Letter: Learning from each other

By The Daily Illini

I read with interest Alex Dunkel’s editorial, “Misguided Faith,” and I thank him for sharing his perspective. On behalf of all other Christians, I would like to apologize to Mr. Dunkel for the negative experiences he has had. It is important for perspectives like his to be expressed, and though I initially was offended, I came to realize the necessity of looking at this issue through his eyes.

I know Christians can be pushy. I know we can unfortunately focus too much on trying to make people believe as we do, rather than loving them as they are.

To other Christians, I encourage you to be mindful of our words, thoughts and actions as we share our faith with others. Of course it is our hope that everyone would come to know Jesus as we do. Yet, we need to be reminded that trying to coerce another person to believe or pretending to befriend someone does not follow Jesus’ example of genuinely loving everyone. We can certainly explain what we believe and describe our personal experiences, but we need to be respectful if people choose not to believe. God’s timing is not our timing, and hopefully, someday those people will change their minds, but it is not our right to force them.

To non-Christians, please try to see our perspective as well. We have found tremendous peace, hope and joy in our faith, and we want as many people as possible to also experience this. Becoming a Christian is more than believing you will go to heaven when you die, but also having a relationship with God that makes life so much more meaningful right now. I realize these ideas may sound crazy, but when God intervenes in one’s heart, this “foolishness” suddenly makes a lot of sense.

I encourage non-Christians not to dismiss all Christian groups on campus. Please talk to us, and discuss your questions and opinions with us. Continue to remind us of life outside the Christian bubble in which many of us like to live. Get to know us as people before you automatically judge us. We can learn from each other.

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Tara Rogers

senior in ACES