeroing in on those issues for which to hold folks accountable while ignoring the myriad of other issues that Jesus called us to address. A healthy church is one where all can find a place and find it, in the words of that wonderful old hymn: “just as I am, without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me.” No church will be truly healthy unless and until it addresses these two issues. Health is a holistic circumstance and we cannot piece meal what goes into it….whether visible or hovering below the surface, gender and human sexuality issues are a part of all churches. Not addressing them imperils the true health of our churches.

        On a different note, is there spell check on this site? Some days my fingers can never find the correct keys on the keyboard! So please excuse typos that I may miss.

      • Kevin Rettig says on

        Bruce, your testimony reminds us that we are to be compassionate toward all who are in spiritual need, just as Jesus modeled. Such compassion is one important aspect of church health — because out of our compassion for others, seeds are planted; ministry is done and lives are touched.

  • Jim Jacobs says on


    Thanks for sharing these open and honest comments. I’ve always struggled with knowing when to “tell” and knowing when just to “show”. The theme I saw occuring in each comment was that these people want to be treated like Jesus treated others. May this be a wake up call to those of us who claim to be His followers.

  • Jessica says on

    As a non believer I want to say thank you. I’ve yet to have any evangelical be polite or respectful.

  • Nick Horton says on

    Your headings are good. We should do those things. The goal of evangelism is definitely to see people come to Christ for the glory of God. We can do that in respectful, loving, compassionate, and caring ways. We should not be afraid to engage people in conversation about what they believe.

    I wouldn’t worry about an unbeliever’s dislike of the gospel. I see their complaints of sharing our faith, have heard them personally, and I’m not surprised. They reject God. It’s not surprising then that they reject any attempt by Christians to tell them about Jesus.

    However, I am not called to tell them comfortable news. Or affirming news. Or news they want to hear. I am called to tell them the good news of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, and what that means for them. This isn’t lack of compassion or respect, It is supreme compassion. So much so that I disregard their uneasiness to tell them how to be reconciled to God and have eternal life. I respect them so much as someone made in the image of God that I would see them know Christ and live fully, rather than the pale shadows of life the unregenerate live.

    In all this; “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” Col 4:5-6

    • I agree whole-heartedly with this comment. I think the headings are excellent. I believe that we should follow all four of them to the letter. And from reading Dr. Rainer for a while now, I believe that he sincerely wants to be a strong witness for Christ, and the point of this post is to encourage other Christians to do the same.

      Dr. Rainer, I think that the challenge here may be that you haven’t encountered many atheists on the internet. They tend to be a sordid, manipulative bunch, usually pretending to only dislike our method, but not our message. I have come to realize this to be a farce. They attack our message through our method, which will never be right in their eyes, unless we keep our mouths shut. One of the commenters actually referred to us as seeking “prey” which reveals the true state of his/her heart. Christians, true Christians, that is, are seeking people to witness to in hopes they will receive Christ, which I know you know.

      So my question is this, why give these people a voice on a Christian website? They have plenty of atheist sites where they can spread their hatred of Christianity.

      I would be interested in hearing from Christians who encountered harsh witnesses before they were saved, because I believe they would be coming from a place of honesty. But it’s just hard for me to ever take an atheist seriously on these matters, I’ve just seen to much sock puppetry from them on the internet.

      As always, I appreciate the work, and I believe that your motives are right.

      • Nick and Tom,

        I’m sorry to see you have such a negative view of non-Christians. I know you believe the gospel message saves people from their sins, so of course you would value that very highly. And even if the person you’re preaching to doesn’t want the message — they need it, right?

        But think of it this way: When you’re sick and need a shot, do you want to go to the doctor that stabs you with the needle, or the one that gently administers the injection as compassionately as possible?

        If you honestly want to help people and assist them in coming to Christianity, then you should care about how they perceive your efforts. Otherwise, you’re likely wasting your time and doing more harm than good.

