This is an interesting article on an atheist oriented site that expresses how some evangelistic “sharing” comes across to the person we are talking to.
The basic contention is that we Christians treat the other person as a “project” or “object.”
We form “strategic relationships” with the idea of leading people to Christ.
Their conversion is our goal and so we have to “work on them.” We have an agenda for their life.
This is a reminder to us all that
- our relationships have to be genuine.
- our conversations need to be genuine.
We can be passionate about the gospel and eager to share, but we must respect the dignity and boundaries of the other person.
Notice the key point:
“Although Christians may profess to be doing a good deed by sharing their religion with others, in reality it’s very often the case that they are simply not treating non-believers with the respect and consideration they deserve. . . . Atheists are treated not as human beings worthy of equal consideration, but as targets — almost as if they are being hunted. It shouldn’t be a surprise when atheists find this annoying and complain.”
Example: Offer to Pray
Respecting the dignity and boundaries of others formed part of the debate in the comments about Take the Risk, Offer to pray.
My offer to pray with the person on the phone was politely turned down. I respected that boundary.
The question was then posted on an online atheist bulletin board (Link broken) and a long chit/chat followed. It was a fun read over there, but communicates the same idea: respect a person’s boundaries.
Let me ask you this?
- Do you have friends to share your faith with?
- What is your motivation for that friendship?
- Consider the last time you talked about Christ with them. Was the conversation genuine or based on your agenda?