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Old 05-14-2008, 09:36 PM
 
8,180 posts, read 11,292,622 times
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I was wondering, why do some Christians feel compelled to proselytize? I don't mean answer questions about their faith, or even handing out pamplets about their church or whatever. I mean when people just will not let it go, especially if they feel your religion (or lack thereof) is against their scriptures/word of God/belief system. Even to the point of spreading scurrilous lies about your chosen religion.
Are there some sects of Christianity that make their members go out and bring back newbies? Or are some people just so excited about their faith they just have to share? Or is it that there is a brownie point system in place for the rapture?

I would also like to ask; do these methods (nagging, berating, threatening hellfire, lying about different religions) ever work? Personally, they just serve to p*** me off and make me feel resentment and anger at the person who is trying to save me.

And finally, do Christians (and for the sake of argument, I'm taking Catholics and Mormons out of the equation) ever try to save other Christians who may be in the 'wrong' sect?

I have always wondered about this, and I appreciate anyone shedding light on this.....thanks!
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:45 PM
 
Location: God's Country
21,644 posts, read 30,264,166 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camping! View Post
I was wondering, why do some Christians feel compelled to proselytize? I don't mean answer questions about their faith, or even handing out pamplets about their church or whatever. I mean when people just will not let it go, especially if they feel your religion (or lack thereof) is against their scriptures/word of God/belief system. Even to the point of spreading scurrilous lies about your chosen religion.
Are there some sects of Christianity that make their members go out and bring back newbies? Or are some people just so excited about their faith they just have to share? Or is it that there is a brownie point system in place for the rapture?

I would also like to ask; do these methods (nagging, berating, threatening hellfire, lying about different religions) ever work? Personally, they just serve to p*** me off and make me feel resentment and anger at the person who is trying to save me.

And finally, do Christians (and for the sake of argument, I'm taking Catholics and Mormons out of the equation) ever try to save other Christians who may be in the 'wrong' sect?

I have always wondered about this, and I appreciate anyone shedding light on this.....thanks!
Since I have never nagged, berated, threatened or lied about what I believe, I don't know why anyone calling them self a Christian would do that.
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Old 05-14-2008, 09:53 PM
 
105 posts, read 317,963 times
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You post some interesting questions Camping. We've seen a bit of animosity between believers of different faiths in here, that's for sure. But I think it boils down to all having the same purpose.... to try to enforce what they believe as being gospel truth. We all seem to have a great passion for the Lord, but yet sometimes, we may grieve Him if we aren;t properly giving the message in a spirit of love. I, myself, have been guilty of this and I pray the the Lord help me determine the clarity between 'righteous indignation' and self gratification of proving a point. The truth is, if any one of the posters on this forum were face to face, I bet they'd/we'd have a different aura about ourselves.

In answer to your question about people trying to save others, yes, I believe that is what most of us are here trying to do.... expose truth as it is written in God's Word. We all can agree on this, I think. It just so happens that decades and centuries of man's own interpretations of doctrines/scriptures has caused a great controversy over what's Biblical and what's not. And the one thing no Christian on the planet wants to see, is someone leading someone else away from the real truth of God's Word. No one wants to see distortions, but we all have a different level of understanding to our own beliefs, based on what we've studied, learned, heard others say, and prayed about. We've all been there, and yet we seem to forget so easily that we're all in this for the same purpose.

What confuses me about your message is one question you posted. What specifically are you speaking about when you make mention that people spread lies about particular religions? Is there one in general that you've heard something said about that you believe to be untrue? Have you addressed the person who write such things and asked them where they got their information? Have you tested it for truth> The Bible says to test every inspired utterance. Have you tested the allogations to make sure they aren't true (done research)? You've got me curious, as I have recently opened up a forum on Jehovah's Witnesses and personally would not want anyone to think that any information I posted there was false. I'd love to hear your thoughts as you've got me greatly intrigued. Thanks for writing. I enjoyed the opportunity to respond to you.

In answer to your question about
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Tulsa, OK
5,988 posts, read 10,257,349 times
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As a Christian I believe I have the answer to "How do I live forever?" I will not beat you over the head with it. My Lord did not. He told the rich young ruler what he must do to inherit heaven. When the young man walked away, Jesus let him go. What kind of a person would I be if I know how you can live forever and don't tell you.

For the record Jesus said "I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes the the Father except thru me John 14:6
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Old 05-14-2008, 10:15 PM
 
Location: SC Foothills
8,830 posts, read 10,017,149 times
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Default Hmmmm.....

That's a fair question, or questions. We all do things for different reasons. I'm going to say something I never thought I would say. I grew up with religion shoved down my throat. I wanted nothing to do with Christianity....in fact, it repulsed me. It made me angry and even to hear the name Jesus made my skin crawl. I had a father that is......well there's just no other way to say it----he's mentally ill. Angry, controlling, abusive mentally, emotionally and physically, and just an all around fanatical nutjob rage machine. I really believe if he had been born in the middle east he would have been Osama Bin Laden or at the very least his right hand man.

