A Christian's Response To A Pagan's Opinions About The Unpleasant And Hypocritical Way She Says Most Of The Christians She Knows Behave

This article is the result of an email dialogue between a Pagan and myself, a Christian, about the things this Pagan doesn't like about most of the Christians she knows. It's written so that Christians can learn from it.

What The Pagan Said About The Way Christians Try To Spread Christianity

I think Christians over-advertise their religion, and no, I do not think they do so in a productive manner. Religion is not something to be advertised. Christians go about it all wrong. They seem to be on this mission to "spread the word" and instead they turn people away with their forceful approach. You cannot force others to believe as you do. If someone asks, share your beliefs. Perhaps they will see it your way, perhaps they will not. Either way you are giving them the freedom to make their own choice.

Okay, an example....I work with a woman who is a devout Christian. I took my daughter to see "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and she (the woman) was absolutely appalled. She said, "That just teaches kids to worship Satan. I cannot believe you are so irresponsible in raising her."
I said, "Look, we obviously have different beliefs." (No one I work with knows of my beliefs because the state I live in isn't the most tolerant and I view such things as private.)
She said, "You need to take her to church."
I said, "We don't go to church."
So then she proceeds to call her pastor and try to set up a meeting for me and my daughter telling him my child has been exposed to 'dark things' and that we need guidance. Then she says, "My pastor says the two of you can come to church Sunday and he'll speak with you. "

Needless to say I was pissed off. I told her if she wanted to save something I heard there were some beached whales in California and then I walked off.

I try to dodge the subject with her these days, but she still manages to bring it up.

I do send my daughter to vacation Bible school at a church and in addition to Harry Potter she also likes Veggie Tales, a Christian kids program.

I have friends who are "Christian" who are very kind, loving people who appreciate me for who I am. However, for the most part, each time I encounter a Christian and they find out that I am not they begin inviting me to church. It's as if they get some sort of merit badge for converting a pagan!

For some, God is like this boomerang that they can throw into any conversation. My co-worker is a prime example. You can be having normal chit-chat and wham! God comes flying in. You can't say, "Looks like rain outside" without her bringing Jesus into it. And she voices her beliefs whether she is asked or not. Not to mention her anti-homosexual stance which she reminds us daily is "against God's plan."

To me, things like religion and prejudice or any combination should not be allowed in the work place. Why do so many Christians feel they are on a mission to save those who do not believe as they do? I don't know how it is where you live but here Christianity is the dominant religion and they never let nonchristians forget it.

If more were open minded like you it would be different. But around here we have what we call "Bible Thumpers". You agree with them, or you're going to hell.

The Christian's Reply

I agree that it's probably counter-productive for Christians to try to "force" their faith on anyone. Not all Christians do that. But I've heard other people say they object to that as well. I think Christians who do that to people are more likely to put them off, especially when they express bigotry, such as if they like to say for no good reason that homosexuality is against God's plan. Actually, that's not what the Bible says. Most verses in it that talk about things related to homosexuality are believed by some scholars to be about sexually exploiting people and prostitution anyway. There are only a small handful of verses about homosexuality in the Bible anyway. I've heard that some preachers blow the issue all out of proportion and go into great condemnations of homosexuals, when the Bible focuses far far more on other things that some of them might actually be guilty of, like being prejudiced against certain groups, and using money selfishly, not caring about people in need. Spending time condemning homosexuality, and ignoring or talking much less about things the Bible says a lot more about, is just wrong.

And when Christians spend a lot of time trying to convert people or telling them their views when they're supposed to be working, it's not Christian, because it can be as if they're defrauding the employer out of some of their labour - stealing time from the employer, contravening one of the Ten Commandments, as well as some of the things the New Testament says. Most employers won't expect people to work solidly, I don't suppose, but any Christian who takes excessive amounts of time to talk about Christianity instead of working is likely to just be antagonising people, including their employer who's paying them to do a job they're not doing, when the Bible says Christians should do their best to live in harmony with others. Besides, the Bible says in the Book of Romans, "Work hard and do not be lazy". There are also other principles in the New Testament about working hard for employers. So they're not being as Christian as they think they are.

As for the way Christians should go about telling people about Christianity:

The Bible says: (1 Peter chapter 3, NLT) 15 ...If you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. 16 But you must do this in a gentle and respectful way. Keep your conscience clear.

One of the first Christian leaders, the apostle Paul, who wrote letters to new Christian communities and individuals, several of which are now in the Bible, wrote to one of his fellow Christian workers along similar lines:

(2 Timothy chapter 2, NLT) 23 Again I say, don't get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 The Lord's servants must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone. They must be able to teach effectively and be patient with difficult people. 25 They should gently teach those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people's hearts, and they will believe the truth. 26 Then they will come to their senses and escape from the Devil's trap. For they have been held captive by him to do whatever he wants.

If someone genuinely believes that something you're doing will cause the devil to gain a foothold in your life, then they should explain why they think that what you're doing is a bad thing- not just tell you that it could cause you to be influenced by the devil - especially when some people don't even believe in the devil.
As for your example, one has to wonder where the person developed the opinion that a Harry Potter film "just teaches kids to worship Satan". I've noticed that there are articles written by Christians that are critical of Harry Potter things on the internet, but I don't know what they say, because I've never taken too much notice of them. However, people ought to only take notice of an article which is well-reasoned; and if it makes such dramatic claims as to say that people can end up worshipping Satan because of something, they should be sceptical of what they read, verifying it with other sources of information, especially before condemning anyone because of it. I've heard that some people in America even tried to get Harry Potter books banned from school libraries. But I wonder if they knew what the books actually said.

