Monday, June 11, 2012

How do you Talk to Non Believers?

I bet like most who would be reading this you are a passionate believer and either you want to help spread the word and never have, or you have tried but get met with strong opposition.  Well guess what your not alone.  The first lesson that everyone who talks to others about Christ need to realize is that there is a time and place for everything, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. In the case of talking to anyone, believer, you have to have respect, timing, tact, grace, manners, and place.   I know what you are thinking, "I am a Christian and I am all those things".  In reality you could very easily be far from it.  You need to be PC about how you communicate.
Homeless individual.
How can we reach this potential non believer?


Guess what it is not Politically Correct, it is Perfectly Christian.

Oh great he said PC.  I hate all that PC stuff.  Guess what it is not Politically Correct, it is Perfectly Christian.  Phew so you can relax.  But what is the PC or Perfectly Christian way to effectively communicate.  Lets take a journey through the life of Christ.  After all he is our supreme teacher and leader we look to for guidance.

The Sermon on the mount. Matthew 5:1-16
The sermon on the mount is an example of Jesus's ability to talk to the masses.

The Pharisees.  Matthew 23:15-28 and Mark 3:1-6
The Pharisees were a political slash religious party during the New Testament time.  Many of them were the leaders of the land and temples.  They were also considered the experts of the time for Jewish law, prophesies, etc.  In todays time this could be other church leadership or maybe even well educated members of religion.

Zacchaeus. Luke 19:1-10
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector.  This is the ultimate for believers, as he was hated by everyone.  This man was considered a big sinner.  Christ offered him immediately a place of respect and honor and said that he wanted to stay at Zacchaeus's house.

The rich young ruler.  Mark 10:17-27A rich man comes to Jesus and asks about what else he needs to do to get to heaven.  He tells Jesus that he has kept the commandments.  The Christ tells him something that is hard that the man does not want to hear.  "If you sell all your possessions and give it to the poor you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me."

Bad Communication 

Division. Romans 16:17-19
Watch out for those who try to divide and conquer your thoughts when communicating about the word.  Make sure that the things that you say to others can be backed up in scripture, and make your outward appearance fitting to the Lord's standard.

Not Listening and Anger. James 1:19
Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.  As you may know religion is sometimes a tough pill to swallow for some people.  Take your time in the conversation, listen to their troubles.  Sometimes the best things said is nothing at all and it may be an action that is needed.  If you treat the person right and pray for them, you will know when its time to speak.


The Christian Communication Motto

Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


Conversation Starters
  • In talking to people and friends have you ever put them in a place of honor and respect while starting your conversation?
Things To Try
  • Ask someone to go with you to a church or bible study.
  • During your day when communicating with people at work put someone up in a place of honor when starting the conversation.
Feedback/Comments - We really want to hear from you.

  • Do you have scenario ideas that you need help finding a way to communicate with someone?  
  • Have you ever asked anyone to church or about Christ?  How did it go?

7 comments:

  1. This is a great topic and I enjoyed reading it. We all need to be reminded of this at times. Also this opens up a subject for "How do you talk to believers." Communication is very important in spreading the word. Often trying to spread the word can offend even the believers. A good example was when I was walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans. As I am walking down the street I noticed a religious Group having a protest. They were telling everyone there that they are going to hell. I wasn't drinking, I wasn't going to clubs, I was actually there to do what I thought my Christian duty was to do, watch after my brother and keep him out of trouble. So I was judged by a group of Christians (who were on the street trying to spread the word of God.) They would have accomplished a lot more and probably by being there and helping others when they saw trouble brewing, i.e. fights, injured people, sick people. Instead it seamed these "Christians" were there to fight. People need to learn when it is ok to preach, but they also need to realize that there are other Christian Duties that can also spread the word of God a lot better than Preaching.

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  2. You know Anthony there is a lot to that statement. First I would like to say that there are just sometimes where you may have to offend someone in order to really make the point and get in. After all even Christ offended believers in God, but it was for their own good and they were not following the word.

    The problem is as you described is people take this way to far and it seems like they spend more time offending people rather than loving on them. Here in Atlanta they have the Gay Pride parade, which I have to say is too much for me. But whats interesting is what some of the church going people have done. They went out and with signs and told them they were going to hell, and needed to be saved. Not all that different from your Bourbon Street story.

    So here is the big kicker. In both of those situations there is a large opportunity to share and love on others that need redemption, while at the same time understand that a part of that is removing that lifestyle. How can we educated Christians to witness, not fall havoc to the sin of the area, and not complete bash the people being witnessed too?

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  3. People trying to spread the word can do more Damage than good. The approach of "trying o spread the word" incorrectly comes across as judging others. That communication type can even Repel believers like me. Telling someone that they are "going to hell" comes across as judgement. Like I was saying , you have to know how to "spread the word of god." It takes a long time to acquire the skill of speaking to others. Here's an example..... you do not reach me by quoting bible verses. I get turned off by fire and brimstone. I can be reached through conclusions and how things relate in my life. There is no such thing as instant gratification when you are discussing religion. It is a process that takes a lifetime. I know I do not have the skills to preach, I am a follower, so I lead by example. If you Repel the people you are preaching to what good are you doing.

    James 4:12 ESV
    There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

    Romans 2:1-3 ESV
    Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things. Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?

    Romans 14:1-13 ESV
    As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. ...

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  4. At what point do we (as believers), divide the concept of steering your brother in the right direction (when he is off-track) from the concept of placing judgment upon them? There certainly is a difference between the two. As much as we are called not to judge others, we are also called to help a believer when he/she falls or is headed in the wrong direction as well.

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  5. The problem with Christianity is there are so many different denominations trying to spread the word. Several denominations believe that if you don't go to that church that "you are going to hell." So many Christians see each other going down the wrong path. We need to have unity in our Religion, stop fighting over what we should wear to church, should we allow music instruments in church, and etc. and remember why we go to church in the first place. If we see others going down the wrong path, we can steer them in the right direction w/o coming across as judging them or quoting a bible verse. There is a fine line with religion and Wars can often be a result from disagreements in beliefs. Several Hate Groups have strong religious ties. Communication is not something that should be taken lightly.

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  6. So lets make this tough. What if you had the following situation.

    How do you communicate with a Gay couple with 2 adopted kids that go to your church? What should or would you say? What if the couple wanted to teach Sunday School. If they committed no other sin but being Gay.

    To make it more fun. If this was a friend of yours denomination how would you talk to your friend that went to that church?

    Good Luck

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  7. I found this article to go along the discussion for this spiritual battle.

    http://www.believeoutloud.com/boltoday/20110805/gays-are-christians-too

    How do we love, not fight, or judge the church or person, while at the same time protect our kids and ourselves from evil, and see that person come to christ, and work to turn away from their sin?

    Also how would this be different from someone who is a constant liar?

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