And here's the big....BUT.....as twisted and sick as it was presented and used, I heard the gospel. God's truth came shining through. It tugged at me, pulled at me, worked on me and shaped me. I ignored it. Things really had to go very bad for me to reach out to God. THAT'S when I found my own truth. I had to find it. I had to completely surrender to the Holy Spirit's tugging at my heart. When I gave my life to Christ, I started all over. I erased all the twisted things I had ever heard and researched and studied for myself. All I can say is the desire to tell the "TRUTH".....for me, probably has a two-dimensional meaning.

You can't base God on human behavior. End of story.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Texas
4,346 posts, read 5,723,254 times
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Many "Hardcore" Christians believe you will go to a place of never ending torment (read: pain!) if you don't get it (your belief) just right. How can you blame them for thinking it's very very very important that you get it just right?

As a CU (Christian Universalist) I am zealous for people to know God, but understand that there is a purpose for everything done under the sun.

blessings,
- Byron
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:14 PM
 
Location: Southern Ca
756 posts, read 2,335,989 times
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the Bible teaches "to go into every nation spreading the gospel"...
that is why I "witness", although I have not done so recently..

There is a fine line with bashing with the Bible...and using discernment.
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Old 05-14-2008, 11:21 PM
 
Location: In Sticky San Antonio TX
1,437 posts, read 2,557,488 times
Reputation: 1740
Default Why, Christians, why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by camping! View Post
I was wondering, why do some Christians feel compelled to proselytize? I don't mean answer questions about their faith, or even handing out pamplets about their church or whatever. I mean when people just will not let it go, especially if they feel your religion (or lack thereof) is against their scriptures/word of God/belief system. Even to the point of spreading scurrilous lies about your chosen religion.
Are there some sects of Christianity that make their members go out and bring back newbies? Or are some people just so excited about their faith they just have to share? Or is it that there is a brownie point system in place for the rapture?

I would also like to ask; do these methods (nagging, berating, threatening hellfire, lying about different religions) ever work? Personally, they just serve to p*** me off and make me feel resentment and anger at the person who is trying to save me.

And finally, do Christians (and for the sake of argument, I'm taking Catholics and Mormons out of the equation) ever try to save other Christians who may be in the 'wrong' sect?

I have always wondered about this, and I appreciate anyone shedding light on this.....thanks!

Hi Camping,
I like your questions.

BTW, I would have liked to have gotten brownie points, if there ever was a time they were handed out.

I cannot talk about a relative truth in comparison to all religions, I can only speak of what I know and experience of Christianity. I have seen more converts from more religions to Christianity, having been a Christian myself while watching others sojourn. There is a truth to the Christian message that is inescapable. One of the things about this that has always captured me is when persons are angry or injured they will yell out "Jesus Christ," not Buddha, not Mahatma, not Mohammed or Yahweh.

Accessing that line to heaven's door for someone who's been on the brink of hellfire is exciting as heck. This isn't a mental thing or physical thing as much as it's spiritual awakening. However, when spirit meets flesh, you get people who get out of their minds, frankly, lose a sense of decency and personhood, and get cantankerous in the way they talk with others. Well meaning, but seriously misguided. Having said that, I've not been approached all that much by other religions for conversion. Maybe the US is not the place to approach persons and proselytize other religions, but I can't think of anywhere else where there would be such religious freedoms. I can think of a number of places where it is a gov't religion and requirement, but not in the US.

Re: lies about other's religions: I would have to agree with the previous posters - we are hot for G-d. Again, this is not a relative issue, but an excitement to keep others from hell. Some religions are founded on untruths and while seemingly Christian, are wayward in how they interpret the truth. Such was the experience of those who ultimately followed Koresh, Jim Jones, and more recently, the Jessup dude.

There are some basic facts regarding the personhood of G-d, regarding the need for salvation, and regarding the sacrifice of Christ at Golgotha, all of which are inescapable across the board for all believers. The quibbling that is often seen may be an interpretation of religious intolerance, which can divide brother from sister and parent from child. I would suggest a lack of love, intelligence, and tolerance are the cause of that. This may be the saving of others from 'wrong' sects. And maybe for the strong-minded religious person, this works. Like you, however, I can't see it being used successfully as a form of proselytizing for those outside the religion.

Regarding nagging, berating, etc. Nah, I don't think it ever really works. It's a fascinating argument, and as mentioned, it is about being right, but it doesn't really fly. I think the best proselytizing book is CS Lewis's "Mere Christianity," but then for me, the best proselytizing experience may be in nature, alone with G-d.