Update: I've read the Harry Potter books, and I can't see how they would "teach people to worship Satan" in the slightest. The magic done in them is so outlandish, such as flying on broomsticks, that there can't be many children who would get into the occult hoping they'd learn how to do such things. And where forms of occultism are mentioned that are actually practiced in real life, such as clairvoyance and astrology, the Harry Potter story gives the impression that they are by no means always accurate.

I suspect a lot of people who have protested against the books haven't read any of them.

There's an article about how Christians have been guilty of passing on misinformation and how they should be careful not to, called Religious Urban Legends.

Anyway, there isn't any point in a Christian condemning any particular behaviour or lifestyle, such as watching Harry Potter movies or homosexuality, if the people listening don't think they're wrong. For a Christian to just condemn a behaviour as "against God's plan" isn't going to convince anyone that it is, unless they're a Christian and they'll take notice simply because they want to obey what the Bible says - and then there's only a point in telling them as many times as they need to be told it to take it in! It's far better to gather enough information to constructively criticize, if there are grounds for doing so, but there's only a point in doing that if you have a genuinely good reason to do it. For instance, it would make a lot more sense and be a lot more convincing for a Christian to explain the reasons why they believe something is harmful, than for them to just say it is. It might take more effort for them to find out all the reasons why something might be harmful, but in any case, that'll be better for them, as well as anyone they're talking to; it's far better to investigate things for yourself than to just swallow uncritically what a pastor or other Christian authority figure says, because they might not be right!

But besides that, the Bible says: (Ephesians chapter 4, NIV) 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Christians shouldn't try to force other people to go to church. For one thing, it's unlikely to work and is more likely to just annoy them. Maybe a Christian who tries to make you go for counselling with their church pastor will be doing it because they're concerned about you; but Christians probably won't convince anybody to do anything like that unless they give them a good explanation as to why they ought to do it and then leave them to make the decision!

However, one reason why Christians may invite you to church or want to speak about Christianity with you is because they're so enthusiastic about it, because it's really made a difference in their lives. Also, the Bible says that Christians ought to tell others about Christianity, and that people can only be saved through Jesus Christ. So they might feel a sense of obligation.

The Bible says that Jesus' disciple Peter said, referring to Jesus: (Acts chapter 4, NLT) "12 There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them."

The Bible says that Jesus himself said: (John chapter 14, NLT) 6 ... "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." (When Jesus used the term "the Father", he was always referring to God.)

Some people take this to mean that only Christians who have asked Jesus into their lives will be saved. It might not actually mean that at all, but simply that Jesus was saying that no one would be able to come to the Father if Jesus didn't bridge the gap between God and humans by dying on the cross to pay for the world's sins. If Jesus meant that, it would mean it isn't just Christians the Bible says have got a hope of getting to heaven. But some Christians think that the Bible verse about how no one can come to God except through Jesus means that Christians are the only ones with a chance of going there, so they think it's of the utmost importance to convert others to Christianity to save them from hell.

At the end of Matthew's Gospel, it records some of Jesus Christ's last words on earth.

It says: (Matthew chapter 28, NLT) 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Christians in general interpret those words as being a command for all Christians to obey, not just for the disciples who were with Jesus when he said it. The reason why some Christians might invite you to church may be because they think you need to hear about Christianity, but they think it will be easier to invite you to church where you can hopefully hear about it from a sermon than it will be to tell you about it themselves. They might think it's important that you hear about Christianity because you need to be saved, because the Bible says that many people will end up in hell.

For instance, in the Book of Revelation, the author, John, recorded information he said he was given during a vision he had of the paradise to come, near the end of which he said:

(Revelation chapter 21, CEV) 3 I heard a loud voice shout from the throne:
God's home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. 4 He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.

8 But I will tell you what will happen to cowards and to everyone who is unfaithful or dirty-minded or who murders or is sexually immoral or uses witchcraft or worships idols or tells lies. They will be thrown into that lake of fire and burning sulfur.
This is the second death.

Christians may be trying to warn you when they say you'll go to hell if you don't believe as they do, because they don't want you to go there.
However, no Christian should ever talk as if it's a foregone conclusion that you'll end up in hell; and if Christians do want to tell you that the Bible says that people who do any of the things you do will be sent to hell, or if they want to explain anything else about Christianity to you, they should do it with "gentleness and respect" as the Bible says.

Some Christians may be insistent that you be converted to Christianity because they believe hell is a place where people will be tortured forever. I've heard that that idea is something that puts a lot of people off Christianity and the Bible, because it doesn't make sense that a good or just God would do that to anyone. But the Bible isn't clear enough to give that impression. And logic should tell people the verses about fire can't be meant literally, since spirit beings aren't generally thought to have nervous systems, and they wouldn't be able to suffer physical pain without them. The Bible also says people will "cry and gnash their teeth" in hell. That would be far from the screaming in agony they'd be doing if they were being tortured. Those passages must also be figurative, since spirit beings aren't generally thought to have teeth either! The teachings are a bit of a mystery really.

Jesus taught that some people would be punished more severely than others, and the rabbis of the day believed such things as well. Some thought it was only the very evil people who'd spend a great length of time in hell.

Some people believe the word often translated eternal in the Bible is more accurately translated age-long, so it doesn't really speak of hell as being eternal.

For more detail on those and other things, visit: What The Bible Says About Sin, Judgment Day And Hell.

Incidentally, that stuff in Revelation about witchcraft being condemned might sound severe, but in some countries, some really nasty things go on in the name of witchcraft, such as harming people to get body parts from them which they sell as good luck charms and things. Not all witchcraft is like that, but some gruesome practices go on, which might also have gone on in Bible times.

