skynes
01-06-2007, 09:44 AM
(Inspired by an off-topic trail on the Christmas and Political Correctness thread.)

How are you a witness?

To friends and family, what do you say or do that is a witness for Christ?

Is the witness good or bad?

How do you think others could be a better witness?

DarkestRose
01-06-2007, 10:00 AM
(Inspired by an off-topic trail on the Christmas and Political Correctness thread.)

How are you a witness?

To friends and family, what do you say or do that is a witness for Christ?

Is the witness good or bad?

How do you think others could be a better witness?

Good job starting this thread! We needed it to keep from going off-topic.

I think part of being a witness is living out ones life in a godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled fashion. That we'd be showing love, compassion, acceptance and friendship to people; having heart of forgiveness, mercy and grace toward our enemies. In relationships, people can really see if the Fruits of the Spirit are at work in our life. They can tell if we are thankful, grateful and content with all God's given us, or if we act like the world in excessive want and materialism. They can see if we are humble, meek and have a servant's heart or if we are living righteous, holy, pure lives.

But I think we need to be talking about God or at least acknowledging our faith. People need to know that we're different because we're Christians instead of letting them assume we're just good people. But I think we should try to just be Jesus to people-reaching out them, telling them about God, living an upright life...

bloodstained87
01-06-2007, 10:26 AM
Hence, a balance.

skynes
01-06-2007, 12:17 PM
Good job starting this thread! We needed it to keep from going off-topic.

I think part of being a witness is living out ones life in a godly, Christlike, Spirit-filled fashion. That we'd be showing love, compassion, acceptance and friendship to people; having heart of forgiveness, mercy and grace toward our enemies. In relationships, people can really see if the Fruits of the Spirit are at work in our life. They can tell if we are thankful, grateful and content with all God's given us, or if we act like the world in excessive want and materialism. They can see if we are humble, meek and have a servant's heart or if we are living righteous, holy, pure lives.

But I think we need to be talking about God or at least acknowledging our faith. People need to know that we're different because we're Christians instead of letting them assume we're just good people. But I think we should try to just be Jesus to people-reaching out them, telling them about God, living an upright life...

Ah, but I didn't ask WHAT is a witness, we should all know that. I asked How are YOU personally living out as a witness. What do you personally do that is a witness for Christ, good or bad.

DarkestRose
01-06-2007, 03:06 PM
Ah, I see. I misinterpreted it into a was a "how is one a witness" thing. I see.

That is a loaded question if I ever read one. Because my hopes is that what I say and do in any situation is a witness for Christ. So it doesn't feel exactly like something I could easily list out and say "I do this and this" but witnessing is a whole lifestyle.

I definately think that I could be a better witness. There are a lot of times I've let good conversation starters go because I was too timid about not knowing what to say. I have a lot of selfish moments when I don't reflect Christ. And so I know that I'm not a perfect witness or even a good witness. I know that God uses broken vessels and that's the hope.

bloodstained87
01-06-2007, 06:29 PM
No favortism here, but I rather enjoyed your answer.

I agree fully and mine is not much different. Except, I have a few things to add. I believe that witnessing is a lifestyle as well, and that because of our imperfection, we don't always choose Christ.
I do believe also that it isn't just a lifestyle though or even a formula--such as telling people about God. It's both of these--but at the same time: it is a passionate desire.
Without passion, (even though we may have conviction) it doesn't mean we have love. Like in the Bible--we can do pretty much anything but if it is not with love, it's worthless. Witnessing is a lifestyle, but without pure intentions, it's really meaningless. So how am I witnessing?
I listen to people. Simply, out of pure desire and love to know them, help and offer a smile. It is only through the Holy Spirit that any of us can do this. It is He who gives us the words and genuine love for the lost and our brothers and sisters in Christ. Without Him, our flesh would over-rule. So, I hope this didn't sound arrogant, self-praising, or diverting from the original question. For those weren't my intentions. God Bless.

Quadripedman
01-06-2007, 07:23 PM
Like i said before, i havent had much, eh, practice or oppertunity (sp) to be a witness, but whenever, however seldom, i can talk about Christ to someone, i do..........

BTW, check out the msc pix on relientk.com, their quite funny.

terrasin
01-06-2007, 11:43 PM
I believe witnessing should be exactly as my siggy says in it's link: letting people see God through you living your daily life, rather than you showing God to them.

