From: Kathi Sharpe [Kathi]
Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2000 12:15 PM
To: aog (at) associate.com
Subject: [AOG] encouragement and suggestions?
I need some advice because I'm going through a difficult time and would appreciate some input. As most of you know, until July of this year I was a witch and had been for a number of years. I was also a bisexual. I've since repented of both and turned fully to the Lord. Over the past few months I have studied extensively and changed my heart and mind on a number of subjects, including sexuality and religious "tolerance". I also take what the Bible says pretty literally. In short, I've done a complete turnaround. The Lord has made in me a clean heart and I'm pretty happy with it.
But here's my problem. As you can imagine, I have a number of very ummmm … unusual friends. Outside of the new friends I have made at church and online, I have only a few Christian friends. One in particular is giving me grief right now about my new beliefs. See, Ed is gay. He claims to have resolved the issue of being both Christian and gay in his mind, and that it's OK with God to be the way he is. He knows that after a careful study of Scripture and a lot of prayer, I've left that lifestyle for good and do not in any way approve of it. I have tried hard to avoid this subject with Ed (at least for now), it's not my place to judge him. All I've said is that I don't understand how he can reconcile the two. But he keeps challenging me. Yesterday he IMed me wanting to know why I couldn't just be a "simple" Christian like he is, why I have to make things so complicated. Why I have to be such a "fundie". Then he wouldn't listen to my reasoning.
I've got other friends … Pagan, atheist, agnostic, even Jewish … who continually question me and my faith. They talk about things I've done/believed in the past and ask me how I can now be so different. They accuse me of abandoning "them" because I no longer go to certain movies, listen to certain things, drink alcohol with them, celebrate certain days, you name it. They offer all sorts of objections to Christianity and want me to answer them. Some of the objections are completely absurd (has anyone seen the "reply to Dr. Laura" email that's been circulating for a while … that kind of thing. ) Most of the time I'm able to answer them, and they'll concede the point, and then shake their heads about what a fundie I've become. I even have one friend (or ex-friend, she won't speak to me anymore) who asked me an absurd question, I answered it, and she accused me of seeking her out to try and convert her. All I did is answer her question! For the most part, after initially telling my friends about my conversion, I have tried to avoid the subject of religion. But the changes are so obvious that I guess I stand out without saying a word.
Please don't get me wrong … I love to talk to people about Jesus. I don't want to lose opportunities to be an effective witness. But it's the "effective" part. I know that with certain people, I'm probably wasting my time. They don't want answers, they don't want to know the truth, they just want to argue. But I don't want to tell them that I won't talk to them about it, lest I misinterpret their intentions in asking or in God's for putting me into the situation. Maybe sometime something I say will stick in someone's head. Maybe the answer to an absurd question will live in someone's heart for years and one day the truth will sink in.
I guess my question is … is this a matter of taking every opportunity, or using discernment and deciding when and how to respond?
Does any of this make any sense? <G> I fear I've rambled a bit.
Thanks for any input you have :)