What The Pagan Said About Her Co-Worker's Behaviour After She'd Taken Her Child To Another Harry Potter Film

She brought me a pamphlet that the church passed out on movies and books about "occultism" and how they led kids into darkness. I took it home and read it. My boyfriend and I got a kick out of it. I put it in a box with all the other ridiculous religious pamphlets I've received through the years. You know, the ones that are like 3 pages and highlight "God's plan" as if some pastor in Kansas is privy to that sort of information. They have little moral lesson comics in them. You know, little cartoons with "a message". Interesting. There's your advertisement of religion!

The Christian's Reply

Again, it sounds as if she was being judgmental, and not prepared to come to a good understanding of the issues by finding out all the facts, but simply swallowing what her pastor said. Some Christians perhaps rely far too much on what their pastors say, rather than doing their own research on things and getting a balanced view on them.

When some of these pamphlets talk about "God's plan", they're probably referring to God's plan to save people who turn to him and turn from their sins, which they get from their reading of the Bible. But if that's the case, they ought to make it clear. They shouldn't leave people in any doubt as to where they got the information.

Perhaps some of the people who write these things ought to do research into whether they're benefiting the people they're designed for, and maybe some of the people who give them out ought to make sure they know who they're designed for before doing so. Maybe churches, or the people who design the pamphlets, ought to give people questionnaires with the pamphlets they give them, that ask the recipients if they could fill them in and send them back to them, to let them know what they think of them. The questionnaires could also ask people to write down any questions they have about the things the pamphlets mention or about Christianity, if they wish to make a serious enquiry about them, so someone from the church or organisation that produces the pamphlets can write to them and answer them, if they seemed sincerely interested in knowing. I don't suppose that everyone who was given a pamphlet would respond, but the churches or the organisations that designed them could use the feedback they did get to improve on their pamphlets. And they might convince more people to become Christians, because they could answer any questions they were asked that weren't addressed in the pamphlets.

Incidentally, if you'd like to be filled in on the basic Christian teachings, you can read A short summary of the main Christian beliefs.

What The Pagan Said About The Bad Reputation That Christians Have Made For Themselves

We are talking about a people who were persecuted in the days of Christ for the way they believed and then turned right around and led the Crusades, the Inquisition and a myriad of other quests to kill off all "non-believers". That is about as hypocritical as you can get.

The Christian's Reply

I agree: Trying to use violence to make people become Christians or to wipe out unbelievers is very hypocritical, unless it's done because of a genuine misunderstanding about Christian teaching, because the Bible doesn't teach that Christians should do any such thing! I don't know much about the historical background to the Crusades, but no one who has properly read the New Testament can get the impression that Christians ought to fight a holy war in the name of Christianity. Instead, the Bible tells Christians to live in peace with everyone, as far as it depends on them, and to have a gentle attitude towards all people.

There are things in the Old Testament that could give a Christian leader the idea that lands ought to be forcefully cleared of Paganism. It does say that instructions were given by God to the Jews to rid their land of the worship of other gods, which would necessitate them ridding it of the worshippers as well. in the New Testament, it becomes evident that these instructions were not also meant for Christians. For instance, it says that when the apostle Paul was "disturbed" to find idol worship in the city of Athens, he preached to the people about the one true God. It nowhere says that he commanded Christians to take up arms and fight the idol worshippers! And in several of his letters, he instructs Christians to live in peace with people.

The Old Testament seems to be full of barbarity, but gruesome though it is, some of it at least can be explained by looking at the historical and cultural context in which the things it pronounced violence against took place. For instance, ancient Paganism could be quite gruesome; some cultures practiced child sacrifice; and it was things like this that the Bible says God was objecting to and that made the people who did that disgusting to him, not what the people actually believed in itself.

If you're interested in more of an explanation of how some of the gruesome things in the Old Testament can be understood better when you know the reasons for them, Visit this article which explains the background to some of them.

For instance, it says the reason there was a death penalty for adultery in Old Testament times was because it could actually lead to death. One reason was that it could lead to unwanted pregnancy, and in the days before abortion, and the welfare state and orphanages etc., babies were more likely to be abandoned. Only a couple of hundred years ago, abandoned babies that were being just left to die were apparently a fairly common sight in some Western cities. So again, the penalty was in accordance with the "life for a life" principle of the Law of Moses.

The article also explains how New Testament writers said the Law of Moses had been meant for the ancient Jews who lived in Israel before Christ came, and though its moral commands such as not committing adultery were things Christians should uphold, other things in it were meant specifically as commands for the ancient Jews and not for all time. So, for instance, no one who'd read the New Testament could honestly justify going to war against any old Pagans because the Old Testament endorsed the ancient Israelites' war against the Canaanites.

Someone once gave me a link to a page in the Catholic Encyclopedia which listed all the verses that medieval church leaders had used to justify burning people at the stake. They were all just snippets of Bible passages taken from lots of different places in the New Testament and strung together to make a list. The verses didn't mean what those leaders said they meant really, and you could tell that when you looked at them as part of the Bible passages they came from the middle of, rather than looking at the list. So what those leaders had done was a similar thing to what I'd be doing if I went through this article, took sentences out of it here and there, and strung them together and made them say something horrible. They were obviously being deliberately dishonest. The New Testament is full of beautiful commands about how Christians should be loving, gentle and peaceful. You'd have to ignore all those, and trawl through the New Testament looking for verses you could take out of context and string together so they said what you wanted them to say, if you wanted to justify doing horrible things. You couldn't possibly just not notice all the verses about living in peace with consideration for others. You'd have to deliberately disregard them.

