Topic:How a Christian can respond to a secular friend’s point of view.

Topic:How a Christian can respond to a secular friend’s point of view.

pages: 4 double space
format: chicago

In this essay, the inside-out approach will be demonstrated to show how a Christian can respond to a secular friend’s point of view. The focus will be on a hypothetical discussion with a friend and their issues with Christianity. Two of the issues within the Christian faith that the secular friend finds problematic and unethical is the judgmental and intolerance of Christians toward secularists. The Christian discussion will identify problems in the friend’s plausibility of Christianity and provide an opportunity to witness the Gospel.
To effectively use the inside out method, it is important to understand the world views of the secularist friend to which we are having a discussion with. The secularist friend has feelings that Christian’s are unkind, harsh, intolerant, judgmental, and self-righteous. Christians say that they hate the sin but love the sinner but in retrospect they are still judging the person. How can you judge a person that has cheated on their spouse when in fact you have done the same thing? Or, judge a parent because their child was caught drinking when your child was at the same party drinking? Christians are intolerant of anyone that acts or thinks differently than them. “Christianity requires particular beliefs to be a member of its community.” [1] If a secularist does not believe the same as their Christian friend, then that friend is judged or shunned because they think differently than everyone else. It is almost like a parent telling a child, it is ok if I do it, but you cannot do the same thing or the adage, “do as I say, not as I do.” Christians want to judge and condemn the unbelievers, “we should criticize Christians when they are condemning and ungracious to unbelievers.” [1]
Christians act all “holier than thou” and their sexual ethic seems to suppress basic human desires and our freedom to live fulfilled lives. The secularist friend does not see anything wrong with multiple partners, homosexuality, or even premarital sex. Many have the philosophy that, “it is my life and I can live it the way I want.” They view Christians as prudes because of their belief of waiting for sex until marriage. What is wrong with premarital sex or living with someone before marriage?
Christians are often labeled as people that are “intolerant” and “judgmental” towards other people’s view and secularists see the Christian sexual ethic view as preventing humans of living fulfilled lives. Intolerance and judgment can be found anywhere, not just in Christians. To judge all of Christianity the same would put you into the same classification of people that you are trying to condemn. When you think of someone that is judgmental, you think of that person being judgmental towards another person’s belief or viewpoint. Christian’s, like secularist will judge others because that is in our nature. The Bible, though, clearly says in Matthew 7:1: “Do not judge, or you to will be judged.” [Matt. 7:1] As Christians, we are being judged for our beliefs in part because we are judging others for their beliefs. Jesus does not approve of any type of judgement, as we see in John 8 when he says, “Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” [John 8:7] So, in point, when you are telling Christian they are judging others, then you would in retrospect, be judging the “judge.”
The claim that a Christian’s view of sexual ethics represses human desire begins with the presupposition that promiscuity and resistance to monogamy are contributing factors to self-fulfillment. The sexual liberation of the 20th century has affected how secularists understands sexual freedom. To claim that Christianity is harmful to sexual and romantic fulfillment is inconceivable because a non-believer must consider the Christian stance. The traditional Christian sexual ethic holds that sexual relationships within marriage are holy and blessed by God and should be between man and woman. The Bible even tells us that God wants us to be pure until marriage in Hebrews, “marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” [Heb. 13:4] As such, deviation from such a divinely appointed sexual union between a man and women should be considered devious and a detraction of mankind’s relational nature.
In conclusion, when witnessing to a secularist friend when they feel that Christians “seem so intolerant and judgmental. And secondly, their sexual ethic seems to suppress basic human desires and our freedom to live fulfilled lives” we need to listen carefully to their point of view. When using the inside out method, a Christian can “put themselves” in the place of their secular friend to understand why they feel the way that they do. Once that is done, then the Christian can use Scripture to “make the case” of why we belief the way we do. One thing that must be conveyed though, is that the secularist friend must understand that Christian’s are not perfect and that we all make mistakes. We know that passing judgement is wrong and the Bible tells us not to do it, however, it is in our sinful nature to judge others that acts, speaks, or thinks differently.


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