The Well-Meaning Christian

Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro, BrazilYou know the type.  The well-meaning Christian.  Those who in casual conversation will ask, have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior?  I cringe when I hear that question asked as I did Friday afternoon.  Not only that, the inquiry was made in a public place for many ears to hear.  The eavesdroppers.  Those like me who were curious to follow along.  When I hear it, I always think to myself, Is that all there is?  Is it that simple?  Well, no it’s not… but I digress.

I know these people mean well, God bless them.  But to me… to my way of thinking, that’s a very personal question.  I mean isn’t that my business to share at a time and place of my choosing?  Who are you Mr. or Mrs. stranger, or casual acquaintance, to ask such a thing?  And in public at that, and often out of the blue?  No doubt there are appropriate places and times to broach the subject.  However many in their Christian zeal, seeing it as a God-given duty, think they are required to ask and it matters not who, when or where.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am a Christian.  My relationship with the Savior is personal.  To my way of thinking — to ask and banter about the subject — cheapens and degrades the whole conceptMy relationship with Deity is sacred.  It is personal and about as private as anything can get.   Trite lines like Jesus loves you; Jesus cares; Jesus wants you; may be true, but none of those petty statements come even close to the Savior I know.  They miss by miles the more important, deeper meaning of His life and what He did for us.  The Savior suffered His own life to be taken in an act of atonement, the magnitude of which is beyond our comprehension.  Most of these well-meaning Christians, who violate our privacy, really don’t have a clue.

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10 comments on “The Well-Meaning Christian

  1. The way I see it is, Christians love Jesus and when you are in love, you tell it to the mountain or you feel like sharing it with the whole world.

    So, regardless it’s personal or not, we just need to understand where it’s coming from. It’s different however, if they are being judgmental like some. I learned that I no longer let people affect how I feel.

  2. Laurie Burton+ says:

    I have been married for 26 years. If someone were to ask me if I were married, I would not take it personally, and this is one of the most intimate relationships I have. So why do people get offended when Christians ask others if they have a relationship with Jesus Christ? How can they know the gospel, unless they are told? Jesus never told the disciples to keep their religion to themselves. He told them to spread the good news to Jersalem, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth. People need to get over themselves and stop getting offended so easily. Political correctness is going way too far, and as I recall, we still have freedom of speech in this country, which is why we have the freedom for such conversations as this.

    • Rick Gleason says:

      Thank you Laurie for your well-written comment.

      Speaking for myself, I never said that I was offended. No lol I’m not that easily offended and have long ago gotten over myself. You attempt to liken your 25-year relationship with your husband with one’s eternal relationship with the Savior. Maybe for you it’s the same, but I don’t see it the same way. In it’s simplest terms, you can make it to heaven without your husband, you cannot however without the Savior.

      Spreading the Good News (the Gospel) is not the same as asking personal questions of people you often hardly know. I have no problem with spreading the message and doing so is an important part of how I believe. There is a time and a place to ask such things, but that particular question — out of the blue with casual acquaintances or complete strangers — is not the way.

      You also questioned why people would get offended were they asked “if they have a relationship with Jesus Christ?” That is an entirely different question altogether than the one I wrote about. You might argue but to my way of thinking it is not the same as asking “have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior?” And this was precisely the point of my post.

      The thing that I would reemphasize is the very act of asking that specific question tells so much about that person’s understanding of the Savior’s place in our lives. It cheapens beyond measure what my relationship with Jesus the Christ means to me. As I wrote: When I hear [that question asked], I always think to myself, Is that all there is? Is it that simple? Well, no it’s not … No, it is not that simple and people who believe it is, really don’t have a clue.

      Guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this. But thanks again for stopping by and especially for your comment.

  3. Yeah – it’s been my experience that you can tell without asking if a person is a Christian (one Christian can easily recognize a fellow Christian ). I also find that the Holy Spirit will usually send a person to you who needs spiritual help & is seeking the face of the Lord. A lot of folks that go around witnessing in public generally have a “holier than thou” attitude & are probably more interested in recruiting you into their church than saving your soul – and once they get you to go to their church they’ll try to reform you into their image instead of the Lord Jesus’ image. I find it interesting that some of the most devout Christians I know rarely (if ever) attend church. It seems that a lot (if not most) of the churches in this world today are actually Satin’s favorite playground!!! But of course Jesus told us that it would be this way during the last days before he returns.

  4. Mary Jo Hoak says:

    I have found that people who think of themselves as “religious” and want to shove that “religiousness” down your throat are the most hypocritical, and sanctimonious people around! That’s why I keep my front gate locked as we get those that go around the neighborhood knocking on doors to question your beliefs.

    Mary Jo

  5. To your post Rick, I have to say AMEN! It says in the New Testament that we aren’t supposed to go around flaunting our religion but rather exhibit it by our deeds, kindness, by following the Golden Rule, per se. (Which by the way doesn’t mean treating only those with beliefs the same as ours, with those kindnesses and such, but rather, EVERYONE, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, etc.) Excellent post, Rick.

  6. Rick, I think it is more about the Christian speaker than about anyone else. I believe many so-called Christians are not heart Christians so the way they “prove” their authenticity is by spouting.

    I spent 36 years being a Christian (I still am, but practice Christ in my heart). I was immersed but could never bring myself to throw out the party line. Fifteen of those years were spent administrating a women’s bible study. The group dynamics that went on there were questioned by me often. By group dynamics, I mean the inner group of leaders. I felt the leader was hard and demanding. Then I’d look at the other ladies and say to myself it must be okay.

    This woman even reprimanded me in front of the whole group because I let the janitor help set up tables. He offered. But, it wasn’t my place to manage that situation, it was the hers I was told. I cried at that time and said to myself “Am I doing this for the Lord, or R___”! The tears dried up instant. At another time when she reprimanded me yet again, one of the ladies actually told her she owed me an apology. Ha! She did apologize as she was “busted”. (To make matters worse, she was my counselor!) What was happened between her and I mirrored the relationship that I had as a child with my abuser (or I should say Slave Master since she called me her slave)! You will notice the tick twitching on the left side of my face. Ha!

    Well, sorry to say I didn’t ditch that group, but it ended with the leader’s retirement.

    I learned much about why evil happens. We are sheep. I know you will remember many instances where the King had no clothes but what lauded for his finery! Since that time, I haven’t gone to church or associated with a bible study though my husband does. I just have had Christians up to here! Besides, I just found out a year ago that I am Jewish! Big Family Secret!

    • Rick Gleason says:

      Stef,

      Interesting story! I would only say don’t judge the entire group by the actions of what are comparatively the few. Maybe after so many years you should give church attendance another try. Your husband especially might appreciate you being by his side.

      As far as being Jewish. We are what we ultimately decide to be, despite the heritage we may have inherited.

      Thanks for your comments.

  7. Terri A. in Redding says:

    Doesnt’ it make you wonder WHY they are asking? Are they REALLY interested for you…or for them? Interesting thought.

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