The exception to what I say about the New Testament being about peace is the Book of Revelation, which is just as gruesome as the worst bits of the Old Testament. It was influenced by the violent times the author was living in, when the Roman Emperor Nero burned Christians in his garden, and it wouldn't be long before the Romans marched into Jerusalem to put down a Jewish rebellion, destroying the Jewish temple that Jesus had taught in, after they'd laid siege to Jerusalem, causing many people to starve, and killed many others. The Book of Revelation is thought by some to be about the end of the world, but others believe it reflects this climate of violence it was written in, and that much of it was about events that were going on which would get worse in the next few years. For more on this, you can see the article: Dating and Interpreting Revelation.

Here are a few examples of the instructions the Bible gives to Christians about the peaceful way they should behave:

To find out more about the peaceful way in which the Bible says Christians should live, you can read a selection of Bible passages, (which are actually about behaviour within the community rather than military actions, but it's obvious that the same principle applies):
Violence, anger, jealousy, arguments, and living in peace with each other.

It's probable that the vast majority of the people who went on the Crusades didn't know much at all about what the Bible actually teaches. Most people didn't have the Bible in their native language in those days, and so they would have had to rely on priests and other people in the Church to tell them what it said. If those people didn't know, or if they said misleading things, the ordinary people wouldn't have known any better.

Having said that, I've heard of examples of peoples who became Christianised and then changed their behaviour and began living in peace, whereas before, they'd been warlike.

I think it's an exaggeration to say that Christians have been responsible for a "myriad" of quests to wipe non-believers out. There are several notorious examples, where the version of Christianity that the people who did those things practised must have been a distorted version; but I think that often , Christians have been more persecuted than persecuting, such as today, where Christians are still persecuted in several countries.

What The Pagan Said About How Hypocrisy Among Christians Annoys Her Nowadays

I am a Paralegal at a law firm in little old Charleston, West Virginia, USA. ... About 2 miles from where I live is a town called St. Albans. It has the most churches per capita in the U.S. The town of Charleston is nothing but bars and pubs. So we basically have god fearing souls who get wasted the night before church. Hypocrisy knows no bounds, does it? I don't mind that Christians drink, it isn't that. It's the hypocrisy of it. To act like you are enlightened, elite, better than non christians then to go and get drunk side by side with faithless individuals is just hypocritical. To be "christian" and act high and mighty in church then to sneak and drink on Saturday night. That's what bothers me. It's the hypocrisy, not the act.

The Christian's Reply

Firstly, no one should go to church because they think it makes them look better than others.

The Bible says: (Hebrews chapter 10, GWT) 24 We must ... consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. 25 We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming. 26 If we go on sinning after we have learned the truth, no sacrifice can take away our sins.

It may be that some Christians only meet other believers when they go to church, so that's the only place where they can obey the Bible's command to "encourage each other to show love and to do good things."
So it seems that church should not only be a place where people can go to get a spiritual uplift, but also a place where people learn about and are encouraged to live more productive and less sinful lives. Anyone who goes to church because they think it makes them look better than other people is going for the wrong reason, and one which is completely opposite from the reason the Bible says we should go!

Maybe some people go to church to look good or because it's the family tradition, or out of other unbiblical motives. But Christians won't all be going for the wrong reason. Maybe some Christians who do go out and get drunk genuinely go to church to learn how to live better Christian lives. It's the church's responsibility to teach them, and if people don't get anything productive out of meeting with other Christians, then the logical conclusion is that they're all failing to fulfil their biblical responsibility.

No Christian should ever give the impression that they think they're superior to non-Christians. If they think that, then they're mistaken. The Bible says that everybody is a sinner, including Christians. It says that Christians ought to give up what they know to be sin. Once they've done so, however, it's not fitting for them to feel superior to those who haven't done so yet, but rather, they should be trying to persuade them to do so.

The Bible says: (2 Peter chapter 3, TEV) 9 The Lord ... does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants all to turn away from their sins.

And again, it says: (Romans chapter 10, NLT) 13 "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him?
And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him?
And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, "Lord, who has believed our message?"
17 Yet faith comes from listening to this message of good news - the Good News about Christ.

It's therefore appropriate Christian behaviour to tell other people about Christianity in order that they too might become Christians, not to go around feeling superior to them. And anyone who was converted to Christianity should remember that there was a time when they weren't a Christian, so they were just like the people they're feeling superior to. And it's only through the grace of God that anyone can become a Christian, not because of anything good in a Christian themselves.

The Bible says: (Romans chapter 9, NLT) 16 Receiving God's promise [of salvation] is not up to us. We can't get it by choosing it or working hard for it. God will show mercy to anyone he chooses.

And it says: (Ephesians chapter 2, TEV) 8 For it is by God's grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, 9 but God's gift, so no one can boast about it.

If someone won't accept the message of Christianity at first, Christians still don't have the right to think they're better than them, concluding that they must be people whom God hasn't chosen, unlike themselves, whom he has. The Bible says that some people might take a while to accept Christianity.

It says: (1 Peter chapter 3, NLT) 1 You wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over 2 by watching your pure, godly behavior.

If people act as if they think they're godly by going to church, but then go and get really drunk the following weekend, I don't think it's necessarily hypocrisy. A genuine hypocrite will be someone who calls themselves a Christian and knows what the Bible teaches about the way they should behave, but doesn't care. But sometimes the reason why people do things that the Bible says people shouldn't do might be lack of education about what the Bible actually teaches.

I thought I was a Christian while I was growing up, but I wasn't really educated about what the Bible says about sin. So I believed in God and Jesus, but I used to do things like get drunk - normal teenage things - but things that Christians shouldn't do. So I realise now that I wasn't a proper Christian.

