How To Witness To A Believer

I have thought about this. How do believers witness to people who believe but do not believe in the same religion?

I’d think those were the soft target for proselytizing. They WANT to believe in a god. All they have to is convince them their religion is better, right?

Why don’t Christians go for believers? Maybe those door to door types do, but on the internet it seems to be just non-believers that apologists aim at.

Does anyone know why it is not valued to convert someone of another faith over converting a non-believer to their faith?  Why work on winning the world cup if you can’t win a regional league tournament?

  1. I think they all try to convert one another. The only passive ones, or so I hear are the religions of the Orient and Judaism

    • When I was an evangelical pentecostal, we didn’t worry about the baptists or practice to convert believers of any stripe…

      • I didn’t try to convert anyone to Catholicism when I was a catholic though some evangelical Christians tried to get me to join them

        • Hmmmm interesting. This is something that bothers me about religions… I hope a few believers comment

  2. The irony of the photo is the scenario could only happen in a secular society. Something the religious just don’t seem to appreciate.

    As to the question? It would appear that apart from the JW’s, breeding little Sunbeams for Jesus or Goat Herders for Allah has supplanted regular proselytizing. It’s the numbers game.

    The New Age credo seems to be “Let’s outfuck those fuckers” .
    So far the Muslims are winning hands down….

    • Good point

    • That new credo totally dismantles any claim that they are the only correct religion….

  3. I am not sure it is valued more – converting a non-believer. I think they are creatures of opportunity, like everyone else.

    When I was a believer, I attended church at various Christian denominations. I was doing it because I had yet to recognize that each of them fascinated me, and that none of them actually “spoke” to me. I just felt like experiencing each of them, and to my Mom’s credit, she supported my curiosity despite being a devout Catholic.

    At each, however, and without exception, they tried to convert me. At 10, for instance, I went on a Christian retreat. I was a Catholic by upbringing, and during one of our Bible meetings, the pastor said that only Christians of his particular denomination would go to heaven. I raised my hand and said, “I’m a Catholic. Do you believe that I will go to hell?” He replied quite confidently, “Yes.” I was shocked, but laughed it off, because I believed he was going to hell for not being a Catholic! Anyway, for the remainder of the trip I was constantly berated by people trying to convert me – to save my soul from eternal damnation. Upon returning home, I began my long journey towards atheism. This little incident caused a backfire! Instead of remaining a follower of Jesus – in even an incorrect capacity – I began to reject it altogether. My point is this: They try to convert everyone. Every little bit counts in their eyes.

    • Good points. I have had my mom say something similar. Those that have never heard of Jesus, no matter how good they are, are going to hell.

      • How benevolent. 🙂

        • Yeah, that was an awkward talk. She worked in a religious business and most of her contacts in the world are evangelicals. That bubble filters her news, politics, … everything.

          • I’m sure she’s happy with the path you have chosen. 🙂 Does she know about this blog?

    • Perspective Collector
    • October 10th, 2013

    Good point! I find that (in my circle – my culture/church/friends) Christians tend to think people of other religions can be the hardest of all. Many times I’ve heard of the atheist who says they’re so against God – and even some Christians think they’re a lost cause – become a believer so instantly that their spiritual maturity overtakes one who’s been Christian for decades.
    What’s your take on non-Christians who don’t belong to any religion, but do believe in some sort of god/s? Do you think they’re harder/easier for Christians to “go after”? Just interested in your atheist perspective since I mostly come from the inside.
    I find where I’m from, probably a third of people are atheist/agnostic, a third believe in some bigger being, and a third believe in “God” (just not an accurate view of God) and so they object to certain things about the Christian God and therefore aren’t “Christian” but they hold to the majority of Christian views. I’d say that’s a culture thing for them, though. I can’t be sure, though. That might be my naive perspective.
    Not sure if you’re interested, so just ignore if not, but in my family, there is this:
    Mum – used to be a Christian, can’t see any evidence of him in her life and so she’s not Christian anymore
    Dad – used to be a Christian, spent 20 years away from God, believed in god/aliens/higher being, didn’t want to know God, yet talked to him all the time, came back to God and is like the most on-fire Christian you’ve seen. Totally blew me away and was so unexpected.
    Sister – Christian, scientist, likes to talk about all views – like me, and thinks through her views with a fine-tooth comb.
    Brother – Would say he believes in God, holds to Christian values and lives a Christian type of lifestyle, yet doesn’t love God or have a relationship with him, so isn’t a Christian. He would also like to believe in his own version of the Christian God and make him fit into a perfect picture with no tensions, so therefore not the God of the bible, but still close. Closer than aliens, or Allah, for example.
    Now, you’d think the brother would be closer to becoming a Christian than my dad who was so against the idea of God for 20 years. I didn’t see it coming. Because I didn’t see what was going on in his heart. On the outside he said he didn’t believe in God and would never want to. On the inside, he was talking to God the whole time and God was talking back the whole time. Dad didn’t like this, obviously. But after 20 years of talking to each other, dad fell in love with God. None of us talked to him about God, not in a way to convert him, we all knew where he stood. He was even angry when he found out I became a Christian during those 20 years. I was scared to tell him. Yet, God worked in his heart and did it all himself.
    In relation to your post, though, the Christians I know don’t tend to rank people like that. It’s all so unexpected who comes to God and who doesn’t. Sometimes I’ve been shell-shocked when I hear who’s become a Christian. I’m sure God’s laughing at me when that happens. It’s just that we can’t always see what God is doing to people’s hearts no matter who they are, so it’s all so random.
    Just my experience at the church I’ve been in at least and the types of people we’ve seen become a Christian. It could be different in other churches, areas, cultures, etc.
    Sorry for the long comment, just illustrating why we don’t “target” religious people over anyone else. They’re all equal.

