35 Comments Add yours

  1. dvaal says:

    There is no need to take extreme positions of flight or fight, when we can just dance. I don’t know if I rewrote that to a tee, but wow -what a great line! I am going to hang that in my office. My friend has started attending our Bible study -and what a ruckus he is causing. He has very futuristic views, and we are not futuristic. So when he says wild things that throw us out of the sky -we counter. Last night, he was telling us that when God returns, he will be coming for the Jews, since the Christians should be predominantly gone. So, I asked him about the hindu, buddist, muslins. His answer seemed to be that God loved one dude (can’t remember his name, on tip of my tongue) but it seemed this other dude (same problem) could nothing right. His wife piped in, God hardens his heart.

    I was so proud of myself, (I never get mad -except the one time that he said people with seizures are demon possessed) -I just talked with him -asking questions. Our teacher managed to bring it all back to normal -he is great that way.

    I just can’t understand this guy and where his thinking comes from. It breaks my heart. One time he said, “If someone else has studied the Bible and understands it even better than I do -I hope he shows me if I am wrong.” Well, this was wonderful words -that he wants to hear if he is wrong. But, clearly what he was saying was, “Listen, I’ve studied the Bible through and through -and none of you know it as well as me.”

    Well, this is true of me! As, I am still learning. Our teacher is exceptional. He never discounts other theories, only says that he teaches what the Bible says and doesn’t try to take it places it doesn’t specifically says. What we need to understand is, in the end, we win. So, this way he doesn’t get into long heated discussions about things like predestination, premillennial. Great teacher!

    Why am I going on like this? I guess, I am still upset, because I believe God loves each of us -no matter what religion we are choosing. Until that last invitation (when he turns his back) I believe everyone will have a chance at Heaven, and God’s mercy. I don’t have the answers, and maybe I just desperately want this to be true -but, I believe our God is a loving God -for all.

    Sorry -you just got me on a roll.

    1. This is exactly the type of examples I was wanting to read. Love it. Thanks.

  2. Looking Up! says:

    First, thank you for following me the other day. Glad you did otherwise I wouldn’t have read this!
    I struggle at work. I often say nothing when I feel like I should’ve said something. I have been praying God will help me to be bolder and while continuing to have passion for Him and His word yet keep that passion from appearing to others as anger and judgemental. Instead allow me to be able to speak truth in love and causing others to see the hope that lives in me.
    I really needed to hear this and thank you brother!

    1. Wow! That’s encouraging. I need this too. I think it’s a struggle for all of us.

  3. peggy says:

    Very wise counsel on how to engage with making everyone mad, including ourselves.

  4. Peggy says:

    Wise suggestions for having conversations with non-believers and anyone else.

    1. Thanks very much for the encouragement.

  5. gspottedpen says:

    To be a practicing Christian and yet being placating but not yoking with unbelievers is good point you have raised. I liked your article though I have departed from Christian faith and become an atheistic existential nihilst. Anand Bose from Kerala.

    1. Thanks for the feedback and context. Do you mind sharing some of any of the pivotal things that influenced your departure?

      1. gspottedpen says:

        I was born into a nominal Christian protestant family. My father (dead) introduced me to Hellenic culture, literature and philosophy. My wife mother daughter and son have become hardcore Pentecostal worshipers. Till my 30’s I was a full fledged Christian but I became disgruntled with it. My married life is a mess. Though my wife is a devout Christian she does not love me. I work in a school run by them. They do not pay me any salary but give me allowance for cigarettes. coffee and petrol for a scooter. I am so sexually unfulfilled. I remain very dissatisfied with life. My only solace is Philosophy. My wife and mother have even put me in an asylum where I was verbally and physically abused. Yes, I have a fondness for alcohol and weed. I am deeply bruised in the mind and body and I don’t think that Christ can console me. There is only nihilism to pick my torn tattered clothes. At present I am trying to find a decent job with a decent salary. It’s been years since me and wife have had sex. Is it not said in the scriptures that couples are one in flesh. Why I am going through all this pain? So I have become an existential atheist nihilist. I am frequently threatened with being sent to an asylum if I drink. I enjoy a good drink of whisky.

      2. I’m sorry about all of that. What do you teach?

  6. gspottedpen says:

    I teach English Sir

  7. gspottedpen says:

    9 10 11_12

    1. A private Christian school?

  8. gspottedpen says:

    Yes it’s run by my domineering mother and wife.

  9. James, Have just read your article here as you started following my blog. Great suggestions for BEING a witness for Christ! He never called us to “go witnessing” but rather sent us to “be witnesses” in all that we do. It is indeed a lifestyle that should affect every relationship all the time!

    1. Thanks. Good point. It’s more about lifestyle than events or singular actions.

  10. Thank you for sharing this. In my life overseas primarily among people of a different worldview and religious affiliation, these types of conversations ARE where life is lived. People are watching and listening, even when we are not aware of it. The question is, “What message am I sending through my words, actions and attitudes?”

    1. Wow! That’s incredibly encouraging. Thanks.

  11. Thanks for sharing this! In my life overseas, daily interacting with people of very different worldviews and religious affiliations, this conversation is a daily reality–how do I live, act, and speak in such a way that I “resonate” a clear message of God’s love toward the people around me.

  12. We need to remember when interacting with Christians and non Christians alike that none of us has a complete picture of God. We see as through a mirror dimly. And while we should maintain our core values we should be respectful of others, for no one can see into the heart of another, and the image of God is imprinted in the heart of all of us.

    1. Thanks, that’s a very good point.

  13. tinafriesen says:

    Like “Looking Up” commented, I am also glad you followed my blog so that I found your article. You express yourself well in a way that is easy to receive. You are right about the “borrowed inflammatory rhetoric” often being the problem. I see it so much. As you say, we need to hear people out, ask informed questions, look for reliable sources, and listen…while checking our motives. It may be necessary to do some “homework”–review comments, analyze content, research sources, rehearse responses. In recent years I’ve realized that these skills I learned in school have an application today. Thank you for your insightful article.

    1. Thank you. These are all things that don’t come natural for me. It’s nice to know God can use some of the lessons he has to constantly show me on others.

      1. tinafriesen says:

        They don’t come naturally for most of us. 🙂

  14. daylerogers says:

    I seem to be in agreement with several others here–you found my blog and now I’ve found yours. Your insights are spot on–I love the word picture of no fight or flight but being willing to dance. In the moment. I find more and more people are uneasy with the truth of Scripture and would choose to whitewash it, tone it down or misrepresent it. Being honest. Not spiritualizing manmade systems in a fallen world. Incredibly wise and helpful. I find it’s easy to react from a place of entitlement way easier than to respond from a heart of love. Thanks for these insights, James. And for the follow. I’ll return the favor–you’ve got some great things to share.

    1. Thanks for all of that. These insights are much easier discussed than rehearsed for me but God is working it out. I think this is a help.

  15. Rita Poynor says:

    There was a time when debate was eloquent and considered intellectually enlightened. Sadly, disagreement now is an excuse for abuse and hate.

    I am honored you are following justkeepingitREAL. It warms my heart to know you will be visiting me.

    Have a great day James!

    1. Thank you very much. It is a pleasure to find so many well crafted, strong voices in the blogosphere.

  16. Great site you have here, and a very good post. You’ve given me good suggestions that I can use. I’m delighted to have come upon you and your site. Thanks for taking the time to stop by mine.

    1. Thank you! That is very encouraging.

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