But I became a true Christian when I was about twenty-two. I did some voluntary work in a psychiatric hospital for a while, and I used to read to one of the outpatients who just came in a couple of days a week with a group of people who were getting old, and it was thought that they needed some mental stimulation to keep their brains going. So they used to do things like crossword puzzles, and there was someone there to entertain them. Anyway, the man I used to read to said that someone had given him a catalogue of Christian pamphlets that you could get free from a certain organisation, but he wouldn't be able to read them himself. I said that if he got some, I'd read them to him. So he did, and I read them, and while I was doing so, I became much more enthusiastic about Christianity myself. They were about things like the love of Jesus and sin. When I read them, I got a feeling that felt a bit like as if I was being cleansed.

I then read some bits of the Bible, and found out more about what that says about the way Christians ought to behave.

I discovered that it says that Christians shouldn't get drunk, and that people who do will not inherit the kingdom of God. I'd never before heard that it said that. But I found out that It instructs Christians more than once not to get drunk.

In one place, it says: (Ephesians chapter 5, NLT) 18 Don't be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life.
Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.

The Bible says that the Holy Spirit is a part of God who can live within Christians, helping us to live better lives.

I used to enjoy going out and getting drunk with my friends. But I never regretted giving up drinking, partly because I just didn't want to do it any more after I became a proper Christian, and partly because I recognize the wisdom of the Bible's commands not to do it. I had enjoyed myself, but I did some foolish things sometimes.

When I was at university, I had the reputation of being a hard drinker in certain circles! I used to drink a lot in one go. I only did it for fun.
When I'd had a bit to drink, I used to mouth off about who knows what! Maybe I ought to feel sorry for the people who had to listen! :-) I suspect I said some unpleasant things that I'd never think of saying if I was sober! I used to tell people gory things about what I'd been studying or things I'd heard about, without asking if they wanted to be told!
One night I got really drunk and I was saying silly, unpleasant things just for fun, and some time later I was told that the people with me had drawn lots to decide who was going to walk me home! :-)

While I was doing the voluntary work at the psychiatric hospital, I was with a group of friends one day and someone happened to comment that sober people just wouldn't have wanted to be with us and join in the conversation we were all having! Only stoned or drunken people could enjoy the types of conversations we had when we were like that!

The serious thing is that I was obviously acting in an unchristian manner, bringing the name of Christianity into disrepute by the foolish and inconsiderate way I was behaving, although I didn't realise it at the time, because I didn't know enough about what the Bible says about the way Christians ought to behave.

I was chased by a sex pest for a while whom I considered to be disgusting and I really wanted to find a way to get rid of him. He wouldn't leave me alone. However, one night when I was drunk, he followed me back to my room, and peculiarly, I decided to masturbate him, just for a few seconds through his clothes, for fun. It was a bizarre and stupid thing to do, because I didn't want to encourage him! I'd wanted to do the opposite! I realised afterwards that being drunk must obviously completely warp a person's judgments! If I'd been sober, I wouldn't have wanted to do that at all! And under other circumstances, what I did could have been dangerous! He wasn't the kind of person to have tried to make me have sex with him in a violent way. But if he had been, and if he'd had a few more muscles, I could have ended up in trouble! And how could I have taken him to court? What would his lawyer have said about me?!

When I was at university I used to keep my radio/double tape deck on my bed during the day, because there wasn't that much room in my student bedroom with all my other things. So I used to keep it there so it would be within easy reach, and then put it down by the side of the bed at night. One night I came back to my room drunk, and put it on the floor as usual, but I banged it down, and a bit broke inside, and it was never the same after that. Then I realised that when you're drunk, you must be insensitive to the amount of force you're using.

A similar thing was illustrated to me later when I was doing the voluntary work at the psychiatric hospital. I used to go out with a group of friends in the evening and get drunk at a social club they had for people who worked there. I enjoyed myself. But I did a couple of silly things. One night we walked back and went into the reception area of the hospital. One of our group was standing next to me, and I pushed his head down for no good reason- perhaps I just decided that it would be a fun thing to do on the spur of the moment - and he bumped his nose. I didn't push his head hard, but I know that it does hurt when a person bangs their nose on something!
On another occasion, I playfully - or at least I think it was playfully - punched another member of our group in the stomach! I don't think I did that hard, but I think it might have hurt him a bit.

I know there are lots of people who get much more aggressive than I ever did when drunk. So I can appreciate the wisdom of the Bible's commands not to do it. People who get drunk are obviously more of a risk to themselves and to others.

On another occasion, a friend and I were walking back from the social club together, and both of us were drunk. We were enjoying ourselves, having a laugh, and one of the things we thought was funny was that as we got nearer to the place where we lived, she seemed to be having difficulty remaining standing. She started collapsing everywhere, including, at one point, on the road. It was a very, very quiet road which cars didn't often come down. I decided to join her lying on the road, just for fun. We didn't see anything wrong with it! In our drunken state, we were obviously devoid of common sense! Cars didn't pass that way very often, but if one had happened to do so at the time, we could have been severely injured!

I prefer to keep complete control of my reasoning faculties nowadays! But it wasn't incidents like that that deterred me from drinking. I liked getting drunk. I would have carried on, if I hadn't read that the Bible says that Christians shouldn't get drunk. That was what stopped me! Only since then have I developed a distaste for drinking an amount that makes me begin to say or do foolishthings. I'm not sure why I enjoyed doing it when I did. I wouldn't like it now!

If you'd like to read more about the reasons the Bible gives as to why people shouldn't get drunk, visit a short selection of Bible verses:
Bible quotes about why it's wrong to get drunk.

I also discovered that the Bible says several times that God doesn't want people to have sex before marriage. I knew vaguely that it said that before, but I hadn't realised that it meant it so seriously. I had believed that what it did say wouldn't apply to today's society, because it would only have been necessary for people to have a rule like that before the days of contraception.
However, after I discovered how many times the Bible says that Christians shouldn't have sex before marriage, I realised that it must mean it seriously. I did some thinking about the matter, and realised that the command is still very much relevant today.

