Anonymous asked a question:
What do you do if every time you bring up God in a conversation someone changes the subject?
Hey dear friend, I would say: Let them. Be kind and let them.
That doesn’t mean you never talk about your faith around that person. But my guess is that
1) the topic of God is painful for that person,
2) the topic of God is repulsive for that person,
3) it is not entirely relevant for that person, or
4) I say this with much love, but maybe the manner in which faith is brought up has not been gentle or understanding.
You cannot force someone to talk about something they don’t want to. I’m not saying you’re doing that. But if they’re changing the subject and your goal is to “bring them back to God” all the time, you’re coercing that person into a subject that they obviously don’t want to discuss.
A Christian’s goal is never to transmit information until another person is persuaded. That’s a very westernized way of evangelism. It assumes that a “threshold of theological knowledge” is what makes a Christian. Modern church evangelism is a memorized checklist of systematic facts, and it seems that once you can recite those facts, this must mean you’re close to God. This, of course, is not true.
If you want someone to know about your faith: we must simply live into our faith. To just be. And be curious about the other person. I bet there is a reason this person avoids any talk about God. Why not get to know them? And why not discover within yourself: what is your goal? Agenda? Motive? Did you assume this person is avoiding faith discussions? Or is there something in you that pushed too hard, assumed it must be their issue, when it could be yours? And really: Can you still love this person even if they never open up about their faith with you, ever?
I’m sorry I’m being a little hard here. I have experienced too much aggression from those who think they’re just “passionate, outspoken, bold for truth,” when really they were being obnoxious and socially tone-deaf. Of course, it’s good to be open about your faith. Talk about it, sure. But we must enter with a gentleness that leaves room for discomfort, disagreement, dialogue, or even total avoidance.
And in the end, you may be just one rung of the ladder in this conversation. You may not be the one who gets to talk faith with that person; it might be someone else. Certainly you want to be a rung in that ladder, and not an obstacle.
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