Converting someone to your beliefs.

United States
March 8, 2010 11:01am CST
Everyone has experienced someone trying to convert them to their belief system. Christians are the most known, second would be atheists, then everyone else. Do you think people should believe what you believe? Do you feel the need to convert people? And the main question I would like to know is why? Why would someone want to convert someone to their beliefs?
12 people like this
28 responses
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
8 Mar 10
No one should try to convert another person's beliefs. Each person has the right to believe whatever they wish - it is called religious freedom. For one person to try to convert someone else; they are basically saying the other person does not have the right to have their own beliefs. "And the main question I would like to know is why? Why would someone want to convert someone to their beliefs?". Actually, the why is simple. There are 2 reasons. The first reason is that their religion tells them to go out and convert people. The only way a religion can grow and be more powerful is if more people can be convinced that the religion is the only one that is correct. Then, they will support that religion and it's leaders. The second reason is more personal - the person needs to convert others to prove to themselves that their beliefs are the best and they have made the correct choice of religion. After all, if they can convince someone else to convert; then, they must be right.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Mar 10
Ah so you say it is to gain more members, and to prove they are the real religion. Because whoever has the most wins. So its selfish reasons. I don't think trying to convert someone harms people's religious freedom. I'm not talking about a forced conversion. I mean hey this is what I think, you should consider it. May I ask what your belief is? What is your religion?
1 person likes this
@speakeasy (4215)
• United States
8 Mar 10
If the other person brings the subject up and inquires about your beliefs; then, go ahead and tell them about them. But, going to people's homes or places of business and preaching to them is harrassment even if it is not "forced conversion" - you are still telling them that YOU are right and THEY are wrong and THEY need to change. And, just because someone is a coworker or belongs to the same organization does not mean they want to be preached to by someone else. Same thing with standing on a corner or by a business and handing out pamphlets - it is just plain harrassment. I have seen people go to great lengths to avoid these religion pushing people as much as possible. Leave the preaching where it belongs - in places of worship (churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, etc.). If someone is interested, they will either ask a member of a religion about the religion or they will go to a place of worship to learn more about it. "May I ask what your belief is? What is your religion?" Personally, I have no "religion". I believe that all religions are valid and just different ways to reach the same goal.
• United States
9 Mar 10
Ok. Let people find God on their own. That's what church is for, people will decide for themselves what they want to believe. I can agree with that. I'm not sure if what you're saying is right, but I like it. Thank you.
1 person likes this
@rocketj1 (6957)
• United States
8 Mar 10
As a Christian, I have been called to do so within the priciples of what I believe. I feel other ppl's eternity is at stake. So if you are talking about religious beliefs, then I would say I am hoping to convert others. However, I realize that you cannot MAKE someone believe. I really prefer to be someone's friend first and later I will share my beliefs with them. It's disrespectful to shove things down someone's throat. If you are talking about my beliefs about other things in life, I really have no mandate to convert others, and I guess it just depends on how deeply convicted I feel about something.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Mar 10
Ah yes I should have made that clearer. I meant religious beliefs. So you would try to convert someone, because their eternity is at stake. So you're doing it out of kindness? Like someone that's looking out for their fellow man.
1 person likes this
@rocketj1 (6957)
• United States
8 Mar 10
I consider it the greatest of kindnesses!:) If someone is walking down a dangerous path, and I know of a much better way, I would be showing great love and compassion...
@rocketj1 (6957)
• United States
8 Mar 10
But again, it's not my job to make someone believe, only to share my own experience. As a Christian, I believe that the conversion comes from God.
@gewcew23 (8012)
• United States
8 Mar 10
I have yet to meet an atheist that was trying to convert me to atheism. Now if you come knocking they will answer your question, and if you force you religion on them they will fight back. As to religions trying to convert, they have to. Everyone is born an atheist and have to be taught about invisible space ghost. So if no one tried to convert others eventually no one would believe in those invisible space ghost.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 10
If there is a forum with a Christian, talking about how Jesus is the savior, and God loves you... blah blah blah. You know stuff like that. Do you consider that an attempt to convert?
2 people like this
• United States
9 Mar 10
I don't think that anyone is trying to "force" their religion on you. It is the job of a Christian to spread the word. If you still choose to go to Hell, that is your perogative. Since Christians don't choose to go to hell, they spread the word because they are doing what the Bible says they are to do. There is a force beyond anything that you could describe, but, you don't have to believe in or accept it. But yes, atheists do it all the time. If they didn't, there wouldn't be a huge battle between Christians and atheists about the laws such as prayer in schools. I had someone send me an email the other day because I posted an article about God on a site that asked for an opinion in the article. He blasted me because I believed in God and he doesn't. I wasn't blasting anyone in my article and he was free to leave the article at anytime. He instead chose to tell me how wrong I was about God. No one is trying to shove their religion down your throat. There is nothing wrong with people who want to share their good experiences with their Christianity. The problem is that you are so afraid to hear it that you take offense to it.