      • Dr. Rainer, Nate’s comment is a prime example of what you get from atheists on the internet, which is advice on how to be Christian while calling you mean-spirited. This is the typical “you’re a hateful Christian” response from someone who hates our God enough to declare that he doesn’t exist. I’m not saying that talking with atheists is unprofitable, I do it all the time, but when these conversations take place on the internet, it’s usually non-productive.

      • Tom, if I offended you in some way, I’m sorry. That wasn’t my intent. I’m also sorry if you’ve had negative experiences with atheists in the past. However, we’re not a homogenous bunch. Just as Christians can run the spectrum between considerate and hateful, so do atheists.

        And just as a clarification, I don’t “hate” God. I see no point in that, just as I see no point in hating Zeus. I simply don’t believe in either of them.

      • Nate, for what it’s worth, I think you are spot on. (And I am a Christan believer.)

      • Kevin Rettig says on

        After all, if one believes there is no God, then hating Him would violate that inherent belief 🙂

      • Thom Rainer says on

        Thanks so much Tom. There are times when I have to reject a comment for various reasons. That is why I moderate all comments. I like open discussion, but I like civil discussion. So if anyone, atheist or evangelical, violates the spirit of this blog, they will not have an audience here.

      • JoAnne Timothy says on

        Jesus was still Jesus no matter who came across His path or who He dealt with while walking this earth! He is our pattern. If we are focused on living a life out after His pattern – then we have no problem meeting people where they are because we are who we are in Christ and strong in it. People who don’t know Christ deserve our compassion and example – so that the Holy Spirit can do His work. If we are Christians we should have no problem being who God called us to be – even to the least likely unbeliever! I don’t know about others but I WANT to live a different life 24 hours a day so that Christ might put me in a place where being who I am can help someone else see Jesus. I WANT to be relevant to the Word of God and implement all facets of the Faith in my life so that when someone has a need and I can meet it – I am not checking first to see if they are a Christian or unbeliever. God will then take that witness and bear fruit in His time for His purpose. Somehow, we have gotten off track by judging each other and not remembering that we are to follow the pattern Jesus set forth in His Word. God help us if we are scared to be who He called us to be with non-believers. Let’s put on Jesus and forget politics and remember compassion and love!

      • I love this in every way!! Thank you so much for sharing this; your heart and passion is so obvious through what you wrote. This is both very encouraging and very challenging to me!

  • tim smith says on

    I need to be faithful to Christ. I must always be growing in loving God and loving people. If I am successful in that, most of the world will still hate me and the Gospel I seek to share. I must care for all, no matter their beliefs, and respect each individual in obedience to God. My ultimate goal is not to convince others to agree with me but to be pleasing to The One Who loves me so much He died to redeem me. I am thankful for conversation with non-believers and hope to be pleasing to Jesus in interaction with all people. When I am faithful to Him I pray many will be drawn to Him but that is His work not mine. Sadly, many “Christians” are more interested in gaining converts to the “Christian” sub culture than in walking in obedience to Christ. And sadly, the closer we walk with Christ, the more much of the world will hate us. So, to quote an old song, “live for Jesus, that’s what matters”. Loving God, loving others with God’s love, That is my goal.

    • Amen from a former Christian! If Christians truly rested in Jesus and took their cues from Him alone rather than churchianity culture and peers, this would be moot. So well said. I wish there were more Christians like you out there.

      • Kevin Rettig says on

        I would wish the same Diane. Perhaps if there were you would not identify yourself as a former Christian; likewise perhaps also the Church would have many millions more people gathering to worship our Lord.

