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Published on May 7th, 2015 | by Discussion Questions

Should we be close friends with non-Christians?





BROOKLYN WRITES: Being a teenager, I am often told by adults that I need to choose my friends carefully because the people we surround ourselves with influence us. I am also told that Jesus loved everyone equally, and we ought to do the same by reaching out to non-Christian people, or people who are on the wrong path, and being friends with them. This confuses me. Is there a certain line not to cross? If so, what is that line? What do you think?


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are submitted by real rebelutionaries who are looking for godly answers to tough questions and lively conversation with other young adults. You can join the conversation by commenting below. If you'd like to submit your own discussion question, email us at [email protected]



  • Lydia Schroetlin

    Hey! So what I’d say is that it is important to have strong Christian friends and non-Christian acquaintances. Meaning you share who you are and your trust with those who believe in Christ. You grow together with them and strengthen each other through your faith in Christ. At the same time God calls us to step out in our faith and so we must get to know non-Christians and show them we care. After all, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. So I’d say that you should have a Christian support group who you can go to, but that you should also befriend those who don’t follow Christ. Personally I would never keep someone from being my friend unless I felt they were endangering or compromising my walk with Christ. I would say that you should pray to God about how close you allow others to your heart.
    Hope this helps!!!

    • Brooklyn S.

      “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I love that! Thank you :)

      • Lydia Schroetlin

        You’re very welcome! I’m praying for you Brooklyn!!!

  • First off, it’s usually very difficult to be close friends with unbelievers. Without the basis of similar thought processes and beliefs, close friendships usually don’t occur.

    However, I wouldn’t say it’s sin. I guess it depends on just how close a friend they are. Friends have an enormous amount of influence on our habits. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some very good friends who push me closer to Christ. I’d be very wary of intentionally exposing yourself to frequent pushes toward any other direction.

    I’m not advocating turning away people or shunning them. But I think a close friendship could be dangerous. So, if you can maintain a good friendship in which you can be a good example of a Christian, do so! I would advocate more along the lines of a more than acquaintance, but still not a close friend.

    A friendship is built on similar beliefs and goals. It’s very hard to have those with an unbeliever!

    • Josh A

      Good point! =)

    • Brooklyn S.

      Great point. I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for the response. :)

  • Josh A

    Great question, Brooklyn! (@brooklynmm:disqus???) =P

    In general, I’d say it’s fine to have close non-Christian friends, as long as they don’t cause you to struggle in any way.

    For example, if you hang out with someone who’s not saved and they use curse words or talk about “bad stuff” all the time or whatever, then it’s probably not a good idea to hang out with them, ’cause they WILL make you want to do what they do…”He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20 OR if you have a friend that claims to be a Christian, but doesn’t act like it, then they could also cause you to struggle.

    Hey, also check out the first part of Psalm 1:

    “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
    Nor stand in the path of sinners,
    Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
    2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    And in His law he meditates day and night.
    3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by [b]streams of water,
    Which yields its fruit in its season
    And its leaf does not wither;
    And in whatever he does, he prospers.”

    Hope this helps! =)

    • Twas not me, though I’d like to take credit for this brilliant question. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Josh A

        Lol ok. =P I figured that out when I saw you answer it haha.

    • Haha that’s much better worded than my answer

      • Josh A

        Naw, what you said was good, too! =)

    • Brooklyn S.

      Loved your answer! I will definitely be highlighting those verses in my Bible. Thanks. :)

  • I may be adding to the noise, but here’s my take on this question:

    First of all, Jesus ate with sinners. But he didn’t partake in their sin. I think it’s important to remember that we are in the world, but not of it. (Romans 12:2)

    I met a girl at my out-of-state church camp who wanted nothing to do with God. She was adopted, and has a lot of sisters, and her parents are slightly legalistic Christians. She’s fed up. Somehow I began talking to her and discussing with her a lot of the questions that she had spinning around in her mind, and after camp was over we began writing letters.

    We’ve been writing for 2 years now, and I feel like I’ve made about t-h-i-s much headway. None. She’s very worldly and hardly knows anything about the gospel, but what I have found is that through talking with her and trying to answer her laundry list of questions, MY faith has been strengthened in a myriad of ways. She’s not my best friend by any means, but that’s mainly only because of the fact that she doesn’t love Jesus, and I do. But I love her, and so I’m able to be friends with her.