If you're interested in reading information about the problems that disobeying the Bible's commands about sexual behaviour can cause, you can visit a few sets of articles which are linked to under the heading:
Links to articles about problems caused by viewing pornography, promiscuity and sex crime, and help for people with sex and pregnancy-related problems.

The links are part of a page where you can also find out what the Bible itself says about sexual behaviour: The Bible on sex and marriage.

I altered my lifestyle a bit after I'd read the passages about sin in the Bible. I gave up drinking, as I said, and asked God to give me his Holy Spirit.

Since then my life has been changed, and looking back on what I was like before, I know I've become a better person. I'm obviously not perfect, but I'm better than I was. Part of that was probably to do with growing up a bit, but I personally think part of it was to do with God's Holy Spirit. The Bible says that God's Holy Spirit will change people's lives for the better.

I've heard about people who've said their lives have been changed in quite dramatic ways when they've received God's Holy Spirit and become Christians, as well as people whose lives have been changed in minor ways, without them making a conscious effort to change.

To give one little example, I heard someone say that he became a Christian when he was a teenager, and the next day at lunchtime at school, a friend asked him why he hadn't been swearing that morning. He usually swore quite a lot. He said he hadn't even realised he'd stopped! :-)

The early Christian leader the apostle Paul wrote about what he said God's Holy Spirit can do, to a group of new Christians, saying:

(Galatians chapter 5, NLT) 16 I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict.

19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, your lives will produce these evil results: sexual immorality, impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, 20 idolatry, participation in demonic activities, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, divisions, the feeling that everyone is wrong except those in your own little group, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other kinds of sin. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

22 But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us:
23 gentleness,
and self-control.

It's often said that we Christians don't have to live a better life all by our own efforts. God's Holy Spirit can help us.
A couple of years ago, someone said something that annoyed me, but I didn't really want to be annoyed with them, so I asked God to give me the love for them that the Holy Spirit produces, and when they came into the room, my attitude towards them was completely different.

If you would like to find out more about God's Holy Spirit, go to:
What the Bible says about the life-changing power of the Holy Spirit.

I consider being a Christian to be part of my identity, like age and nationality. Being a Christian isn't just something people should think of as a hobby, or a lifestyle choice like the type of food they like best, which they can have more or less of according to their mood! Christianity should shape our whole lives. Christians shouldn't think of it as just a set of beliefs.

Anyone who thinks they can go around calling themselves a Christian but feels that it doesn't really matter whether they live a true Christian life or not is seriously mistaken. The Bible gives some strong warnings about that. At the beginning of the Book of Revelation, for instance, the Author, John, describes a vision he said he had of Jesus, whom he says gave him messages to send to seven churches.

One of them said (Revelation chapter 3, TEV) 15 I know what you have done; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were either one or the other! 16 But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I am going to spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, "I am rich and well off; I have all I need.' But you do not know how miserable and pitiful you are!

19 I rebuke and punish all whom I love. Be in earnest, then, and turn from your sins."

To give another example, the apostle Paul wrote to a group of Christians:

(Galatians chapter 6, NLT) 7 Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.

10 Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters.

Incidentally, that passage is not referring to the law of karma and reincarnation, but to God's eternal judgment. Bible teaching is incompatible with the doctrine of reincarnation. Jesus would not have needed to die for us if we could reach perfection by our own efforts.
(If you would like to study a rebuttal of the claims that the Bible teaches reincarnation, visit Reincarnation, karma, the Bible and Christianity.)

What The Pagan Said About The Things Christians Say When They Find Out That She's A Pagan

Christians are generally very intolerant of other religious practices and beliefs. They believe that everyone who isn't saved by their god is going to hell (never stop to think that, hey if I'm not Christian I may not believe in hell). I personally do not care what religion my fellow man practices, or what god or gods those around me pray to. I simply do not appreciate being type-cast as evil by someone because I refuse to follow their beliefs. I am a good person and I have no tolerance for someone who wants to tell me that I am going to burn in hell because I do not go to church.

The Christian's Reply

It's wrong for anyone to give you the impression that they think you're "evil". Calling an individual or group of people evil is just an unconstructive judgment that can alienate people who disagree, and doesn't usually in itself add anything to a person's understanding of a situation. If someone wants to convince another person that somebody is doing bad things, the helpful thing to do is to explain what's wrong with those things. It's even worse if they call a person evil for trivial reasons like if they just don't believe the same things!

But the Bible suggests that a person doesn't have to be someone that people would generally consider to be evil to end up in hell. According to the Bible, "nothing impure" will enter heaven, and people there will be perfect.

And the Bible says: (Romans chapter 3, NLT) 23 All have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.

It goes on to say that it's only through Jesus Christ's death on the cross, the purpose of which was to take the punishment that we deserve for our sins, that any one of us can be forgiven for them and be saved.

The point is that Christians have no right to think of themselves as exclusive and of you as worse than they are, because Christians themselves would all be on the way to hell if it were not for the saving work of Jesus Christ.

The Bible says in the Book of Revelation that on the Judgment Day, books will be opened, containing a record of everything people have done, good and bad. In various places, the Bible says that we will be:

  1. Judged according to our deeds;
  2. judged by every useless word we have ever spoken;
  3. that all our hidden motives will be exposed,
  4. and everything we have done in secret will be brought out into the open.

It may be that when we are confronted with all the impure things we have ever done and said, we will all feel like shameful sinners deserving of hell!

The Bible says: (Isaiah chapter 64, NIV) All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.

