As a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, Jew, Jehovah Witness, etc is your job to convert someone you deem a non-believer? Do you think as a representative of your faith that you are supposed to convert non-believers and all others who do not believe what you think? If so, why? If not, why? Or do you think we all have the right to religion freedom?
No. I'm Jewish, and Jews do not proselytize, mostly because we generally don't believe you don't have to be Jewish to be a good person. There are many paths to living a good life. (Jews do accept sincere self-motivated converts, though; I'm living proof!)
I guess I don't qualify.
My faith isn't affected or effected by what others believe or dismiss what I think.
Religious freedom in most people's mind is skewed and completely distorted from what it should mean.
Conversion is not my objective. My objective is, if requested, provide an introduction between man and God by sharing Holy Scripture. The key words being "if requested" I cannot force someone to meet God.
My job as a believer is NOT to force anything down another's throat. I will not argue with people. I will talk to them, just to get an understanding, and it's not up to me to get mad because they don't believe. Now, if they have questions, and ask more about faith, then sure, I will gladly give an introduction to my faith.
I'd like to ask the same question of the non-believers. Is it "your" job to convert others into your belief of non-belief?
I don't need an answer. I see it daily in the forums here, of endless hours spent fighting with believers endlessly.
(Why didn't you ask this question of yourself?)
I suppose you could look at it that way. I don't, because most non believers simply advocate thinking for yourself and coming to your own decisions. I don't know that there is a non believer hell reserved for believers. I don't think non believers think there is a non believer cosmic space that weeps when believers don't agree with a non believer. And I'm almost positive I've never seen a non believer +1 another nonbeliever when they insisted the world would self destruct if we weren't hanging around.
So, call us a religion if you like, but it doesn't make it true.....Wait, I forgot believers don't understand that concept.
Ok, first I am actually a believer. I just do not think that belief is a justification for conversion or a justification of disrespect of any kind. You do not have to believe or subscribe to the same religion as someone in order to give them proper respect. I also think you shouldn't necessarily write someone off because of their belief or non-belief. You will isolate your self from creation. If you are Christian you will never truly understand Jesus's mission, because he held no pushes about his beliefs, but he never disrespected (my understanding through research) or belittled anyone for not believing the same as he did. You have a choice. I think some use conversion as a torture tactic its a cop out. It was used to attempt to destroy the Natives as well as Africans. For me, you can talk about it, share your experiences, witness, but conversion and disrespect is where I draw the line in the sand. We are in a society I realize that does not like to tolerate differences, but we have to evolve as people.
I agree. And I do see where believers feel justified in claiming they are disrespected. But the believers who claim that usually refuse to consider how disrespectful their beliefs are. Or how they preach and never listen.
I guess we all want to be heard. That is our ego. Once we all want to listen, as well, we will all work on finding humility within ourselves
Ok, I think I have hit a sore spot for you. Why do you ask? I have seen it come from both sides honestly. I don't isolate it to believers only or non-believers only, I would attest it to when humans interact with one another and passion is involved, it can go either way. However, in this forum, I was wondering about believers. What experience have you had recently that seem to have given you this view point on this subject, if you don't mind sharing?
A reasonable question you have asked.
I am atheist in my understanding at this time. That does not mean I am locked into the understanding, unmovable.
I do not try to "convert" believers into becoming non-believers, I respect and uphold any persons freedom to choose however they wish.
All I ask of believers is that they state clearly when it is a belief they are expressing, and refrain from calling their "belief" a "fact."
hello Mr jonnycomelately, my belief is my faith as an eager gift to God for all He has done for me. I was born again 1976 out of a desire to die. Once saved, I asked for something I had lost, a golden glow hovered over a place and indeed there it was. I don't tell this often, but u seem honest in what you expect.
As a Believer I have a Commission to Go and Proclaim the Message I was Given... Much like the old town crier who who would loudly proclaim the message of the King in the ears of all who would listen...
Just like the Town Crier who would proclaim the Message of the king... Once the message has been delivered it is then the responsibility of the people to respond to that message.
It is the peoples responsibility to Hear the Message.. and Respond to the message.
