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What are Christians getting wrong when dealing with non-Christians?

RetiredUSN

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I don't really care how it sounds. I don't preach to others either, I don't care what they think. I've stopped identifying myself as a Christian in public places because of Atheists trying to start arguments with me. I think the annoying behavior goes both ways on this one.

So true! Well said.
 

pinqy

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Because it is impossible to have a society of inclusion and acceptance and still be under a government used as a social control tool. "Live and let live" does not exist under theocratic leaning ideologies.

Well, that was a complete non sequitur. What on earth do you think that had to do with what I said?
 

OrphanSlug

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Well, that was a complete non sequitur. What on earth do you think that had to do with what I said?

Because it is the reality of what we face. Since there is no such thing as tolerance in politics and religion is mixed in, there will be little effort for tolerance from religion as well.

There is little room for a middle ground from the messages of Christians and non-Christians. As such, there will always be annoyances from both sides.
 

pinqy

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I don't really care how it sounds. I don't preach to others either, I don't care what they think. I've stopped identifying myself as a Christian in public places because of Atheists trying to start arguments with me. I think the annoying behavior goes both ways on this one.

Oh, everybody can be an asshole and no group has a monopoly on that.

I obviously can only speak for myself, but if I had a belief that other's perceived as nonsensical then I would accept that there was a disconnect somewhere and I would try to find out WHY it comes across as nonsense. Perhaps it is and I'm the one in the wrong. Perhaps understanding it requires certain assumptions. I would try to figure out the issue. That's why I started the thread...I would want someone to point such things out to me and I would want to discuss it.
 

pinqy

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Because it is the reality of what we face. Since there is no such thing as tolerance in politics and religion is mixed in, there will be little effort for tolerance from religion as well.
But I wasn't talking about tolerance, or politics, in any way. I was talking about miscommunication.
 

OrphanSlug

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But I wasn't talking about tolerance, or politics, in any way. I was talking about miscommunication.

I doubt there is miscommunication, that is what I am trying to tell you.
 

pinqy

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I doubt there is miscommunication, that is what I am trying to tell you.

So let me get this straight....Assuming everyone is honest, then the message of Christianity makes sense to Christians, but is nonsensical to non-Christians, but there's no miscommunication? That's not possible...someone is missing something.
 

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Oh, everybody can be an asshole and no group has a monopoly on that.

I obviously can only speak for myself, but if I had a belief that other's perceived as nonsensical then I would accept that there was a disconnect somewhere and I would try to find out WHY it comes across as nonsense. Perhaps it is and I'm the one in the wrong. Perhaps understanding it requires certain assumptions. I would try to figure out the issue. That's why I started the thread...I would want someone to point such things out to me and I would want to discuss it.

I was raised Catholic but I thought it was all nonsense back then. I didn't come to have faith until later in life. That journey is incredibly personal and can't really be understood by others. That's why I don't like talking about it, one either sees it or doesn't and words aren't going to change that.

People who try to preach to others probably irritate me more than they irritate you.
 

OrphanSlug

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So let me get this straight....Assuming everyone is honest, then the message of Christianity makes sense to Christians, but is nonsensical to non-Christians, but there's no miscommunication? That's not possible...someone is missing something.

Perhaps a good place to start is clear up why you think the message of Christianity is "nonsensical to non-Christians."

I am saying there is no miscommunication just because non-Christians do not agree with the message of Christianity. Rejection of the message does not have to mean miscommunication one way or the other. Now, when either side or both become militant about it there may be room to talk about miscommunication.
 

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[/B]

I don't really care how it sounds. I don't preach to others either, I don't care what they think. I've stopped identifying myself as a Christian in public places because of Atheists trying to start arguments with me. I think the annoying behavior goes both ways on this one.

What do you think the opposite dialogue sounds like then? Meaning when these supposed Atheists randomly start argument with you what does it generally sound like to you that makes what they're saying sound so ridiculous? What might they try differently?
 

Centrehalf

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What do you think the opposite dialogue sounds like then? Meaning when these supposed Atheists randomly start argument with you what does it generally sound like to you that makes what they're saying sound so ridiculous? What might they try differently?

That's not a conversation I care to have with them. I don't care what they believe and I don't want to influence them in any way.
 

pinqy

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Perhaps a good place to start is clear up why you think the message of Christianity is "nonsensical to non-Christians."
You didn't read the link in the OP, did you? Read it: that is exactly what Christianity (and other religions) sound like to many.

I am saying there is no miscommunication just because non-Christians do not agree with the message of Christianity.
I wasn't talking about the "message" (whatever you think that might be) but claims such as talking serpents, talking donkeys, zombies, turning water into wine etc. Even those branches that don't insist on a literal reading of the Bible still require acceptance of miracles and other things that don't seem rational.


Rejection of the message does not have to mean miscommunication one way or the other.

That's true for differences of opinion. I'm going further that the ideas aren't being rejected because of disagreement, but because they don't make any sense to some recipients.
I don't reject Christianity because I disagree with its message, but because the premises don't make any sense.
 

