Question:

I'm 21, and I have some friends from high school. We grew up together, and I love them as friends. As many, I recognized God as my Lord in word, but not in deed (living a sinful lifestyle). Last year, with the grace of our Lord, I changed. I'm turning to the right direction, seeking the Lord, studying His Word; it's beyond my abilities to say how wonderful it is. These friends I spoke of continued with the bad habits we shared: watching pornography, excessive drinking, sexual imorality and others. Every one of us went to a different college or campuses, so we just hang out on the vacations. Now I'm a Christian and many of the conversations they have are about the things that I want to avoid, namely; pornography, subversion, curse words, bad values. It's not like they talk just about it, but the dialogues contains it, as it has since high school. I try to join in when the subjects touch these "elements," but I get dragged in anyway.

Biblically, what should I do? I know that bad companies corrupts good character, but are they "bad company?" Should I avoid them? In the past I too did horrible things, and many religious people did not denied a good and meaningful conversation with me. It's really tricky issue for me. I appreciate for your time


Answer:

When Christians talked to you, did you talk to them about immoral things? I suspect the answer was no. Therefore, you hanging around your friends while they talk about the sins they committed is not going to lead them to Christ. "But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them" (Ephesians 5:3-7).

I'm not saying never talk to them again, but when you do talk with them, you have to limit the topics to ones that don't deal with the acceptance of sin. When the talk turns nasty you need to leave. If they can't have a normal conversation, then you need to find better friends. You have matured and they haven't. While the fact that you once were like them helps you understand how hard it is to change, you can't allow them to drag you back into sin.

"Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For the time already past is sufficient for you to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles, having pursued a course of sensuality, lusts, drunkenness, carousing, drinking parties and abominable idolatries. In all this, they are surprised that you do not run with them into the same excesses of dissipation, and they malign you; but they will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (I Peter 4:1-5).

It would be nice if everyone you knew learned the truth as you have done, but sadly becoming a Christian often forces things to change because you no longer have the same interests in common like you once did.

Once again, great advise. Please, continue with the outstanding work you're doing on the web site. Thank you very much. God bless.