Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Let's Talk about Jesus!

A growing number of people in America do not consider themselves Christians. Some are completely non-religious. Others follow different religions. Some are just not sure what to believe. To my surprise I have found that many non-Christians have a deep respect for Jesus and don’t mind talking about Him, it is all the “other” Christian stuff that causes difficulties in conversation. So when I witness to people who are not from Christian backgrounds, I try to keep the conversation focused on Jesus, not politics, or church structure or religious tradition.

Consider these ideas:

Muslims have many different sects, just like there are many different Christian denominations. Muslims often argue among themselves about the particulars of what their various sects believe, but nearly all Muslims respect Jesus as a great prophet and religious teacher. Though they don't think Jesus is the Savior of the world, they do think He was an important prophet. When talking to Muslims about Jesus we can focus on the prophetic words that Jesus spoke since they respect Jesus as a prophet.

Jews do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah for whom they have been waiting, but many Jews do have respect for Jesus as a great religious teacher. When talking about Jesus to Jews, we can focus on what Jesus says about Moses and other prophets whom laid the foundation for the Jewish faith.

Many Buddhists believe Jesus is a reincarnation of one of the Buddhas. Though I don't share that viewpoint, I do appreciate their respect for Jesus. When talking to Buddhists we can talk about what Jesus said about inner spirituality being superior to outward appearances since that is also important to Buddhists.

Gandhi, who was Hindu, had great respect for Jesus. Gandhi once said that if more Christians in his nation actually lived like Jesus, all of India would be Christian. When talking to Hindus about Jesus, we can focus on the actions Jesus told us to emulate, since outward religious action is important in their faith.

Many atheists even respect Jesus. They love how He talked about social justice issues. They often agree with how Jesus chastised established religion for neglecting the poor and needy. When talking to atheists about Jesus we can focus on the relational aspects of how Jesus told us to treat each other and how He encouraged us to use our wealth to make a difference in the world around us.

The point I am trying to make is that talking to others about Jesus might be easier than we think because most people, even non-Christians, respect Jesus. Of course, those of us who are Christians should make sure we don't mess up our discussion about Jesus by failing to act like Jesus. We can’t just talk about Him; we must do our best to live like Him. So let’s live it AND talk it this year!


Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He writes extensively and you can find all of his books at:


  1. Getting rid of religious jargon is essential if we are to create conversations that connect. Getting rid of the concept of immediacy in our conversations concerning salvation is also helpful. Trust the Holy Spirit to lead, trust the Truth to draw, trust His Love in Us to bring them to Him......then get ready to answer questions.

    1. What jargon are you specifically referring to?

    2. Well meant words without proper context; often used which in effect shut conversation down rather than open conversations up. Under the Blood, Just give it to God, Just Put on the Armor of God and Fight the Good Fight of Faith....and those which are more placebo rather than incarnate.

    3. I think we can talk about Jesus without using Christianese