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But I wasn't talking about tolerance, or politics, in any way. I was talking about miscommunication.

But those beliefs are the cause of the miscommunication. Religion doesn't stop affecting a person's views when they walk out of the church, religion colors a person's perceptions of everything in their lives. It colors how they treat other people, their political and social views, etc. There is nothing that religion doesn't affect and when one's religious beliefs are based on irrationality, as pretty much all religious beliefs are, they are going to come into conflict with people who look at the world intellectually. This gets worse the more religious one is. I've got no problem with very liberal theists whose beliefs generally don't affect their lives all that much. I have serious problems with ultra-fundamentalists who think anyone who doesn't share their faith needs to die. Try debating almost any subject with an ultra-fundamentalist Muslim sometime, it's virtually impossible because their beliefs are the core of every position they have and they are utterly unable to step back and think about things in a secular fashion. To them, secularism doesn't exist.
 

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So let me get this straight....Assuming everyone is honest, then the message of Christianity makes sense to Christians, but is nonsensical to non-Christians, but there's no miscommunication? That's not possible...someone is missing something.

I don't think there's a miscommunication, I think there's a fundamental difference in how both people view reality.
 

CrabCake

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That's like asking why the things Bill Maher says sound so nonsensical to Republicans or why things Bill O'Riley says sound so nonsensical to Democrats.

Atheists, by definition, are partisans who have chosen to define themselves by their negative belief on religious issues. I wouldn't expect religious language to sound reasonable to them any more than I would expect Donald Trump to sound reasonable to a Bernie Sanders supporter.

When you extend it to "the rest of us", you're simply mistaken. This Sunday, churches will be bursting at the seams with one time attenders there to hear the Easter message. Why is this? Because the Christian message does resonate with most people in the USA. In fact, while only between 20 and 40% of people in the US attend church, 77% self identify as Christian. This clearly shows that the Christian message does resonate with most people in the US; they just haven't made the transition from being mere believers to becoming church attenders and/or doers of the word. So, unless by "the rest of us" you were referring to the tiny 10-15% of the population that doesn't identify with any particular religion or identifies as non-religious, you're simply wrong on this, you are more on your own with this feeling than you had imagined.

I would ask atheists instead. Why is it that the percentage of people in the US who identify as atheist is a mere 0.7%? Only slightly over half of one percent! Something is obviously wrong with their message. Instead of asking why Christianity sounds nonsensical to the mere 15% of the population that does not identify with a particular religion, why not ask why atheism sounds nonsensical to the 99.3% of people who don't adhere to that belief system?
 

Eric7216

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I don't reject Christianity because I disagree with its message, but because the premises don't make any sense.

One of the definitions of religion, as defined by Merriam-Webster's, is " a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith".
13 words. One of which is faith. Don't think that one can easily make any faith related "premise" make sense. I like that definition since it would include a whole lot of things that people don't normally consider religion. A majority in the US believe that religion has something to do with gods but that is not it. Something held to with faith. All political ideologies are faith based and their premises don't make sense when scrutinized. There is too much unknown components, too much complexity. I certainly don't agree with any ideology/religion because the premises don't make sense.
 

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First of all, Christians (and I am one) often don't speak to non-Christians in an logical manner. When you tell a non-Christian that something is true because the Bible says so, a non-Christian doesn't care about that because they feel they have no reason to believe the Bible in the first place. When you say that our God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and the sovereign ruler of the universe, you're almost guaranteed to turn people against you....you have to explain to them why or don't tell them. When you tell someone they need to be saved, they may just take it as an insult unless they're clearly at a dead end mentally and/or physically in life. Also, when you come off as more enlightened than the person you're speaking to but your life portrays sheer boredom and complacency, your message won't convey well. The best thing you can be to start out with is an excellent role model, then people will find an initial curious attraction before you even say anything. Two of my favorites are Tim Tebow and Bear Grylls, both humble warriors who people seem to love once they meet them. And remember, we're competing against an instant gratification society which makes it much harder for folks to accept the Christian philosophy.
 

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That's not a conversation I care to have with them. I don't care what they believe and I don't want to influence them in any way.

So Atheists are willing to debate it, and your side sounds like complete nonsense to them. You on the other hand refuse to even discus the subject. Do you not understand why that makes you sound foolish. They are criticizing the argument of religious people whereas religious people like yourself are just ignoring potentially excellent points that Atheists are making.
 

RAMOSS

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I was raised Catholic but I thought it was all nonsense back then. I didn't come to have faith until later in life. That journey is incredibly personal and can't really be understood by others. That's why I don't like talking about it, one either sees it or doesn't and words aren't going to change that.

People who try to preach to others probably irritate me more than they irritate you.

I have criteria. If someone mentions they are Christian, that is one thing. IF someone tries to preach at me, that's another. If someone interrupts me at my house to try to preach at me, that puts it at a whole new level of annoyance. But , if someone is Christian, and is happy with their beliefs, and do not try to force their morality on me, or try to take other people's right away with force of law because , well, of their interpretation of morality, then we'll get along just fine.
 
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