It is only for the Crier to Deliver the Message.
What the people do with that message is really between them and the king from that point forward.
So in a way the answer to your question is NO. I do not have to "Convert" anyone... I just need to proclaim the Good News that there is forgiveness of Sins and Restoration between God and Men... through the shed blood of Jesus Christ who is God's Only Son...
That anyone who Places their Faith in Jesus and turns to him will be Saved... and Inherit Eternal Life.
If they (If You) Receive it... Great... ... ... But if they (or You) do not... then your future is in your own hands.. and you will stand before God at the Judgment of Souls with no excuses and with no right to point fingers of accusation at the people who tried to warn you... tried to witness to you.
Have a Great day... and I hope you make the right decision.
Nicely said, however, my soul is ok, lol. Now to be serious, just wanted to know, based off of some things I have observed. I do not believe conversion is any person's job. Thanks for your input.
I agree with you also Britt. Some look at it as bloodguilt. If you see the sword coming and don't Warn the people and they are smitten by the sword, their blood is on your hands. If you see the sword coming and tell the people and the don't HEED the warning and are smitten by the sword, their blood is on their own hands. I can see you chuckling Ray.
Sorry no chuckling for your statement, but this might cover it though...
I can understand that, my issue is the bashing and so supposed tolerance as if we are above reproach. I don't think we are perfect. Personally, I think very highly of myself, but I'm not perfect I can name off a laundry list of imperfections, but for me that does not justify me mistreating and torturing any person because of their beliefs. Its a hound dog mentality, almost blood thirsty, you don't have to conquer anyone. I relish in others opinion, thoughts, etc for me, it gives me better understanding of who they are and where they come from. I don't feel challenged, i feel curious if anything.
What happens is some become a little over zealous in their commission. No conversion necessary.
I agree. My issue has never been with non-believers to be honest. It has been with some believers. As being a part of different minstrial alliances, I found that some treat animals better than people. I recall we were feeding on a friday night and we got the food and we had maybe 30 loaves of bread and one of the volunteers grabbed about 8 of them. I go, "Woah, you must be hungry." (thinking to myself, why is he touching the bread before the hungry people come in). He says, "My dog likes to chew on this bread." I thought wow, a chew toy for your dog and there is about 100 people including children outside waiting to be feed, who could have used the bread FOR FOOD. I used that example to say to the church, do you treat your pet better than your own fellow brother and sister?
Very well put. I might add that it is the job of the Holy Ghost to do the converting. Once a person repents, truly, then there will be a change made. The person will be a new creature in Christ. They then start a walk that they never walked before.
Jesus told Peter, "When you are converted, strengthen your brethren."
Yes... But in answer to the question she asked... Ours is just the Job of a mailman... We deliver the message... If they respond.. Great. But If they don't respond.. its on them at that point. I guess that is one of the main differences between Biblical Christianity and Non-Biblical Fakes...
Biblical Christianity is about Grace and about Receiving a Free Gift... It is about Personal Belief by Personal Choice. It is not validated by any form of coercion.. and it (salvation) does not come by Joining an organization either... Again.. its a personal response.
I wouldn't consider myself a 'non' believer, however I have my own beliefs that do not really fall into any particular faith. I would never try to convert someone to believe what I do or do not believe, nor would I expect it from someone else. I can accept that those who wish to share their religion might approach me on occasion. The issue lies in when I state that I am not religious, the result being a 20 minute conversation about WHY I believe what I believe and why I do NOT believe what they do. I understand the desire to share and welcome new believers, but I think that some take it too far, to the point of being pushy. (Note I said SOME, not all) For those that do that, it does nothing more than scare someone away from religion because they will relate the incident to the religion. Answer questions, offer advice, and show that you are open and waiting for them if they decide to convert, but PLEASE leave it at that.
No one can convert anyone if first there is not a willingness to be converted. To try to when that willingness is not there is futile.
I can agree that one should be willing when doing anything, but is conversion truly what you as a believer should be attempting to do? Is that truly in conjunction with the Way? Conversion has been used to capture and disinfranchise different groups.
