Wednesday, February 14, 2007


In my last post, I wrote about John Shore's new book and his emphasis on respect. It occurred to me that many readers will feel they treat people with respect even when their beliefs are different. Maybe most of you do. I just have a few questions to ask. Though it will be written with Christians' attitude towards non-Christians (because that is the focus of John's book) you can use the same questions to examine how you treat others with regards to political or other beliefs.

1. As a Christian, when you meet someone who is not a Christian, is your immediate reaction to try to convert that person?

2. When meeting a non-Christian, is your first reaction that you have an obligation to try to convert that person?

3. When you talk about your beliefs and the person you are talking to disagrees, do you think that person is going to hell?

4. Do you think that those who claim to be Christian but don't go to your particular kind of church are truly not Christian, and therefore going to hell? (I'm Catholic. I'm used to this attitude from others.)

5. What happens when you try to convert somebody and they just don't get it? Do you continue a friendship?

6. Do you have anybody in your life who you truly care for who is not a Christian?

7. Are there any non-Christians in your life who you see for who they are, and not just as a conversion project?

You get the idea. Jesus treated everybody with love. If you're Christian, follow His example.

If you're not Christian, Jesus still offers a great example to follow.

Happy Valentine's Day.

John Shore

On any given day I can expect somebody to come knocking on my door to tell my why I am not "saved" and why the information they want to give me offers me the only path into heaven. Fortunately, my dog tends to spend her time growling at them, providing me with a quick exit.

Sometimes I wonder how many doors they knock on before finding somebody willing to listen. I wonder if they actually have any success bringing people to believe the way that they do.

John Shore has recently released a book called I'm O.K., You're Not:The Message We're Sending Unbelievers And Why We Should Stop . He has some good suggestions for those who find that trying to convert others doesn't work all that well.

I don't want to give away too much because it's worth your time to read the book. I'll give you one rather big clue to his approach, though. John advocates the use of respect. Yes, he actually thinks it's a good idea to represent Jesus by treating people the same way He did.

What a novel idea. Yet if it's so obvious, why don't people just do it?

Though John's book focusses on the way Christians sometimes treat non-Christians, the same applies in almost every area of life. Think about all the arguments people get into about politics and other hot-button issues. Rather than treating people with respect, we see those who think in ways that we disagree with as someone to try to change.

In other words, I'm right, you're wrong.

Read John's book, even if you're not an evangelist. He makes a lot of good points about living in general. If you read beyond the obvious, his words will give you a lot to think about.

John Shore makes liberal use of humor. You'll laugh out loud frequently, while at the same time recognizing yourself (maybe even painfully) in some of what he says.

Read the book. If you take it to heart, you'll find your own little corner of the earth becomes a better place.