    I don’t think it would be wise to have all unbelieving friends. But to have a couple who you can speak with and share the love of Christ… that is our goal here on earth. To make disciples of all nations. (Matt 28:19)

    • Brooklyn S.

      Hey, Laura!
      This is a very wise response and helped a lot. Thank you!

  • So I kind of have a lot of thoughts about this question, but I really have a lot of reading to do for my class tomorrow morning (like 138 pages are supposed to be read before 8am tomorrow). So with that being said, if you want to hear my thoughts and possibly receive a really long reply to this question than let me know and I will try to write it out tomorrow. But right now it would probably be good if everyone just scolded me and told me to go do my homework right now because I don’t have much motivation for doing my reading and would much rather be discussing this topic with ya’ll. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Josh A

      *scolding tone of voice* HANNAH!!!! How could you be on here when you have reading to do??!!!??!! XD lol…seriously though I’d love to hear what you have to say (if you have time). =)

      • Well I wrote a response, but its tediously long and probably repeating everyone else’s thoughts beside the part about Augustine. I am pretty sure I am the only one who has brought up Augustine here. Haha!

        • Josh A

          I read it – it was good! =)

    • Hannah, Hannah, Hannah. Tut, tut, tut. Don’t you have some homework to be doing? :)

      I’m one to talk…

    • How’s your homework going, and btw. when you get finished with that I would like to hear your thoughts

      • The homework went ok for about 10 minutes until a friend messaged me asking if I could help her with a catering event she was doing. So off I went for a few hours to help relieve my friend. But I did give a response to the question and you will probably regret ever saying you wanted to here it. Lol

    • I would love to hear your thoughts! :) I hope your class goes well!

      • It was my last class for the year, so it was bitter sweet.

    • Thanks for all the scolding, guys! ๐Ÿ˜‰ It was super helpful. Lol So I actually didn’t get done with as much homework as I intended because a friend needed help so I went to go help her out for a couple hours. ๐Ÿ˜‰ but class was still good! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • So, we can stop scolding you now? I was kinda enjoying it…

        • Haha! I’m sure you were. One of the few times someone will actually give you permission to scold them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But if you find me on here again next week like before Thursday or something then you should probably scold me then because I have finals that week and should probably spend most of my time studying for that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Matthew Onnen

    Well the non-believers I know are…hmmm…very interesting let’s say. So it’s the actions that do the trick.

  • I think if God puts nonbelievers in your life, you should pursue deep relationships with them so that you can be a light to them and bring them closer to Christ. I think there are two main types of friendships you can have with anyone, believer or nonbeliever. Either one where we try to be cool and not stand up for what we believe or one where we are ourselves and don’t abandon our convictions. Though I try to have the second kind of friendship, I fall into the fear of man a lot. Even with believers, it can be easy to let the fear of man control us so that we don’t stand up for what we believe when we see something wrong that’s happening. We might even join in. I think with our friendships with nonbelievers, we have to be wiling to be uncool or the “weird Christian” and not do everything that our non-Christian friends do. If they invite you to do something you don’t feel comfortable with, tell them where you stand. They might even ask you questions about why and that could lead to a good conversation. In some ways, our friendships with unbelievers can be easier because when we don’t feel comfortable with something we can just say it’s because we’re Christian. With other believers, if we have different convictions than they do, it can be harder to explain those. Sorry, I’m rambling, but I hope you get something out of this.

    • Another thought. I feel like we can be open with nonbelievers about our short comings, but our Christian friends are the ones we should really talk to when we have a problem. Let me emphasize, I am not saying you should not be open with nonbelievers. A lot of people think that Christians think they’re perfect, and you can show them that’s not true by letting your own problems show.

      • I don’t really have any non-Christian friends, but that’s mostly because really the only non-Christian’s I know are my neighbors and we don’t have a strong neighborhood community.

