Sunday, April 13, 2008

Should Christians be friends with non-Christians?

One of the greatest dilemmas for a Christian is the matter of non-Christian friends. Should they continue in a bond or back away? How does this apply with “in the world, but not of it”? How can we evangelize to the unregenerate? All these are questions that many struggle with and I hope to present before you a balance.

First let me lay the foundation for why we shouldn’t have non-Christian friends. 2 Tim. 3 gives description of the ungodly and of them Paul says to “avoid such peopleFor among them are those who creep into households”. Why? Proverbs says the “companion of fools will be destroyed”. Friendships cause us to be vulnerable, to follow and be influenced by the companion there of. As Christians we cannot serve two masters at once. We have to give Christ are all in all, and being influenced by the ungodly will cause us to stumble.

But how, many ask, are we too evangelize to the non-Christian if we are not to become acquainted with them? Many people today think that in order to get through to such kind we must first learn to relate and become associated with them. Many in the church have fallen into this idea of becoming friendly and ministering through that. But by doing this we are bringing ourselves down to the unregenerate state, and this is exactly what Paul and Solomon are warning against. We are bringing ourselves down to their level not following in the path of Christ, which leads to glorification. We have to be like a city on a hill, a light in the darkness. We need to be different and show the non-Christian that the Christian life-style is different from theirs. We can’t do this by bringing ourselves down to their level in order to relate to them.

So where is the balance? How are we to minister and evangelize if we shouldn’t become close friends? The balance is found in the Word of God, love and compassion. To who we show compassion is different than to whom we become friends. When we look at the non-Christian we should have compassion for them and minister to them without forming some great bond, as Jesus did when He looked out upon the crowds, He looked and had compassion. By living a different life we become a light in the darkness and that city upon a hill. Friendships should be formed with care and should affect others with love. We should correct what is wrong with compassion and love, without bring ourselves down to their level and developing any serious friendships. We needn’t become friends in order to evangelize, that will be becoming unequally yoked. Rather we should minister out of love and compassion, as Christ did for His lost sheep.


9 comments:

Kaleb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kaleb said...

You did a really great job! That one is a hard one for me because i have had a lot of friends who have turned away from the faith. I don't know if I have the right view on this subject or not, but here are a few of my thoughts.

I think part of it is that if we already have friends but they turn away from the faith we can retain a friendship with them and include them in some activities of a group of (christian) friends if they are willing to come under Matthew 4:4. But we always have to remember to not become a companion of fools or just hang out with an unbeliever. I also agree with you when you, in that we should not just go making NEW friends with unbelievers.

thanks and sorry i wrote so long,
--Kaleb--

P.S. If you are a new believer or not very strong in your faith you should use extra precaution in who your friends are.

Kaila said...

Hi there! I just came across your blog through Google. I thought it was pretty cool that we had the same first name spelled the same way. God bless!

Kaila Anderson said...

Hey Kaila (how strange that is)

That's kind of cool that we both have the same spellings. It's a rare way to do it.
Thanks for the comment :)
God Bless!

-Kaila

Amy said...

Hi :)
Thank you so much for putting up a blog about this. I came across it on google when trying to find a good way to minister to non-Christian friends of mine. They're slowly turning away, and you've given me some new ideas on how to help bring them back. Thanks again!

Cassy said...

How do you show love and compassion to a person if you dont get to know them? And how do you get to know someone? You spend time with them. And what to you call someone you spend time with and show love and compassion to? A friend.

There is s difference between being in an intimate relationship with a non-believer and being their friend. Lets not forget that before we were saved, we were the same as "them". THerefore we should drop this holier-than-thou attitude and really start showing people that we love them. We are as sinful as they are. We are all sinners... saved or not.

My non Christian friendships have been fantastic! I appreciate hearing their view of the world, and sharing mine. Some of these friends grew up with me, and we have shared all kinds of experiences. They know who I am, and they know what I believe.

And heaven forbid that you meet someone new at the office who shares your interests, and you *gasp* join that class at the community centre together.

Lets be real and authentic in our relationships - those with Christians and non-Christians alike. I am not perfect, and I am the first to admit that - to anyone.

Anonymous said...

If we are not to be-friend non-Christians, then just how are we to sabe lost soils for the Kingdom?

Anonymous said...

I JUST READ YOUR POST ON FRIENDSHIP WITH A NON-BELIEVER , ARE YOU READING THIS LITERALLY OR METHAPHORICALLY ? ARE YOU SAYING ALL NON-BELIEVERS COMMIT MORE AND WORSE SINS THAN YOURSELF AS A BELIEVER ?

Vera said...

Hi,
I just have to say that this is very well written and really helped me understand something I've been trying to explain to one of my friends. This is exactly how I feel, I just have never been able to really explain as well as you have here. Thank you!