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Featured Being Friends with Those with other Beliefs

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by mkgal1, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    That was brought up in another thread and I didn't want to derail it---but did want to discuss that more.

    In this thread: Reconnecting with old friend... but he is a ''homosexual Christian''

    I had posted how I'm friends with people that have other beliefs (one of my closest friends for over 20 years is Muslim, for one example). We don't try to change each other....or convince one another that one belief is "right" and that the other is "wrong"--that's personal. We know where each comes from.....and we are even able to talk about things about our faith that we agree on. That friend of mine also has a close Jewish friend that she grew up with and is still in close contact with. The three of us have had beautiful discussions about the love of God....and the intersections of the Torah, the Old Testament, and the Quran. We don't let our different religious language divide us. Our friendship is a lot like this couple's relationship--that led to their marriage:



    @Mskriskris responded to my post about having friends with other beliefs in this way:
    and

    ....which is what we're doing, but for some reason it seems that's not believed to be possible while still within relationship with them (is how I'm understanding that). Because when I asked why there's an assumption that I'm NOT following that....not having the love of God enhance our relationship...the response was:

    ....so it seems then there was advice given that's not believed to be possible---or else it wouldn't be assumed I *wasn't* following that advice already.

    Why do people believe we can't have any diversity in our friendships? Is there that much fear that we can be easily swayed in another direction.....or is it that we can't trust our friends to respect our own choices?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
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  2. Symph

    Symph Active Member

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    Honestly I have deeper and better conversations about God with some of my agnostic friends than my christian ones. Its often times those people who will be the most honest with me. I've been exiting alot of threads when things of this nature start becoming the direction, cause I honestly don't even know how to take it seriously! If someone honestly thinks we're supposed to only associate with the heathen to the point of shouting the gospel at them and then getting away before we catch their cooties, it's hard for me to even formulate a serious response cause it just sounds so crazy to me! "Be all things to all people" "Be IN the world not of the world" heck that verse I've seen have all kinds of weird interpretations to it, but it seems pretty plain as day to me. "Hang out" with the heathen, be IN their world, but do not take on their thoughts, ideas, or customs, be around them, be here FOR them, don't be like them. Just seems plain as day to me!
     
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  3. lastofall

    lastofall Member

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    "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Corinthians 6:14)

    "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." (2 Corinthians 6:17)
     
  4. Symph

    Symph Active Member

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    Be ye not "UNEQUALLY YOKED" with unbelievers. She is not unequally yoked, there's a difference between having friends and letting them run your world or compromising yourself for them.

    "Come out from among them and be separate, touch not the unclean thing" Ok are you implying that the people THEMSELVES are the unclean thing not to be touched? I am friends with tons of unbelievers who do many unclean things themselves that I remain SEPARATE from, and do not touch. How are we gonna be the light of the world if we're all hiding FROM the world....
     
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  5. Phantasman

    Phantasman Newbie

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    Such a touchy subject (for most).

    The body has it's desires and is weak. The spirit has it's desires. A Christian follows Christ.

    Desire in it's root means "of the father". Sire means to father. The body has it's father, and the spirit has the Father. Coexisting in this life. We hate the body (flesh) as Jesus did his. But we love the spirit.

    We cannot judge what the Father has going with anyone else. Just ourselves. Homosexual Christian? Same as smoking Christian. Obese Christian. Christians who defy death mountain climbing, skydiving, etc. We all are weak to the desires of the body. But grace is a big part of what makes a Christian. We strive, though we are weak.

    God is patient. God understands. God loves us provided of our weakness. But remember what Jesus said to those powerful church leaders:

    Matthew:
    15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.
    16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?
    17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    Being Christian is a growth process. Seeking, finding, learning. Who judges the mind of another, and how God works with them? It is better to stay close to those who may need spiritual support than to cast them away. Jesus didn't do it. And a Christian won't as well.

    It is better for a sinner to know he/she sins, than one who calls other sinners because he/she doesn't sin.

    Matthew:
    28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
    29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
    30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
    31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
    32 For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.

    If you love Christ, let all men see Christ in you.

    But be careful and be strong (in spirit) as Christ was. He, or his disciples understood to not stay in one place too long. They were known as Christians by their movement and repose. Too long in one place, you can become the place.
     
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  6. JESUS=G.O.A.T

    JESUS=G.O.A.T Well-Known Member

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    This is how I look at it.

    1. You can have diversity among friendships and you can have close friends that aren't Christians are saved...but based off my experience your best friends will be saved christians though just becuase you can talk to them about anything essentially and if christianity and God really is your #1 then yeah your best friends will be those who live and breath that. However, I still have close friends I would call them that aren't christians.


    2. If you aren't yet strong in Lord or really in the lord or you are strong but you feel a friend tugging you the other way you've got to cut them off. Even in some cases maybe they aren't tugging you but they are just...so far gone maybe just can't hang out with them at the moment.



