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Innerfire89

Hanging out with nonbelievers?

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Innerfire89
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Do you think we should be making friend with and hanging out with nonbelievers to try and bring them the Gospel? I hear this a lot lately and wonder if it's the correct way to evangelize, and if so, how I do we go about doing so?

 

 

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Just Mike

I am an old guy, but bad company corrupts good behavior. That's what my mom used to say. Its true. Share your testimony, but hangout with your christian friends, so much better.

 

 

justme

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Innerfire89
Moderator
I am an old guy, but bad company corrupts good behavior. That's what my mom used to say. Its true. Share your testimony, but hangout with your christian friends, so much better.

 

 

justme

 

Good point, and your mother must've known Scripture well. 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: bad company ruins good morals.

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Dutch

To reach people with the gospel you need to build relationships but your friends those you associate with most should be your Christian friends,people of like faith and mind.

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Sue D.

Hanging out with non-believers -- depends on your reason for doing such. If you're a new believer then your friends are probably non-Christians and it depends on the character of those people. A new believer Became a believer through some means. Your New desire would be to get to know other Christians. If you Were with those with habits you shouldn't be continuing, chances are they might question Your change -- a good witnessing opportunity. Or they might distance themselves from you.

 

A new believer Might find him/her self alone for a while in the process of developing new activities / friends.

 

As 'Dutch' commented -- believers need to be willing to build relationships with non-believers -- how else will they hear the Gospel. Believers Should be able to show non-believers what good, wholesome fun consists of.

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Innerfire89
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Hanging out with non-believers -- depends on your reason for doing such. If you're a new believer then your friends are probably non-Christians and it depends on the character of those people. A new believer Became a believer through some means. Your New desire would be to get to know other Christians. If you Were with those with habits you shouldn't be continuing, chances are they might question Your change -- a good witnessing opportunity. Or they might distance themselves from you.

 

A new believer Might find him/her self alone for a while in the process of developing new activities / friends.

 

As 'Dutch' commented -- believers need to be willing to build relationships with non-believers -- how else will they hear the Gospel. Believers Should be able to show non-believers what good, wholesome fun consists of.

 

That sounds good, but hasn't worked in my experience. They're not interested in good, wholesome fun or what they're doing for fun, in their minds, is acceptable.

 

I tried to make aquiantences with an family who had a daughter who is an atheist. Eventulay I found myself watching the same drity TV shows they did and I started cursing without realizing it. The daughter had no interest in Christ, she would just come up with arguments. The family says they are Christians but I'm not too convinced. But to be fair these people are a total mess. The daughter who is in her 30s just gave her baby up for adoption because of an affair, thankfully she changed her mind and didn't abort it at least. Her and the mother are both pill heads. The husband is terminally ill and uses an oxygen mask, every time I ask about him they say he only has weeks to live, yet I seen him walking around in Walmart without the mask on.

 

Other times I tried to form a relationship with nonbelievers didn't turn out much better. They invited me over for dinner and offered me some vodka at the door, I stayed there for about ten minutes until they had an argument about a drug deal and missing money.

 

Now maybe I got the wrong idea about what it means to hang out with them or maybe these are just my experiences. But it doesn't seem like the right way to go. The best way I can see to spread the Gospel is to be an examples of Christ and plant seeds, give them something to think about.

 

 

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Sue D.

 

That sounds good, but hasn't worked in my experience. They're not interested in good, wholesome fun or what they're doing for fun, in their minds, is acceptable.

 

I tried to make aquiantences with an family who had a daughter who is an atheist. Eventulay I found myself watching the same drity TV shows they did and I started cursing without realizing it. The daughter had no interest in Christ, she would just come up with arguments. The family says they are Christians but I'm not too convinced. But to be fair these people are a total mess. The daughter who is in her 30s just gave her baby up for adoption because of an affair, thankfully she changed her mind and didn't abort it at least. Her and the mother are both pill heads. The husband is terminally ill and uses an oxygen mask, every time I ask about him they say he only has weeks to live, yet I seen him walking around in Walmart without the mask on.

