Witnessing and evangelising in general..

I’m upset and angry.

I consider myself atheist. (In case you are wondering, a “soft” atheist. No God unless proven. For now, God doesn’t exist at all.)

What is irritating, is that some of my Christian friends actively (from my perspective) evangelise. They try to get people to go to their church, spread the gospel etc. And some of them try to get me to believe, which I refuse to, because I cannot.

I am very firm with my stand right now. Whenever they challenge my position, I hit back, which leaves both sides hurt and scarred. Yet the topic will always come up, usually after the memories of the previous clash have faded away somewhat. The same sparring takes place again.

I know it’s part of their religion to actively spread the word of God. But it offends me thoroughly. I wish they wouldn’t talk about it at all, about “eternal life” or “eternal death”. Don’t they understand I don’t want these?!

Sometimes I just wonder whether they are being friendly because they just want to get me on their side so that they can convert me. Luckily for our relationships, I think that they just mean well for most of the time.

I bear with it - I think everyone has a right to profess his/her beliefs. But I can’t stand that.

Idiots.

The Bible itself says to try once, and if you don’t succeed, then to move on.

They tried to convert you, you said no, they keep trying anyway, that doesn’t sound very polite. That’s just nagging, and nagging about most anything doesn’t do any good, and only pisses off the person being nagged. And half the time, nagging will cause a person to dislike what they’re being nagged about even more than they did before.

I’m a Christian, and I witness and evangelize to…nobody. Of course I’m not a fundamentalist or an evangelical, and those are the type who seem to witnessing the most. Also, even if I felt compelled, I know that I would be horrible at it, and besides, here in America, most people who reject Christianity don’t do so out of ignorance about Jesus or his teachings, although granted, there are some who don’t like Christianity based on misconceptions, but still, most people know about Christianity and what it stands for, but reject it anyway. To me, witnessing to those people would be like telling a smoke that they should quit because they could get cancer. No duh! The smoker knows this, but smokes anyway. So what have I accomplished? Absolutely nothing. Of course, to be honest, even if I were to meet somebody who never heard of Christianity, I still wouldn’t proselytize them.

I’m sure they do, which is why they would proselytize, because they don’t want to see people suffer forever. It should be about compassion (very annoying compassion, frequently misguided compassion, and compassion with no regard for effectiveness, but nonetheless compassion.)

Well, there are churches where they actively teach you to be friendly in order to convert people. (I’ve heard “Make friends with non-Christians in order to lead them to the Lord” entirely too many times in my life.) They mean well, but it makes me want to get my tinfoil hat out. Mind you, that isn’t overly frequent that friendships exist just to convert people, but bear in mind that friendship is an evangelism tool.

Well, I should be off to proselytize…

“Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.” — E. A. Poe, Berenice

I was once dropped by somebody I thought was a friend after I visited her church once and did NOT immediately become a fundamentalist Christian. Somehow I don’t think Jesus would approve of that sort of thing. In fact, that sort of attitude is one (of a bunch of) reasons I’m not Christian.

If they’re pushing at you after you already said no, that’s flat-out rude. I’d tell them that the more they push the more they drive you away. They probably assume there is a void in your life, because they think if they didn’t have their religion they’d have a void. Sure they would, because they expect to have one!

Just give them money.

That’s what they want.

[heavy southern accent] But Gaaawwdua can save yoouuah [/heavy accent]

While that’s true of televangelists, I don’t think it’s true of every day Christians. Not even the fundamentalist types.

what good do you get out of fighting it? either don’t be their friends or don’t be a jerk about it. if they like outcast and wish you did to, either listen to outcast, stop being their freinds… or don’t be a dick about it trying to convince them they are wrong in likeing outcast… you have no good reason to fight with them.

Dump 'em.

I’ve told this story before, but it seems relevant, so here goes…

I had an experience similar to whiterabbit’s in high school: a girl who’d never really paid attention to me suddenly started being very nice to me, acting as though I was her friend.

After a couple weeks of this, she invited me to a play at her church. I agreed to go after suggesting that she might want to see the show I was in, later that month.

Saturday rolled around and I headed out the door; it’s only once I was underway that I asked myself, “Self, which baptist church did she say she went to again?”

This is an important question: there are at least 4 in a ten-mile radius around my home, presumably offering marginal variations on Baptist teachings.

I couldn’t remember the place she’d mentioned, so I resolve to visit all of the churches. I get it right on attempt #3, bringing me in at about the midpoint of the show. I clear out, resolving to get it right the following night.

I’m on time the next night; I actually have a chance to meet up with her before call, where she urges me to “enjoy the show” and “keep an open mind.”

I sit down, not entirely sure what to expect.

What I get is terrible. The play is called Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames, and it’s overly simplistic, kinda mean-spirited, and sets up the usual strawman objections to Christianity and then torches them with… well… hell’s flames.

I endured the next hour and a half of skits in which people discussed religion and why they do or don’t subscribe, then die suddenly and spontaneously and the worthy welcomed by God. Satan showed up immediately afterward, looking alarmingly like Darth Maul, to claim the leftovers.

After the show, the unbelievers in the audience were exhorted to “come up front and pray.” The play hadn’t affected me in any real way, so I stayed put.

I ran into the girl after the show. She was still in the post-show high that I’m quite familiar with, she asked if I’ve been saved. I told her no, I hadn’t, and that if she wanted, I’d explain why the following day.

I hop in my car and head home. I flip the radio on, and what should be playing but Highway to Hell. I marked it for a sign, went home, and went to bed.

The day after, I offered my reason for not converting: I didn’t believe before, I didn’t believe now, and I felt that pretending to would be dishonest. She nodded and said she’d pray for me. She never spoke to me again.