    • i know people from many ares of life some beleave in christ others dont ,some times i would talk with the guys that didnt and listen to their oppinions they never put me down for my believs and i never with theirs but what i learnt is that God places us in some really difficult places and yes pepole hate you for being christian but did pepole not hate Jesus ,yes they did but he still sat with them and honerd them for who they are and that is what i have always done so why is it that people who go to church can not do the same ,1 they are not truly intrested in pepole out side of church 2 they feel as though its waisting their time because they dont know how to truly speak to a none beleaver 3 they dont truly listen to how Jesus tought us to help none beleavers become one in faith .
      if you truly listened and understood onanother you would come to realize that a lot of none beleavers actually dont understand adout the bible and they shrug it off because there is a lot of pepole out there who dont truly know how to help them become true to god
      god bless ever one

  • Thanks Thom for this post. Those of us who are Pastors must do a better job of teaching those we lead that we can love and respect non-believers without compromising our beliefs. Too often it seems it is one or the other but that is not the case. We are called to live a different life yet we are to still be deeply immersed in our society.

  • While I appreciate each and every thought listed above, the real question is how does the Christian honor both the feelings of the non-Christian and the divine mandate to evangelize?

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Dave –

      There will be those who object to the message we share. The gospel is offensive. We must never compromise it or sharing about it. But many non-Christians are simply asking that we demonstrate love and kindness to them. I think our main lesson is to make certain that we show the love of Christ even as we talk about the love of Christ.

      • Cj Gross says on

        It seems that many folks want to know me before the Jesus I know. In fact as I was witnessing to an individual he was reluctant to hear what I had to say because in his words “but, I don’t know you.” The longer I am a Christian the more convinced I am that lifestyle evangelism is the way to go with many people. Proclamation evangelism has its place but we have more opportunities to develop relationships through which the love of Christ is shown which also gives us more credibility to share the gospel.

      • Well said. Couldn’t agree more.

      • Reminds me of the old quote, “There are 5 gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and YOU! And most people won’t read the first 4.”

      • Right, well they hated God, Jesus, it is to be expected if I live like Him people now will hate me too! if I open my mouth or not, there are those who hate Christians, they call them “goodie two shoes” or “holier than thou”. The bible tells us they are children of Satan, blind, and dead. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God and how will they hear it if you don’t tell them with Words?

      • So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

        People must hear the Gospel for salvation. Where does the Bible say that people are saved through lifestyle evangelism and without preaching?

      • The goal of all my relationships (with believers and non-believers) is pointing them to Christ. Is that not the ultimate demonstration of love? Let me ask non-Christian this…If I knew the bridge was out up ahead and told you nothing about it would you think me a decent person or a monster as I watch you drive off the edge to your death? This is a metaphor for the Gospel, I have eternally significant truth to share. My goal is to love you enough to be able to share it in such a way that I am not an obstacle to your understanding of that Truth.

      • Travis Grant says on

        Dereck, I agree 100%. Our mission on this earth is not to invite non-believers to church, or to convert them to our “religion”, but to preach the gospel message that saves the life of a died sinner. The truth we share is to save lives out of love. If we weren’t concerned about the eternal state of an individual that’s when we are wrong.

      • The only problem with this metaphor is that you do not KNOW the bridge is out, you only BELIEVE the bridge is out. You can’t offer any proof the bridge is out, or point to any evidence that the bridge is out. You just want everyone to take your word for it. And of course get mad or frustrated with anyone who won’t believe you.

    • Scott Brown says on

      You can easily do both by doing exactly as Christ did… *LIVE* the life, and accept ‘no’ for an answer when approaching someone with your religion. Bruce pretty much hit it on the head, IMO. I know if someone feels the desire to push Christianity on me more than their own God found acceptable…at best, I’m going to find them a poor source of information about the religion, since they seem to feel they know the religion better than their own savior. Heck, for me, it’s gotten to the point I use two separate words to differentiate between Christians and the idiots, whom I refer to as xtains.

    • Phyllis says on

      one word: “love”. it speaks volumes

      • Love is telling someone the Gospel. People can’t trust in the Lord Jesus Christ without the proclamation of the Gospel.