 

Other times I tried to form a relationship with nonbelievers didn't turn out much better. They invited me over for dinner and offered me some vodka at the door, I stayed there for about ten minutes until they had an argument about a drug deal and missing money.

 

Now maybe I got the wrong idea about what it means to hang out with them or maybe these are just my experiences. But it doesn't seem like the right way to go. The best way I can see to spread the Gospel is to be an examples of Christ and plant seeds, give them something to think about.

 

 

 

 

I live in 'small town' south Texas. Apparently I've lived a very sheltered life -- haven't run into any people dealing with drugs or missing money. Maybe I should modify that -- we live right off I-35 -- so we're on the border line of a mess. Just don't see it on a personal basis.

 

Well --we Do live in sinful world -- you're seeing evidence of it.

 

 

There's a family I'd gotten to know at church some years ago. I asked how they had gotten together -- she glanced at her husband and he nodded 'okay'. Turns out that years Before, she'd been on drugs and he'd been her supplier. I'm thinking that he'd gotten saved -- fallen in love with her and helped her get off the drugs and then they got married. At that point they were both believers. He'd gotten a very good respectable job as a general construction contractor and she was in the church orchestra and they home schooled their kids.

 

Just saying -- there's Always 'hope' until we're dead.

 

We Can pray for contacts with unsaved people -- invite them to Your home and demonstrate / live the Godly life in front of them.

 

You said the daughter was an atheist -- shouldn't surprise you at her lack of interest in God -- that's what atheists Are -- no interest in God. Coming up with arguments is what they do. Do you present intelligent counter-arguments? Sometimes it's possible other times not. Maybe if you're willing to listen and not tune her out. There are Lots of young women who get pg from affairs and have their kids.

 

And we pray for wisdom.

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Innerfire89
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I live in 'small town' south Texas. Apparently I've lived a very sheltered life -- haven't run into any people dealing with drugs or missing money. Maybe I should modify that -- we live right off I-35 -- so we're on the border line of a mess. Just don't see it on a personal basis.

 

Well --we Do live in sinful world -- you're seeing evidence of it.

 

 

There's a family I'd gotten to know at church some years ago. I asked how they had gotten together -- she glanced at her husband and he nodded 'okay'. Turns out that years Before, she'd been on drugs and he'd been her supplier. I'm thinking that he'd gotten saved -- fallen in love with her and helped her get off the drugs and then they got married. At that point they were both believers. He'd gotten a very good respectable job as a general construction contractor and she was in the church orchestra and they home schooled their kids.

 

Just saying -- there's Always 'hope' until we're dead.

 

We Can pray for contacts with unsaved people -- invite them to Your home and demonstrate / live the Godly life in front of them.

 

You said the daughter was an atheist -- shouldn't surprise you at her lack of interest in God -- that's what atheists Are -- no interest in God. Coming up with arguments is what they do. Do you present intelligent counter-arguments? Sometimes it's possible other times not. Maybe if you're willing to listen and not tune her out. There are Lots of young women who get pg from affairs and have their kids.

 

And we pray for wisdom.

 

Ok, but is that how the story really went? Now we're moving into the topic of marriage to nonbelievers.

 

The word atheist is derived from Latin. A means without and theo means God. They are without-God-ist. A nonbeliver is a nonbeliver though.

With some people, like the atheist I mentioned, they rather believe something that's abusrd rather than have faith in God.

 

My point in telling about how those behaved in my experience was that they're not people we're supposed to be hanging out with.

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Dutch
@Innerfire89 Jesus started a conversation with the woman at the well about water before revealing himself to her.He started a conversation with her about "temporal matters" before delving into the "spiritual topics". My point I guess was we need to meet people where they are at before we just start preaching to them. In a sense we need to earn the "right "to proclaim the good news to them.The early congregation were always proclaiming Christ in "bull sessions" They developed a relationship with people which opened the door to discuss the Lord and the Scriptures with them.
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Innerfire89
Moderator
@Innerfire89 Jesus started a conversation with the woman at the well about water before revealing himself to her.He started a conversation with her about "temporal matters" before delving into the "spiritual topics". My point I guess was we need to meet people where they are at before we just start preaching to them. In a sense we need to earn the "right "to proclaim the good news to them.The early congregation were always proclaiming Christ in "bull sessions" They developed a relationship with people which opened the door to discuss the Lord and the Scriptures with them.