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
9 Mar 10
ddhawkins, So are you telling us that religions other than Christian are all going to go to hell? It was not just Atheists who opposed prayer in the public schools. It was also people of religions and beliefs other than Christian.
• United States
10 Mar 10
For the Christian, we share the Good News of Jesus Christ because we were told to by Jesus, because we believe the world would be a better place if everyone followed the teachings of Jesus, and because we don't want anyone to end up in Hell. I wish people would believe as I do because I'm confident it's what Jesus taught as the way to God and salvation. If I care about people's eternal soul, I have to try to convert them if they believe contrary to God's word as proclaimed in the Bible. I do this because I don't want anyone to go to Hell.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Mar 10
what would make a person go to hell?
• United States
12 Mar 10
Good answer. Thank you.
@icesmile (7172)
• Romania
8 Mar 10
I am Cristian Orthodox, but I never try to make someone to change their religion just because my religion is better. That would be against my ideas about religion account appears towards other people. Religion is not a coat that was a change or something to change it just because you want to change someone. A true Cristian will never make someone believe what he believes, can only one man who does not believe in anything to believe in something, and it is normal to explain about his religion, because on that one knows best. God is one, and in my opinion, any religion , regardless which language speaks the believer. To convert someone to your religion, in my opinion, means to change the personality and what he received from his parents.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 10
I've never heard this before. Not from a self proclaimed Christian anyway. You're saying that you are a Christian, but everyone should have their own religion? Why are you a Christian?
• Romania
9 Mar 10
Wrong! Tolerance, acceptance that we have different religions, this is someone who believes in God, tolerance, not imposition. I do not have to explain why i are Cristian,is my problem and my parents too, I'm not going to crusade, just believe in God anyway, I regret that I responded to this discussion.
• United States
9 Mar 10
I apologize marianna if I have offended you. I'm only trying to understand you better. I'm not understanding why a Christian would say its ok for other people to believe whatever they want. Its like you don't really believe your own beliefs.
@olepmis (843)
• Philippines
8 Mar 10
Christians are the most known in converting ones belief. I agree with you because these true Christians are following the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ to teach all nations and baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son ... I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20. Christians want to convert someone to their beliefs because we are talking about the Good News or the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, salvation of ones soul. Please read the book of John of the Holy Bible. Thank you and God bless!
• United States
8 Mar 10
So its required of them? Thank you. God bless you too.
1 person likes this
@olepmis (843)
• Philippines
8 Mar 10
Yes, required by God not Christians. We are just followers of the Lord JESUS believing and having faith in HIM so we are abiding in His Words.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 10
Could you give me some scripture where it says convert people? Is it spread the word of God, or convert people?
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
8 Mar 10
I can honestly say thtat I have NEVER tried to convert someone to my beliefs and have absolutely NO DESIRE to..it would be completely illogical for starters since my path is solely mine....and secondly its not my place to do that sort of thing just like it was and isnt anyone elses place to try and tell me or con me into believing different to what I already do. Only we know by way of deep soul searchign IMO what path is best for us....no-one else can figure that out for us and to try is beyond shallow, narrowminded and arrogant IMO..
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Mar 10
Ok I have a couple (maybe a few) questions for you. If someone wanted to convert you because they cared about your "eternity" like the first commenter stated, would they be arrogant, shallow, and narrowminded? And if you knew the right path to take would you tell others about it, or would you just let them take their own path, and wish them luck?
1 person likes this
@Ravenladyj (22992)
• United States
8 Mar 10
If someone wanted to convert you because they cared about your "eternity" like the first commenter stated, would they be arrogant, shallow, and narrowminded? I ALWAYS when approached, politely let the converter/attempted converter that I'm not interested in changing my path and would appreciate if they wouldnt try to convert me know that they know...IF however they continue then YES they are most certainly arrogant, shallow and narrowminded.. And if you knew the right path to take would you tell others about it, or would you just let them take their own path, and wish them luck? I KNOW the right path..FOR ME..there is no possible way to know the right path for anyone else because I am not them..We arent cookie cutter ppl or carbon copies of one another so I couldnt possibly know what the right path is for anyone else..thats up to them to find out with a lot of inner searching and so on....My path would NOT be suitable for anyone else as I live it because they arent me and its strictly for me...Make sense?