  • Zipporah

    Wow, a very excellent question Brooklyn! I think it is okay to be friends with non-believers, however, like all things in life, you need to bring balance into your relationships. When a new believer, it is best to surround yourself with fellow believers who can encourage, strengthen, and stand by you. When you have unbelieving friends, you must be careful not to be led astray by that friendship. Be the leader, the image of Christ, and not the follow. You have the ability to bring a non- believer to Christ through such a relationship. I hope you find this helpful!

  • Well the bible says you’re supposed to be in the world but not of the world I think its okay to be friends with people who are not saved but you have to be careful not to let them sway your opinions. I’ve found that the more I hang out with people who aren’t saved the more worldly I become. Its sort of a balance actually, you need to be careful and steadfast in your faith, but you need to talk to people who aren’t saved to be an example for them to get saved.

  • Kathleen A. Peck

    When addressing any dilemma in life we should always examine the scriptures to find ‘the whole counsel of God’ concerning our dilemma as opposed to isolating one scripture here or one there.
    This question is a good one & requires the Christian to carefully navigate his/her way in balancing between obedience to the great commission & the other verses that tell us that light & darkness are not compatible.

    We are called to be in the world but not of it. This means we work, live & play alongside unbelievers. Paul said to avoid unbelievers, one would have to go outside of the world so it’s clear the Apostle is not suggesting no integration.
    Where the distinction is drawn is the NT understanding of ‘fellowship’ The scriptures tell us that believers live in the light while unbelievers live in darkness, serving their father the devil. That said, our interactions with unbelievers should be limited in scope to those instances of necessity & opportunities to evangelize. Yes, we can be friends & acquaintances with unbelievers, but we can never have the bond of fellowship reserved only for those whose eyes have been opened to the truth of Jesus Christ.

    My teens are allowed to attend events when they’re invited provided they are not going to be compromising their beliefs by what they will hear, see or be expected to participate in. They’re encouraged to engage unsaved friends with the good news of the gospel as the Lord presents opportunity but their primary source of close friendships come solely through other believing teens who likewise believe that whatever we do, we do unto the glory of God.

    Hope this helps!

  • guy in chicago

    Continue to ask questions as grow in Christ. I’m going to say yes…And no. Yes be friends w/ nonbelievers ; so to sharing the life of Christ. But your core group of friends, who shape you, should bring you to become more like Jesus.

    and pray: talk with God about it :)

  • anonymous

    Having non-Christian friends is pretty awesome because you have a chance to share your life with someone who needs Jesus. But you need Christian friends who will hold you accountable, and encourage you in a way that just wouldn’t be happening if the gospel wasn’t there. So, keep a good balance and don’t isolate yourself in a Christian bubble.

  • John Mark Rives

    My view is that everything we do everything for the glory of god, and that includes friendships. Of course when I am around Christian friends, I enjoy my time and often contemplate Jesus. The purpose of having non-Christian friends is to share Jesus with them. I may know a friend for quite a long time before I share Jesus with them, but I spend that whole time building our friendship so that they are open to hearing about Jesus from me.

    It is all strategy. I would say yes, make friends with unbelievers, but know why you are doing it.

  • Hi Brooklyn!
    I think it depends on your definition of close friends. I believe that when the Bible talks about not being “unequally yoked” in a romantic relationship, it can also be applied here. If the people who have HUGE influence on you are not Christians, that’s a little dangerous. For example:

    Say you have a friend you’ve known for years. You know she’s not a Christian, but you still love her as much as a sister. You feel you can trust here with pretty much all your mistakes and stories. You are always open to her giving you advice, but you always filter it because it may not line up with the Bible. You listen carefully and are interesting in everything she has to say. But, you also have some strong Christian teenage friends who you can trust just as much and don’t have to have such a strong filter when listening to them.

    I would say that’s an awesome close friendship, but not one that compromises your morality or wisdom of avoiding bad situations. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Hey! Can I just say you have a wonderful name? I mean its beautiful! Just amazing! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    2 Corinthians 6:14 says “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” While this can apply to dating/marriage, it’s also really applicable to friendships.