 

Yes, we should be personal and sincere. We should be good listeners. But of course there's a limit to how close we get to them, we don't need to be confidants.

 

 

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Dutch

Right ,there are some who are actually so opposed to the gospel that it does more harm to proclaim it to them than good.

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Sue D.

 

Yes, we should be personal and sincere. We should be good listeners. But of course there's a limit to how close we get to them, we don't need to be confidants.

 

 

 

 

That depends -- when it's a man talking with a woman - there would be a limit as to how close we get. But with men with another man or a woman with another woman, being a confidant might be just what's needed. Being a good listener will potentially bring on the 'confidant' relationship.

It has occurred to me that this is such a surface relationship based society that , at least Some of us, are looking for more indepthedness in relationships. Maybe if we were more willing to take time to really listen to others, there wouldn't be as much need for counselor or therapists.

 

And some of that is because we're a very mobile society. Stuff happens and we need to move -- jobs, relationship going wrong, college, whatever.

 

Hanging out with non-believers Can be a downfall. Sometimes non-believers can be good friends -- they are Trying to be good people to us.

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atpollard

I was going to start a new thread, but decided to just hijack this old thread. I want to talk about Evangelism.

 

Since I come from a nihilist background, we like to start out by cutting through the [blarney] and getting to what's real. So let's just talk about the last 7 days of our lives. In the last 7 days, most Roman Catholics have encountered lots of unsaved people and told few (bordering on none) of them about Jesus and the gospel. Most Lutherans have encountered lots of unsaved people in their daily life and also told few to none about the Good News. Methodists embracing Wesleyean Arminianism have encountered lots of unsaved people this week and shared the Gospel with few to none, as have Baptists and Pentecostals and attendees of the various Churches of God. Our monergistic, Calvinistic and Reformed brothers and sisters among the Prebytrians and other denominations have also met many unsaved this week and shared the Gospel with few.

 

My point is not to wag a finger of guilt, for every finger I point outward, three more point back at me. I have met multiple unsaved people in the last seven days and, if I am honest, I made no real effort to share the Gospel with any of them. We could all sit around the camp fire and share excuses, but none of that will change the bottom line that the Church really stinks at fulfilling the great commission and it seems to make little difference what theology the local body holds. Calvinist, Arminian, Monergist, Synergist ... we are all just not doing it.

 

I know that it is popular to criticize (and even mock) the 'evangelism tricks' like "altar calls" and "asking Jesus into your heart". I know that all I can think of is 'that is not Biblical'. However, I heard an interesting statistic today: Billy Graham (using all of his currently mocked 'evangelism tricks') has preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to more than 2 BILLION people over the course of his life.

 

So which is worse, to present the Gospel to 2 billion people using a "flawed" methodology or to keep the True Gospel to ourselves and tell no one?

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atpollard

Let's talk about Arminian Evangelism.

I don't want to just pile on a "this is wrong" bandwagon, but I would actually like to have a polite conversation between believers. Let's face it, statistically speaking, the Methodists and Holiness Movements got the word out about Jesus (and Arminians still do) far more prolifically than Calvinists have in the last few centuries. I have given a fair bit of thought to the Strengths and Weakness and many of the accusations against both Arminian and Calvinistic Evangelism.

 

I came to see Synergysm as a flaw or a weakness in evangelism because it opens the individual sharing to an inappropriate credit/blame and potential sense of guilt. Here is my reasoning on the subject: If the sinner has the free will to choose, then it is imperative that the evangelist make every possible effort to communicate the Gospel effectively and convincingly. If an evangelist shares his faith badly, he may drive a lost soul away from Christ and actually be, to a small degree, responsible for the eternal damnation of that person. This places the burden of convincing the lost on the shoulders of the Christian sharing their faith. The eternal destiny of a lost soul may, indeed rest with your ability to persuade them of the truth.

