How can I still have positive relationships with non-believers without compromising my beliefs?
On this week’s episode of Trending Faith, Dean of Students Tim Griffin, EdD, and Dean of the College of Theology Jason Hiles, PhD, tackle this question.
Dr. Hiles began this discussion by addressing and clarifying one critical factor.
If any of your friends, specifically non-believers, is a bad influence or a hindrance to your relationship with Jesus, you may need to be more cautious in pursuing that relationship. If people are encouraging you to participate in activities or behaviors that go against what our faith calls us to, then it is nearly impossible to continue positive friendships with them without compromising your beliefs.
However, if non-believers are not causing you or others any harm, then it is more than okay to continue that friendship. In fact, as Dr. Hiles points out, Jesus does not want us to restrict ourselves to just our own Christian community.
This is best exemplified in Mark 2:15-17, which says, “While Jesus was having dinner at Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: ‘Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?’” On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
As Christians, we are called to love like Jesus, and His love is not conditional. We are called to be amongst those who do not know God, and be a vessel for Him as He works through us to reach others. Fellowship is significant and necessary, but if we were only to be surrounded by other Christians, then we would not be fulfilling our mission, which is to go and make disciples of all nations.
To hear the full discussion, watch the video below:
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