Sharing the Gospel with Those of Other Faiths

SHARING THE GOSPEL WITH THOSE OF OTHER FAITHS

Denise Johnson

Key Scripture: “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.” —Philemon 1:6

While living in northeast Nevada, I met a wonderful family. Of their five children, two were the same age as two of my own children. For a few years our families did so many things together, including sledding, school activities and shopping. We even spent a couple holidays together. Our families had so many similarities, the only real difference between their family and our own was that they were members of Mormon church, whereas our family belonged to a Christian church. 

These friends were some of the nicest and kindest people that I had ever met. Their family was fun and relaxed and their children were very well-mannered. We had such a great time together and our children all got along famously. We loved being around them. 

Throughout our entire friendship, my friend and I would drive our children to and from most of their activities together. Living in rural Nevada means that, at times, you’ll drive hours and hours to get anywhere. On a lot of our drives we would openly discuss our different faiths. I knew that what we believed was very different but my friend seemed to think that our faith was pretty similar. The biggest difference, in her opinion, was simply the different structure of our religions, but not the foundations of the faith. 

On our drives, we agreed that we could share our beliefs with each other as long as the conversation was a two-way street. As time went on and our relationship grew, we would have critical conversations and compare and contrast what we believed. We discussed how our church services differed, what we meant when we said certain words, how our faith affected our family life, and so on. Unfortunately, we didn’t get into deep philosophical or theological subjects, because frankly I was not very spiritually mature at that time in my life. 

While my husband and I were preparing to take our high school ministry kids to camp, I ran across a PDF on the camp website that listed the basic Christian beliefs. I printed it out for my friend thinking it would help me show her the basics of my faith and help us differentiate between our two different beliefs. 

A few days later, she popped over to my house. I had a magazine on my table from church and she picked it up. The headline read, “Christianity verses Mormonism.” My friend was noticeably frustrated and said that our faith was the same. She wondered why people kept saying they were not. I used that as a segue to give her the PDF that I had found. When she read the first point on the list which said that Christians believe in the inerrant truth of the word of God, referring to the Bible, she freaked out and laughed hysterically. She told me how stupid that idea is and that the Bible is full of errors. 

It was not long after that, that our friendship fell off and she stopped including my family in any activities. She was still pleasant when I ran into her at the store, but that was the end of our friendship. I felt sad but was also proud of myself for sharing my faith with her even though I wasn’t a seasoned or mature Christian. I once saw a quote from Billy Graham that said, “Our faith becomes stronger as we express it; a growing faith is a sharing faith.” When given the chance I still share my faith, I love to tell others about the areas in my life that Christ has walked with me. If not for my faith, I would be lost. As I grow and mature, I can have deeper and increasingly intelligent conversations about “why” I have faith and “why” I believe that the Bible is, in fact, the inerrant word of God. 

Steps of Faith: Dear Lord, Thank you for walking beside us through life’s ups and downs. Place in our path those who need to hear of the hope and peace we experience through our faith in Jesus as our savior. While speaking to others allow our words to be encouraging and the hearts of those listening to be softened. In the name of Jesus, I pray. 

Deeper Walk Scripture: Colossians 4:5-6, Mark 16:15, 2 Timothy 4:2

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