 

I recognize that on the positive side, Arminianism creates a strong theoretical incentive to share the truth. If the Arminian does not share the Gospel, then the lost will have NO CHANCE of hearing and being saved! Yet I wonder about the responsibility that places on the shoulders of any thinking Arminian.

 

I would like to hear what a non-Calvinist might respond to this. Do you ever view it this way, or do you see it completely differently?

Why don't we (any of us) really do it?

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atpollard

Let's talk about Calvinistic Evangelism.

 

The most common charge laid against Calvinistic Evangilism is the straw man that Calvinists do not believe in a need for Evangilism because it is a waste of time ... God has already decided who He will save and who He will pass over, so we don't need to do anything.

 

It sort of makes sense. I mean at least it isn't complete illogic. It is just wrong and sort of has everything backwards.

 

As a Monergist (God does all the saving work), I still recognize the Biblical truth that God has chosen to use the sharing of the Gospel from one saved person to an unsaved person (but an elect chosen from before time began) as the means to communicate his message. So what does it mean to a Calvinist that God will save whom He will save? It means that I am responsible to tell what I know, but I am not responsible to "convince" anyone of anything. I have no power to change a heart, only God can do that.

 

As an 'evangelist' I can rest in the knowledge that God's word will accomplish what God intends for it to do. If I share the truth with the elect, however badly, the Holy Spirit will do what God intended Him to do and that person God desires to be saved, will be saved. It is not my salvation to accomplish, so it is not my salvation to mess up. Anyone whose ears are closed, could and would not have heard no matter how persuasive my words. Only God can change a heart.

 

A Calvinistic Evangilist is guaranteed success with all whom God predestined and fore loved. No stress that it is all on me.

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atpollard

So thank you for your time and feel free to just jump into the conversation with any thoughts of your own.

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Sue D.

One of My thoughts is that I don't like using labels such as being Calvinists or Arminians or "whatever" Because they are simply the Strong views of men. Scripture says we are to the the Gospel of Salvation with all who will listen and Not to force-feed Scripture to anyone. God Does tell us that people have been chosen from since or before the foundations of the earth. God will not 'accidentally' allow someone to accept Him as their Savior if they are not one of the elect. And there's a tendency to get caught up in what's the 'correct' terminology for salvation. "We" shouldn't even be concerned about who the elect or non-elect are. God is the only one who knows that information. We are told to Share -- Lovingly. John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that who so ever believeth on Him will not perish but have everlasting life."

 

And there is the question of what constitutes True salvation. Is baptism a part OF salvation or an outward 'sharing' of what has Already taken place in a person's heart. And for others is speaking in tongues a 'manifestation' that salvation has really taken place in a person.

 

And then there are the fruits of the Spirit -- a believer's life Should be reflecting the presence of the Holy Spirit having entered their life. The Holy Spirit Will make a difference in a person's desires / interests.

 

And the OSAS position -- some feel that That is an almost non-Biblical concept. That it gives license To sin. It Means that upon salvation the Holy Spirit comes to indwell the individual and Won't Leave us until we are with Jesus Christ. And it can Also lead to people who have 'prayed a prayer' with someone Without actually understanding in their heart what they are doing and thus, the Holy Spirit has Not come to indwell and That's why some people's lives Don't show any Outward difference because there's been no Inner change. And those who Do challenge are called being judgemental -- saying that God is the only one who Really knows what's in a person's heart. But all of 'this' really boils down to 'how much time do we really take when talking with someone about their salvation". And back to 'what constitutes salvation'?! God Is real -- He Does have a Son, Jesus Christ, who Did come to this world to die for our sins and rose again after those 3 days. A person Does need to recognize their personal sinfulness -- that no kind of 'good work' on our individual parts will help us get to heaven. Jesus Did all that God decided was necessary For our salvation to take place. After That takes place there Will be an inner desire To please God to obey His Word. We Will have an inner peace. We Will have the desire to share with others.