Of course Jesus said to "be fishers of men", so as a Christian I believe he wanted us to share with others the "good news" of salvation. However, I do not believe it my job to convert anyone. I believe that it is possible to share my faith by 'being the light'. To live by example and that is much harder to do that just preaching sins and commandments. I believe the greatest commandment is "to love others more than ourselves". And man, if I can get that right, then somewhere along the way someone will want to know how/why - then I can tell them. It's Faith.
No. Faith is personal and every individual has the capacity to discover his (I have given up looking for a neutral pronoun) own answers. If I am asked for guidance, I see no harm in offering whatever benefit I may perceive to have gained from my own experience. Conversion is something more invasive.
I am a Christian who tries not to so obnoxious and annoying that I give my religion a bad name. Like many, I will shut a proselytizer down and tell them to leave me alone.
Couple of Mormon missionaries walked right by me last week and didn't give me the pitch. I was miffed. I don't proselytize unless someone does me, where it is justified. Missed a chance to preachify for Paganism.
My job is to try and understand the world views of other and share in aan open communication about how our beliefs differ and how they are simular. If a person of a differing belief system happens to convert to my belief system than I'm happy for them.... if not then, I am happy for them. Freedom of religion is a good thing. Morals are a good thing.
It's an interesting question. It seems to be human nature to want to share happiness so if someone has found a way to happiness that works for them, I suppose it's natural for them to want to tell everyone. Others believe that those who don't behave as their religion dictates are damned and they want to save them. Some others believe that we are offending God by behaving or not behaving in a certain way and that they must educate us. I don't belong to any religion though I have deep spiritual beliefs. However, I don't feel the need for everyone to share my beliefs but am always interested in discussing beliefs with open minded others. My own spirituality is constantly evolving through these discussions.
Thats very nice to hear. I think we should be respectful of others beliefs, its not enough to simply tolerate them. There is a grave difference between tolerance and respect and I think you have to respect the difference as well as the individual. I think we have a lot to teach one another. No one has all the answers and our truths are just that, our truths. We can choose to share or spare, but it is our right to belief as we choose.
If you don't have a clue, your conversion isn't mine to acheive. You have to be possessed of the desire to seek, then you will find. You can't lead a horse to water if that horse isn't willing to go, and you certainly can't make it drink. I may plant seeds, but, you are responsible for how fertile your own soil is. If you are of an open mind, and an open heart, then your soil is fertile. If you have closed your mind, closed your heart, then you have also closed your eyes and ears. You can heal your own blindness and deafness.
Interesting, could you go into more explanation. I have heard some of the saying, but in a different manner.
Druid, you obviously do not have an open mind. It is like a railway train, only following the track. There are so many beautiful vistas, well away from your track.
I think the people who think "my religion is better than your religion" are the most intolerant and unevolved of all. I can't understand the people on here that believe the literal translation of the Bible, when it's obviously allegories and myths. But some religions do require their flocks to try to convert everyone. I had a friend who I really liked, she helped me through a terrible loss in my life and I enjoyed her. But she was a Jehovah's Witness, and we couldn't even go for a walk on a nice day without a "Isn't this a great day Jehovah gave us?" It gets ridiculous. I particularly like a quote from Gautama Buddha:
"Do not believe anything
Because is it said by an authority,
Or it is said to come from angels,
Or from Gods,
Or from an inspired source.
Believe it only if you have explored it
In your own heart
And mind and body
And found it to be true.
Work out your own path,
I feel that way about non believers who are a religion of their own.
A religion is a belief system and non-belief is it's own religion.
I think we all arrive at our own truth or spiritual awakening when we are ready. I agree that there should not be an attitude of my religion is better than yours, its ridiculous. I think you should do the research also before you subscribe to anything, but also there are somethings, some experiences that are more than facts, some encounters that are more than research. For me, these encounters or experiences have not led me to terrorize, convert, or attack anyone. It has taught me greater understanding, patience, and a hunger to learn and be more open. Thats just me though.