    • Kevin Rettig says on

      Dave, in looking at human physiology, God designed us with two ears and only one mouth. Perhaps this is to remind us that we should listen twice as much as we speak. Unfortunately, most of us are terrible listeners. We would rather open our mouths and show people around us that we don’t care for them rather than open our ears and listen to their stories. I have found that when I stop and listen to atheists or agnostics regarding their beliefs, asking clarifying questions along the way, they often want to hear what I believe or even what the Bible has to say. Asking such questions can lead into a wonderful sharing opportunity, and when such ‘Divine appointments’ are much more about planting seeds rather than trying to force a person to become a Christ-follower, then there is no pressure and a good conversation can take place. As my professor of Evangelism taught us in seminary, it is more important to be able to continue the conversation about Christ later than try and give them everything they need to know in one sitting.

      • Well said Kevin!

      • As an atheist, I am very interested in our religions and the humanity behind them. I absolutely adore chatting about spirituality and humanity with the many friends and family I know who do believe. Like Kevin said here (Thank you, sir!) I’ve learned more about religion from frank conversations where I interacted with my Christian friends on a personal basis without judgement, but with love and curiosity. They weren’t interested in getting me to sign on the dotted line. They accepted that everyone has to make their own path and that mine is valid even if it doesn’t match theirs. That is the way to open doors to hearts and minds and it’s also the way to heal and love everyone.

      • Edward Allen-Palmer says on

        The question that is continuously asked today is; “Is christianity true or false? Well with proven results as found within my research and study, it is without doubt false. These findings will be unveiled in my book, HOW CHRISTIANTY MADE ME FALL. After 19 years of intensive study of the christian Bible, and evaluating the lives of christians today, it is without doubt that from church leaders down, confusion, lies and selfish motives rule 90% of christians today. This confirms that christianity is deadly and most evil. Do not judge us they love to say, while they stand with a knife behind their backs, just ready to destroy the beliefs and religions of others.

    • This is disheartening to hear, but yet a big truth in the way a lot of Christians act and not just to unbelievers but to believers as well. I was happy to read the comments and hoping to add a little more. As Christians, most of us have failed to communicate the most important thing in the gospel, and that is LOVE!
      Unconditional Love! Second Commandment in the bible is to Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39) YOURSELF! Do you judge yourself as harshly as you judge others? As I am nearing 50 this year and have been a Christian most of my life, I have learned some hard lessons and continue to seek the Lord first with MY heart and what HE wants of me. I have hurt people I love in the “Name of the Lord”. OH Father . . . when did you turn over the reigns to me? We take the bible and think, “Oh, I have permission to demoralize those I try to witness to who do not accept the Gospel.” We have to remember that, even though it breaks God’s heart, there are those who will not choose the Gospel. We are to STILL LOVE them, regardless, its a COMMAND, not an OPTION! No one person is better than another, EVER! Give respect for those living the life they choose, doesn’t mean to compromise your beliefs, doesn’t mean to stop living a life of example. We as Christians are so busy trying to bully those to Jesus instead of living the life God asks of us, and that is a life of
      example. If you feel “anxious” to help others to believe the Gospel, then go back to Philippians 4:6-7 and read about being anxious for nothing and in everything presenting your requests to God in prayer, etc. (Paraphrased) but truly read it. And also, Matthew 7:1-5, Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Because we are Sons and Daughters of the King, we think we have the right to judge others, this scripture tells us how wrong we are. I lovingly share this with a heart that hurts for Christians and Non-Christians. I know how it is to want a loved one to except the Gospel, having my own father take a totally different road after his second marriage. I want him, I need him to be a Christian! You know what the Lords been telling me? HE’S in control, and my father, HE is making HIS CHOICE! How sad for me, tears, I love my Dad and want to see him in Heaven according to what I believe. But he has his OWN choice, his OWN road. It’s up to him and God, not me. But, I continue to LOVE my dad and be an example and not shove my beliefs down his throat. Which is what God is REALLY calling me to do. Wait patiently on Him and trust Him. Remember the Holy Spirit is the one that will speak to the hearts, not a pushy person. I’ve made my choice and I’m suppose to pray for His and show by example. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I have witnessed to him in love and patients. We mush never stop speaking of the Gospel, but to learn the correct way. Giving respect and space along the way. Love, Love, Love . . . it’s a big thing!

