Core Christianity

On laundry day I haul all my stuff up to the laundry mat and get the washers going, and if there is anyone around I try to strike up a conversation. Pretty quickly I transition to spiritual things. Most often people will claim to be a Christian. At that point I switch gears. I may ask them directly what the Gospel is, to others I say, I am a Buddhist, (hypothetically) why should I become a Christian?. In 10 years of visiting this laundry mat no one has been able to tell me. I was able to pull out the information from one guy who claimed to be a deacon in his church, but it was like pulling teeth.

If these guys go to a local church, I will ask him if they teach the Great Commission there. Half the time they need a refresher on what it is, the other half claim to have learned it. If I haven't expended the question already, I will ask them why I should be a Christian. Mostly blank stares.

I think these are core issues in Christianity. Almost everything else is a distraction from these issues. Further these distractions cause the most division in the church. Can we unify over these core issues? Or are these extras so important? If so, why?
 

Ktoyou

New member
Hall of Fame
They probably think to are a crazy old lonely fool? This is what I would assume if I met you in public place, and you stated getting personal, asking me about my beliefs.
 

patrick jane

BANNED
Banned
On laundry day I haul all my stuff up to the laundry mat and get the washers going, and if there is anyone around I try to strike up a conversation. Pretty quickly I transition to spiritual things. Most often people will claim to be a Christian. At that point I switch gears. I may ask them directly what the Gospel is, to others I say, I am a Buddhist, (hypothetically) why should I become a Christian?. In 10 years of visiting this laundry mat no one has been able to tell me. I was able to pull out the information from one guy who claimed to be a deacon in his church, but it was like pulling teeth.

If these guys go to a local church, I will ask him if they teach the Great Commission there. Half the time they need a refresher on what it is, the other half claim to have learned it. If I haven't expended the question already, I will ask them why I should be a Christian. Mostly blank stares.

I think these are core issues in Christianity. Almost everything else is a distraction from these issues. Further these distractions cause the most division in the church. Can we unify over these core issues? Or are these extras so important? If so, why?

It's true the conversation of Christ usually ends with - "yeah, I'm Christian, you Christian too ?" - "Yeah, me too", or if somebody says no, I'm not, I'm this or that or nothing at all, the conversation generally doesn't go much further. It seems folks are all too busy or they think they already know. -
 

musterion

Well-known member
When such conversations take place, I pretty quickly ask, "What is the Gospel?" or "What must I do to be saved?" They either get offended reactions for being asked, they spout worthless church tradition/philosophy, argue with the whole "need to be saved" premise, quit talking altogether, or they tell me the right answer. In several years of doing this, I've gotten the right answer once. Most people do the other options.
 

aikido7

BANNED
Banned
On laundry day I haul all my stuff up to the laundry mat and get the washers going, and if there is anyone around I try to strike up a conversation. Pretty quickly I transition to spiritual things. Most often people will claim to be a Christian. At that point I switch gears. I may ask them directly what the Gospel is, to others I say, I am a Buddhist, (hypothetically) why should I become a Christian?. In 10 years of visiting this laundry mat no one has been able to tell me. I was able to pull out the information from one guy who claimed to be a deacon in his church, but it was like pulling teeth.

If these guys go to a local church, I will ask him if they teach the Great Commission there. Half the time they need a refresher on what it is, the other half claim to have learned it. If I haven't expended the question already, I will ask them why I should be a Christian. Mostly blank stares.

I think these are core issues in Christianity. Almost everything else is a distraction from these issues. Further these distractions cause the most division in the church. Can we unify over these core issues? Or are these extras so important? If so, why?
To me the core issue is a question: What is the character of your God?

Is it the Father preached by Jesus?
Or is it the empire defined by Rome?

We live in the American Empire. The violent, self-congratulatory, scapegoating and cruel direction this country has taken is not of the God I recognize in Jesus.
 

patrick jane

BANNED
Banned
When such conversations take place, I pretty quickly ask, "What is the Gospel?" or "What must I do to be saved?" They either get offended reactions for being asked, they spout worthless church tradition/philosophy, argue with the whole "need to be saved" premise, quit talking altogether, or they tell me the right answer. In several years of doing this, I've gotten the right answer once. Most people do the other options.

I'm too reserved or shy to ask that question to a stranger, it never seems to be appropriate. I also don't want people to feel like I'm putting them on the spot by quizzing them. Depends
 
Then again maybe the clientele at the laundrymat aren't spiritual
Of course you get the full spectrum. In the South though most people generally claim to be Christians.
It's true the conversation of Christ usually ends with - "yeah, I'm Christian, you Christian too ?" - "Yeah, me too", or if somebody says no, I'm not, I'm this or that or nothing at all, the conversation generally doesn't go much further. It seems folks are all too busy or they think they already know. -
 
When such conversations take place, I pretty quickly ask, "What is the Gospel?" or "What must I do to be saved?" They either get offended reactions for being asked, they spout worthless church tradition/philosophy, argue with the whole "need to be saved" premise, quit talking altogether, or they tell me the right answer. In several years of doing this, I've gotten the right answer once. Most people do the other options.
Someone might be a "Christian", at least in the broadest sense of the word, without understanding the Gospel, but can they be saved without some comprehension of the Gospel? I don't think so.
 

heir

TOL Subscriber
On laundry day I haul all my stuff up to the laundry mat and get the washers going, and if there is anyone around I try to strike up a conversation. Pretty quickly I transition to spiritual things. Most often people will claim to be a Christian. At that point I switch gears. I may ask them directly what the Gospel is, to others I say, I am a Buddhist, (hypothetically) why should I become a Christian?. In 10 years of visiting this laundry mat no one has been able to tell me. I was able to pull out the information from one guy who claimed to be a deacon in his church, but it was like pulling teeth.

If these guys go to a local church, I will ask him if they teach the Great Commission there. Half the time they need a refresher on what it is, the other half claim to have learned it. If I haven't expended the question already, I will ask them why I should be a Christian. Mostly blank stares.

I think these are core issues in Christianity. Almost everything else is a distraction from these issues. Further these distractions cause the most division in the church. Can we unify over these core issues? Or are these extras so important? If so, why?
God will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. I try to deal with people in that order. There is no sense in discussing spiritual things with a natural man and the quickest way to find out is to ask others as I'll ask you now, "What is the gospel of your salvation?". And as to the so called "Great Commission", most people can't even tell you whose it is or what it's "therefore".
 
If one is not saved, they're not a Christian, period.
In a very narrow sense this is absolutely true. However, it would be naive to assume that all who claim to be Christian are saved.

Mat 7:21 — Mat 7:23
I Never Knew You
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
 

bybee

New member
In a very narrow sense this is absolutely true. However, it would be naive to assume that all who claim to be Christian are saved.

Mat 7:21 — Mat 7:23
I Never Knew You
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Complacency and smugness may be the bane of many of us.
 
God will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. I try to deal with people in that order. There is no sense in discussing spiritual things with a natural man and the quickest way to find out is to ask others as I'll ask you now, "What is the gospel of your salvation?". And as to the so called "Great Commission", most people can't even tell you whose it is or what it's "therefore".
Does that mean you will not share the Gospel with someone you perceive as being a natural man?

Mat 9:11 — Mat 9:13
And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Certainly we have all known men that we thought to be spiritual, many of them "pastors", but turned out to be shockingly carnal.

Lastly, knowledge is only effective when applied. I've met many men that acknowledge their position before God. That they were worthy of His wrath. They understood their need to repent and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, but they won't. "I am just not ready.", that's what the last guy told me.
 
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