A Realization of Sorts February 11, 2009Posted by Matt in Christian Beliefs.
Tags: atheist, christian, conversation, friendship, respect
We have a small group from our church that meets in our home on Wednesday evenings and something came to mind that I have known for some time, but had never really put into words. Our group leader posed a question about talking to “nonbelievers” and whether or not we found that sort of conversation easy or difficult. Due to a fussy baby, I missed out on making my thoughts known to the group at an appropriate time, but later I was able to stop our fearless leader and let him know just what was on my mind.
You see, one of my very good friends is an avowed atheist. This friend is one of the few people I know that I can actually talk to about important things and, in turn, they can confide in me with neither of us passing judgment on the other. They are a very intelligent person and there is a mutual respect between the two of us, which has led us to many long conversations on subjects that nearly everyone else I know would shy away from or resort to nonsensical pat answers and name-calling.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much easier it is for me to talk to someone with this sort of mindset than the vast majority of those who profess the Christian faith. Most of the Christians I know are overly judgmental and all too eager to write those who disagree off to some imaginary land of eternal torture. They are quick to point the finger and slow to offer a hand. They are so consumed with the need to be “right” that they refuse to even entertain or show the slightest amount of respect for any opposing ideas.
So I treasure the relationship I have with my atheist friend. I have no illusions of trying to “turn their heart” or any of those other Christian cliches, instead I just appreciate them for who they are and I’m pretty sure that they do the same for me.
Now if only Christians could do the same…