 

If these things are Not taking place in our own lives -- then we need to talk to God about it. If 'we're' Not sure about our own salvation -- take time To Make Sure. That's what I did many decades ago. I grew up in a very good Bible teaching church. I'd had a great Head knowledge about salvation but hadn't applied to my heart Personally. When that happened -- having a good, honest talk with God about it -- I felt an inner peace -- that had not been there before hand. And I'm thinking that That is what hangs people up -- they know intellectually about salvation and that's all the farther it's gone. They can have great theological discussions about various aspects of 'whatever' -- all the right vocabulary is used -- but their Heart has never been changed. They've never acknowledged their Personal Need for salvation.

 

So -- these have been some of My thoughts.

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Innerfire89
Moderator

I tend to believe that God is moving us when and how we share the Gospel.

The times I have it wasn't planned by me, it was as if that conversation and situation was preordained and it must have been. We are God's workmanship made to do works set out for us.

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Paoli B.

I do have non christian friends.

 

But I don't hang around with them much.

I rather spend time with "born again, Holy Ghost baptized, tongue speaking believers.

 

It all depends on the event when I socialize with non christians....

Certainly does not include going to the bars or casinos.

 

Bible says:

Don't be unequally yoked.

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Sue D.
I do have non christian friends.

 

But I don't hang around with them much.

I rather spend time with "born again, Holy Ghost baptized, tongue speaking believers.

 

It all depends on the event when I socialize with non christians....

Certainly does not include going to the bars or casinos.

 

Bible says:

Don't be unequally yoked.

 

 

 

The being unequally yoked pertains to marriage --dating only those who are believers. And, sometimes in the process Of dating -- the person will be receptive to the Gospel and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.

 

So -- if someone doesn't speak in tongues they won't be your friends?

 

There are probably lots of activities that non-believers enjoy that don't include bars or casinos. As in bowling, board games, sports -- but a person would need to be talking with them to find out what they like to do.

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Paoli B.
So -- if someone doesn't speak in tongues they won't be your friends?

 

It depends.

 

I have seen a few hostile people about it and I think they don't want to be friendly.

 

 

 

lol

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Sue D.

 

It depends.

 

I have seen a few hostile people about it and I think they don't want to be friendly.

 

 

 

lol

 

 

 

There Are those who believe that speaking in tongues is part Of salvation. I was in a group many years ago -- the subject of tongues came up and it turned out that I was the only one in that group who Hadn't had that experience -- one of the women was truly concerned about my salvation -- lack of it. She went to a church that had a class that taught people how to speak in tongues. I've never heard of that.

 

 

You previously said that you'd Rather hang out with those who Do speak in tongues.

 

You ended your post with LoL -- so how serious are you being with your tongues comment.

 

 

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Paoli B.

Well, I'm pretty serious about it and you can see that in my previous posts.

 

What I mean by hanging out with tongue speaker is that I find that group

of people more friendly, happier, outgoing, willing the share in a caring way than the ones that don't.

Just my observation.

 

The ones that don't believe in it and say it's not for today can be unfriendly and fanatic about their opinion.

Enough said.

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Innerfire89
Moderator
Well, I'm pretty serious about it and you can see that in my previous posts.

 

What I mean by hanging out with tongue speaker is that I find that group

of people more friendly, happier, outgoing, willing the share in a caring way than the ones that don't.

Just my observation.

 

The ones that don't believe in it and say it's not for today can be unfriendly and fanatic about their opinion.

Enough said.

 

There's nothing friendly about telling people they're not baptized with The Holy Spirit because they don't speak in tounges, something Pentecostals/charismatics are known for.

 

Many who claim to speak in tounges put themselves up on an unbiblical pedistol.

 

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Sue D.

Some food for thought -- are we looking For friendliness or are we friendly ourselves. Probably Both? Be the friend that we'd like to find.

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