• United States
9 Mar 10
Yes. It makes sense. Let you decide for yourself, don't push it in your face. Alright. I can understand this. I've had it done to me. "Have you been saved? Let me talk to you about God." Sounds nice, but the way they do it isn't nice. Its like they're looking down at you. Thank you for your comments.
@madteaparty (2763)
• Japan
9 Mar 10
I hate people who do that, you can`t imagine how much. In my opinion, every different person should believe in what they want to believe, and not to pick their noses into other`s beliefs, as that`s disrespectful. Also you believing in one thing doesn`t mean that it is the world`s ultimate truth, as it`s just a belief. Respect for everyone
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 10
Do you think its possible to share what you believe and still be respectful?
• United States
8 Mar 10
Actually, neither Judiasm nor Wicca engage in proseltyizing. I also think Islam spends more time trying to get converts than Athiests, which should make them number 2 on your list.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 10
I will agree with the statement that Judaism,and Wicca doesn't spend much on converting people. Can't really agree with the Islam thing though. I rarely see any Muslims online trying to covert anyone, but I have seen Christians, and Atheists alot. Both are pretty annoying.
1 person likes this
@cupkitties (6712)
• United States
8 Mar 10
I haven't had this urge yet to convert anyone. The thought makes me a little nervous.. But two reasons I believe some people are eager to do so: 1. They are the type that truly loves their fellow man/woman and want everyone to enjoy whatever paradise or reward they get in the end. 2. To cover their own hide. They feel its necessary to save every soul that walks into their site because if that person doesn't make it to Heaven then its their fault for not teaching them about their God.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Mar 10
Thank you for answering the question. These are good answers. Sorry I have nothing to add to this. Thank you for commenting.
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
8 Mar 10
I've had people come to my door, spouting off about how I need to find Jesus. This kind of behavior,(in my mind)is a direct attack on my Spiritual Life, and nothing upsets me more. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, and no one needs to find anyone else's Jesus. I myself have come under attack in the past for my (implied) attacks on Christianity here on myLot, and perhaps I've failed to explain that I have no problem with the Christian Beliefs of anyone. My problems are with those Christians who can see, and admit to, the faults of their belief system, but are either unwilling, or perhaps unable, to believe their own beliefs, and doubt their own doubts.
1 person likes this
• United States
8 Mar 10
So basically you're saying they think they are better than you, and you should do things their way. right? Yes I've witnessed that. "Here's what's wrong with you, I'm here to save you." But they don't even notice what's wrong with them.
1 person likes this
• Bangladesh
7 Apr 10
Hey friend, It's not right to force/allure someone change his/her religion. There's a Christian community named 'Mosihi Jamat' (The Group of Messiah) in our country Bangladesh who allures people with different books, cassettes, CDs, pamphlets for free and try to convince them into Christianity which isn't just in my religion Islam. Islam doesn't teach us to allure into our religion. Our teaching is to make preach our religious sermons without forcing people to listen freely in public. Those who'll be attracted are most welcome and those who'll not are also should be blessed. Our Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam had to undergo terrible rude misbehaviour from the disbelievers while preaching the extraordinary sermons of Allah but he prayed to Allah in stead of pronouncing curse for them. It's not the policy of Islam to force someone to leave his/her own religion. I've been myLotting since December 2009 and when a discussion on religion starts I try to response according to my religion Islam. Now if someone feel interested to Islam and desire to be converted, I'll surely welcome him as my own relative. May Allah bless you.
• United States
15 Apr 10
You're welcome to be one of my Christian family too lol. Thanks for your response. God bless you as well.
1 person likes this
• Bangladesh
15 Apr 10
Same to to you, my friend.
• India
3 May 10
The phrase "allure" needs more inquiry. Providing books, cassettes, CDs are ways to propagate one's religion. If one says, "I shall give CDs, you become Christian first" that it is alluring; but if one gives CDs to propagate one's belief that is not alluring. Even in India we have Muslims and Hindus who give books/pamphlets for free as part of propagating their religion. These are not allurements.
1 person likes this
@andy77e (5170)
• United States
9 Mar 10
I'll try and keep this brief and to the point. Romans 3:23 through 25 say the following: "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood." All have sinned: We all have sinned, every one of us. Fall short: We do not reach the glory of God. Justified freely: We are justified through... Redemption that came by Christ Jesus: ...through Jesus who redeemed us. We can not reach God on our own. No amount of work, or effort, or trying hard will allow us to meet the glory of God. This separates us from God. However, God sent Jesus to redeem us, and through faith in his sacrifice, we can be freely justified. You ask why I, or anyone else would want to convert people to Christ? If you believed that passage above, and believed that those who do not follow the Lord Jesus, will be separated from God forever... wouldn't you want to covert people?
