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Old 08-08-2005, 05:48 AM   #31
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I didn't take this just as a for Christians only thread, especially after being specifically asked (as a nonchristian) for my views on how christians can make their image better.
I didn't either, but it seems we all agree that some Christians need to get over themselves and back off....so can we move on w/ the discussion? I was really interested to see everyone's answers to the original questions, but it just kind of stopped.....
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Old 08-08-2005, 06:15 AM   #32
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And for me "leave me alone and don't try to shove your belief onto me" IS a big part of what Christians of any kind can do to change their image as nosy, busybody, pushy, obnoxious people.

I thought that was the jehovas witnesses
JK
Really though, I realize that theres plenty of evangelistic christians out there that annoy the population, and there are even some that are unnecessarily agressive about it. Thats not how we're supposed to act. Agression will get you nowhere. We are actually supposed to lead by example and be of a humble and gentle nature. But of course, being selfish humans we get tripped up. The people that are out there shouting from the rooftops really do think they are doing something good. That they will reach somebody. From a christian perspective, if you thought your friend was going down a path that lead to pain, and you believed you were on one that led to happiness, wouldnt you at least tell them? This doesnt condone shoving it in people faces, or just being an ass and telling everybody theyre going to hell.
I always liked the way my old church went out and evangelized. It was called servant evangelism, because jesus said that he came to serve, not to be served.
we would go out and give stuff away, scrub businesses toilets, return peoples cans and give them the money, stuff like that. And when they asked us why we were doing it we told them it was because we were trying to show Gods love to them through ourselves. We didnt go to their door and say it, we just waited for them to ask.
We had quite a few people come to church because of that, and they came because they were curious, not because we told them they should come.
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Old 08-08-2005, 07:15 AM   #33
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I understand the disdain from some about evangelism. As a Christian, evangelism is a command of Jesus and will undoubtably have to be part of the Christian faith. With that said, I think there are some very overbearing, obnoxious Christians (who while they think they are doing right) really blow it.

I think there are couple of very basic misconeptions about the Christian faith by those practicing evangelism this way. The biggest is that being a Christian is about your works, or how good you are. It is not. They are trying to argue people into faith, many times overbearingly, and its a huge turn off. The problem is they honestly believe to really be living my faith I need to talk and evangelize x number of people today or I am not living out my faith adequately. This is a huge misconception. You are not saved by works, it negates the idea of faith, and the death of Christ.

Secondly, because of this misconception of being saved by grace, they come across as I have earned my salvation and let me now show you how you can be like me. THIS IS NOT CHRISTIANITY. This is why it evangelism becomes a huge mess. A Christian is to be to be living as one who has received grace. Evangelism is to be- my life is radically changed because of what Christ did for me, and how He has changed by life. This should play out in a Christians life, by people saying (about Christians) why is that guy so nice? Or why do they do so much for other people? This is the case with some, but the problem is you can meet 10 Christians like that, and one of the yelling in your face type and its blown for everyone.

Lastly - evangelism has to be relational. You have to earn the right to be heard. I cannot jump in someone's face, and tell them to change their life. If your are a true follower of Christ, you will undoubtably share your faith with everyone you have any type of a relationship. It cannot, not come up for me. If we are friends, and you know me at all you will know were I stand. That is what evangelism is to be. I don't have to go door to door ringing doorbells. I am to friends with my neighbors, and in that friendship they will know where I stand.