CJ

skynes
01-07-2007, 12:28 AM
I suppose I shoulda went first to avoid confusion :P

What I try to do is destroy presuppositions. I don't fit into any Christian mould, my ideas, my actions, my way of getting on. None of it screams "Fanatical Bible basher!"

Through my styles of music (Christian industrial/Metal), choice of games (Magic the gathering, D&D, roleplaying), social activities (see games). I try to show that a Christian isn't what people think.

Due to my games, the people I play with are those who've been attacked by Christians over and over again for being "demonic" and "involved in the occult". Yet they see me playing along with them, despite being a Christian, having no problem with the games (and in truth, I don't have a problem with them. I chose to play these prayerfully).

So through that, their straw man ideas of a Christian get destroyed.

How I see a lot of people fail in their witness is that they try and speak to someone like me, an intellectually "I need evidence" minded person, and they don't know enough scripture to convince another Christian. When losing the discussion (badly at that) they resort to the cop out "You look at it with the eyes of faith!" as an answer to everything.

They walk off feeling defeated, the Unbeliever walks off even more convinced that Christianity is a load of nonsense.

More prayer needs to be put into witnessing BEFORE you go and do it. More reading scripture needs to be done too.

DarkestRose
01-07-2007, 10:41 AM
Well, I don't really bother trying to prove that Christianity is true. There are many people who can prove that God exists and many people who can prove that He doesn't. Same with Christ being the Messiah, the accuracy of the Bible, Christianity, etc. What is really comes down to is who is smarter than whom. So I don't bother with that.

Faith isn't a cerebral exercise anyway. It's not a formula or a religious list of rules, regulations, moral do's and don'ts. Faith is falling head-over-heels in love with God. I've never seen someone argued into falling genuinely in love with anyone.

alienyouth9292
01-07-2007, 12:59 PM
for me, the easiest thing to do is just act Christ-like at school, around some non-Christian friends. then, once they see that i'm different, they will ask questions and i will witness to them...

dawn of light
01-07-2007, 01:56 PM
What is really comes down to is who is smarter than whom.
I totally agree with you here, Jennifer. No one can be argued into accepting Christ.

People can't argue with a personal testimony about Christ however. If I tell them how much better my life is because of Christ, they can't argue with that. People have to see what you have, recognize the truth of it, and want it for themselves.

lamb_servant72
01-07-2007, 03:32 PM
Scott, your INTJ is showing. :)

But, I do understand what you are saying...it's a sad and true point that we don't know scripture well enough to defend our beliefs. Perhaps we should only let INTJ's witness to other INTJ's. :)

I understand what Jennifer and Rachel are saying too.

Acts 22:20 "for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard."

Acts 22:15 "For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard."

I might not be able to answer every question someone is going to throw at me, but that shouldn't stop me from witnessing what I have seen and heard.

skilletfreak101
01-07-2007, 05:18 PM
I believe witnessing should be exactly as my siggy says in it's link: letting people see God through you living your daily life, rather than you showing God to them.

CJ
amen amen amen amen amen amen amen amen

skynes
01-08-2007, 02:11 AM
I totally agree with you here, Jennifer. No one can be argued into accepting Christ.

People can't argue with a personal testimony about Christ however. If I tell them how much better my life is because of Christ, they can't argue with that. People have to see what you have, recognize the truth of it, and want it for themselves.

What if a member of another religion turns to you and tells you how much better their life is because of what they believe?

it's a sad and true point that we don't know scripture well enough to defend our beliefs.

(Here I go again...)

That's not an INTJ thing, that's an obedience to God thing. We're told (by Peter I think) to study and be able to defend what we believe when challenged on it :P

dawn of light
01-08-2007, 07:12 AM
1 Peter 3:15-16 (AMP)
15But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.(A)
16[And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear ([a]unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives].

I just thought of this verse last night. Was this the one you meant, Skynes? You are absolutely right about the fact that we need to know the Bible and what we believe well enought to explain it to someone else. I still believe our personal testimony and example will be far more powerful than how who can will the argument.

I used to debate a lot with people. I found it's far more effective if they actually want to hear what you have to say rather than win an argument. For the sake of discussing and learning rather than proving who is right. I have never once gotten someone interested in Christ because of how well I knew the Bible! There have been many times I have been asked why I'm always smiling, happy, friendy, nice to strangers, not stressed out, etc. because they see fruit in my life not because I have certain knowledge.

skynes
01-08-2007, 09:31 AM
1 Peter 3:15-16 (AMP)
15But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully.(A)
16[And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear ([a]unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives].

