So on a flight a few months ago I had the window-seat next to this pretty-cool guy from Georgia. We legit talked the entire flight from Charlotte to Los Angeles. That’s like 4 hours straight. Somehow (I think I might have had a Bible in my little stack of books) we started talking about the Bible, if aliens exist, and how he’s an atheist. Basically I was amazed at how amazed he was that we were just sharing what we believe and that I wasn’t defensively arguing about Christianity nor shying away from a real convo about truth. He said typically Christians/Southerners just get awkward and either argumentatively try to convert him or dismiss him once they find out he’s an atheist. Of course that lead into a discussion about hypocricy within the church and how so many “Christians” live lives more sinfully than those that claim to not be but say that they’re Christians because that’s simply their culture.
Once we landed and were about to exit the plane, an older woman turned around and handed us each a scrap piece of paper before heading off the plane. On mine she wrote a Bible verse, her number, and “Call me anytime”. On his she wrote “Jesus is real”, a Bible verse, her number, and “Call me anytime.” I thought it was cool. He thought it was awkward. Because it was. Now maybe it would have been a little intense or inappropriate for her to turn around during the flight and enter our conversation, but she could have.
Why do those who claim to be Christians often either shy away from real discussion about what they believe or go into argue mode?
Particularly in the South, “Christianity” for some is simply the culture we grew up in, and we don’t always like to associate with people who are culturally different. Furthermore, lots of people who think they are Christians and those who are actually genuine Christians are both sometimes scared to talk with people who adamentaly have opposing views. I think we’re terrified they’ll ask us a question we won’t know the answer to. Or even worse-a question that we’ve asked before and not gotten a clear answer on. It’s natural to shy away from real discussion because we’re scared we don’t know enough. We’re also often insecure in our faith and scared we’ll be proven wrong.
No one knows everything. We will never know everything (So frustrating right!?!) Being one of the most awkward people I know, I certainly don’t have a solution/know the appropriate balance of casual conversation vs. intense COME TO JESUS talks with strangers. But I think admitting your faults, sharing how Christ really makes you whole, and acknowledging that you don’t know everything is certainly a start.