However, the Bible does say in several places that good people will go to heaven. Jesus said that people will be judged according to how compassionate they've been towards people in need. The Bible's a little unclear about exactly what will happen on Judgment Day and whether non-Christians who have lived good lives will get to heaven. But if you'd like to find out more of what it does say, read an article I wrote in response to a question about whether the Bible teaches that atheists will all go to hell even if they've lived good lives: Will good atheists go to hell?

More Of What The Pagan Said About The Way Christians Behave

I can think of about 10 off of the top of my head and they are the most judgmental and hypocritical individuals I know. They use being a Christian like a shield. They can talk horrible about someone, treat homeless people like dirt and still say, "I'm going to heaven because I'm a Christian". ... And I think that type of mentality is why a lot of people are seeking alternative religions. Not because of God or the Bible......but because of the example others show. It's like this shirt I once owned. It said, "God, save me from your followers!". Enough said!

The Christian's Reply

The Bible gives lists on several occasions of things that Christians shouldn't do, and it says that if people do them, they won't get to heaven. So if someone calls themselves a Christian but does them, it won't make any difference that they believe that Jesus died for them. They shouldn't expect to be able to do them and still get to heaven.

Any Christian can succumb to temptation and fall into sin - possibly even very serious sin on occasion - but if we sincerely realise the error of our ways and change them, the Bible says God will forgive us.
And obviously no Christian will ever be perfect on earth, so we'll all often do or say or think minor things without thinking about it that Christians shouldn't really do - although we should never think of that as acceptable behaviour, and it's likely that the more mature a Christian is, the less it will happen.

However, if Christians habitually do or say things they know to be sin because they don't care that the Bible says Christians shouldn't do them, then they shouldn't expect to get to heaven.

The Bible says that if Christians do sinful things and yet judge others for doing them, that's even worse.
In one of his letters, which you can tell was written to Christians by reading chapter 1, after giving a list of things that people do when they shouldn't, the apostle Paul wrote:

(Romans chapter 2, NLT) 1 You may be saying, "What terrible people you have been talking about!" But you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you do these very same things. 2 And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. 3 Do you think that God will judge and condemn others for doing them and not judge you when you do them, too? 4 Don't you realize how kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Or don't you care? Can't you see how kind he has been in giving you time to turn from your sin? 5 But no, you won't listen.

So you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself because of your stubbornness in refusing to turn from your sin. For there is going to come a day of judgment when God, the just judge of all the world, 6 will judge all people according to what they have done.
7 He will give eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers.
8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and practice evil deeds.
9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on sinning - for the Jew first and also for the Gentile.
10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good - for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.
16 The day will surely come when God, by Jesus Christ, will judge everyone's secret life. This is my message.

To find out more about the kind of behaviour that the Bible says will exclude people from going to heaven, as well as about how much God wants to be compassionate and merciful to people who change their ways, visit: Avoiding sin and loving one another; God's mercy; and the return of Jesus Christ.

The Bible says that Christians have no right to judge people outside the Church. It says that that's God's job, no one else's. But it says that if Christians inside the Church do things that the Bible forbids, they should be thrown out. That might be partly so people will realise that the excluded people are not behaving in the way that Christians ought to behave.

The apostle Paul wrote: (1 Corinthians chapter 5, GWT) 9 In my letter to you I told you not to associate with people who continue to commit sexual sins. 10 I didn't tell you that you could not have any contact with unbelievers who commit sexual sins, are greedy, are dishonest, or worship false gods. If that were the case, you would have to leave this world.
11 Now, what I meant was that you should not associate with people who call themselves brothers or sisters in the Christian faith but live in sexual sin, are greedy, worship false gods, use abusive language, get drunk, or are dishonest. Don't eat with such people.

12 After all, do I have any business judging those who are outside [the Christian faith]? Isn't it your business to judge those who are inside? 13 God will judge those who are outside. Remove that wicked man from among you."

But the Bible says that Christians ought to be warned about their behaviour before they get thrown out of the church. It's only if they won't listen that they should be excluded. Maybe some people just don't know how Christians ought to live. I heard about a Norwegian woman missionary who went to stay with a group of missionaries in China in the 1920's, and she found that they were backbiting about people and it wasn't very pleasant in their company. She did several sermons for them and they were all about sin. She took one sin each time and preached against it. By the time she'd finished, they had all changed their ways and were much nicer to be around.

I think there ought to be a lot more sermons about sin nowadays. They might make Christians who don't behave in the way that Christians should behave change their ways. Some people who think they're Christians might think that believing in one God and Jesus is all there is to Christianity.

You can find out more about the Bible's commands and advice concerning backbiting and using insulting or dirty language by reading:
What the Bible says about lies, gossip, quarrelling, insulting language and dirty jokes.

Next time you hear a Christian being nasty about someone, or anything like that, you could remind them that Jesus said: (Matthew chapter 12, TEV) 36 You can be sure that on the Judgment Day you will have to give account of every useless word you have ever spoken. 37 Your words will be used to judge you-to declare you either innocent or guilty.

And if you see a Christian treating a homeless person in a bad way for no good reason, let them know that there's a proverb in the Book of Proverbs in the Bible that says:

(Proverbs chapter 14, TEV) 21 If you want to be happy, be kind to the poor; it is a sin to despise anyone.

The great Christian leader the apostle Paul said: (1 Corinthians chapter 4, TEV) 6 None of you should be proud of one person and despise another. 7 Who made you superior to others? Didn't God give you everything you have? Well, then, how can you boast, as if what you have were not a gift?

11 To this very moment we go hungry and thirsty;
we are clothed in rags;
we are beaten;
we wander from place to place;
13 We are no more than this world's garbage;
we are the scum of the earth to this very moment!

What would people have thought if they'd seen the apostle Paul clothed in rags and didn't know who he was?