I agree and respect to all what you believe in guys,but what important for whether you are a Christian,Catholic,Muslims or whatever religion we are,what we are going to do now is to have a better understanding,love,unity and peace.Lets all hope and pray that all is well to us,lets not argue and debate about religion,lets both respect with each other,co'z if we die, we go in one place and that would be in HEAVEN.
This is very admirable to say, but debate over religion is almost as old as the dawn of time. In most theological academia as well as non-theological academia circles it still exists. I hope we all arrive some day at this point, but as long as there is stife, difference, and human's involved there will be disagreements, debates, and issues. Thanks for your input.
Just as everyone has different experiences, everyone believes different things. I don't describe myself as having "no faith" just because I do not belong to an organized religion. I respect other people's religions, probably more than they respect those who do not believe. I've had many people in my own home who will preach to me for hours, and won't listen for a few minutes to hear what I think or believe. Obviously, they do not get invited back. I like to keep an open mind, and think of myself as a seeker.
I agree with you and those who are hard of hearing usually fall on deaf ears, because communication is a two way strength and requires speaking and listening. I think we are all seekers seeking something. We are all alike in that and whether you belong to a specific religious tradition or not you are a valuable member of the human family. Nicely put.
Jean Bukula- "Work out your own path,Through diligence." That exactly sums up my approach. :-)
Beautiful, Jean. Thank you. Can't add anything more meaningful to that!.
Why don't we just practice the Golden Rule? "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". I HATE the thought of imposing my beliefs on others, and I HATE it even more if a religious bigot comes over to my house to try to convert to me to his/her religion. Yuk. Obnoxious. Unwanted. No thank you. Go away. Leave me alone. Stop being self-righteous. Mind your own business.
My beliefs make me a Christian. If a person comes to me with questions I help guild them. I wont bash people over the head with the bible because thats how you lose followers and people lose faith. If a person chooses to not believe in God, that is their chose and honestly, me and that person getting into an argument about it wont help either of us. God told His children to flee from words against His so arguing with an atheist is not what a Christian should do.
"be fishers of men" means you can only bring in the ones that bite and don't spit the hook. not all the fish are gonna bite.
Well, it could also be pointed out that they were using nets back when Jesus gathered his disciples. So, the fish were basically captured and forced on the boat.
Wow Emily, lol. Sn I don't think your bad, just spirited. There is nothing wrong with that.
Not forgetting that when fish are caught they get their heads bashed in.......to kill them. When you think about it, it's quite an odd thing for Jesus to have said.
Thats what happens when you unpack a text you have to look at so many factors. Example, in hebrew feet means male genitals, but it depends on the circumstance. When we were in OT Hebrew we all were like wait a minute, the book of Ruth, she laid at his feet, where was she?
You can't be serious How should I read Isaiah 52:7
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’
Lol, sounds funny, but its true, lmbo. If you could have seen some of the faces that hit the floor. Hmm. Put it in its proper context. I think a few ppl walked out, but those who had a sense of humor, self-included turn a nice shade of red. We immediately thought of the disciples and the foot washing, lol, too bad now your talking two different languages, etc. the interpretation is up to you, but for some clues I did a hub on the exegetical process and interpreting scripture in its rightful context. Hope that helps.
I fell out of my chair on that one. Too funny.
Commercial Fishermen then or now have not and do not waste allot of time bashing each fish on the noggin... Just occasionaly with really Large or Dangerous catches... normally only sport fishermen have the time for that...
I've witnessed more times than I could shake a stick at and I've given my personal testimony in hopes to bring people to the understanding that Jesus Christ is powerful with the ability to provide everlasting life, love grace, everything we need.
I've never seen anyone convert, but neither did any of the faithful who witnessed to me all the years preceding my conversion. I think of them and their efforts as signposts of grace. So Lord my God, make me such a signpost that leads to You.
These things of which you speak are available to everyone, everywhere, at all times. They are not dependent on an understanding of Jesus Christ.
You are so right Mr Niteriter, though what it does depend on is a sincere and overwhelming awakening of personal sin and a willingness to ask for forgiveness while reaching out for the One who created you. God takes care of the rest, praise His Holy name!
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