Friends Outside the Faith

4 women talk about the challenges of reaching out with compassion while living lives of holiness

What happens when you mix good friends, caffeine, and provocative conversation on the topic of how Christian women should reach out to friends outside the faith? TCW wanted to know, so we asked our May/June 2006 cover personality, Lisa Harper, a well-known Bible study author and speaker, to gather three friends from different walks of life—Kim Hill, Eva Whittington Self, and Lou Taylor—and get their unique insights on fulfilling Christ's Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). For some stimulating discussion, read what these four had to say.
—The Editors

Meet Our Participants

Lisa: Scripture compels us as Christ-followers to be lights in dark places; we're to permeate our world with Christ's compassion, to play a part in redeeming culture, not to run from it (Matthew 5:13-16). So how do we really connect with people who don't claim to have faith in Christ without compromising our call to reflect God's holiness?

Kim: That's a great question. My realtor—who's gay—recently invited me to a dinner party at his house. Part of me wanted to attend because I've known him for years and I care about him. But another part was anxious about going. I wondered if I'd feel weird, or if I'd be able to carry on a conversation. I don't typically socialize with many gay people. I also wondered if it would look bad for me to go.

Lou: In 1 Corinthians 5:9, the apostle Paul says not to "associate with sexually immoral people"—but then he goes on to say, "not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world."

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