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Old 06-28-2002, 04:56 AM   #1
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Teaching the faith

Imagine you meet a person and you want to tell him/her all about your faith but the other person rejects it. What do you do - keep on trying? use force? quit and hope that he/she´ll come to sences? quit for the time being and "teach" the faith by simply setting a good example? just a few ideas...

what would you do?

I think that every person has his/her own free will and if this person rejects to listen to what you have to say, then you should stop persuading this person. Set rather a good example (by lifestyle).

If someone rejects to listen, it´s not your fault. Maybe the other person it just not ready to listen to the truth.

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Old 06-28-2002, 07:23 AM   #2
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Re: Teaching the faith

Originally posted by AM
Maybe the other person it just not ready to listen to the truth.
what you believe is the truth.
in my experience just as many of those who approach with an objective of convincing me of their beliefs, and asking me to keep an open mind, are unwilling to listen when i present my counter-argument, if i feel so inclined.


im the candyman. and the candyman is back.
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Old 06-28-2002, 08:24 AM   #3
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I absolutely think that living your faith is more important than trying to convince someone of it. Of course, there is a place for intellectual debate and discussion and I think we should pursue that when appropriate, but when it comes down to it, a person's heart and mind are not going to be convinced by me. In my belief system anyways, that is between a person and God. So I don't feel pressured to "save" anyone's soul. I'm not God. I'll live my life the best I know how.
"I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." - Bono

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Old 06-28-2002, 10:20 AM   #4
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It seems to me like you are assuming that if someone doesn't accept your faith there is only one possibiliity and that is the other person is being stubborn or just not listening.

But maybe it could also be that the other person has an entirely different set of priorities that you are not addressing. This could be due to your presentation. It could be due to your faith simply lacking what the other person sincerely feels that they need.

That isn't to say that your faith really does come up short, but like it or not, you may have to admit that these are least possibilties just to be fair to yourself personally. I have admitted it and its actually been good for me and my witness although it was very hard to get to this point. I used to get really frustrated when I wasn't making progress with someone.

I tend to look at it this way nowadays. Although I believe that there is one best way to understand the Truth, I don't necessarily think that other ways of believing are entirely wrong about everything. I assume that people of other religions feel content with their beliefs and happy in this life. And I believe in a merciful God who will weigh everything when judging us including cultural factors and whatever personal experiences we had that might have shaped what we believed or what we felt we needed. Maybe you already know all this but it helps to apply these beliefs to your teaching because starting with this attitude can take a lot of pressure off in my experience. I think this attitude can actually free all of us to be better teachers.

Of course that doesn't mean that I believe that everyone regardless of faith will just be let off the hook. I sincerely believe that, given the human condition, people of other faiths make it way harder on themselves in life and on the day of judgement if they reject Jesus as Christians believe in Him. so I also feel obligated to continue trying to teach people about Him.

The secret, no matter what faith you are, is in finding the right balance between being fair to yourself and loving others enough to teach them the right way.

And I think I have come to discover a balance that works for me at least. On the one hand, I try to be patient and trusting of the Lord that He will lead people to Christ through my good example. While on the other hand I try to be constantly alert for opportunities to teach others about about Jesus. But most of all, I try to learn what is important to the other person and I try to listen to them to know when to say things and when to just be who I am. When they are open to me, I try to focus on them like they were the only person in the world and I try to tailor my teaching to them as an individual.

Well, I hope that there is at least something in my experience that you can apply to your own beliefs. I also hope that this will help you to find a balance thats good for you in your own walk of faith.

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Old 06-28-2002, 02:55 PM   #5
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the one thing that will drive people away from faith altogether is pushing it on them. so don't.

if they want your help, they will ask for it. even then, be open and considerate to their beliefs. know that you don't know anything for sure (thus it is faith), so don't present it as absolute fact.
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Old 06-28-2002, 03:52 PM   #6
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The thing about faith, like Lilly said, is that nothing is proven to be true, so I totally agree that trying to push people is the wrong thing to do. Obviously, everyone thinks that what they believe is the truth, and I know that if someone came up to me and tried to tell me my beliefs are wrong and their's are right then that would completely push me away. You have to put yourself in the other person's shoes.

I think that we should all remember that everyone else's beliefs are just as important to them as ours are to us. If someone asked me about my faith I would gladly explain it, but I'd make sure to keep a balance and show them I respect their beliefs as well. I definately think that setting a good example is the most important thing to do though.
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Old 06-29-2002, 01:11 PM   #7
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Re: Teaching the faith

Originally posted by AM
Imagine you meet a person and you want to tell him/her all about your faith but the other person rejects it. What do you do - keep on trying? use force?
I'd do this, but only if we were on a plane that was crashing into the ocean or something like that.
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Old 06-29-2002, 01:49 PM   #8
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As a Christian, I believe that we are to follow our Example:

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. - John 13:12-17.

In this specific passage, Christ is telling us to follow His example, to serve others as He has served us.

But I think the lesson applies to more than just charitable service:

The servant is not greater than his lord.

God has given man free will to accept Him or reject Him. Who are WE to try to take what God has given, to try to force our faith upon others when God has ALWAYS been about pursuasion?

God has also gone the extra mile to find his lost sheep (see Matthew 18:12-13), and we should do the same. AND He has, ultimately, allowed those who deny Him to live their own lives, miserable as those lives may be (Mark 6:11); here too, we should probably do the same.

So, I believe we are to give a very honest effort to bring others to our faith. But if they are resolute in their unfaithfulness, let them live their own lives. We are NEVER to force our faith onto others.
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Old 06-29-2002, 01:58 PM   #9
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When ever the topic of faith comes up when I am talking to some one I never try to get them to join my faith, I actually try to find out whats the difference between what they believe and what I believe. There as been a few times that I found what the other person believes makes more sense and vice versa.

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