  • Bruce Garner says on

    These folks have shared words we should all take to heart. I can look back some 50 years ago when I converted to a denomination that was not the majority in my high school or the community at large. I was told point blank that I was now going to hell because I was no longer a member of the majority/dominant denomination. I ache for the man who even worried about loss of his job if he was too open about his beliefs. I have lived in the Bible belt all my life. I understand his fears.

    We have a model in Jesus Christ. He never coerced or pressured or even “nudged” people into faith. He modeled what we now call a “Christian life.” He taught. He healed without regard to condition or status or religion. He respected all, especially those on the margins. If we are to be His followers, what makes us think we should do things differently than He did them?

    • Thom Rainer says on

      Thanks Bruce. Well stated.

    • But Jesus only healed those who had Faith.

      Pointing out those who deny Christ as Lord and Savior will not go to heaven and they need to repent and believe I argue IS LOVING. I don’t want even someone who does evil to miss Heaven, for Hell is an eternity of torment.

      Of course “non christians” don’t believe as we do, we should plead with them in a loving way to repent and believe. To go and make disciples like Christ commanded us to. Otherwise you would be unloving to not warn them of the wrath to come.

      • Bruce Garner says on

        Re-read what I posted. These WERE Christians passing judgment on me, a fellow Christian, because I had changed denominations!

    • Let’s be careful – to be faithful to Christ and Scripture, and to not let our own foolish human tendencies cloud our thinking.

      “Stop focusing on how many souls you can save and start focusing on being a good person. And by ‘good person’, I mean being compassionate and generous, not paraphrasing a book written three thousand years ago on a street corner.”:
      To obey this atheist means disobeying Jesus, whose last words were to make disciples of all nations. By the way, Jesus, his apostles, and the prophets did stand on street corners and preach (in fact, the public marketplaces were the main places were ideas were exchanged in those days).

      ” He respected all, especially those on the margins. If we are to be His followers, what makes us think we should do things differently than He did them?”:
      “fear God who can cast both body and soul into hell” “if you being evil” “woe to you…hypocrites” “you make them twice as much a child of hell as you” “Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?”-Jesus
      In other words, I agree that we must do things like Jesus – we must call people out on their sin and tell them that they will go to hell if they don’t, like Jesus did.

      Lastly, “I ache for the man who even worried about loss of his job if he was too open about his beliefs. I have lived in the San Francisco area all my life. I understand his fears.” I know people who have lost their jobs for their Christian beliefs.

      If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.-John 15:18-20

    • Charles Allen says on

      Allow me as a fool just to just speak the truth from my heart. I believe in Christ Jesus and the full purpose of God, but I do not believe in christianity today. The reason being, all the christians today can do is destroy lives with their self-righteous and self-indulgent ways. They love persecuting each other, and are so divided, filled with envy and strife. They are clearly not an example of light, but are caught up in their own dark world of deceit. Preachers and teachers are the holier than God, and use and abuse others for financial gain, and this is truth. For 24 years now I have tried to walk the christian walk, and have now had enough of this falsehood of christians. Yes, I know God’s Living Word and so does the Devil, so as many christians have called me the Devil for speaking the truth, let this Devil then be kind enough to say to the christians of today, “Get your lives in order, and start being true christians according to God’s Will, because you are all on the way to join me in Hell if you do not start obeying God’s Voice.”. Show me a true christian today, and then I might just become a christian. I honestly believe The Lord Jesus Christ is disgusted in the christians of today. And believe me, this goes for preachers and teachers too. There will be more whores entering the Kingdom of God than christians, and this is fact. Argue and get angry, this is all christians today can do.

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