    Friendships with people that aren’t Christians can be BAD NEWS for people trying to walk with God. My youth group has used this illustration as an example once:
    I stood on a chair, and someone stood on the ground. I grabbed this persons hand and tried to pull them up onto the chair, but I couldn’t. Then, they yanked and tried to pull me off of the chair. It worked.
    When we have close non-Christian friends, we think it’ll be really easy to pull them up to our level. But in reality, it’s much easier for them to pull US down to THEIR level. So these friendships need to be distanced.
    So how do you find the balance between staying as far away from them as possible and being close friends?
    You still talk to them. I have this girl down the street from me, and her and I were best friends for seven years. But when the teen years came, we both chose different paths. Whenever she needs someone to talk to, I’m there for her and listen. I also answer some questions she has and try to constantly point things to God. You can still talk with non-Christian friends that you have. We’re not supposed to avoid these people, we just need to surround ourselves first with Godly friends toencourage us in our walk with God.

    • Josh A

      Great illustration! =)

    • Brooklyn S.

      Haha, I would have to agree on the brilliance of the name Brooklyn, Brooklyn! ๐Ÿ˜‰

      The illustration helps show things more clearly, and I love your answer!
      Thank you. :)

      • Thank you! And yeah, America must love the name Brooklyn too. After all, they named a city after us… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Skylar

      Okay, I know this totally irrelevant, but I notice you change your pic and I tried, but it won’t change.. :/ how do you do this?? :)

  • Christopher Witmer

    Good question, Brooklyn! This is something I wrestle with quite a bit!

    You already have a lot of good answers, but I’m going to pitch in a few thoughts as well. =)

    I think it’s a matter of changing our mentality and growing in maturity.

    Let me explain:
    I don’t think we should be scared of developing relationships with unbelievers. If we are mature in Christ, than we can have good, positive relationship with people who don’t believe Jesus. We shouldn’t view them as untouchable because Jesus didn’t view them as untouchable. It is not that unbelievers can’t be good friends–there are many who don’t believe Jesus yet make excellent friends!

    Don’t view yourself as above or more important than someone who doesn’t believe Jesus. Because it’s not a matter of us being made better or higher; it’s a matter of us being made alive.

    The difference is that we are alive in Christ. We must not avoid unbelievers: we have life of Christ in us! We have the hope of the world in our hearts! This isn’t a cause for pride–it should humble us and make us better friends!

    So yes, I think you can be friends, even close friends, with non-believers, but you also need good friends who are going to point you to Jesus and remind you of your identity in Christ.

    Unfortunately, many Christians point us to condemnation and tell us to try harder or believe more, rather than give us the life and rest that comes in Christ.

    It is that life and rest that you have to offer to someone who hasn’t received Jesus.

    Remember this: Relating to unbelievers can be very draining because they don’t offer that life and rest in Jesus and instead often bring a lot of spiritual warfare into our lives. Rather than running from this, we should accept it while making sure that we have people in our lives restoring us in Christ and leading us back to that life and rest in Jesus Christ.

    Other Christians can also be very draining, which is, again, why we need Life-giving people in our weekly or even daily lives.

    Non-Christians are not untouchables, they’re not less-than or incapable of being good friends. But they won’t give us Christ–and we need that desperately.

    A non-Christian friend won’t be on the same page about Christ, which is a huge obstacle. But that doesn’t mean you can’t influence them toward Christ nor does it mean they have nothing to offer you.

    I don’t believe we should hold people at arms length until they receive Jesus, because even Jesus didn’t do that. It does more harm than good. Instead, Jesus reached out, accepted, touched, welcomed, and befriended those who society and culture rejected, scorned, and refused to touch. Jesus said “I’m including you in my life” long before they believed He was the Christ.

    Hope this helps!

    • Brooklyn S.

      Wow, wow, wow, great answer! I need to think about your response for awhile. Great stuff.

      • Christopher Witmer

        Awesome! Thanks!

    • margabranica

      This is so refreshing :)

      • Christopher Witmer

        Great! I’m glad you found it so! =)

  • Emigb4

    As long as the friendship doesn’t cause you to sin, it’s probably okay. If it makes you a better person, fantastic!

    • What do you mean by it makes you a better person? just curious.

