In response to Janell Seymours letter (Christ is there - even on vacation, SN 3/22), I would argue that challenging Christians or non-Christians beliefs is not always a good thing.
I, like many others, feel very uncomfortable when evangelists attempt to convert people as part of their Christian duty. There are many problems with this. Being a Christian, I understand partly where Seymour is coming from. She claims if one person is challenged by evangelism or by crosses on the side of the road, then that is a good thing.
Here is where I would argue. Maybe peoples beliefs were challenged on their spring break, but what about the abundance of people who were probably repulsed by this type of evangelism? I think evangelists push people further away from religion when they invade their privacy. Im not saying evangelism is bad; I think it needs to be done in a respectful manner and only when someone expresses interest first.
I cant even count how many times Ive been pestered by evangelists on this campus. Recently I explained I was a Christian, but this person decided to attack my spirituality anyway. They asked me if I read my Bible on a daily basis and if I practiced evangelism. I told them I do not read my Bible every day, nor do I practice the type of evangelism they do. This person proceeded to lecture me on how I need to do this as a Christian. Am I the only person who can see a problem with someone telling me the correct way to practice my spirituality? If this person was so intrusive with me, I wonder how rude they might be toward a nonbeliever or someone of a different religion.
An overlooked passage in the Bible states, And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way (1 Peter 3:15-16).