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Christian woman finds a way to discuss her faith with non-Christians

I found an interesting article where a Christian woman explains how she used to share her testimony with non-Christians. But that wasn’t working. So she decided to try something different.

She writes:

I’ll never forget the first time I shared my personal testimony with a non-Christian.

When the opportunity arose and I shared my story with an unbelieving friend, she replied, “That’s so cool. I’m so happy you found something that works for you.”

For me?

“It’s not about what works for me,” I said, trying to hide my discouragement. “It’s about what’s true for everyone.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” she responded. “That’s your experience, not mine. I had a similar revelation when I realized I could leave the church, and I’ve become a better person for my decision. Just as you were freed from your heaviest burdens by finding God, I was freed from mine by leaving God behind.”

I was devastated but I chalked it up to my friend’s hardheartedness. I decided to shake the dust off my feet and look forward to the next opportunity.

But time after time of sharing my testimony resulted in similar responses. People expressed enthusiasm that I was happy, that Christianity worked for me, and that I had “found my niche.” Yet no one considered my experience as anything more than just that—my own personal experience.

[…]I had been taught that sharing what God had done in my life was the ideal way to witness to non-Christians. A personal testimony was interesting yet non-confrontational, compelling but inoffensive. And yet, despite having shared my testimony with dozens of unbelievers, not a single person felt challenged to consider the truth claims of Christianity.

She noticed that her approach wasn’t actually in the Bible. There was a different approach being demonstrated by Jesus, and later by his disciples.

She writes:

When Jesus called his first disciples, he taught truth and provided evidence (miracles) to support his claims, then he asked people to follow him (Luke 5:1–11). In fact, this was his method whenever he went into new regions (see Luke 4:14–44; John 4:7–26). People decided to follow Jesus not on blind faith or a subjective feeling, but based on the evidence they had seen and heard.[i]

Jesus also used evidence to assuage the doubts of even those who had been with him a long time. John the Baptist was Jesus’ cousin, who leapt in the womb during Mary’s visit (Luke 1:39–45), baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, heard God’s voice from heaven, and saw the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus in bodily form like a dove (Luke 3:21–22). Yet when John experienced unexpected suffering, he began to doubt.

Jesus didn’t respond as many do today, by insisting that John “just believe” or “have faith” or “prayer harder.” Rather, he responded with more evidence, saying, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.” (Matt. 11:2–6).

[…]At Pentecost, the apostle Peter offered signs and wonders, fulfilled prophecy, and relayed eyewitness testimony to persuade people from all over the Roman Empire that the most reasonable explanation for what they were seeing was not morning drunkenness, but a risen Messiah (Acts 2:1–41).

On his missionary journeys, the apostle Paul reasoned with the Jews from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that Jesus was the Messiah who needed to suffer and rise from the dead (Acts 17:1–3, 17). And he reasoned with the Gentiles from outside the Scriptures, making a case with their own accepted beliefs to convince them (Acts 17:17–34).

In fact, in describing his mission, Paul told the Philippians, “I am put here for the defense of the gospel” (1:7, 16). This word translated defense is the same word from which we get our English word “apologetics,” meaning to make reasoned arguments or to provide evidence as justification. Using this same word, Peter commanded believers to “always [be] prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you”(1 Pet. 3:15).

So, she decided to dump the testimony approach, and try the Biblical approach. But she had to change it a little bit, since she couldn’t perform miracles herself:

We are not eyewitnesses to Jesus’s life and resurrection, but we have the accounts of those who were. We don’t typically see miracles, but we have millennia of biblical scholarship and archaeology that provide reasons to believe the accounts are trustworthy. We don’t often hear God speaking audibly or see him parting seas, but we have significant scientific evidence that shows the universe had a beginning, and millennia of observation to confirm the scientific principle that everything that begins to exist has a cause.

I think a lot of Christians never move on from approach she described that wasn’t getting results. And there’s a reason for that – studying evidence is hard work. But I can tell you from my experience as a software engineer, there is no better way to convince other people to adopt your view than to show them working code that produces results. If they have a prototype, they will adopt your design. Similarly with Christianity. If you have evidence, then you will be persuasive.