In another part of the Bible it says that people should never judge others by their outward appearance.

It says: (James chapter 2, TEV) 1 My friends, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance. 2 Suppose a rich man wearing a gold ring and fine clothes comes to your meeting, and a poor man in ragged clothes also comes. 3 If you show more respect to the well-dressed man and say to him, "Have this best seat here," but say to the poor man, "Stand over there, or sit here on the floor by my feet," 4 then you are guilty of creating distinctions among yourselves and of making judgments based on evil motives.

5 Listen, my dear friends! God chose the poor people of this world to be rich in faith and to possess the kingdom which he promised to those who love him. 6 But you dishonor the poor!

8 You will be doing the right thing if you obey the law of the Kingdom, which is found in the scripture, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." 9 But if you treat people according to their outward appearance, you are guilty of sin, and the Law condemns you as a lawbreaker.

And the Bible says that Christians should be caring towards others and do good.

For instance, it says: (1 John chapter 3, NLT) 16 We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters. 17 But if anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need and refuses to help - how can God's love be in that person?
18 Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions. 19 It is by our actions that we know we are living in the truth".

I think verses like that ought to be quoted much more in Christian churches, to inform people about the way Christians ought to behave.

If you would like to read more Bible verses about looking down on people, as well as part of a psychology article on a good way of stopping prejudice, visit:
A short story about tackling prejudice, and what the Bible says about despising people, judging by appearances, and God's mercy.

And if you'd like to read more Bible verses about the caring attitude that Christians ought to have towards others and how they should do good to people, read: What the Bible says about love and caring.

But the Bible does warn that there will be people around who call themselves Christians but behave in a nasty way.

It says: (2 Timothy chapter 3, NLT) 1 In the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. You must stay away from people like that.

It's a pity that some people like that will call themselves Christians and put other people off Christianity.

The Bible also says that false Christian teachers will appear among believers and give Christianity a bad name.

It says: (2 Peter chapter 2, TEV) 1 False prophets appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in destructive, untrue doctrines, and will deny the Master who redeemed them, and so they will bring upon themselves sudden destruction.
2 Even so, many will follow their immoral ways; and because of what they do, others will speak evil of the Way of truth.

Christians really need to know the Bible well so they can avoid being misled by false Christian teachers, and so they know how Christians are really supposed to behave.

But again, the Bible says Christians don't have to change their ways all by their own efforts - they can rely on the help of God's Holy Spirit if they want it.

As I've said, I think that Bible passages about how the Holy Spirit can change people's lives and how people who live sinful lives aren't pleasing God ought to be quoted much, much more in Christian churches, because there are probably lots of people who call themselves Christians who don't even know about them. I hope that any preachers who read this will take up the idea. It's really important that Christians find out about these things.

For instance, the Bible says: (Romans chapter 8, NLT) 5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. 8 That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. 9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.)

10 Since Christ lives within you, even though your body will die because of sin, your spirit is alive because you have been made right with God. 11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. 12 So, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation whatsoever to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you keep on following it, you will perish. But if through the power of the Holy Spirit you turn from it and its evil deeds, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

It would be nice if preachers had a healthy balance in their sermons of teaching - or quoting what the Bible says - about sin, and teaching about the love of Jesus.


It's true that a lot of Christians behave like hypocrites. Sometimes it'll be deliberate, and sometimes it won't be. I think Christians ought to be educated much more about what the New Testament says about the way Christians should behave. I, for one, grew up going to churches, but I can honestly say I very rarely if ever heard a decent sermon informing us about what the Bible says is sin. (Actually, I didn't hear many decent sermons at all, but that's beside the point.) Perhaps it's like that for a lot of people - maybe they behave like hypocrites because they've grown up going to church and so they think of themselves as Christians, but they've never learned much about what the Bible says about the way they should behave.

But any Christian who knows what it says and refuses wilfully to behave in accordance with it is definitely a hypocrite, and, I believe, should be told as much, because it might shame them into changing their ways.

The main pages on this site:

Bible Bible Part 1: The Bible, The Holy Spirit Today, People And Their Stories
(Bible topics include the end of the world, sex and marriage, violence, anger and jealousy, whether Christians should gossip and tell dirty jokes, and some of the reasons why Christians suffer. There are also articles to help with various problem behaviours like alcoholism and anger management.)
Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites, The Book of Revelation, And People's Religious Experiences Today
Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians
(Bible topics include love and caring, the appropriate Christian attitude to personal wealth, prejudice, and false Christian teaching.)

The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.

Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).

Other initials:

Warning Against Believing Everything you Hear or Read

Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:

The Beauty of the New Testament's Moral Teaching and Other Important Pages on this Website

Are you up to trying the challenges of the New Testament's moral guidelines, and would you like to know more of what it says about the love of Jesus? Here are some links to Bible quotes about the beautiful ideals the New Testament encourages Christians to try to live up to:

There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:

Fancy some light relief or laughter therapy? Then go to the first of our jokes pages:

If you have a problem affecting your mental health or well-being, like depression, a difficulty with life-damaging worry, panic attacks, phobias or OCD, marriage problems, an addiction, an eating disorder, recovering from the trauma of sexual abuse or domestic violence, coping with bullies in the workplace, or bullying and teasing at school, trying to lose weight, raising difficult teenagers, caring for someone with a disease like Alzheimer's, wanting to recover from anorexia or self-harm, or grieving for someone you were close to or feeling lonely, and you'd like some ideas on coping or getting past it, visit our Self-help series.

If this is the first page you have visited on this site, this is part of Broadcaster.org.uk, a website about social and psychological issues, what the Bible says about social problems and other topics, and how they affect people's lives today.

Go to the Broadcaster.org.uk home page to find out more.....