20 December 2008

Atheist's Guide to Evangelism.

Do you really believe all that stuff about God? I hope you care enough about people to tell them the truth when it's unpalatable. I hope you risk losing a friend and letting someone think you're crazy. You know... I fall short in this area a lot, but I hope not to be a "secret" Christian. I don't force the Jesus conversation every five minutes with friends who don't seem to be believers, but I hope other people I come into contact with can tell that at least I'm imagining really hard that Jesus is right here watching me. Hat tip: Holy Coast blog.

12 comments:

  1. Oh goody! One of my favourite hobby horses. Are you ready for this? We have miunderstood & thus have misapplied the *Great Commission* It doesn't say to go out & make converts. It says to make *disciples* ~ which is a much harder, more time consumming thing & thus reaches far fewer people. Very few are called to do the evangelical outreach thing. We are all called to live our lives in such a way that we can disciple others.

    However, I find it incredibly interesting that the noisy, you should believe element on the island gets huge amounts of criticism. People run when they see them coming. Nah, that's not me. I'm with the runners. I hate that stuff. However, Liddy is always getting asked if we're *religous*. The kameeze & the head thing confuse them. I'm always being aked if Liddy is *religous*. If they ask they get told but I don't go hunting them down. If we're living right we should be getting askers. That's my 2 bob's worth anyway. >Ducking for tomatoes<.

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  2. Oh, gracious. I hope that flying tomatoes don't happen on my blog!! :]

    I think we can't go out and make disciples if we don't tell people what the message is in the first place, though. But you know... I do see what you're saying. I mean, every time someone chats with you about the weather you don't need to talk about how hot it is in Hell as your segway to the Gospel LOL!

    SOMETIMES a conversation is just a conversation. :]

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  3. I knew you'd get the drift of my not necessarily coherant ramblings! :) It's hard to condense major theological thoughts to the size of a *comment box*. lol.

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  4. I almost ALWAYS do not comment on religion... there is a good reason... my philosophy is "each to his own, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone".... and I respect everyones OPINIONS AND BELIEFS and their right to them. The point of this is that some people who profess to being 'good christians' cannot also take on board that simple philosophy. I try not to get into discussions on religion because I do not believe in it... and it has cost me many so-called FREINDS by admitting this. NOW... the next question is: "How do you feel about ME now"? Does my lack of believe make me any LESS of a person? A BAD person? A person who is going to HELL??? OOOOO I so didn't intend to open this topic, but it's been knawing away at me, so I did!

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  5. I think if we are following Christ then the Holy Spirit will work in us. Slowly, we begin to bear the fruit of the Spirit (kindness, love, patience, self-control, etc.). Out of that people see we are different (not because of what we do, but because of what God does). And, that may enable them to be more open and more interested.

    The other day, I was shopping. This grandmother who had the most exhausted look on her face was in the middle of the aisle with her cart and two grandchildren. She was so tired, looking for whatever it was she couldn't find, she had no clue I was there. I decided to just patiently wait because I really was not on a time schedule at the moment. She looked up and apologized and told me she will never take these two shopping ever again and the oldest is getting a root canal! We had a nice little chat and went on.

    It's Christmas, people are exhausted, dealing with more stress than usual. I don't know about other people, but I cannot be good for goodness sake without the help of God! When I feel His love for me, then I am better able to be more loving to others.

    Chris, I believe we are all bad people. I am in the same boat as you when it comes to being bad. The only difference between us is that I believe Jesus took a bullet for me and all the bad things I have done. Actually, I believe that He took a bullet for you, too, regardless of whether or not you believe. The gift of eternal life will always be under the tree, waiting for you to accept it. I trust what He says that people who believe in Him will spend eternity with Him. I look at the flip side of it, looking forward to being with a person whose love I cannot fathom.

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  6. Chris: I don't feel ANY different about you. You're still you, you're still my friend, and I am still your number one commentor (um, I think)!!

    I think your relationship between you and God is just that. But I'd be a really BAD friend if I didn't present what *I* thought to be truth. 'Course, that's way different from nagging somebody into the kingdom of God. And it's an awful, awful shame if your "Christian" friends turn their backs on you when you don't jump with their program. That's actually witchcraft... did you know that? Manipulating people like that??? It gives me bad goosebumps, is what it does. I think I've posted about what it's like to go to churches like that before!!

    Now I'm glad you said something so I can make clear that you are NEVER NEVER NEVER under any obligation to accept Christianity as a condition of my friendship. I love you for YOU. I can't tell you how scared I was that we nearly lost you this year. I am glad that we have YOU.

    :]

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  7. Tammy, in light of the Wal-Mart story, I think we can all celebrate when someone takes a moment to show compassion when shopping for Christmas gifts.

    !!

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  8. Please fell free to use the post. I actually saw it somewhere else and 'embellished' it a bit. I had it in a file since last year and do not remember where it was from.
    Chris, I have many atheist friends and several agnostics all of whom read my blog. I tell them what I believe, they accept or not, but I care too much for them as people to not talk about it. Once we share our beliefs there is no point for me to belabor the issue unless they ask me to.
    I don't get angry or defensive when they tell me they do not believe and I see no need for them to be upset because I do beleive. Respect for other sis so important.

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  9. HUGE relief, and thanks for accepting me as I am.

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  10. LOVE YOU CHRIS! You know I do. Thanks for accepting me as I am, too.

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  11. Jungle Mom, thanks for commenting! So often we think of "missionaries" as going out and converting people... that being their number one job. It's God's job, and God sends you just to show his love and give the message. NOT to destroy people's culture and all that. I'm so glad you posted on that, too, a little bit ago.

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  12. This guy, Penn, is so unbelievably brilliant. I pray he is nagged by the Holy Spirit about that "good man" who gave him the Bible. Kinda made me giggle when he said, "Is Psalms in the New Testament?"

    Some people are gifted with witnessing to others. My son is one. I, on the other hand, get way too emotional; there's too much at stake, and I just can't get my thoughts organized amidst the tornado of emotion going on in my head. I'm pretty good at praying, so that's how I approach non-believers...by bringing them to the altar in prayer. I hope God understands.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)