    3. JESUS sat with and associated with sinners, and it makes sense becuase that's who a saved person is trying to reach, you just have to ensure you are strong enough to handle that person and handle their sin.
     
  7. Friend-of-Jesus

    Friend-of-Jesus Well-Known Member

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    Love and accept all

    Shine the saving light of gospel

    Don't put your candle in a closet
     
  8. Symph

    Symph Active Member

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    I very much agree with you and also relate to the "closest friends being your christian ones". I have friends of other faiths that I can go very deep with, who know me inside and out in a lot of ways and are there for me. But no matter how close I am with them, there's just something about someone who knows the Spirit of God too, being able to share those stories, understand what it's like to interact with our Heavenly Father, it's like being with your own kind again, your family, your blood.
     
  9. Foxfyre

    Foxfyre Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's pretty much my position on this too Symph. How in the world are we supposed to be in the world or introduce people to the Christ if we only hobnob with fellow Christians and preach to the choir?

    There are no more pleasant or delightful people in the world than some of the areligious. These are folks who accept us and all that we are and, while not being believers themselves, also have not closed their minds, can enjoy hearing, performing, singing Christian music as much as we do, and can converse intelligently about religious concepts without being cynical, critical, or patronizing. But just through the sheer exposure, I have witnessed more than one who came to know, to understand, to experience, and to believe. Would that have happened if we had excluded them from our lives?

    And ditto our friends of other faiths. We don't have to convince them. We just have to love them and leave the door open. Every now and then somebody chooses to walk through it.
     
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  10. Symph

    Symph Active Member

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    AMEN!
     
  11. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    That's a great description of what it sounds like to me as well. That doesn't seem to be "loving others" to me....it's more like, "drop the bomb of 'right' theology"--and run. How is that relational?

    Yeah.....I have a difficulty with considering my friends "heathens" just because they are Muslim and Jewish. Their ideas about love and how we should treat others are far superior to people I used to be surrounded with at our former church (including a lot of those in "leadership"). I'll even give an example....for the sake of illustration.

    A friend of mine there had poured herself into serving at that church. She spent so many hours (unpaid) in organizing events....being a table leader at Bible study each week....an usher/greeter each weekend.....and was available to lend a hand in just about every capacity. This went on for decades. No one knew she was enduring an abusive marriage for that entire time. Then....one Thanksgiving...her husband left her and their children to visit his family. He removed her from their credit cards and emptied their bank accounts (she found this out while at the grocery store buying food for their Thanksgiving meal). She called the pastor (which was very humiliating and difficult thing to do)....but she asked if they could help her with food for Thanksgiving so her children weren't deprived. The answer (which was delivered via the church secretary as the pastor was "too busy")? "You need to work these things out with your husband". So....that was two friends of hers that were aware of her situation. They ate cereal for Thanksgiving dinner, because she was too humiliated to ask anyone else. Personally.....that's the sort of influence I could do without. Those are the people I can't associate with. Holding to the "right" theology is NOT what "pleases God" (IMO).
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2017
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  12. Symph

    Symph Active Member

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    That is heart breaking, and yeah my use of the word heathen was to sort of "play the game". I think a lot of "heathens" are just Christians who haven't discovered who they are yet, I even have some more controversial opinions than THAT about this but I try to keep it below a certain threshold in the forums.
     
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  13. Mskriskris

    Mskriskris Active Member

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    I guess addressing the video since you're using it as an example:

    Face value, this is a TED presentation bringing about awareness through this couple with different faiths who's making an interfaith marriage work by communication, understanding other people's views on their faiths, and growing up their kids to have a better understanding of the world and be good citizens of the world. Their families are happy, they have a fuller life, and their kids are more educated and less prone to be dogmatic.

    But in deeper value, the journey to do that basically was having the woman say that she didn't need to be a Christian or saw it necessary to find a life-partner (2:50-3:13), and then she found someone who shares that same view.They validate the marriage by talking about how interfaith exists already, that they do work as long as you do the work (no God needed), and how the point of marriage is not God related, but people-related. They mention doctrine (the church) doesn't equal beliefs (the person). But then they solve it by making their own home church with weekly services, mixing up religions, celebrating customs and rituals of other religions, and doctrines they did not think were plausible in the first place, in hope that their kids are just good citizens of the earth and carry on that same mindset that there are many paths to God.All neatly wrapped up in the title "Higher Love".

    They literally made their own doctrine in a response of being part of a doctrine that didn't suit their desires and views for a relationship. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

    Is this how you are addressing your friendships?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  14. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    Are you referring to the video I shared? Have you given thought to that metaphor...and what "believers" means....what are they believing IN? Is it limited to the belief of Jesus as God?......or could the yoking have to do with people having two separate value systems (of which Reza and Jessica don't have). Think about oxen pulling a cart (and the cart being a marriage/life together/family)....do you believe Christians totally agree on life decisions simply because they're identifying themselves as Christian (so they're 'equally yoked')? Are Atheists, agnostics (Reza in the video, even) "unrighteous" in your eyes just because they don't believe in all the doctrine you do? Likewise....the person standing at a Christian church podium each week that is there ONLY because they went to seminary school for their parents (and their parents paid) and they see it as a good way to make $$ (but they don't actually *believe* what they're preaching).....they are "righteous"? I think there's a lot more to that verse than just pairing up with people that have the "right" (self-identified) labels.