• United States
9 Mar 10
I can understand this. Makes sense to me. Do you think that people who aren't easily persuaded, or refuse to listen to you are bad people?
@andy77e (5170)
• United States
9 Mar 10
Of course not. The first fundamental truth, is that we have all sinned. That would include me. If I'm a sinner, and the other person is a sinner, how can I assume they are 'bad' when I'm no better? I think they are make a bad choice to refuse forgiveness, but then that's what personal choice is all about.
• United States
10 Mar 10
well done. Thank you for your comments.
• United States
9 Mar 10
I am a Christian but I don't try to convert people to my beliefs. What I do instead is tell them about God's word. It is completely up to them whether they accept it or not. It is not my job, as a Christian to try to shove it down their throats. I tell what God wants me to tell people. If they don't beleive it or they don't want to accept it, it is their problem, not mine. God says that if you warn someone and they don't listen, that person will be the one to pay the price. If I don't warn them, then I am going to have to pay the price as well. I don't choose to pay the price. It is much easier to spread the information and tell people about God and what he can do in your life. To give testimony is one of the most important parts of being a Christian and that is why we do it. So here goes. The most important bible verse you will ever hear is: John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosever believeth shall not perish but have everlasting life. :-)
• United States
9 Mar 10
That's good. Give people the info, but let them decide what they're going to do. The Christian bible says that God gave people free will. Someone that is forced to believe is not a true believer. I think that God would want people to find the truth, to truly believe in him. Not zombies.
• United States
9 Mar 10
I don't know of anyone that has been forced to accept or believe though. The word is being spread because that is what we are supposed to do. It is free will. Name one person that has ever been forced to believe or accept? I can't think of a single one at all anywhere in the history of man. I just get a little perturbed myself when I am confronted with people saying it is not okay for me to beleive in what I believe in and share it with others. I have the right to speak how I believe because I live in the United States and that is a right that we are guarenteed. No one has to listen or believe it. But some people think that anyone that mentions God or the Bible are forcing it down their throats. It's not that we are forcing it down their throats. It's that they are afraid of it. If you don't want to hear it, you can walk away, right?
• United States
10 Mar 10
I think people like to spread fear.
• Portugal
8 Mar 10
I don't think that converting people to our beliefs is fair. Personally, I think like "Paul Feyerabend's Against Method"... You have to teach/learn all the knowledge available and choose the better ones: the most rigorous and convincing explanations. Education will guide us to the right way! As an example: I'm not against teaching Darwinism or Creationism at school, they should be both taught, this is what a democracy and a laïc state is about. However, my real beliefs are directly connected with science, but you should find that for yourself. This means that you should not influence on the people's choice. Last but not least, if someone want to stay in the "darkness" (lack of knowledge) that's not my problem, unless they're doing harm to somebody. I also think that this is a waste of time (trying to convert people), what I really believe is in my ideals and that suffice to me. I don't have to prove it right to anybody that is against my opinions, although I'll listen carefully to the others and reflect about what they're talking about. There's always the possibility that you have made a wrong udgement about something. As I said and reinforcing, If they don't want to listen me that's their problem. We always have something to learn with others, in order to obtain your personal growth.
• United States
9 Mar 10
That's a nice idea. Everyone share their ideas, and let people figure it out on their own. But that will never happen. Parents are going to let their kids be taught other ideas. If they teach creationism, which one do they teach? There's so many different religions, and parents would have a fit if they were teaching their kids other religions. Their only choice is "Hawkinism" (I changed the name. I think Darwin is getting a bad deal. People use his name too much for their beliefs.) But I do like the idea.
• Portugal
9 Mar 10
I'm just going to give a possible answer to "...which one do they teach?". A short answer would be: you can choose it. That's the key. You go where you want to go, however the centers of education must provide ACCESS to all the possible knowledge and not be restricted to a single thought (what was right yesterday is wrong today and what is right today may be wrong tomorrow). If I'm inclined to learn science, then let it be... I'm sure that your personal beliefs will not be imposed by anyone. I also believe that humans want to learn, cause nobody want to be ignorant, so at least statistically we'll follow the right path!
• United States
10 Mar 10
I'm sure it wouldn't be that easy, but I don't have a better solution myself, so I'll just shutup now.
