Avoiding Non-Christians

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Religious Fanatic, Aug 27, 2018.

  1. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Well-Known Member

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    Is it wrong to want to purposefully avoid discourse most of the time with people who are hostile to the faith? I am not comfortable talking to or being too close to a lot of non-Christians these days. I personally don't care for younger people in general or their gross attitude and view of Christians. I do not have pity for them and their way of life. I honestly do not have the humility or patience to engage with most people who have some sort of vendetta towards Christians, and would rather just pray about it in secret and not talk to them at all. I do not even like some self-professed Christians. I know we have to play some role in advancing the kingdom, but am I wrong to refrain from being too personal with those who I have some weakness to be angry towards?
     
  2. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I don't see anything wrong
    :)
    Enjoy being in an environment that's comfortable... We have too few days under the sun..
     
  3. Ide

    Ide Active Member

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    I would offer that there two different categories you mention here- those hostile to the faith and non-Christians. They are not always the same thing. A person who is a non-Christian may be completely apathetic towards Christ and isn't hostile to the faith at all- they just don't care one way or the other.

    A person hostile to the faith is another category and I agree that if they are an issue they it is best to avoid them. There isn't much sense in getting in arguments or being combative with a person who is looking for conflict. Unless you feel a call to evangelize them, but not everyone is suited for that type of action

    I agree that are Christians who incessantly bicker, argue, and degrade other Christians- they aren't helping much either! In most instances these types of Christians do more to push people away from Christ than any non-Christian apologist could. For years I was turned off from Christianity because the behavior and attitude by Christians, so some non-Christians may have never come across a real living example of Christian life. Maybe you could be that for them?
     
  4. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Well-Known Member

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    I've often said some really ungodly things to people when 'witnessing' in the past, though sometimes by the grace of God, they had some sort of unexpected resolution that led to people being more open to the faith despite our initial conflict. And yes, I know what you are saying about hostile vs. friendly non-believers. I have some online atheist friends who are generally very tolerant of my beliefs and despise people such as Dawkins or Harris or any of the 'new atheist' camp. We don't get too indepth about religion or debate it, since the discussion forums we go to aren't about that sort of thing, but they generally are a lot nicer than most of the people I've seen online who are really vicious. I used to go to TheologyWeb and the Christians who ran the site were totally poisoned with self-righteousness and hostility like you wouldn't believe. I have met Christian and non-Christian people of this kind both online and in real life. I too have been hurt by 'Christians' throughout my life, but have also hurt others. Therefore, if someone like myself, who has hurt others, yet persisted in belief, have grown and am still loved by God, then there is hope for the ones who hurt me. Several former TheologyWeb apologists who are active in that field have since toned down on their insults and mockery that they once had, so there is hope. God still loves us and is merciful. But, there are times when I should be in a healthier environment for encouragement and care from faithful Christians rather than trashy cliques that have no spiritual substance and hinder growth in the Lord.
     
  5. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I get the notion that we find ourselves at home among those with whom we share a common faith, and a common understanding of that faith. However sometimes I can find some Christians quite irritating, and have been know to say 'God I love you, but I can't stand your friends'.

    I also find congenial company amongst those with who I share other things. We have a group round here called U3A (University of the 3rd Age) which simply a secular group. We have done a number of history studies, which included both Holy Roman Empire, and Byzantine Empire, and in both of those and in a couple of other places reference was made to the filioque, which was quiety dismissed as being religious and of no relevance, however when people discovered someone in the group knew something about it, I was invited to do a presentation on the subject, and so I did, for three weeks at 90 minutes a week. About twenty people attended and we had a great discussion, and spent some time towards the end look at the question 'was the Spirit who walked in the dreamtime of the Australian Aboriginal People the same spirit who brooded over the waters at Creation as recounted in Genesis'. Who would have thought that would happen.

    I think that there is value in mixing with non-christians in all sorts of spheres, as we are in our baptism called to shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the Father.
     
  6. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Well-Known Member

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    I've had my share of animosity towards both Roman Catholics and Protestants, though I've had more self-righteous, painful experiences with the former than the latter. Some RCCs I met were even meaner in many ways than Atheists who said some truly rotten things to me. However, growing up in the Protestant church, I was misunderstood and hurt deeply many times by them as well. Youth groups truly are a nightmare of the Protestant community. Regardless, I always found the support, in one way or another, of caring and generous people within these churches who exhibited a lot of love that I wouldn't see from outside the church. That kept me from giving up on the Christian faith, and of course, my family, who shared my concerns over true vs. false Christians. Paul does say to be everything to everyone, so we do need to use our knowledge and talents to evangelize, but there are some weaknesses in myself spiritually that make me prone to be manipulated by the enemy because I haven't managed to move on from certain habits or patterns of thought that have been detrimental to my spiritual walk.
     
  7. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    There may even be 'non-Christians' who know next to nothing about Christianity, and would actually be genuinely curious about what Christians believe to be true about God and life generally.

    There are, in my opinion, differences between (a) being merely non-Christian, in the way I describe above, (b) being a non-Disciple of Christ, or (3) being hostile to Christ and his teaching.

    Being a non-Christian, necessarily entails being a non-Disciple of Christ, but being a non-Disciple of Christ need not necessarily imply hostility at all, it may simply mean never having yet actually committed oneself to Christ's person and teaching, therefore entailing only ignorance of both. Ignorance is not sin, it is merely the paucity and deprivation of knowledge.

    It is, in my opinion, then, perfectly OK to avoid controversial and hostile persons. 2 Tim.2:22-26. We can 'shake the dust off of our feet', with the absolute approval of Our Lord, rather than get embroiled with vexatious and contentious people. Matt.10:14. Mk.6:11, Lk.9:5, Lk.10:11.

    A true disciple can discern the difference between 'enquirers' and 'attackers'.
     
  8. Religious Fanatic

    Religious Fanatic Well-Known Member

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    Can someone also tell me how 'nice' we have to be when discussing something we disagree with? The whole 'love' thing gets pushed around too often. People who are progressive hippies love to push the whole 'Jesus said don't judge' thing around. I do not like it.
     
  9. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Take your cue from Jesus. He sometimes said very rude things to some people, who obviously needed to hear it. "You are like unto whitewashed tombs, clean on the outside, but within full of dead men's bones and all manner of filth".

    Hardly complimentary. But don't try it unless you are at least half as righteous yourself, as Jesus was, unless you want the label of hypocrite. :no: