Telling people to F- off is not an option.

In the last month or so, on hearing that I’m a Christian, people have said the following things to me; ‘How did that happen?’, ‘Really, you don’t seem like a Christian’, or ‘Wow, that’s really interesting. Could you tell me about it?’. *

Actually, the ‘how did that happen??’ is kind of wryly amusing. I’m currently working with a man that I’ve known in a round about way for about 20 years, and is friends with my (extended) atheists family members. We’ve been chatting and a few times he has made ‘Omg Christians, right???’ jokes to me (which I once would have been right on board with), and I thought I’d let him know just so he doesn’t feel too uncomfortable if/when he finds out.

So I told him, and he literally didn’t believe me. As in, laughed out loud and stared at me in shock for a minute. And then, ‘How did that happen???’. And I laughed kind of made fun of myself (as you do) and laughed at him when he joked that I was probably now going to be a pedophile and basically didn’t account for myself in a very impressive way

I need a good story. More than a tweet, less than a blog post. Something that I can tell people when they ask ‘how did that happen???’. Without poking fun at myself, or my faith, or apologizing. Something where I don’t I blither on and make vague comments and giggle a bit and say ‘But I’m not, like, a gay hating biblical literalist or anything’. I’m not looking to evangelise anyone (If I accidentally made someone a Christian I’d probably be horrified) but I would like people to respect my choice, and the best way to do that is to craft my words carefully.

I need to think of something to say that explains myself without over explaining. Something that doesn’t involve, as one friend suggested, telling them to fuck off and mind their own business. Because I’m fairly sure that’s not very Christian…

*My faith isn’t something I open with. Or really discuss much. But it has been coming up recently for some reason.

16 thoughts on “Telling people to F- off is not an option.

  1. I suppose it is, but I don’t feel knowledgeable or equipped enough in my own faith to ‘make’ anyone else a Christian. And all those people who have helped me in my journey have nurtured in my my own ability to find God, rather than evangelizing. When I have been evangelised at in the past, I have instantly turned off.
    As I still do when people try to get me ‘find Jesus’, and tell me that I’m not a Christian because I’m not saved.

  2. I think one of the issues here is that some things cannot be said in a sound bite. But we all expect them to be.
    Also, I love your idea of being nurtured in your ability to find God. I think that might be what Paul is talking about when he says that ‘some sow the seed, some water, and some reap’ – we look at evangelism as the reaping bit but a lot of non-judgmental conversation goes into the watering stage I think.

    • i think you’re right.
      And thinking about the sound-bite comment, two of the more significant experiences on my ‘journey’ (if someone can think of a better word then I’m happy to take it on!) were mystical (in the first case) and miraculous (in the second) and don’t lend them selves to a quick chat. Or probably explanations at all, come to think of it…

      • Totally, those who get it, get it and those who don’t may never get it. But we can pray for them on their own ‘journey’. And not cast our pearls before those who won’t respect them (I won’t call them ‘swine’ I don’t know these people).

  3. I think it would be ok to tell people that it’s a personal thing. You don’t owe anyone an apology or even an explanation. You’re not demanding an explanation of their beliefs. ‘It’s personal and I am very comfortable with it. So there. Bless you’. Say it in a soothing tone and totally freak them out.

    (o:

  4. “Evangelising” = bringing good news. I think you should feel free to take someone a casserole when they need one. (Or biscuits, or whatever your specialty is. Or whatever your favourite store specialises in.). And feel no need to explain why.

    “How did that happen?”
    Acquired brain injury.
    I found a gourd (or sandal).
    The devil made me do it.
    It’s a deep thing. You wouldn’t understand

  5. Hi Eva, I quite like Jim’s approach (I wouldn’t have thought of it, but I think it is good), though I would suggest a slight change to “I’m always interested in questions and doubts, just like you, but lately I’m finding truth within Christian spirituality.” That has the advantage of being accurate (if I understand you rightly) but just offers a snippet. If they want to know more, than you can tell more of the story; if they don’t, then you haven’t wasted their time or yours.

  6. Living your sermon is far better than saying it, and it’s good you have that figured out. As a new Christian it is very normal to fear leaning on your own understanding. Just be honest, and keep reading the Bible. I recommend staring with John (about Deity of Christ), then Acts (the history of the very early church), Genesis (the story of the beginning)’ and Romans (lots of general Christian theology. If you want a good program about sharing your faith, I recommend Share Jesus Withou Fear by Bill Fay. Finally, I’d like to invite you to read my testimony… It’s linked on the About page. It may help you assemble your own testimony. God bless, and feel free to ask my anything. I’m a pastoral counselor, and I work in this type of question every day.

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