      • I personally have many really good friends who aren’t christian. However, they are lovely people. They strive to do good to others. We should remember that many of the spiritual leaders in Christ’s time “draw near with their mouths, but their hearts are far from me.” I think sometimes we are fooled by titles. So, if the non-christian is a good kind person, and help you maintain your standards, by all means… be friends!

        • Yes,. But also remember this if they don’t know or accept Christ they will not go to heaven even if they are nice non-Christian. Jesus is the only way.

          • And through you they could find Christ.
            I’m not saying they are going to heaven. I’m just saying that they may not pull you down.

          • Yeah. I’d like to think sometimes you know they seem happy of what they do but sometimes I am worried that I may not see them again specially your really good friend. You know what I mean.

  • So probably everyone else is saying similar things as to what I am about to say, but I will share a couple thoughts and probably make a way too long of a comment.
    First, is it really possible to actually be friends with a non-believer? Before my sophomore year of college I would have totally said, yes. But after reading Augustine’s Confessions (a great book, by the way) in my sophomore year, I had to pause and rethink some of my thoughts on friendships and whether a believer can actually have a true friendship with a non-believer. Now I won’t go into great detail about what Augustine says because most likely Brooklyn was not thinking in quite his terms when she asked this question. Simply put, I believe Augustine is arguing in his book that a nonbeliever and a believer cannot be true friends because what bonds two or more together to make a friendship are characteristics that can be found only in the bond of Christ, such as a bond that can never be separated by death. Now if anyone desires to argue with me about this, I am not saying I agree completely with Augustine, but if you read his book you might see what I am hinting at and be willing to consider his point of view as valid. Also I wrote a whole paper on it, but I just didn’t want to post it here, because I am pretty sure that’s not really exactly the question here anyway and its long and it’s probably embarrassingly bad argumentation. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    So with that being said, I used to work with several non-believers who I would call my friends. In fact, at the time, they were some of my best friends and I considered these guys like my brothers and one of the girls like a younger sister. Yet at the same time, I did not go to these friends for spiritual growth. I worked with them; I talked about life with them; we shared hopes and dreams with each other; we cared about one another, but these were not my friends that I sought spiritual guidance from. I still treasure and care about these friends even though I don’t keep up with them much any more. Why I am so thankful to have these friends in my life is because of the opportunity I had to show Christ’s love to them and share the gospel with them. I think all of them knew that I was a believer and that we believed differently, but the fact that I was willing to be there friend and love them and care about them, I believe and pray, made an impact on their lives. That is why I am so thankful for these non-believing friends and why I believe it is important to have non-believing friends. I think one of the best ways to witness to non-believers is to be there friend and be an example of Christ-like love. Yet at the same time these friends should not be your best friends nor the friends you look to for spiritual guidance or encouragement.
    So that is a little of my thoughts, I am sorry for my once more very long comment. I hope that all makes sense and might be of some help.

  • I struggled with this one too because there were so few Christians around that were my age. I found that you can be good friends with a non-Christian but it’s a different kind of friendship. It’s like there will always be a part of you that will be closed off to them. Friendships with unbelievers can be deep but they are also limited. There is a depth to my friendships with Christians that I could just never reach with my non-Christian friends because we just aren’t on the same level spiritually.
    But yes, you become like those you surround yourself with. By all means be friends with unbelievers but if they are damaging your relationship with God, you need to keep them at arm’s length (as kindly as possible).

  • No.

    • Gabrielle

      Why would you say no?

  • Correct me if I am wrong….yes you can be CLOSE friends, BEST friends but not TRUE friends. True friends does not let you go down with your sin or like doing bad stuff. True friends in Christ say a lot about friendship. here are some verses
    Proverbs 12:26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

    Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm

    • Gabrielle

      Totally agree!! You can be close friends, but because you are a child of God and they’re not, you won’t be true friends and have that kinda connection and bond that you can only have with another believer.

  • Seth Yoder

    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 2Cor. 6:14 Jesus loved and cared for unbelievers, but (correct me if I’m wrong) nowhere is it recorded that He was actually close friends with an unbeliever. We definitely are to be friendly to unbelievers, and love them, but friendships of such nature can only go so deep. That’s my take on the situation. Easier talked about than acted upon, though!

