a.) I felt that my space was invaded. I felt that the other two gentlemen were impersonal and quick to assume that my faith was in need of help. I understand religion and theology to be an extremely difficult subject for some people and I only have the intention to talk to people about it if they are dear and close to me or if they come up to me and ask. I will completely shut myself off to someone I have never met while try to tell me what I am doing is wrong.His impression was that they were "telling" him what he was doing is wrong. While that may be the truth, we shouldn't have to "tell" people this. Their conscience should be more than capable if we ask the right questions.
b.) In this specific case, we were lured in by being told that if we could answer two questions right we could win a chili’s gift card—and that it would only take two minutes (we stood for fifteen).If the impression you are leaving people with is that you have just cheated them, you certainly have destroyed any progress you have made by presenting another example of hypocrisy from a Christian.
I felt taken advantage of. I felt lied to. The two questions were if we could name 10 beers (we could) and if we could name the Ten Commandments (We could only name seven. I also should have asked which commandments they were referring to, as the Bible has three different versions…). Afterwards, one gentleman said to the other that they should give us the gift card just because we were good sports about everything. The other fellow said, “No, we did not get the answers right.” I suppose that this is the result of having a dominant divine right and wrong theology…
c.) I was not given any chance to defend my thoughts or beliefs and the conversation was completely one-sided.This one is big. Are we so busy trying to get through a script that we forget that we are talking to a real person with real questions. If you don't have enough respect and compassion for people that you really care about their questions, you should rethink your motives.
d.) Also, in this specific case (which of course, may be a coincidence and/or may solely be in this case), the woman in our group was hardly looked at or talked to during the talk. This may be coincidence, or it may stem from the male dominant attitude rampant throughout the Bible.Do you think the people doing the witnessing had any idea they were doing this? This goes to show that you really need to pray and be a good witness above reproach above all else. Something that they had no idea about was a sticking point for this person. What might you need to be aware of, or be better at, doing that might be destroying your testimony? People are really watching your actions, your tone, your heart, way above the words you are saying.
e.) I did see sincerity in the two gentlemen’s faces. I did see an honest concern for my well-being. They did say that they were not out to condemn people, but they lacked the understanding that based on their theology-they were condemning people. If they really wanted to talk to me in a constructive manner, they should have asked if I would like to talk and then have a mutual conversation with me over a Dr. Pepper they had just bought me.He said he would have been open to a converation, if the premise had been a little more honest. And, just telling people you are not condemning them is not enough if your tone tells them otherwise. People need to be clear that YOU are not condemning them. You stand condemned as much or more than they are. Their transgressions are the thing that condemns them. God's wrath is waiting to pour out on them JUSTLY for their conscious lifetime of sin. YOUR message should be to explain that they are already condemned, God has made provision for them, and it is not His desire that any should perish. I'm not sure about the Dr. Pepper comment, must be a midwest thing. ;)
Bottom line, you need to pray before you get out and witness to people. Pray for the right motive. Pray for a right heart. Pray that you can tell people the truth in love. Not everyone will get on their knees and repent on the spot. But, as you can see, you WILL leave them thinking. They should be thinking about Jesus, though, and not you.