There are some Christians who are respectful and non-proselytizing, or so they seem. The Amish and Mennonite engage in fruitful work, which stands as a silent witness. Many Orthodox religions (not Catholic) celebrate the life of Christ in worship, and are enamored with the love of G-d. Having seen the inside of some of their churches, rightly so. They seem content to nurture their relationship with G-d and let others follow as they chose. They use a number of traditions they trace historically to the apostle Peter, and this may get a charge out of many, the acts are simple enough to maintain their unshakeable ways.

As has been mentioned, I think you will find a great diversity of interpretations for the Christian G-d here and hopefully you will get your questions answered. I'm certain this reply didn't answer all sources of concern and wonder, but it was another perspective.

Finally, as I've mentioned several times, it's better to be pissed off than pissed on.

I wish you well in your journey and hope your questions will be answered somewhere in the replies you receive, or at least cause you to ask more questions.
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Old 05-15-2008, 12:05 AM
 
105 posts, read 317,963 times
Reputation: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kin Atoms View Post
Hi Camping,
I like your questions.

BTW, I would have liked to have gotten brownie points, if there ever was a time they were handed out.

I cannot talk about a relative truth in comparison to all religions, I can only speak of what I know and experience of Christianity. I have seen more converts from more religions to Christianity, having been a Christian myself while watching others sojourn. There is a truth to the Christian message that is inescapable. One of the things about this that has always captured me is when persons are angry or injured they will yell out "Jesus Christ," not Buddha, not Mahatma, not Mohammed or Yahweh.

Accessing that line to heaven's door for someone who's been on the brink of hellfire is exciting as heck. This isn't a mental thing or physical thing as much as it's spiritual awakening. However, when spirit meets flesh, you get people who get out of their minds, frankly, lose a sense of decency and personhood, and get cantankerous in the way they talk with others. Well meaning, but seriously misguided. Having said that, I've not been approached all that much by other religions for conversion. Maybe the US is not the place to approach persons and proselytize other religions, but I can't think of anywhere else where there would be such religious freedoms. I can think of a number of places where it is a gov't religion and requirement, but not in the US.

Re: lies about other's religions: I would have to agree with the previous posters - we are hot for G-d. Again, this is not a relative issue, but an excitement to keep others from hell. Some religions are founded on untruths and while seemingly Christian, are wayward in how they interpret the truth. Such was the experience of those who ultimately followed Koresh, Jim Jones, and more recently, the Jessup dude.

There are some basic facts regarding the personhood of G-d, regarding the need for salvation, and regarding the sacrifice of Christ at Golgotha, all of which are inescapable across the board for all believers. The quibbling that is often seen may be an interpretation of religious intolerance, which can divide brother from sister and parent from child. I would suggest a lack of love, intelligence, and tolerance are the cause of that. This may be the saving of others from 'wrong' sects. And maybe for the strong-minded religious person, this works. Like you, however, I can't see it being used successfully as a form of proselytizing for those outside the religion.

Regarding nagging, berating, etc. Nah, I don't think it ever really works. It's a fascinating argument, and as mentioned, it is about being right, but it doesn't really fly. I think the best proselytizing book is CS Lewis's "Mere Christianity," but then for me, the best proselytizing experience may be in nature, alone with G-d.

There are some Christians who are respectful and non-proselytizing, or so they seem. The Amish and Mennonite engage in fruitful work, which stands as a silent witness. Many Orthodox religions (not Catholic) celebrate the life of Christ in worship, and are enamored with the love of G-d. Having seen the inside of some of their churches, rightly so. They seem content to nurture their relationship with G-d and let others follow as they chose. They use a number of traditions they trace historically to the apostle Peter, and this may get a charge out of many, the acts are simple enough to maintain their unshakeable ways.

As has been mentioned, I think you will find a great diversity of interpretations for the Christian G-d here and hopefully you will get your questions answered. I'm certain this reply didn't answer all sources of concern and wonder, but it was another perspective.

Finally, as I've mentioned several times, it's better to be pissed off than pissed on. (????????????)
I wish you well in your journey and hope your questions will be answered somewhere in the replies you receive, or at least cause you to ask more questions.
Kin, just curious, why do you keep writing G-d rather than spelling it out? And also, it would be interesting to know your beliefs in general. It's hard to tell from your post. Thank you for giving your thoughts; it's always enlightening to hear others opinions on this topic.
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Old 05-15-2008, 07:49 AM
 
8,180 posts, read 11,292,622 times
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Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. I really enjoy hearing others viewpoints and experiences!

One thing I learned since joining C-D is that protestant or Christian covers a lot more territory than I realized.

I can understand and appreciate that there are people who are genuinely concerned for the state of others souls. My sticking point is when people, in their zeal to save, end up being mean, self righteous, and more then a little scary. And then too, there are those who will leave nasty pamplets on the doorstep demonizing ones chosen religion (in my case, I once told a person I was not interested, they asked my religion I replied Catholic and surprise! A graphic pamplet showcasing the many ways I will burn in hell for following a demon named 'pope'). I just don't see Christs love in any of that.
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