  • Emma

    Good question, Brooklyn. I think that it is ok to be friends with unbelievers, but don’t let them guide you astray. I have unbelieving friends. Sometimes it is hard for me to not get caught up in what they do, or how they act around people. I have found that spending time in God’s word helps me, and talking to few adults in my church really helps.
    Hope this helps!

  • Bob Bailey

    I think that this is a very important question. It has already been mentioned that Jesus ate with sinners. In Matthew 9 the self-righteous Pharisees asked the disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And Jesus overheard the question and answered, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” With Jesus as our example, we should have relationships with those that are not saved but we should also have boundaries concerning behavior and activities that we should not cross. Jesus was sinless. In his relationships with sinners, he did not sin. He had boundaries that he would not cross. In Matthew 10 Jesus sends out the twelve and tells them, “I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” To do God’s work we must be wise, being led by the Holy Spirit, but not vulnerable and fall victim to peer pressure and the culture. Our relationships with the unsaved, especially those we are going to call “friends”, has to be with a heart that loves God and wants to do His will. We are to be God’s ministers of reconciliation. Paul writes: So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting peopleโ€™s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christโ€™s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christโ€™s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:16-20 NIV To be ministers of reconciliation requires that we befriend the unsaved. But Paul also writes, Do not be misled: โ€œBad company corrupts good character.โ€ I Corinthians 7:33 In my duties as custodian at the high school I try to form relationships with the kids that are continuously in detention. Not because I want to be like them, I have already lived and survived a life of disobedience through God’s grace, but because I want them to be reconciled to God by the cross and love of Christ. Befriend the unsaved, offer the grace and mercy of a loving God, but be as “shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

  • Amanda

    We should definitely build relationships with non-Christians so we can share our faith with them, but we should make sure we are influencing them toward Christ without letting them influence us for the world. Our closest friends should always be believers.

  • Connie Eugenia Eugenius

    If we didn’t have “non-Christian” friends, how are we going to lead non believers to Christ? Jesus came to die for those who persecuted. He came to show them true light.

    • Seth Yoder

      Yeah you’re right! Although there is a difference between being a friend, and being friendly. Jesus wasn’t necessarily “close friends” with nonbelievers, but He was friendly (and loving) to them (and everyone). We can lead a nonbeliever to Christ without being his “friend.” I think we need to be very careful when we’re friends with nonbelievers. Our friends influence us more than we think, and wether we like it or not.

      • Connie Eugenia Eugenius

        Yes I definitely agree with that! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Good comment! Btw. I looooooveeee your profile!!!!!

      • Connie Eugenia Eugenius

        Aw thanks!

  • I only have a few Friends and they are Christians. I think we should pick our best Friends carefully, but I don’t see anything wrong with having non christian Friends as long as we be carefull that they will not lead us a away from God instead we should try to lead them to Christ.

  • There’s a difference between friends and close friends.

  • Mary

    Jesus surrounded himself with his disciples who knew and loved him. They were his closest followers and friends. They were like his Christian friends. Jesus also hung out with sinners. He spent time with them to show them love and forgiveness, God’s love and forgiveness. Having only non-christian friends would tear you down. You need Christian friends to support you. Don’t surround yourself with non-christian friends but don’t shut them out. It’s like you are standing on a chair. If you surround yourself with non-christian friends, they will pull you down. If you have good Christian friends on the chair with you (it’s a big chair), they can give you strength to help pull up your non-christian friend. At the least, they can keep you from falling. I hope that helped. That’s one of my favorite analogies.

    • Seth Yoder

      Lol! I love the analogy! You pretty much nailed it. :)

      • Mary

        : D I love it so much! Someone showed it to me in 6th grade and I have yet to forget it.

  • I think the question should first be posed as to, how do you define “friend” and “close friend.” Also, I have met some who are more christian then christians. Some only draw close with their mouths. Some simply haven’t found how to voice where there hearts are at.
    I think this is all rather personal. Perhaps a question that discussion like this, can make you think to ask. But ultimately something that you and God should commune about in order to properly find how to deal with your unique situations.