One last note- If you have be approached by an over zealous Christian, with a message of 'your going to hell', or the like. I am sorry. It is really a misunderstanding of what Christianity is to look like. Take those 'approaches' with a grain of salt.
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Old 08-08-2005, 07:21 AM   #34
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Old 08-08-2005, 07:50 AM   #35
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I'm not an "evangelical" Christian, so I find that appropriate and effective evangelism comes more indirectly simply by follwing Christ's example. For example, I'd prefer to focus on helping people, showing them love and compassion like Christ did. Usually, they'll ask about your motivation, then you can say that you are motivated by Christ to care for every person. Sometimes, that really gets to people and they ask to know more, other times, it doesn't so you leave it at that. When I was in high school I went on a trip to North Carolina. We joined up with a local church and went around helping people whose houses had been damaged by hurricanes and flooding, but they couldn't afford to fix it. These were just ordinary people that didn't necessarily have any affiliation with the local church or Christianity in general. At the end of the week, we got together and had a little summary of what everyone got to do and a LOT of the people we'd helped showed up to thank us and ask us more about the church and what we were doing and why. THIS to me is proper evangelism. Jesus would simply HELP people and those that were intrigued took the hint. All you have to do is care for other people with no personal motivation and a certain amount WILL take what you do to heart and want to learn more about what you believe. For those that don't, fine, only they know what's best for them.

What frustrates me is when people go off on how they "hate it when Christians..." but really, they're refering to Evangelicals, not ALL Christians. It really gets me down to be constantly lumped into a group I have no part in and don't care to be a part of. This usually happens with pushy, annoying Evangelicals and really radical Fundamentalist groups, both of which as often so far from what I believe to be true Christianity, it sickens me to think that people are under the impression that this is how I live and these are people I associate with. Not to mention I keep feeling pressure from this double standard of damned if I do, damned if I don't. In one thread, people want Christians in general to back off and shut up, but then in another thread, people are saying Christians need to get their organizations to issue statements against the more radical Christian movements in order to not get lumped together. So we're either too outspoken or not speaking up. Great.

/rant
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:04 AM   #36
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
You wouldn't see Jesus running around and telling people their sinners ...No, Jesus would simply HELP people and those that were intrigued took the hint. All you have to do is care for other people with no personal motivation and a certain amount WILL take what you do to heart and want to learn more about what you believe. For those that don't, fine, only they know what's best for them.
Actually, Jesus helped people AND told people they were sinners.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:06 AM   #37
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
Actually, Jesus helped people AND told people they were sinners.
Jesus may have been more qualified to judge that state than we are.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:08 AM   #38
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Actually, Jesus helped people AND told people they were sinners.
Well, good for Him. I don't feel I'm in any position to be judging people b/c I know I'd feel like shit if someone came at me pointing out all the things wrong with MY life (yes, there are many). Didn't Jesus also say "let him who is without sin cast the first stone"? I'd rather stick to the positive anyway.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:09 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
I'm not an "evangelical" Christian, so I find that appropriate and effective evangelism comes more indirectly simply by follwing Christ's example. For example, I'd prefer to focus on helping people, showing them love and compassion like Christ did. Usually, they'll ask about your motivation, then you can say that you are motivated by Christ to care for every person. Sometimes, that really gets to people and they ask to know more, other times, it doesn't so you leave it at that. When I was in high school I went on a trip to North Carolina. We joined up with a local church and went around helping people whose houses had been damaged by hurricanes and flooding, but they couldn't afford to fix it. These were just ordinary people that didn't necessarily have any affiliation with the local church or Christianity in general. At the end of the week, we got together and had a little summary of what everyone got to do and a LOT of the people we'd helped showed up to thank us and ask us more about the church and what we were doing and why. THIS to me is proper evangelism.
Yes, Christians are supposed to love and care for people, but evangelism is a duty, also:

" How then can they call on him if they have not believed in him? And how can they believe in him if they have not heard of him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

‘How beautiful are the feet of those that preach the good news of peace ― that bring good news of good things’.”

Romans 10:14-15

“Jesus came close to them. He said to them, ‘God, my Father, has given me all authority in his home and on earth. I tell you to go and make the people from every country my disciples. You should baptize them by the authority of God the Father, Jesus his son and the Holy Spirit. You should teach them everything that I taught you. Then they will also obey me all the time as you obey me. It will happen that I will be with you. It will be like this until the end of time’.”

Matthew 28:18-20
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:11 AM   #40
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Well, good for Him. I don't feel I'm in any position to be judging people b/c I know I'd feel like shit if someone came at me pointing out all the things wrong with MY life (yes, there are many). Didn't Jesus also say "let him who is without sin cast the first stone"? I'd rather stick to the positive anyway.
Did I say anything about Christians telling people they are sinners? No, I said that Jesus did. I said that because you said he didn't.


