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Jim Ricker

January 19, 2013  1:08pm

There will always be people who think that others who believe something different from he or she believes is a nutjob. Of course, there are far too many Christians who are nutjobs and I consider myself a Jesus Freak! Most nutjobs (I should define what a nutjob is in my own opinion - someone who seeks to press a cause, case, faith or viewpoint to the point of being ignorant of the time, situation and/or audience) are well-intentioned (like "Well-Intentioned Dragons [Marshall Shelly]) but are offensive due to the incorrect approach and/or attitude and are NOT considered as nutjobs because of their zeal. St. Paul was zealous as a Pharisee and as a disciple of Jesus but we can see that the zealousness was not what the issue was - it was his heart.

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Beth Melillo

January 19, 2013  8:32am

What a timely read, I had this very experience this week with fellow grad students. I find the moment I begin assuming that every conversation should lead to a "conversion" is the moment that I get tripped up and start fighting or arguing, rather than explaining in the best terms I can. Instead I want to present what I think Christianity is, truthfully, accurately, lovingly - even if it's controversial (eg: absolute truths). Like another commenter said, these can be hyper-intellectual/ accepting times where we start out already automatically analyzing religions, comparing and contrasting their merits. Although I enjoy this type of scholarly intellectualizing, I find that in general it does ignore the profound emotional experiences that Christianity provides as well, and the "heart" aspect of things. Thanks for posting. Beth (allgrowingup.wordpress.com)

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JANE HINRICHS

January 16, 2013  11:08am

There's a balance in all this. I think we gotta quit worrying what others may or may not think about us and just share what God calls us to share. IF we do it in love and respect for our listeners we will treat them and ourselves with dignity. And then we leave the results to God.

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Tim Fall

January 15, 2013  5:04pm

Nice Job, Christine. You reminded me of a first-date I went on almost thirty years ago. At one point early in the evening the young woman, a non-Christian, asked "So what's important to you, Tim?" "This is going to get metaphysical", I warned. "Go ahead," she said. So I did. Quite a 1 Peter 3:15 moment. Lots of folks are actually interested in what others think and believe and value, even when those others are us Christians. Cheers, Tim (timfall.wordpress.com)

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Don White

January 15, 2013  2:57pm

This is the good and bad of postmodernism. They'll question "absolute truth," yet be more willing to hear my faith experiences without feeling threatened. They may be patronizing and skeptical, or lump Christianity with Norse mythology or UFO abductions, but still be willing to listen. We're now living in ancient Athens. The same radical open-mindedness that gathered a menagerie of idols about them also gave Paul permission to talk about their "Unknown God." Don White (www.ouramericanfaith.com)

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Karen Smith

January 15, 2013  2:10pm

I love this article! To answer the question about "nut job" - I would consider someone a "nut job" when they decide that it is their way or the high way, whether you believe the same as them or not. I don't mind people disagreeing with me; I don't even mind (much) when I'm told people are worried that I'm on my way to hell (because while I disagree, I'm at least glad they are peacefully and politely showing their belief). What I do object to is their using force (physically or via government) to compel me to follow their own beliefs without reasonable (secular) cause. I don't mind people standing on the corner preaching the Word; I've been known to listen to them for 10-15 minutes. What I do object to is preaching hate and destruction under the guise of Christ. - And, of course, I tend to get static from all sides. I'm out in the LGBT community as a Christian, and I'm out as a Christian as a LGBT person. (Note: I love that CT uses gender in their records, not sex.)

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Nathan Garmatz

January 15, 2013  1:28pm

Excuse my extended post. One of the most interesting (and amusing) questions the other player asked me was challenging my faith. Allow me to paraphrase, "If you believe in God and that He is all powerful and involved in everything, then do you believe He controls every time you kill a zombie (in this video game)?" Seems funny, but I had to think for a minute. If it was up to me I might have tossed out the verse about "hairs on your head". But it felt like it would just reinforce his "nut job" view and end his deliberations. In the end I said something like that might fall more into "free will". He asked a number of questions: did I hate gays?, why wasn't I more preachy? why are Christians so pushy about it? These are fair questions. I personally do not hate gays, but lots of Christians do. I told him the only real way to judge Christianity is by Christ, because men, even men of faith will make mistakes. As far as pushy, I said if you love someone, you try to save them.

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Nathan Garmatz

January 15, 2013  1:05pm

I believe I agree with the spirit of your argument, which I take to be more about overcoming the fear of sharing Christ with non-believers. I would take it a step further and suggest that if you approach these interactions with a humble and patient heart that the Holy Spirit will help you with the words. I sometimes play video games. Recently while blowing up zombies in a game with other people another player mentioned something about Christians. He was rather a racy character in his dialogue and personality. I mentioned that I was a Christian. He was somewhat shocked, perhaps because I too can be a little racy with my language. It led to a number of questions I was not prepared for and he clearly had a blanket "nut job" view of Christians, but it opened a dialogue and it helped me learn a bit about where I stood as a Christian as well. My best explanation to most of his questions was to point him to Jesus. Even if you view Him only historically, it is hard not to respect Him.

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Vic Christian

January 15, 2013  12:15pm

Mr Bobo - it might be interesting as to what both you and the writer of this article consider a "not job". Is it one who is against sin? Is it one who publicly takes a stand, say against the murder of small children (both unborn and post birth)? Is it a right-wing republican? Is it a person who stands for the U.S. Constitution? Is it a pro-gun advocate? It it a "voice crying in the wilderness? It it a well-to do American who shares his excess money with the poor? I really would like to know, and to engage in a meaningful conversation regarding this. If God wants me to do it - I will try to do it! Please feel free to contact me at vicndonna@bluemarble.net. Thanks

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Bob Bobo

January 15, 2013  11:33am

Bood article. However, i'm not sure what your trying to say from the titel of this piece. I approeciate your encourageing christians to share and trust the hearer will not think your a "nut job". I apreciate your guidance to the believer to share respectfully. But, in my experience. As I talk to non-believers, I often spend the first few encounters explaiing that I am not there perspective of a "christian". Many of their views comes from two sources. TV, and their uncle, who bangs them over their heads with the bible. I have to explain to them that: not all christians are right wing republicans. No, money is not the main crux of being a christian. No, we don't all beleive everbody gets healed of every decease. No, not all christians sin big time and change the rules making it ok for them to do so. After awhile I can get around to talking about Jesus rather thier experience with the above. Truth is, we have "nut jobs".

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