Last updated on October 8, 2020
Dear Mr. Hamilton,
I hope all is well. I am seeking out some wise counsel for a situation I am in. There is an unbelieving friend who is very much infatuated with physical appearance and experimenting with sexuality. Almost every time we hang out, Jesus, the gospel, and the Bible come up and every time it feels like nothing is changing. He is always making crude remarks toward me, saying they are jokes. I’ve told him to stop, but he doesn’t seem to care. It’s hard to sit down with him because of all this, but it is not really a temptation for me to sin or anything like that.
He wants to be really good friends and meet up every week, but our lives are going in opposite directions. I’m having trouble discerning if I should continue being persistent with Christ or just drop him? Or maintain a casual friendship, talking every now and again? I’m not against being friends with him, I would like to be a Christ-like influence on his life and glorify God, but he does not want to hear any Jesus talk. The strong friendship he wants does not seem practical considering our differing world views and lifestyle.
Here is my reasoning for dropping the relationship with him. “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you” (Matthew 7:6).
Thank you for your time.
Perhaps I’m reading in more into your note than is actually taking place, but I get the impression that your friend is making sexual suggestions to you, hoping that you’ll respond. He continues because while you tell him to stop, you continue to meet with him, so he believes you are actually interested despite your words. You try turning the conversation toward religion but he rejects this because he doesn’t want to hear words condemning his beliefs and actions.
I know you are trying to be a good influence, but you also have to be concerned about the influence he is trying to exert over you. “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals’” (I Corinthian 15:33).
Your friend is what the Bible calls a scoffer. A scoffer is someone who only accepts his own beliefs. Anyone suggesting anything different is met with mocking and derision. “He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, and he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself” (Proverbs 9:7).
Keep the lines of communication open if he is actually interested in talking about other things, but whenever the conversation goes bad, leave. Realize that you won’t be able to change him until he is willing to change. Most likely that won’t happen until he realizes that what he wants to do leads to heartache and danger.