Earlier this year Pat Gohn wrote, “Faith is caught, not taught.” Though he was raised as a Christian, he says his friends are who shaped his faith.

“The witness of a few close friends won me over, although at first what attracted me had more to do with what they did, more than what they said,” he wrote. “My heart yearned for what they had — authentic love for one another born of respect, not competition or social status.”

It got us wondering about the relationship between friendship and religion. We asked our panelists about it.

Does faith matter in friendship? What kinds of conversations about faith do you have with friends who have different beliefs than you do?

 

Responses to this Viewpoint

1 Comment

  1. Under our beliefs, and opinions, we are all longing for the same things; peace, cooperation, happiness. It becomes a problem when we demand that our friends share our beliefs even if they are doing it in love. I had a friend like that, a very good friend for many years. We shared a distrust of organized religion, but both of us had deeply held spiritual beliefs. At some point, she began to go to a church that she loved, and I was supportive of her enthusiasm, and loved hearing her talk about how it was changing her life. But, something changed between us when she began to insist that I embrace her beliefs and would talk of nothing else. She told me that it was out of love, to offer me salvation. I told her that I respected her and appreciated her passion, but that it was not for me. Weeks went by, than months. I hoped that one day, she would want our friendship back, and we could talk of other things. Unfortunately that never happened, and our friendship ended. That experience was deeply sad and troubling for me. Perhaps our greatest challenge as human beings is love and respect each other, and to value our differences.

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