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2 Bumps

Where is the line, and when is it crossed?

There's been an ongoing project where 2 Christian Evangelical scholars and 2 pagan scholars have been doing a series of articles and interviews on Pagan-Christian interfaith dialogue.  The most recent is an article by one of the Evangelicals, discussing their most recent podcast discussion.

The article (and all the previous work they've done) is an interesting read/listen for those interested, but a specific question has come up in the comments on this one.  The author says that attempting to convert is "part of the DNA" of Christianity, and that it's ok to try once in any conversation, but any attempts after that "quickly move into unethical territory of proselytizing."  The point is raised in the comments that to most religions, the act of attempting to convert someone is offensive, period, and doing it even once is rude.

So which is it - everyone gets to bring it up to each person they meet once, or it's not appropriate unless you know they're interested to begin with?

Answer Question
 
NotPanicking

Asked by NotPanicking at 6:05 PM on Mar. 15, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 50 (419,531 Credits)
Answers (27)
  • People who know me know I'm a Christian. My faith is important to me and is central to who I am. If I talk to anyone for any length of time they learn that. Based on their reaction I might share more or less, but I fail to understand how telling someone what I believe offends them.
    missanc

    Answer by missanc at 6:15 PM on Mar. 15, 2013

  • I fail to understand how telling someone what I believe offends them.

    Nobody cares if you talk about what you believe, it's the moment you suggest that what you believe is the "only" truth or the one the person you are talking to should also follow.
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 6:18 PM on Mar. 15, 2013

  • Well, considering their truth is supposedly, THE one and only...I get it
    I think though, that you try it once and after that, let it go. I mean still discuss or whatever, but don't push the issue that your way is the only/right way
    charlotsomtimes

    Answer by charlotsomtimes at 6:31 PM on Mar. 15, 2013

  • A lot would depend on the situation, where you are, who you are with, what you are doing or talking about.

    If you were to ask me if I want a cookie, that is not actully an open door. If you ask me if the is some significance to this unusal cookie
    the door may have cracked open.

    If I am having a discussion on some religious topic and you enter the conversation, you are giving your consent to being exposed.

    If you are standng outside of my church doors you rather open youself up to that kind of discussion, if I am standing ouside of yours I would not be surprised at the same.

    If I invite my family (children and heir kids) everyone at the table knows my sone and DDIL are no longer christian. They know what they left and do not need to be preached at. If a religious discussion arises it is from the various view points. However. Everyone at my table knows that a prayer is said, either loud or silently.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 6:31 PM on Mar. 15, 2013

  • I agree with Missanc. I won't presume to tell anybody that he or she should believe as I do, but my faith is an important part of who I am, and I won't go out of my way to exclude it from my conversations, either.
    Ballad

    Answer by Ballad at 6:32 PM on Mar. 15, 2013

  • If I am having a discussion on some religious topic and you enter the conversation, you are giving your consent to being exposed.

    So you see no difference between discussing religion in the abstract and attempting to convert someone?
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 6:32 PM on Mar. 15, 2013

  • Noone has to participat but it is a given up front.
    At DDIL's house she lights candles and whispers something basically to herself. I assume that it is a blessing as well. We are not pressured t participate. Again discussions are open and depending on who is around we get a lot of veiws.

    I think it is too much when it is not wanted and you know it.
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 6:34 PM on Mar. 15, 2013

  • Noone has to participat but it is a given up front.

    I can't figure out if you don't understand the question or I'm just not understanding your answer.

    A group of people of different faiths are discussing religion - what different groups believe, why they believe it, how it relates to the real world, etc. Is it appropriate in that conversation to attempt to convert another person participating, or use language suggesting you are right and they are wrong?

    I get the impression from your answer that anyone willing to discuss religion in any way is required to endure unwelcome conversion attempts simply by joining the conversation, and is, in fact, asking for them by participating. Is that what you are trying to say?
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 6:38 PM on Mar. 15, 2013

  • IMHO, I feel like unless I specifically ask someone about their religion then I shouldn't have to hear about it. I feel the same way about politics too. Unless I bring up Obama, then I don't need to hear a tirade about him or a gushing approval. Same goes for someone's sex life really. Now granted, that's IRL scenarios. I know, of course, when I go to RD or P&CE, I will hear or "read" without asking.
    3libras

    Answer by 3libras at 7:10 PM on Mar. 15, 2013

  • I know, of course, when I go to RD or P&CE, I will hear or "read" without asking.

    But again - does discussing religion in general automatically give someone a free pass to try and convert people?
    NotPanicking

    Comment by NotPanicking (original poster) at 7:24 PM on Mar. 15, 2013

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