    • People who believe in ‘something’ but not religion are confused in their thinking. They’ve been told there is a god, and even though they don’t really believe in any god of any religion, they can’t explain everything so a god of some kind seems to make sense.

      People can change abruptly… for various reasons, but it all boils down to how they arrange the rules in their head for the simulator they run.
      There are many people like your brother… confused and trying to make sense of the rules for the simulator.

      Well, you can say god worked in your dad’s heart… I prefer the thought that your dad did it all.

      Thank you for your comment… it’s interesting.

        • Perspective Collector
        • October 10th, 2013

        I agree again with some points but not all. I know some would be confused cos they’ve been told to believe. But others I know don’t give a stuff what they’ve been told and think about it for themselves. They reject what they’ve been told and simply look at the same facts we do and they come to the conclusion themselves that there’s something bigger (aliens, Allah, Brahma, whatever). We’ll look at those same facts and you’ll see no god and I see God. But we’re all going by, among other things, valid lines of thinking and reasoning and not “what we’ve been told.” But yeah, many just believe whatever they’re told to believe and don’t test it. But that can happen in anything.
        And I’m pretty sure my brother thinks he’s got it all right and everyone else are the confused ones. He’s pretty confident like that, my brother. Part of his charm. Seriously, he is the most charming person I know. You know, the type where you don’t care if you don’t like him, but you’d do anything for him to like you cos they’re just so darn charming. Honestly, charm! Sorry, off topic. Pretty sure he thinks he’s got it ALL figured out and everything makes perfect sense to him. He’s not shy in telling his views.
        Absolutely, glad we can agree on that: I say God did it, you say dad did. Of course, I’d say it was a partnership but without God’s leading, there’d be nothing.
        It is interesting. Hope you enjoy the dialogue on your own blog too!

        • Here’s a challenge.. when you think there must have been a god that did something, study that area/subject. Absorb the knowledge we have of that. See if there is still room for god to have done it.

            • Perspective Collector
            • October 10th, 2013

            Hehe, I think about THAT all the time and will continue to.

            • Perspective Collector
            • October 10th, 2013

            Still not shaken. But will still think about it, and other things.

            • Perspective Collector
            • October 10th, 2013

            Blue/purple. Study the exact same things, reason, and come out with different conclusion. It must frustrate so many people. Everyone wants everyone to agree right. I’m embracing disagreement, though.

            • How about the truth? Do you embrace that? Gravity is true. Defy it at your own peril. What I’m saying is that when you become learned, there is no room for god in that area. Learn enough and there is no room for gods or magic at all.

                • Perspective Collector
                • October 10th, 2013

                Um, sorry what’s gravity got to do with this? Yep, believe in gravity (if I’m on earth, of course). Define learned.

                • there are things which are not in disagreement with anyone… such is science… if science says there is no need of a god, why believe in a god? Learned – one who has studied a subject and understands it

                    • Perspective Collector
                    • October 10th, 2013

                    Well, again we may be on different wavelengths on this one have to agree to disagree.
                    I’m an environmental scientist and a zoologist. I had to cover physics, chemistry, biology.
                    The most learned person I know is an astrophysicist and mathematician. He can argue with anyone about the merits of physics and has never lost. Although many Christians just have no idea what he’s talking about. Yet he is a Christian too. There are many learned Christians who believe science says there is a God and will argue based on science (among other things). But for many Christians who are scientists, the biggest factor to their belief in God IS science.
                    Many Christians disagree of course which I find frustrating. I love talking about science but hardly any of them get it.
                    So same facts, science, different conclusions – purple/blue

                    • Do you remember my explanation of a simulator in our heads?

            • Perspective Collector
            • October 10th, 2013

            Just wondering, in your circle, what’s the ration: Christians, other religions, atheist, agnostic, etc.?
            Like among your friends, or in your area where you live, or the people you encounter.

            • I can’t put numbers on it… I don’t talk about it with everyone. This area of the world has a high proportion of believers yet I still have many friends who are ‘spiritual’ and those that don’t believe… which is the smallest part.

            • Perspective Collector
            • October 10th, 2013

            Sorry, ratio, not ration.

            • Perspective Collector
            • October 10th, 2013

            Sorry, just got lots of thoughts, hope you don’t mind my questions. If so, just ignore. And ignore if you think my questions are the most naive/stupid things you’ve ever heard. Apologies in advance for my ignorance.