    Did you happen to take the time to watch the video?
     
  15. frienden thalord

    frienden thalord Well-Known Member

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    As I am sure you know what many do not. How did this type of love fest hug all correct none
    work with the church with the gay agenda. Did they repent.... or did this unequally yoked
    lead to the Church falling away and accepting them as saved.
    SO too this being unequally yoked together with other religoins
    will have the same effect , the churches will fall away and think we all worshp
    the same god in time.
    Their is a good reason why God hs said be not unequally yoked together , FOR if
    you are .....you FALL AWAY in time.
    The only way this works, is if the goal is to destroy true chrisanity
    under the guise of a false love and recreate a WORLD religion that accepts
    sin and different religions as valid . Guess what happens
    to those who wont conform to this ideals in time........they get betrayed
    and rounded up as haters , and those who follow this false love , will
    think they do this universal gods will for world peace . PROPHECY is fast
    being fulfilled and many are going under a delusion which will
    lead to the largest world wide betrayal as the betrayer stands and the world
    as one cheers his solution for world peace. ah hint
    Its time to rid the earth of all these haters of humanity .........so few see where this is leading
    most are just falling under THE DELUSOIN of the LIE that leads to the SON of PERDTION.
     
  16. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    Jessica is a very active Christian. She's not compromised her faith one iota. She firmly believes in "faith in action" and has a heart for serving and empowering the poor.

    I think you missed the point of the video and the point of me sharing it (which was to address the idea that to be friends with--or even married to--someone that identifies as a different belief system as we do.....we are compromising OUR faith. That's not true.). Maybe it's an issue of not understanding boundaries....or not realizing that faith is a journey that can go in different directions as we move through life. We can marry someone that's right on the same page we are.....but 20 years later has become an Atheist. What then? Doesn't the Bible address that....saying that if they are "pleased to dwell with us" we are to remain married to them. So why the fear?

    For more background about Jessica--she authored this book: [​IMG]

    and founded this organization: Kiva How Kiva Co-Founder and Mom Jessica Jackley Changed the Way We Combat Poverty

    and the point of intersection of faith between her and her husband is that belief of "faith in action". He doesn't compromise *his* beliefs either---as you can see here....as he is giving the sermon at a Christian church on the book of James (remember....he identifies as Muslim). I think this is worth the 15 minutes to watch--I think you'll see that you can agree with what he says here:
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  17. Mskriskris

    Mskriskris Active Member

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    I'm sure she is very active, and is doing alot for people, God bless her. But who's getting the credit for it?
     
  18. mkgal1

    mkgal1 His perfect way sets me free. 2 Samuel 22:33

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    Not quite. They aren't "making their own doctrine as a response".....they are sharing with their children what other religions believe and the customs and traditions (Reza is a professor of World Religions at the university). They aren't getting dogmatic in telling their children "this is the truth....this is what to believe" because faith is *personal* (don't we even emphasize that in Christianity---the personal level of it?). Faith in God is also not something we can prove--so it's not worth debating or getting dogmatic. It's about respecting others.....allowing freedom of choice (which God has bestowed on us)....and encouraging connection and compassion (not an attitude of "I like you and want to spend time with you because you are just like me!").

    In my relationships/friendships....we notice the similarities....and strive to understand the differences (but we can do that without taking on those beliefs ourselves).
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  19. Halbhh

    Halbhh Hubble telescope saw in empty sky....galaxies! Supporter

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    Definitely we are instructed to love our neighbor as ourself, and that's anyone we encounter even, but especially those we encounter in a way that is more personal when possible.

    We are to tell them the Good News in some manner, the message of John 3:16 for instance, and once we have we cannot control whether they will take in the good news, and certainly are not to stop loving them if they don't take it in now or in 2 months or 20 years...

    They may want to see whether, in time, we seem to actually have something....

    Does being "Christian" make any real difference? They may want to look over time to see. Or it may be that over the years some things will happen, and then they will learn whether what we have is real and makes a difference.
     
  20. Symph

    Symph Active Member

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    In a way I MAY disagree with you a bit here, or I may just not be fully understanding. But while I allow my friends to believe whatever they want, and I don't try to change them per se in the sense that I debate their ideas or be pushy with my own, I DO want them to find the truth of Jesus as I have, and live knowingly with Him the way that I do. And I look for openings, for times where it seems like it would make sense to share some of my experiences or reasons for belief.

    I guess I just wanna make sure you do still feel there is a point to evangelism and a reason to share the gospel, not just keep it your own personal journey.
     
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