We Can't Be Friends with Everyone

WE CAN’T BE FRIENDS WITH EVERYONE

The following question arrived a few days ago: “When it’s all said and done, is it impossible for Christians to form close, intimate (platonic) relationships with non-Christians? As I grow closer in my walk with God, I realize how little I have in common with the world. The Word of God is in me such that I cannot speak on any issue without drawing from a Biblical paradigm. I almost feel like ’friendship evangelism’ is a misnomer. Because in the end, we can never be true, intimate, long-term friends with an unbeliever AND be true to our beliefs. We end up butting heads and someone, usually the unbeliever, ends up walking away. It’s rather frustrating.” Here is my answer: It all depends on the circumstances. If you were in India you would be surrounded by Hindus, in Mali by Muslims, in Thailand by Buddhists. In those countries it may actually be possible to have closer relationships (though still not truly close, intimate friendships) because everyone knows “the rules of the game.” Hindus know they are not like Christians, and vice versa, so we don’t expect each other to look at life the same way. In those cases we can be reasonably good friends precisely because we know and respect the barriers that make intimate friendships impossible. That is, the Hindu, the Muslim, the Buddhist, and the Christian each see the “fences” that separate them. And seeing them, we respect them, and we can sometimes have a cordial, through-the-fence friendship. In secular, postmodern America, we want to pretend the fences don’t exist””or that they don’t matter. We downplay all convictions regarding ultimate truth, which muddies the water. It’s hard to have a “through-the-fence” friendship when one person pretends the fence isn’t there. We can be casual friends with many people, close friends with a smaller circle, and intimate friends with only a few people. By definition intimacy implies a shared way of looking at the world, which means that those relationships will tend to be with people who share our deepest values. Your faith will make it impossible to be close friends with certain people, but that’s not a bad thing. “Take up your cross and follow me,” Jesus said. Cross-bearing will never be popular with the people of the world. Many will ridicule, and even those who admire us do not understand us. Only other cross-bearers truly understand. We can have very close relationships with unbelievers who are open and even sympathetic to Christianity. But with some unbelievers that is not possible. That leads me to one final thought. Salvation is of the Lord. We came to Christ because the Holy Spirit drew us to Jesus. Our greatest weapon is prayer backed up by a godly life and a willingness to share Christ with others. And if anyone comes to Christ, it won’t be us who gets the credit.

Latest blog posts

Good Words for Today: June 2
Tuesday, June 2

Continue

Anchor
The Anchor Project
Explaining the Gospel in “Walmart English”

Anchor is a “gospel book” that explains the Good News in a simple and persuasive manner. Read the latest on “The Anchor Project” and how you can be support our work.

Read More
China
Keep Believing China
Partnering with Chinese pastors and churches

We want to join together with pastors and Christian workers to equip the church in China, broadcasting translated sermons, providing ministry resources for Christians and pastors in China.

Read More

Email
Weekly sermon email
Subscribe for free

Subscribe to the weekly sermon from Keep Believing Ministries. Sign up for our emails and use it to grow in your faith as well as to encourage others.

Continue

audio
KBM Podcasts
Weekly audio sermons

Welcome to Keep Believing Ministries’ audio/podcast library. Listen to or download a digital audio version of one of these messages or receive them via our podcast and feed.

Read More

Ebook: Lord of Glory

The Bible contains many names of Christ. His names tell us who he is. His names tell us why he came. His names tell us how he can help us. His names tell us why we worship him. In this devotional series you'll learn of these varied and meaning behind the names, titles and descriptions of Christ.

“Equipping and encouraging people to keep believing in Jesus”

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”