So don't give me the rolling eyes.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:12 AM   #41
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(Welcome back, jphelmet, how's married life?)

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Great, thanks for asking.

I thank God daily for my wife. Have you ever heard the expression "marrying up" ? Well, I did big time. My wife is beautiful, wonderful person, and much smarter than I am. It will be 4 years in December, and it has flown by. I got very lucky.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:13 AM   #42
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Yes, Christians are supposed to love and care for people, but evangelism is a duty, also:

"How then can they call on him if they have not believed in him? And how can they believe in him if they have not heard of him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written:

‘How beautiful are the feet of those that preach the good news of peace ― that bring good news of good things’.”

Romans 10:14-15

“Jesus came close to them. He said to them, ‘God, my Father, has given me all authority in his home and on earth. I tell you to go and make the people from every country my disciples. You should baptize them by the authority of God the Father, Jesus his son and the Holy Spirit. You should teach them everything that I taught you. Then they will also obey me all the time as you obey me. It will happen that I will be with you. It will be like this until the end of time’.”

Matthew 28:18-20
Sorry, I'm not an Evangelical Christian, my priorities are different. If you'd kindly re-read my post again, you will see that I never said I don't evangelize or don't think it's important, you will see that I said I prefer to go about it differently, in a way that I've actually used and found works.

I've read your passages and none of them are in conflict with my methods of evangelizing.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:15 AM   #43
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4


Jesus may have been more qualified to judge that state than we are.
As I pointed out to LivLuv, I didn't say anything about Christians saying people are sinners. I said that Jesus told people they were sinners. The reason I pointed out was because LivLuv said He didn't.

And I don't believe that Christians are supposed to get into a person's individual sins. For instance, I'm not supposed to say to a nonbeliever "I know you're a womanizing whoremonger".

However, Christians are supposed to let people know that they are sinners in the general sense - in the sense that all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. If someone doesn't know he's a sinner, he will never see the need for a Savior and will never come to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:18 AM   #44
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest

As I pointed out to LivLuv, I didn't say anything about Christians saying people are sinners. I said that Jesus told people they were sinners. The reason I pointed out was because LivLuv said He didn't.
I never said Jesus "didn't", I said...

Quote:

You wouldn't see Jesus running around and telling people they're sinners and need to do exactly what He says when He says it.

The Jesus I know uses love, honesty, and compassion as His primary method of evangelizing.


If it's that big of a deal, I'll just delete that part from my post. It doesn't change what I believe and how I act.
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Old 08-08-2005, 08:24 AM   #45
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Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic


Sorry, I'm not an Evangelical Christian, my priorities are different. If you'd kindly re-read my post again, you will see that I never said I don't evangelize or don't think it's important, you will see that I said I prefer to go about it differently, in a way that I've actually used and found works.

I've read your passages and none of them are in conflict with my methods of evangelizing.
You said

"What frustrates me is when people go off on how they "hate it when Christians..." but really, they're refering to Evangelicals, not ALL Christians. It really gets me down to be constantly lumped into a group I have no part in and don't care to be a part of."

Since you don't want to be associated with evangelicals, it appears as if you are saying you don't care for evangelism.

You also said

"I'm not an "evangelical" Christian, so I find that appropriate and effective evangelism comes more indirectly simply by follwing Christ's example. For example, I'd prefer to focus on helping people, showing them love and compassion like Christ did. Usually, they'll ask about your motivation, then you can say that you are motivated by Christ to care for every person. Sometimes, that really gets to people and they ask to know more, other times, it doesn't so you leave it at that."

It seems to me that you are saying that you help people and then if they ask about your motivation, you tell them about Christ, but that you don't bring it up. I'm curious about something; is that because of your Calvinism? Do you believe that those who are called to be Christians will ask you about your motivation, and those who are not called to be Christians won't ask?

I've helped people a lot in my life, also, and I could probably count on one hand the number of times that people have asked me my motivation.
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