"Many people flocked to hear Jesus and were impressed with His words about the kingdom of God. But not everyone thought Jesus picked the right kind of people with whom to associate. Most of the religious leaders of His day referred to Jesus as a 'party boy' and a drunkard. They prided themselves on living lives of moral purity and having nothing to do with anyone who was not socially respectable. They couldn't believe that Jesus chose to relate with such social pond scum, and they openly criticized Him for it. Jesus seldom had an angry or harsh word for anyone, but for the religious leaders He had plenty. He saw how arrogant they were. They thought they were better than the average person because they were highly educated and followed a rigid code of moral ethics. They thought they were keeping the commandments of God by doing this, but Jesus had a different opinion of them."
-- Che Ahn, from Close Encounters of the Divine Kind, page 72.
It's absolutely true that bad company can corrupt good character. But sometimes I think we need to concentrate more on becoming people whose character cannot be so easily corrupted. Maybe we wouldn't get so upset about other people's sin if we had a firmer grasp on our carnal nature ourselves.
Oh, no... I'm not saying there aren't moral absolutes. I'm not saying that we should "flaunt it if we've got it" or wallow in the bars so we can "witness" to the lost. More that, if ALL of your friends are committed Christians, you're isolating yourself from some really nice people. When I come in contact with folks who are obviously not Christians, my first inclination is usually NOT to witness to them. Or even talk to them about God. More that, if my new friend is into homeschooling, we can talk about homeschooling. If I'm really a Christian, God is with me all the time and needs no formal introduction. I might mention I'm a Christian and that's why I use "this" curriculum instead of "that" one. I can accept if you're Buddhist, your kid's curriculum is going to be different than mine.
Can we be friends anyway?
I know I've heard a million sermons on tv and elsewhere (thankfully not in my church!) about how if we let that ONE opportunity to rope somebody in for Jesus go by, they're going to go to HELL and then it's gonna be all our FAULT, etc. etc. We need to hog-tie 'em for the Lord while we have the chance. Make hay while that sun is a' shinin'.
Sigh. I am absolutely going to chat with you about spiritual things if you ask me. And if you come to my blog on purpose, too bad, you read what you get, and sometimes it's "Jesus stuff!" But friendship, real friendship, is a two-way street. You know, I might just learn something from my "unsaved" friend. If my faith doesn't withstand a little genuine questioning, it's not a genuine faith. I'm sure I look a little "unsaved" to some of my friends. It's ok.
We can be friends anyway.