I just thought of this verse last night. Was this the one you meant, Skynes? You are absolutely right about the fact that we need to know the Bible and what we believe well enought to explain it to someone else. I still believe our personal testimony and example will be far more powerful than how who can will the argument.

I used to debate a lot with people. I found it's far more effective if they actually want to hear what you have to say rather than win an argument. For the sake of discussing and learning rather than proving who is right. I have never once gotten someone interested in Christ because of how well I knew the Bible! There have been many times I have been asked why I'm always smiling, happy, friendy, nice to strangers, not stressed out, etc. because they see fruit in my life not because I have certain knowledge.


Yip that was the verse.

Don't take me wrong, I'm highly against debating people into Christianity. I firmly believe that the only way any person can be saved is by God giving them a heart of flesh, making His Words fulfil the purpose He sent them for and leading that person to Himself.

Anyone that can be argued into Christ can be argued out of Christ.

The situation I was referring to involved a guy I only know by name. He has genuine questions about Christ and the Bible, stuff like slaves of war, rape victims forced to marry the rapist etc. Real stuff that's in scripture that God expected people to act upon. Yet all the answers hes been getting is all stuff like "You just have to accept it on Faith" and "If you look at it through the eyes of Faith it'll make sense"

These Christians were out of their depth, yet they walk into constantly thinking they're doing God's work, yet leaving nothing in their wake but more hardened atheists.

Fair enough even with answers a lot of these people will still refuse to believe, but I know personally that to someone who cares for the answers, getting a solid answer to a genuine concern is far better than a testimony on something God did.

But again it's not the argument that wins them to Christ, the answers to questions are just a tool to make them consider Christ, the same thing a testimony does. Ultimately it's God who saves.

I pose my last question again:

If a member of another religion gives you their testimony and how much their faith has changed their life. What do you say?

jesusfreak0629
01-08-2007, 10:39 AM
I try to live my life in such a way that people will notice something different and say, "Why are you different? Why are you so nice/forgiving/happy/modest/humble?" I believe our lifestyles reflect what we believe. But also, Romans 10:13-17 says "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

So based on that scripture, I show and tell people JESUS. I have a bunch of Christian shirts. One says JesUs: free deliveries Worldwide, with Jes in purple and Us in orange (play on FedEx). Another says "I Stand for Christ". Another just has a picture of Jesus on a cross. I also have an air scent thing for my car that says I love Jesus. These little things can let people "hear" the name of the Lord, so they might believe.

I also bless my meals in public, because I want Jesus to bless the meal, but it is nice when people see it and see my fruits and maybe they can see Jesus in it.

dawn of light
01-08-2007, 10:45 AM
I understand a little better what you mean now. I love talking to people who have genuine questions about the Bible. I try to answer them as best as I can. I really hate it when Christians try to cover up their limited knowledge by saying stuff like "You just have to accept it on Faith", like Skynes said. It's best to just tell them the truth and say "I don't know. But I'll try to find out for you."

If a member of another religion gives you their testimony and how much their faith has changed their life. What do you say?
Now is the time for that honesty I was talking about. I don't know. I've never really had the opportunity to talk to someone who is from a different religion.

I would listen to what they say and be interested. When talking about what I believe I would really stress the relationship and non-religious part of it. Tell them about love and acceptance for who they really are, without any religious practices to be "qualified". I would tell them my personal testimony, how Christ has changed my life. I would never argue with their testimony or tell them it was "wrong" or not a "true" experience.

jesusfreak0629
01-08-2007, 10:45 AM
I pose my last question again:

If a member of another religion gives you their testimony and how much their faith has changed their life. What do you say?

If someone asked me this Skynes, I would tell them about Christianity and how it has changed my life, and then I would in a kind/loving way, ask the person to compare our life experiences, and see which has the most supernatural examples.

dawn of light
01-08-2007, 10:55 AM
ask the person to compare our life experiences, and see which has the most supernatural examples.
Not a good idea, in my opinion. Often people will see "supernatural" experiences where there are none and it's amazing how innaccurate peoples' memories can be, especially if their beliefs are challenged like that.

