Why Christians Have Few Friends With Outsiders?
By CCD Contributor: John Li, March 09, 2017 05:03 AM
How should we judge the phenomenon that some people, after believing in Jesus, only associate with people from the same church and care nothing about the rest of the world?
Under the influence of the Fundamentalism and Pietism, many believers in Mainland China lay such importance on living a consecrated life that they demonize non-believers and think that these people are totally depraved, unable to do anything good and it is useless to associate with them. Besides spreading the gospel, it is considered unspiritual to associate with non-believers.
It is true that human kind is totally depraved from the perspective of the Lord. However, as men, we are all sinners and none of us can say that one is absolutely perfect or evil. Christians do something sinful due to their weakness while non-believers created in God's image still have some good remaining in them as Paul points out in Romans 2: 14-15.
According to Chinese ancient philosopher Mencius, people have morals. They have the desire to do good and avoid the bad. They also know what is right and what is wrong. It means that man can do good due to their conscience's work. It is also in this thinking regarding a Christian's self-righteousness that they think non-believers can not do anything good. We should not say that Christians have better morals; but, humbly admit that we can do better than non-believers. Demonizing non-believers and avoiding interaction with them are not godly behaviors but a result of arrogance.
There is an increasing number of attacks against Christianity because they do not understand the church. Non-believers' misunderstandings of the church is closely related to the fact that the church does not interact with the rest of the world. How can Christians refuse to associate with others in the world if they desire to win people to Christ? How can others understand Christ if believers stay in the church all the time?
It will help believers to be alert when they associate with other people because they are like ambassadors of heaven. Their acts and words should be cautious since most of the people will come to know Christ through them. If we can live out the life of Christ, our good testimony will bring change in other people's view of the church.
As Confucius suggests, we should learn from those who are our teachers. Non-believers can also be our teachers in terms of their thinking and acts. It is a great help for every Christians' growth to learn from these people and reflect on their own problems which they see in others.
As for some people who have bad morals, Christians better avoid interacting with them because it will not do them any good for their growth and may even bring loss for them. However, if the Lord clearly leads us to go and change them, with the Lord's strength given to us, we should go to them.
Translated by Alvin Zhou
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