How can we disagree with non-Reformed friends without losing those friendships?

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That is a great way to put the question: “without losing those friendships.” Sometimes, eventually, you do lose friendships when it’s not your intention to lose the friendship. What I would say is, first, if you do feel you are new, be patient.

The second thing I would say is that many Christians have been taught to have prejudices against the Reformed faith, but often they don’t know what it is. However, if they are really the Lord’s people, there is one person they are not supposed to have a prejudice against, and that is the Lord Jesus. So, immerse yourself in the teaching of Jesus.

Our late friend, James Montgomery Boice, once preached a sermon on the radio, which I think was called “Was Jesus a Calvinist?” He got more bad press for that sermon than for anything else, but that is actually quite a good question because we can get prejudices about “isms,” but if we are the Lord’s people, we love the Lord Jesus. We know even at the instinctive and emotional level that if He taught it, we should listen, and if He believed it, we need to learn to believe it.

So, a great tool for us in keeping friendships and helping our friends is our own study of the way in which Jesus Himself taught about the grace of God, the depravity of man, the nature of the atonement, and the sovereignty of God. It’s all in the Gospels. I think that will enable you to maintain friendships, or if you lose them, they will be lost because alas, people won’t listen to Christ Himself. That is very sore, but I think it does mean that you have not been the offensive one. That’s one thing that I’ve found helpful.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Sinclair Ferguson, and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email or message us on Facebook or Twitter.