What would you do if they come up with more supernatural experiences than you? Tell them they're wrong or lied to you?

skynes
01-08-2007, 11:20 AM
If someone asked me this Skynes, I would tell them about Christianity and how it has changed my life, and then I would in a kind/loving way, ask the person to compare our life experiences, and see which has the most supernatural examples.

A mormon, who would tell you they felt the Holy Spirit burning within them.

A Buddhist, who tells you they've been on the astral plane and seen their previous lives.

A medium, who tells you of the dead people they've spoken to.

A witch, who tells you of the people they've healed, the tongues they've spoken in and the true prophesies given.


Everyone of them has had just as many supernatural experiences as we have.

jesusfreak0629
01-08-2007, 11:28 AM
Not a good idea, in my opinion. Often people will see "supernatural" experiences where there are none and it's amazing how innaccurate peoples' memories can be, especially if their beliefs are challenged like that.

What would you do if they come up with more supernatural experiences than you? Tell them they're wrong or lied to you?



Nope. If that person truly believed that his/her experiences were supernatural, then there is not really much you can do, they are pretty dead set in their beliefs. Jesus tells us in Matthew Ch. 10 to "dust our feet off" to those who will not hear the gospel, because there is someone out there who will. So, after you have presented them with the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, the only other thing you can do is pray for them. No matter of coercion will work, believe me, I have tried many times.

jesusfreak0629
01-08-2007, 11:38 AM
A mormon, who would tell you they felt the Holy Spirit burning within them.

A Buddhist, who tells you they've been on the astral plane and seen their previous lives.

A medium, who tells you of the dead people they've spoken to.

A witch, who tells you of the people they've healed, the tongues they've spoken in and the true prophesies given.


Everyone of them has had just as many supernatural experiences as we have.



Most of those if not all of them are self-experiences. I could name a thousand of those as well. I am talking about real-life examples, not experiences (although I said experiences), to which there is proof or witnesses to an unexplained phenomenon. Although, you would probably argue against that as well. But, in my explanation, I said that I would tell how Christianity has changed my life and tell the gospel of Jesus in the process. The supernatural examples would be proof/illustration of the divinity/authinticity of my Lord and Savior.

skynes
01-08-2007, 12:46 PM
Most of those if not all of them are self-experiences. I could name a thousand of those as well. I am talking about real-life examples, not experiences (although I said experiences), to which there is proof or witnesses to an unexplained phenomenon. Although, you would probably argue against that as well. But, in my explanation, I said that I would tell how Christianity has changed my life and tell the gospel of Jesus in the process. The supernatural examples would be proof/illustration of the divinity/authinticity of my Lord and Savior.

self-experience, real life example... what's the difference? No I'm not being sarcastic, I don't see the difference.

To a witch who says through her magick a guy with cancer was healed, to a medium saying she comforted families by communicating with dead loved ones.

How is that any different?

The healing and prophesies are proof to them of the authenticity of witchcraft.

The astral plane and past life experiences are proof to them of the authenticity of Buddhism.

The burning in the chest is proof to the Mormons.

Point i'm trying to make is that for every supernatural event, experience, example and change you can name, another religion can name just as many, some more so (because some thrive upon proofs, whereas we don't need them)

DarkestRose
01-08-2007, 01:05 PM
I definitely think that Christians need to have a firm grasp on understanding the Bible. As a discipline, Christians should be reading and studying God’s Word, meditating on it in our hearts, getting serious Bible intake. We should know what we believe and we should be able to answer questions that seekers and skeptics ask us. It bothers me when Christians have nothing more than pat answers to give out.

I also think that we should understand what people of other religions and beliefs profess. I think it looks silly for Christians to approach, say, Buddhists and tell them that their entire belief system is wrong without really knowing what they believe.

jesusfreak0629
01-08-2007, 01:12 PM
self-experience, real life example... what's the difference? No I'm not being sarcastic, I don't see the difference.

To a witch who says through her magick a guy with cancer was healed, to a medium saying she comforted families by communicating with dead loved ones.

How is that any different?

The healing and prophesies are proof to them of the authenticity of witchcraft.

The astral plane and past life experiences are proof to them of the authenticity of Buddhism.

The burning in the chest is proof to the Mormons.