When talking about spiritual things with non-Christians, always remember the joke about the two men walking in the woods who meet a bear. One man starts to put on his running shoes. The other man says “what are you doing? you can’t outrun a bear!” And the first man says “I don’t have to. I only have to outrun you”. It’s the same with apologetics. You don’t have to be William Lane Craig to talk about your faith to non-Christians. You just have to know more than your non-Christian opponent knows about evidence.

The way things are going these days with the public schools and the mainstream news media, this is actually pretty easy to do. One or two introductory books on the origin of the universe, the fine-tuning for intelligent life, the origin of biological information, the origin of body plans, the historical reliability of the New Testament, the minimal facts case for the resurrection, etc. will do the job. You might need another one on philosophical challenges like evil, suffering, divine hiddenness, etc. But we’re talking no more than 5 books, and you’ll be effective in the vast majority of your conversations. If you can only get one book, I like Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow’s “Is God Just a Human Invention?” best.

7 thoughts on “Christian woman finds a way to discuss her faith with non-Christians”

  1. And don’t forget that the approach used very often by Christ was to confront people with their sins. In today’s world, most unbelievers think that they are good people. Until it can be demonstrated to them that this is not true, they will have no need, in their minds, for a Savior.

    Even if we convince them that God exists and Jesus is Lord, there is no motivation for them to repent and surrender to Him unless they can be convinced that they have trespassed against the Holy God. And given the wickedness abounding today, that is VERY difficult, because they’ve been brainwashed into believing that there are no objective sins. Even a lot of people sitting in the pews on Sundays.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We have to be especially wary of sharing personal testimonies instead of objective evidence in today’s world where postmodern thought is so common. The postmodern worldview teaches truth as individual and subjective rather than universal and objective. So Christians sharing their testimony is taken by most as sharing their truth rather than objective truth. If it’s just their truth, there’s no reason why anyone else should believe it. It is vital to avoid this misconception and make it clear that Christianity is objective truth, which everyone should believe and which carries severe consequences for rejecting.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Whenever I share my faith, I start with the gospel, which also covers why we need salvation in the first place. I agree with WorldGoneCrazy that we must press home the whole issue of sin. That said, in my experience, I know that most people, by far, will not accept my words at face value. At that point, I am more than delighted to talk about the evidence for the gospel accounts and the resurrection.

    However, I do not try to “throw” as many “facts” as possible at the questioning unbeliever. I offer a book and my willingness to read/study it with them to go over the evidence SLOWLY. If any objector rejects my message and is unwilling to look at the evidence SLOWLY, I don’t take their objections seriously. For some people doubting everything religious is a game. One of the most telltale signs that the unbeliever is looking for entertainment and not the truth is how quickly they dismiss my answer(s) and move on to the next one, which usually starts with “but what about . You can cut through many unsincere questions by beginning the whole discussion with the question, “If Christianity were true, would you become a follower of Jesus?” You’d be surprised how many people immediately say, “NO!”

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  4. I agree with what you said because a testimony is personal and is likely to encourage believers rather than unbelievers. For me the thing that gives me the greatest comfort in approaching this issue are the words of Jesus in John 10:27, ” My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.” You see our duty is to preach the gospel and those who are His will take heed and repent! So all of a sudden the pressure is off our shoulders in trying to drag unbelievers to the faith on th contrary God draws then to Himself. There are people who will continues to question God regardless of how much evidence they are given! Look at what God’s chosen people did in the wilderness. Even if a perfect bible were to drop from heaven some people would never believe it anyways not because it’s not true but because they CHOOSE not to believe it. So for some people you have to preach to them, and pray God saves them.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I find it interesting that many youth programs teach students to share their testimony, but don’t link Jesus personified throughout a life…with apologetic evidence. It has to be both as the article talked about. It’s the personal connection plus evidence. In this ago of Universalism and good vibes, we need to get creative in how we share the Gospel…interestingly, the ways of Jesus and the early disciples still works. :).

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  6. this post resonated well with me, i had very hurting experiences when I was first saved and was innocently sharing the overflowing love of Jesus at my workplace in a non-christian nation and i was ridiculed so badly that i would cry….but in time the ones that made me cry came to me for prayer when they saw how the Lord was using me to bless many others….our God is a Just God.

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