  • Joshua Lewis

    I don’t mean to step on anyone’s toes but I think the line is marriage. As Christians our main mission on earth is to spread God’s word, and what better way to do that then to show non-believers who we are up close. However, your spouse should be a believer on the same level as you to pick each up and sharpen one another. Marriage is the strongest bond between two people and people’s spiritual believes are one, if not, the core value of that person. To be that close to a person and know that they don’t respect that value is never healthy.

    • Well said! Thanks for putting my own thoughts in a much more concise and precise fashion. Precision of language is not my gift in life! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I like your thoughts! My one thought is that you should be careful about close friends too. Sometimes when you get really close to someone it’s opening up the door for them to influence you, you might be influencing them too (which is great!) but if you’re not a strong christian yet or are dealing with any issues like rebellion or whatever, developing a close relationship with someone might not be such a great idea. I know a lot of great people who aren’t christians, but I am often tempted to lower my standards to be “cool” to them. This isn’t to say I never hang out with them, I just need to be careful when I do. So just a couple of my thoughts and experiences…. ๐Ÿ˜€ (and absolutely you should never marry or date an unbeliever)

  • Christina B.

    Interestingly enough when I am around unbelievers, it draws
    me more to Christ. As I see so poignantly what they are missing and it makes me
    long for Him even more. It makes my heart ache to see them living their lives
    without the greatest hope of all, and I long it for them so deeply. When I
    return among believers I will be literally fighting back tears at the sheer joy
    of being with people who love the God I love. When I go to church I will feel
    goosebumps at being able to worship God again with other lovers of the truth.

    But often when I am surrounded for a long time by only
    Christians, I will get tired of them. I am not sure what it is, I feel like I
    am constantly being fed and never having the chance to eat, and I have to go
    away again to feel anew the presence of Christ. I think it is the incredible
    pettiness of so many religious people that gets to me and I need a break from
    after a while.

    Maybe it is because when I am with other Christians there
    isnโ€™t much of a battle, but when none are around I plead with God constantly to
    protect me from myself and from doing anything that would dishonour His holy
    name and I feel Him so close to me. Itโ€™s then that I feel so strongly my own
    weakness and I have to depend only on Christ rather than on others.

    Itโ€™s important that you are not dependent on people to be
    around you to keep you strong; you need to find your strength in Jesus. We are
    quickly losing our freedoms, can you stand alone without another person. Is
    Christ enough for you? Yes, we need to surround ourselves with believers but
    are you depending on them to keep you strong instead of on Jesus?

    As to marrying an unbeliever, this is something I struggle with a little, as I said many times that I didn’t want to marry a religious guy because unfortunately I’ve seen many “christian” men who proclaim Jesus with their mouth but are extremely abusive. To this day I battle terrible fears of marriage because of them. Yet one of the kindest and gentlest men I’ve ever met is non-committal about Christ, he has won my trust and respect as no one else ever has been able to. He has inspired in me a dedication to total honesty, to being the best I can be. Why?? Why guys, why?? Why do religious men act so holier than thou so often? Yes, there are non-religious guys who do too, I know that. But why? why? All the little white lies? Or not so little white lies that supposedly are ok? Maybe the key is religious, and not Christian.

    • Al Ive

      I tend to agree…

      “Itโ€™s important that you are not dependent on people to be around you to
      keep you strong;you need to find your strength in Jesus. ”

      I have seen some around me, who look to others for their “doctrine” rather
      than looking to God’s Word and sadly it has :(Without being too rude, made them too spiritual to associate with others who don’t follow their interpretation :(

      But we do also need to be encouraged by fellowship- the fellowship of
      believers who Christ has saved :)

      I think you have answered it already “…the key is religious, and not
      Christian…” That what is in their heart will be demonstrated as fruit – but
      ensure Jesus is guarding your heart, to not give it away romantically to someone who has not yet discovered God’s saving GRACE.

    • Kate

      Absolutely!! I relate to how you feel. Thanks for sharing

  • My parents have always told me that it really depends. there are some questions you should ask yourself: Are you a strong christian? Not easily led by others? Sometimes you can become friends with an unbeliever in the name of “witnessing” but they end up influencing you more than you influence them.