Point i'm trying to make is that for every supernatural event, experience, example and change you can name, another religion can name just as many, some more so (because some thrive upon proofs, whereas we don't need them)


I guess it is kinda hard to explain. But all the examples you are giving me are centered around 1 person, or secondhand information by one person to others. Mormons, buddhists and witches are all self-experiences, meaning they only happen to individual people, and other people cannot experience the same thing. As far as the medium talking to the dead, the family isn't talking to the dead, they are just listening to somebody telling them he/she is communicating with their dead family. It is really a second hand experience.

Let me give you a couple of examples. I was actually visiting another church, and a group of us prayed for this young boy that we all had known for a long time. He had a disease, not a virus that can go away, but a disease, only curable (so the Dr's say) by surgery (his liver had tripled it's original size, can't remember the medical term for it). Anyway, when his mother took him back to the Dr., they said there wasn't anything wrong with him. The Dr's were even stunned. Some would say this is coincedence though, or just natural. I would possibly agree, if it was a virus or cold or something that comes and goes, but not a disease. Anyway, we all took part in a miraculous healing, it wasn't just an epiphany someone had one day. I could give you a couple more, but this is what I meant by "real life examples".

jesusfreak0629
01-08-2007, 01:16 PM
I definitely think that Christians need to have a firm grasp on understanding the Bible. As a discipline, Christians should be reading and studying Godís Word, meditating on it in our hearts, getting serious Bible intake. We should know what we believe and we should be able to answer questions that seekers and skeptics ask us. It bothers me when Christians have nothing more than pat answers to give out.

I also think that we should understand what people of other religions and beliefs profess. I think it looks silly for Christians to approach, say, Buddhists and tell them that their entire belief system is wrong without really knowing what they believe.


I whole-heartedly agree that we should grasp some form of knowledge of other religions, but it is difficult. I have done a lot of studying on different religions, even the flying spaghetti monster. The problem is, many people believe differently about a religion than what is wrote down in a book. The best way is to talk to a professing "insert religion here", to get a good perspective on their beliefs.

skynes
01-08-2007, 02:17 PM
I guess it is kinda hard to explain. But all the examples you are giving me are centered around 1 person, or secondhand information by one person to others. Mormons, buddhists and witches are all self-experiences, meaning they only happen to individual people, and other people cannot experience the same thing. As far as the medium talking to the dead, the family isn't talking to the dead, they are just listening to somebody telling them he/she is communicating with their dead family. It is really a second hand experience.

Any number of witches can experience the same healing and prophesies.

Any number degree of Buddhists can experience the same 'enlightenment'.

But really Christ is also a personal thing. The changes that come from knowing Him happen to you and anyone who knows Him.

Let me give you a couple of examples. I was actually visiting another church, and a group of us prayed for this young boy that we all had known for a long time. He had a disease, not a virus that can go away, but a disease, only curable (so the Dr's say) by surgery (his liver had tripled it's original size, can't remember the medical term for it). Anyway, when his mother took him back to the Dr., they said there wasn't anything wrong with him. The Dr's were even stunned. Some would say this is coincedence though, or just natural. I would possibly agree, if it was a virus or cold or something that comes and goes, but not a disease. Anyway, we all took part in a miraculous healing, it wasn't just an epiphany someone had one day. I could give you a couple more, but this is what I meant by "real life examples".

Which is second hand information. 2nd-hand given to me, 2nd-hand given to anyone you witness to.

How does this differ from a witch saying her coven cast a healing spell over a sick child and he was healed?

john316
01-08-2007, 02:22 PM
How does this differ from a witch saying her coven cast a healing spell over a sick child and he was healed?

The main difference i can think of is that a Christian will(should) give God the glory for the healing. As to if that person choses to believe such is out of the believer's hands.

lamb_servant72
01-08-2007, 02:57 PM
As far as the medium talking to the dead, the family isn't talking to the dead, they are just listening to somebody telling them he/she is communicating with their dead family. It is really a second hand experience.


Okay, maybe alittle off topic, but when Saul had the medium call up Samuel, Saul spoke with Samuel directly.

lamb_servant72
01-14-2007, 09:30 AM
That's not an INTJ thing, that's an obedience to God thing. We're told (by Peter I think) to study and be able to defend what we believe when challenged on it :P

Well, we are told by Jesus in Matthew and again in Mark not to worry about what we will say because the Holy Spirit will speak through us.

skynes
01-14-2007, 11:38 AM
Well, we are told by Jesus in Matthew and again in Mark not to worry about what we will say because the Holy Spirit will speak through us.

So it all comes down to context then. Time to find the original verses!