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The Thing That Turns People Off About Evangelism.


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#1 agnophilo123

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 10:07 PM

If somebody is evangelizing to you and you know they are trying to change you it's unavoidably patronizing for the person being evangelized to. You feel condescended to and it's insulting, especially if you work hard at being a decent person and improving yourself and improving your worldview.

So for instance my best friend for the past 3 years is christian (I'm an atheist) and part of me of course has wanted to argue now and then about this kind of stuff, though not that often because my friend happens to be the kind of christian I don't think does any harm in america so honestly it doesn't really even come up anymore (and part of her has wanted to evangelize to me in the past). But I decided a long time ago that if I'm someone's friend and I care for them as a means to an end to change them or manipulate them, I'm not being a real friend.

So when she comes to me for help or support (she's been through some serious abuse from her family) I do not ever take the opportunity to try to "fix" her, and she has even come to me at times and said she doesn't believe in god anymore or is doubting her faith and as a rule in those times I don't ever encourage her to stop believing or argue with her about it. Because to do so would be opportunistic and mean, it doesn't matter that I don't think there is a god or what my views on the harmfulness of religion are - to take advantage of someone when they're at their weakest goes against every ethic I have.

So I try to build her up, make her strong, help her however I can for the sake of being a good friend. And if she never changes her mind about god or religion I'm going to be her friend anyway.

To me that is the only way to go about friendship.

#2 Salsa

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 03:52 AM

If somebody is evangelizing to you and you know they are trying to change you it's unavoidably patronizing for the person being evangelized to. You feel condescended to and it's insulting, especially if you work hard at being a decent person and improving yourself and improving your worldview.


I recognize the "patronizing" problem in what you speak about, because it is even a problem for someone who feels the need to evangelize.. without patronizing.

But think about it. If you were made aware that unless someone changes they would be faced with a terrible fate. What would YOU do?

Similarly, how do you tell a person that they are incorrect without insulting them?

I'm not saying that there aren't ways to reduce patronizing or being "insulting", but you need to understand that this is not such a simple thing for Christians to aviod.

You might say that using caps and underlining is a good start, but believe me, I have done that and it DOESN'T work!!! No matter what we do it is still patronizeing and insulting. It is just like Jesus said:

"We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn."

Also, have you considered the fact that being a "decent person" and trying to "improve" oneself might not be the cure.

According to scripture it is not. A person can NEVER attain salvation or righteousness simply by trying to be decent or good. Such things are only attainable by doing things God's way.

But I guess saying such a thing is a little condescending...

So you tell me! How is anyone suppose to approach this?

I am all ears...
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#3 gilbo12345

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:13 AM

If somebody is evangelizing to you and you know they are trying to change you it's unavoidably patronizing for the person being evangelized to. You feel condescended to and it's insulting, especially if you work hard at being a decent person and improving yourself and improving your worldview.

So for instance my best friend for the past 3 years is christian (I'm an atheist) and part of me of course has wanted to argue now and then about this kind of stuff, though not that often because my friend happens to be the kind of christian I don't think does any harm in america so honestly it doesn't really even come up anymore (and part of her has wanted to evangelize to me in the past). But I decided a long time ago that if I'm someone's friend and I care for them as a means to an end to change them or manipulate them, I'm not being a real friend.

So when she comes to me for help or support (she's been through some serious abuse from her family) I do not ever take the opportunity to try to "fix" her, and she has even come to me at times and said she doesn't believe in god anymore or is doubting her faith and as a rule in those times I don't ever encourage her to stop believing or argue with her about it. Because to do so would be opportunistic and mean, it doesn't matter that I don't think there is a god or what my views on the harmfulness of religion are - to take advantage of someone when they're at their weakest goes against every ethic I have.

So I try to build her up, make her strong, help her however I can for the sake of being a good friend. And if she never changes her mind about god or religion I'm going to be her friend anyway.

To me that is the only way to go about friendship.


Its great you help out your friend despite her beliefs




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