    But coming from the other side: I’m technically still a “baby Christian” even though I have been raised in a strong Christian home. I wasn’t able to accept christianity until last summer because of some things I got help with. It really was a turning point for me, when strong christians would come alongside me and be a blessing and an encouragement to me.

    So it depends, where are you in your spiritual walk? Are you strong in your beliefs? if not, it’s ok to have friends who are unbelievers, but you may just want to keep a bit of distance between you. Hope this answers your questions!

    • Emigb4

      This is a great comment. I’m glad that you are finally a part of God’s family! I’ll be praying for you that you’ll be growing closer to Him as you grow in your Christianity. I agree with what you said about being easily influenced by others. If you’re able to stand by your faith, great, but if others tend to lead you astray, non-Christian best friends may not be the best choice for you. And by the way, you have a beautiful name! :)

      • Thanks so much! I really appreciate it. I’m so glad to be here on the rebelution, already I feel i have really grown in my spiritual walk. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Kate

    Hi Brooklyn! This is an excellent question. I have to admit that it’s really hard. And it’s ok not to have everything figured out, because finite minds cannot understand an infinite God.
    Right off the bat, I would like to say that “drawing lines” and asking yourself “How far is too far?”, are phrases that I hear a lot. Its really dangerous because drawing lines can turn to legalism and that is one of Satan’s biggest weapons that he likes to use against us. So, our lives are not about drawing lines, rather it’s about walking a path that will please, honor and glorify His name.
    Secondly, we will never be “strong ENOUGH Christians”. Rather we are works in progress as we surrender our lives to Christ. That being said, I don’t think that we should wait until we are “strong enough” to engage with non believers because we will never be strong enough. But yes we can be strong Christians:)
    My advice is have a Christian friend group that will keep you accountable, but also step out of your comfort zone and reach out to those who do not believe. Love them as Christ loved us. If your Christian friends see you drifting away, they can tell you and you can keep focused on Him.

  • Rachel B.

    This is a hard question and one I have asked myself and that we as a family have discussed. I believe that you need to have friends who are solid Christians so that they can encourage you and challenge you in your faith. This is wonderful to have and with this solid foundation you are ready to reach the unbelievers you know with the love of Christ. My goal in becoming friends with unbelievers is not to convert them, but to show them love and the hope and joy I have in Jesus Christ. I will be praying for you to have wisdom in this area, and I hope this helped.
    Your Sister in Christ!

    • Faith B

      I agree Rachel :) Thank you for your input

      • Rachel B.

        Your welcome!
        :)

  • Elizabeth Marie

    I believe it’s okay to have non-Christian friends. But when it comes to close friendships (BFFs), PLEASE BE CAREFUL!

    True friendships are built on trust and a certain amount of like-mindedness. So when it comes to confiding in someone or looking for advice… Be sure (if your BFF is not saved) that you have other godly influences around. Their advice may or may not be sound.

    Of course, I’ve had to dismiss a Christian friend’s advice before ,and I’ve also heeded the advice of a non-Christian friend plenty of times… so just “proceed with caution!”

  • Joey Francis

    It doesn’t matter if they’re Christians or not we need to follow Jesus’ example and love everybody.

  • Perzeus

    I don’t get why people find this hard if they worship the wrong god then it doesn’t matter we should respect other people and try to show them the right god at least try but we must be careful to not offend them

    • It does matter, if it didn’t matter then no one would be Christian.

  • Jeffrey Cranston

    I’m a 62 year old guy. As a younger person, you are thinking in terms of friends only. When you get a bit older and into the working world, you will realize that the world is made up of a wide variety of people and diversity. You cannot pick your coworkers unless you are self-employed. I’ve worked for many years with a full circle of non-christian to heavily christian. Humans are messy. It would be naive to think that you will always be surrounded by heavily christian people. Maybe if you chose to become a minister or a nun, or work in a 100% christian environment would you avoid some of that, if that is your choice, but as a person who is secure, what matters is what I think and believe for myself. And I’m not influenced by what others think or believe to any great extent. This has allowed me full flexibility to be among everybody. btw, I was brought up a Methodist by my parents. Today, I’m an Atheist. Freedom of choice.

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