            Do you hate the reputation atheists have as seen by some Christians and non-Christians I suppose (the ones who believe in something maybe)?
            Or are you like, heck no, we worked hard to get that reputation. We’re proud of it!
            The reputation of being tyrannical, hate-filled, won’t hang out with Christians (or those who believe in a god).
            So sorry if this offends. You know by now I have no issue with atheists, I hope. Because like any other person they tend to be intelligent, funny, caring, wonderful people.
            I just wonder if you hate being rejected just for being an atheist by some people. Or do you love it? Or do you not care?

            Again, so sorry if this is the worst question and please don’t take any offence. I don’t see all atheists like that, but I know some who would. I want to know how you feel about that.

            • Hate takes a lot of energy that I do not have. I’d rather spend my anger on people who are being caustic to society. Sure, they give atheists a bad rap but their other deeds are far more important to worry about. I don’t give a rat’s ass what people think of me.

              I am militant against what is caustic to society. My family are christians, many of my friends and acquantences are christian. Hate really isn’t something that I do for this. I was reject long ago for less than theology. I gave up caring about it long ago too. There are other people to be my friends, other people to talk to. Go ahead, reject me… I don’t give a shit. I really dislike that religion is caustic… but do not care what they think of atheists. That is not the name most people know me by… my more poplular name is ‘anal retentive’ or ‘grumpy old man’ some go so far as to say ‘asshole’ without ever knowing I’m an atheist. What they think of atheists is not my concern. I simply don’t care.

                • Perspective Collector
                • October 10th, 2013

                Cool, that was incredibly insightful. Thank-you for answering. Wow, that must be so hard for you being surrounded by so many Christians. Do you think your friends and family are caustic to society? If so, that would be incredibly hard. Do you feel like you’re sort of the only atheist, or do you knows there’s plenty of them and you’re cool?

                • Wait, why would it be hard? Do you like everything that everyone you are surrounded by does? Do you fully judge them on such shallow issues?

                  Yes, I think they are caustic to society. They do not understand it, but they are. For decades I was an atheist that did not know one other atheist or even think there were others. I did not need others, I know what is right for me and how I see the world. If my opinion and mind depended on another I could _NOT_ be me. I am me… I speak for no other, nor do others speak for me.

                  There are a hell of a lot of people that are fucking idiots when it comes to spreadsheets… should I hold it against them personally? I really dislike Excel. Not because it’s useless but because uninformed people use it wrong, they are caustic to good data use. Should I hate people that are poor excel users?

                    • Perspective Collector
                    • October 10th, 2013

                    Well, I love science, and it’s hard when most people in my circle don’t like it when I talk about it and advocate it. Not just cos they may be Christian, but because they’re not scientists.

                    It’s nice to be with different people, sure, but it’s also wonderful to find people who “get” us. I love MBTI, not a lot of people are into talking about it though so when I find people who agree with me, I flip out, it’s almost euphoric.

                    Fair point! You still love them even though they are caustic. I think some atheists aren’t like you though and they hold it against people.

                    Would you be up for meeting other atheists or would you not care less? I would have thought you’d have a ton of fun talking about things that interest you, just as I have a ton of fun talking about MBTI.

                    • Many atheist are not like me because they are building buffers to avoid the pain they just went through… the rules! They don’t to go through rejustifying them all over again… it hurts.

                      I lived so long without any kindred kind… I do not need to meet them.. but have no issue with doing so. I will treat them as I treat everybody… their non-believe is not a guarantee that I will like them. Things that interest me do not interest a big segment of society… most people either can’t understand or don’t get my humor… I don’t fault them, nor do I waste time trying to win their humor

                      • Perspective Collector
                      • October 10th, 2013

                      Hardly anyone gets my humour! I don’t fault them either.

                    • I luckily work with several people that get my humor… it’s good.

  4. I’ll speak from the believer’s side here. In fact, I served a year and a half as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons, in quickspeak). I’m not sure what your circle of influence is like, but we didn’t “go after” nonbelievers any more than anybody else.We pretty much talked to anybody who would talk to us – even if it was a “hello, how are you” at the bus stop.

    I think it is weird when there’s a cultural expectation of “winning” somebody from one religion – or nonreligion – to another. It’s not like we had a scoreboard in the apartment with “Catholic, Muslim, Born-Again, Atheist” scribbled all across the top, trying to move numbers from there to “Mormon”. I can only speak for myself, but I volunteered to preach because the gospel changed my life and made me happier, and I wanted to be able to share that with anybody who would listen.

    Maybe it just seems less aggressive to ask a believer, “Would you like to learn more?” than to ask a nonbeliever “Would you like to believe?”

    • It is a confusing question, and I asked it because I am curious. I know my experience and wanted to know others’ experience. In my experience it was always about winning souls over for ‘christ’ … how to witness, how to get a new believer. It was never about converting a catholic or baptist as I remember, it was about converting non-believers. We were not taught how to argue against another religion, only how to convert the non-believers.

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