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Carly's avatar

Are there any Christian denominations out there that don't aggressively try to convert people or tell others that they'll go to hell if they don't accept Christ?

Asked by Carly (4550points) February 8th, 2012

I was raised in a protestant denomination that doesn’t do these things, but almost every other “Christian” I’ve met outside of my own specific denomination has always been much more aggressive with their opinions of what it means to be Christian. This has been a really big turn off for me, which sometimes makes me feel like I’m not Christian enough because I can’t relate to others who call themselves Christians.

Am I just running into a lot of extremist Christians, or is it something else? Are there other Christian denominations that don’t have extreme values that almost seem “unchrist-like”?

I know these questions are very serious and could offend some people, but I’ve really been struggling with this for a long time, and it would be really helpful if I could get some good answers.

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27 Answers

TexasDude's avatar

Lots. Ever hear of the Quakers?

marinelife's avatar

Lutherans are not big on proselytizing.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I have known quite a number of Christians from a number of different denominations that don’t push that agenda. In fact, in my life experience (57 years) most Christians are not agenda pushing fundamentalists at all. I think it has more to do with the specific congregation. If you’re in a new area and you want to find a church, you may have to shop a bit, but there probably a few out there that aren’t quite so…pushy. Many of the Methodist congregations where I have lived have been pretty laid back.

Blackberry's avatar

I think Methodists and Lutherans are the most chillaxed.

jaytkay's avatar

Most Christians and most denominations don’t aggressively try to convert people or tell others that they’ll go to hell if they don’t accept Christ.

But the loudmouths demand a lot of attention.

For one example of how most churches treat non-members, I volunteer at a food pantry run by an Episcopal church. The topic of joining the church has never come up in the years I’ve been going there.

saint's avatar

I have tons of friends that are Christian believers (I am atheist, through and through) . Not a SINGLE ONE tries to influence me, guilt trip me, brow beat me etc. In fact, I know people who are not close friends who are equally committed to their faith, and equally restrained. Sorry for you and your rude social circle.

King_Pariah's avatar

I suppose it may sound surprising but a lot of the Baptists at a local church I sometimes help out at aren’t the type to get into your face and try to convert you.

Sunny2's avatar

I remember that I stopped being friends with a Lutheran girl who insisted that some one in Africa, who had never heard of Jesus, would go to hell. I think it may depend on what synod one belongs to. Also, things may have changed over the years. I hope so. This was in the 1950’s. We’ve come a long way since then.

Judi's avatar

I just changed churches to a United Church of Christ church. I love that every Sunday they say, “No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here. ”
I was Missouri Synod Lutheran and left because they were to right wing political, and I evolved to a more accepting faith.

Berserker's avatar

Given that in North America there are thousands of Christians everywhere, as it is the dominant religion here…I only get accosted in aggressive manners with conversion as intent like…extremely rarely. So that leads me to believe that there are a hell of a lot of Christians out there who don’t this. Or if they do, it’s in a decent, human way, and they stop if you ask em.
Then again, I don’t have much, if anything at all actually, to do with religious establishments or organizations, so maybe I’m in all the wrong places. I couldn’t even begin, besides Jehovah’s Witnesses, to tell you which branch of Christianity is the most aggressive in this manner, at least in my experience.
But then I know a whole load of Christian believers, so I stand by my answer. And actually, the most significant run ins I have had with Christians in regards to this, close friends or random people, is on the Internet lol. My mom is a different story, but she has problems. XD

wilma's avatar

United Church of Christ, Methodist, Presbyterian, some Lutherans, and Episcopal Churches are just some of the denominations that don’t do a lot of proselytizing. The United Church of Christ has many gay and lesbian ordained ministers.
It’s the protesting in your face, cram-it-down-your-throat rabble rousers that give the whole religion a bad name.

jca's avatar

I’m with @saint on this one. I have lots of friends and coworkers from all religions and none try to convert me. They’re Catholic, Methodist, Protestant, Lutheran – none pull that crap. I’m Presbyterian and we never did that, either.

The most enthusiastic people when it comes to their religion (if you let them) is Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Kraigmo's avatar

United Church of Christ fits your description of a Christ-believing church that does not contain aggressive or overly judgmental beliefs or members. (Do not confuse it with local independent “Church of Christ” churches, which tend to be very intolerant and overly traditional). Just look up United Church of Christ in almost any city.

CaptainHarley's avatar

It’s very gratifying to read about all the people who DON’T try to beat others into the Kingdom of Heaven. Actually, the Bible has quite a bit to say about this, one of the most notable being, “Let your light so shine before men that they will praise your good works and glorify your Father.”

Kindness, generosity and compassion will win over far more people than the “If you don’t accept Jesus as your personal Savior right NOW, you’re going to hell” variety.

I wonder where we went wrong on that?

incendiary_dan's avatar

Believe it or not, the Baptist church was founded on that principle.

Some of them seem to have forgotten that.

amazingme's avatar

I’m Presbyterian and we’re pretty loving. :]

Jeruba's avatar

I think the ones who go around telling everybody they’re Christians are already the variety that you don’t want to meet. In my experience, most religious people of any faith treat religious beliefs as a personal matter and don’t talk about them unless they’re very specifically pertinent to something that comes up. (This is true of the atheists as well.) So you may never know that the quiet, respectful, unaggressive Christians you meet are Christians.

Paradox25's avatar

Universalists, though not all of them identify themselves as Christians. Modern day gnostics also come to mind.

augustlan's avatar

It might depend on your geographic location, too. In the bible belt, there are probably a lot more fundamentalists than in, say, New York City.

jca's avatar

@augustlan: good point. I live not far from NYC and we don’t tolerate that crap around heeyuh!

jaytkay's avatar

In the bible belt, there are probably a lot more fundamentalists than in, say, New York City.

Christian fundamentalists, yeah. However, if you include fundamentalists in general…

Carly's avatar

@Paradox25 and @jaytkay I live in California half the year and southern Illinois during the other half. It seems to me that there are more outspoken Christians in CA vs IL. I’ve always wondered why that is..

Judi's avatar

@Carly , what part of California? Central CA anf Orange county are really conservative.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@jca

Then people ‘round theah ain’t no better than Pelosi or Reid or Holder or Obama, etc., at comprehending the Constitution. : )

Carly's avatar

@Judi, no, bay area

mattbrowne's avatar

Almost all European Christian denominations are not aggressive. There are exceptions like a significant part of the Catholic Church in Poland.

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