When you strike up conversations with people, especially for the first time it is important for you to find out where they are and what they believe. For example, Do they believe in God? Do they have another world view? (Islam, Buddhism, etc..) Do they believe the Bible is true? There are many questions you can ask them. Each question will help you determine where you need to start in your discussions with them.
Avoid putting people in a box. Just because some says they are Mormon or they are a Muslim doesn’t mean they will fit into the general beliefs of their religion or worldview. You will find that people have varying beliefs or individual beliefs rather than fitting into every standard you know. Just as someone else might assume you believe something like speaking in tongues, or predestination because you are a Christian. Asking questions will help you determine what they believe and why?
Here are some questions that you can ask people to help you figure out what they believe and this will help you know where to start with them in your discussions.
1. Do you believe in a God?
2. Do you believe in one God (monotheism) or many gods (polytheism)?
3. On a scale 1-7 seven, 1 being total atheist and 7 being a total theist, where do you stand?
4. Are you a Deist or Theist?
5. How do you believe the world came to be?
6. Do you believe in evolution?
7. Do you think the Universe had a beginning?
8. Do you believe that humanity has Free Will or is Determined?
9. Do you believe in Absolute truth?
10. Do you believe that truth is relative?
11. Where does Evil come from?
12. Do you believe in Satan?
13. Define Evil.
14. Where do morals come from?
15. Do you believe in an Objective Moral?
16. What is Sin?
17. Do you believe that the Bible is inspired from God?
18. Do you believe the Bible contains errors?
19. Do you believe in miracles?
20. Do you believe in Jesus?
21. What do you believe about Jesus?
22. Do you believe that Jesus is God?
23. Do you believe Jesus rose from the dead?
24. What is Faith?
You can also ask them to define terms that they or you might use in your discussion. For example: Mormons and Christians both us the word Trinity but define it by different meanings. Christians view the Trinity as the 3 (Father, Son, Spirit) in 1 triune God who has three unique personalities but is 1 God. Mormons view the 3 Gods (Father, Son, Spirit) referred in the Bible who are not the 1 and same God.
Don’t forget 1 Peter 3:15:
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,”
As you have conversations with people don’t forget one of the most important things, to talk with them with “gentleness and respect” You are not out there to coerce anyone into believing in your Christian worldview, you can be bold and persuasive, but don’t ever try to force someone into a relationship with Christ. It has to be their choice. You are also not out there to “slam” anyone or make them look stupid with your knowledge of apologetics. In the next post I will explain a method for presenting the Gospel and simple strategy for helping other people understand your Christian worldview.