• United States
12 Mar 10
I have been told that Christians are Called by G-d to do so.Me? I think it is sad that they Have to try to sell their religion like bars of soap.As for my religion,we are not called to convert people , just to respect them. I will explain my religion the best way I can. I will answer your questions but I will never try to convert you Ever. Religion is such a personal path.
• United States
12 Mar 10
Yeah i'm Christian and I agree with you on that. Are you afraid to say God? God is not a name its a title.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Mar 10
I say it all the time bit I never write it all out unless it is in a movie title.
@skysuccess (8882)
• Singapore
10 Mar 10
redhotpogo, First off, is Christianity really a belief system? On what basis do you say that Christians are most known for trying to convert people into their "belief system"? Have you really studied or looked into other belief system to arrive at your conclusions? I am sorry, but I just gather from your post here that you seem to imply that Christians are somewhat both dogmatic and autocratic when there are more extreme cases at other religious quarters. You profess that you are a Christian and yet you do not relate or share your views about the faith. And, I just cannot understand why you have forgotten that given lesson on sharing of our faith and to be witnesses for God that others may come to know the faith. However, let's not forget that we are converting because ultimately it is up to the non-believers to make a decision whether to take up the faith or not. Our words, testimony and witnesses is nothing influencing or coerce or some mandatory recruitment process. Every individual has a free will to decide for themselves. Unlike, some quarters of other religion which I shall not dwell - just doesn't have the word freewill or option in their dictionary or belief system.
• Singapore
10 Mar 10
P.S. A correction on my earlier post para #6 where it should be: "However, let's not forget that we are NOT converting because ultimately it is up to the non-believers...." Sorry for the earlier error.
• United States
10 Mar 10
I'm basing it on what I witness. Because I call myself a Christian does not mean I put myself with other "Christians" I do not go to church, I have different beliefs than what most Christians preach, but I do go by the bible. My reason for making this topic was not to attack anyone, but to help others get a better understanding of why people want to spread their beliefs. I believe not all people have bad thoughts in their head, alot of them are doing it with good intentions.
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
9 Mar 10
I have had certain people come knocking at my door in hopes of getting me to listen to and convert over to their beliefs. I find it an intrusion and rude. If I'm friends with someone who has different beliefs than I do, I don't have a problem in hearing about them as long as they don't start preaching to me that their way is the only way. I don't feel any need at all to convert and start thinking like someone else. I'd be curious to know how many people actually do convert as a result of these peoples efforts.
• United States
9 Mar 10
Its funny and sad, I have witnessed some conversions. Some people really do believe. They're like wow I never knew this, this is great tell me more. And others do it for other reasons. Some people will pretend to be converted so the people will leave them alone. Some people do it for a benefit. Example my brother, who I will not name. One day we were at this church. It was a youth group thing. In our town there wasn't anything to do. So even if you weren't a Christian you would go, cause you go to play, and do things like go fishing. One day they were doing the "whoever wants to be saved come over here" And he went, and he said he believed, and all that. He found God. I was shocked. He was always against it. Saying those people are stupid. So i'm like wow are you serious? Then he whispered to me, "Hell no. I don't believe any of this, I'm trying to get these church chicks."
@sid556 (31018)
• United States
9 Mar 10
Funny story redhotpogo! It just seems to me that anyone who really wanted a religion would go looking for one.
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
10 Mar 10
Hi redhotpogo, There may be a few people who truly want to help others, there are also those who believe that there is safety in numbers. I have met Mormons, Ba'hi,Jehovah's Witnesses and others who have just converted to their new faith and there so excited that they want to tell the world. I'm not sure why but it may be that they've found what works for them and so feels that it must work for everyone.I don't believe in this nonsense that only one can be right, we might as well be puppets on a string. I honestly think that we must all start thinking for ourselves.I can tell you it would scare the heck out of pastors,ministers and popes if people stopped asking them what was right and what was wrong and started thinking for themselves. How can anyone be a professional in religion? Remember too it's his/her job and they are going to tell you what they want you to believe. Blessings.
• United States
10 Mar 10
That is true. When I was a kid I went to many different types of churches, all claiming to be Christian, but they would say things that I couldn't find in the bible, or change things around. It makes you think, are they really trying to spread the word of God, or are they trying to spread their word.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
9 Mar 10
In my opinion, I think that if a religion would like to practice converting others, they should do it publicly and have people come to them for information. I am huge on respect and tolerance but door to door is just the ultimate inconvienance. Even if I were curious, I would be so irritated by their intrusion that I would in no way be receptive. I think I would better be converted by seeing a booth and being curious.
• United States
10 Mar 10
I agree with that, but I wonder what their reason for going door to door like that is.