Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I've seen many instances of Christians trying to convert believers from other denominations into their own. However, the teaching I've heard of this has always been against the practice. My personal experience is that where there are two Christians, there are two opinions. Still Christ himself is also present when they are gathered in His name, and still they're brothers and sisters.

We are called to preach the Gospel to all creation, so certainly we should proselytize those that aren't Christians. Now, I know that there's a lot of difference on who is considered Christian, but taking that into account:

Should we proselytize people that we recognize as already being Christian, but are wrong on some important point(s)?


EDIT: The especially interesting case is where the other people hold to different doctrines than we do. For example, should Protestants proselytize Catholics, or vice versa?

share|improve this question
    
But how do you know that your beliefs are correct and theirs is wrong? Unless you understand their beliefs enough so that you can express their side as well as they can you probably don't know their POV. Also, examine your motives. If it is to prove something then you are doing this for the wrong reason, so it is wrong. Look at how Jesus talked to those he disagreed with, outside of hypocrites, he talked with love and understanding, and allowed them to keep their dignity. –  James Black Oct 4 '11 at 13:15
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

There are two words which come to mind when I read the question, admonish and encourage, and I think we can explore both angles on this particular question.

I tend to be a positive thinker, so I will refer to a passage on the latter word. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV) tells us to encourage and build one another up. This is explained in Verse 9 "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ". Therefore, we certainly do not want our brothers and sisters to fall into error, and therefore it is our job to help each us other out in this manner.

So I would encourage gentleness in correction, but yes ultimately if an attitude/behavior/belief could cause eternal damnation, the brother/sister needs to hear it. Consulting with a pastor/elder in such situations can be helpful in how to go about it with a level head.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for a good answer! –  daviesgeek Aug 25 '11 at 20:36
    
Titus 3:9-10 "9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. 10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them." –  CameronW Sep 29 '11 at 1:12
add comment

All good points above, but we must also remember to evaluate what makes someone a christian and many who think they are Christians and who want to be have not obeyed God to the fullest and therefore are not covered by the blood of Christ. Baptism being one command given by God, but often not taught as a requirement to salvation... Here is a mini lesson by David Padfield...

There are five passages in the New Testament which mention both baptism and salvation in the same verse. Here is the list -- see for yourself: Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:4; Acts 22:16 and 1 Peter 3:21. In every one of these passages, water baptism precedes salvation, the remission of sins or walking in the newness of life. Do you know of a single exception?

"He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). This passage contains the conditions for salvation: faith and baptism. It also contains the conditions for damnation: a lack of faith. If anyone wants to know what to do to go to hell, have them read Mark 16:16 -- all that is necessary is a lack of faith. If they want to know what to do for salvation, have them read the same verse -- it tells them to believe and be baptized.

In Acts 2:38 Peter told a group of believers to "repent, and let everyone of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." Our denominational friends often focus on the word "for" in this passage and insist it means "because of," even though it is never translated that way in the Bible. We have to remind them that if baptism is "because of" the remission of sins, then so is repentance. Baptism and repentance are joined by the little conjunction "and." Whatever baptism is "for," repentance is "for."

After we are buried with Christ in baptism, we are raised to walk in a newness of life (Romans 6:1-4). This new life comes after baptism. Many preachers who want to "bury" the "new man," since they claim the newness of life comes before our "burial."

Three days after the Lord appeared to Saul of Tarsus, Ananias told him to "arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins" (Acts 22:16). Many preachers today claim Saul was saved three days before Ananias met him. Ananias must not have known it, for he told Saul how to "wash away" his sins. If Saul had been saved on the road as some preachers claim, he must have been the most miserable saved man in the Bible. Saul was blind and spent three days praying and fasting until Ananias arrived.

1 Peter 3:21 plainly states baptism "now saves us." I realize that baptism alone is not the only thing necessary for salvation. Other requirements must be met, like faith, love and repentance. I do not know of anything "alone" that will save a sinner, not even faith (James 2:24).

A true christian is not just the someone who is mentioned in the previous post, but someone who had obeyed our just and holy God in the points He required for us to become Christian. I urge everyone to not take their pastors, priests, clergymen at face value, but to pray to God for spiritual wisdom and understanding and search the scriptures themselves. All are held accountable whether we read the bible or not... search out His truth, not one based on our feelings of who is saved, who is a christian - but who God says is a christian. His way is the only way.

share|improve this answer
    
Welcome to C.SE! –  Affable Geek Dec 13 '12 at 16:42
add comment

The Modern Church

The way that I see it, there's the modern church and then there's the church of God. Just because people walk into a church every Sunday morning, it does not carry any bearing or testify to their salvation. Those that believe in faith alone and do no obey Jesus are all a part of this church.

Jesus was very precise that there is a way that seams right unto a man, but leads to death. There is a wide road and a wide gate that leads to hell and many follow it. But the road and the gate that leads to life is narrow and few find it.

What is a true Christian?

A true Christian is a Man or Woman that has truly repented of their sins. A person that has truly been convicted by the Holy Spirit and now does nothing but talk and think about God on a daily basis. Their study has carried them ever deeper into the scriptures and they have learned about obedience and are no longer worried about their own salvation. They now have one focus in life, to serve Jesus Christ.

Christ says that there are two sides

John 18:37 NIV

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.

1 John 4:6

We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

There is the side of Truth, lead by the spirit of truth and the side of Falsehood, lead by the spirit of falsehood.

Understand that anybody on the side of falsehood is consider a sinner and is literally an enemy of God.

Where does conversion come in?

The one thing that separates these two sides is obedience. Jesus said that those on the side of Truth listen to him. This is not just merely a hearing kind of listen. This is literally like you yelling at your child to stop jumping on his bed. "Son! Listen to me!"

When that child has obeyed you, you would say that he has listened to you.

In the same way, those that obey God are listening to Jesus and are on the side of truth.

2 John 1:6

And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Teach people to love

This does not need to be a "converting" effort. It does not matter what you call yourself, only that you are seen as a person that has devoted their life to Christ. Believers and unbelievers alike simple need to be taught how to love one another in the way that God has told us to love one another.

This should be your effort.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Actually, when the Apostles lead the church there was no xtian proselytization. There was only one faith. Ephesians 4:5

However, the Apostles of Christ Jesus did not leave us with a good sense of what is the New Testament or that there is one.
So Xtian Proselytization was solved with the Bible Cannon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon Here there are 10 xtian faiths or 10 xtian denominations. WOW.

The problem now is that all xtian churches are denominations and that now there are more xtian denominations than stars in the sky. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations_by_number_of_members

I think the moster we created is bitting us.
So if I dont proselytize you, you will proselytize me or we will become a new proselytized xtian denomination. So by math, we have 1P + 2P = 3P. (just erase the P)

proselytization is between TRUE faiths like xtians vs hindus. But the true xtian faith is no more.

thanks for reading. keep proselytizing.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.