There is no real hesitation for me in answering this question. I have many friends who are Christians and had some serious discussions with them about the Christian faith. Never once did I get the feeling that there was a point beyond which I couldn’t go before my life was at risk.
For years I have debated the Christian faith and it can be as frustrating as with any other religion. The frustrating part is not so much when they don’t agree with you but when they run out of arguments and resort to saying things like “you just have to believe” or “I just feel that Jesus is real” or they give you that pitiful look and end the conversation saying “I’ll pray for you”.
The truth is that Christians are scared shit like the rest of us in a world that offers very little for comfort. We all try to fit in, make friends and do anything not to end up alone. We want something to call home, a group of friends who make us feel special, anything that gives us some identity. We’re all scared to get rejected, outcast of society or banned from fellowship with those we love. The sense to belong is one of the most powerful drives that can make us do nearly anything.
Yet Christians are not asked to kill. Jesus never ordered any of his disciples to kill, not even the Romans when they entered the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest him. Life is sacred in the Christian faith. A Christian father might be unhappy if his daughters don’t follow his faith or marry unbelievers but he won’t feel it necessary to kill them to defend the family honour.
Christians also didn’t see any reason to continue the barbaric practice of butchering the sexual organs of their children. And even though the bible does teach that women are to submit their husbands we don’t see Christian men these days ordering their wives to stay at home and beating them up with impunity. We don’t see it because the Christian community would not have it. Pastors don’t preach from the pulpit how a woman should be beaten in a way as not to bruise her face.
Although Christians to this day do still have stupid rules about women, like the ones that bar women from the priesthood or from becoming a bishop, no woman needs to be afraid for her life if she seeks to change the status-quo. She can speak against her church, her pastor, her priest, her bishop, even the pope himself without having to fear for her life in any way.
I have no hesitation to be friends with a Christian. They might not all want to be friends with me, but that’s another matter. I don’t expect them. The good thing is that I can trust a Christian and don’t need to fear being stabbed in the back because for a Christian to murder and to lie are serious things. For a Christian there are no two rules, one relating to believers and another for unbelievers. He has to love both of them. If a Christian lies, it would only be out of weakness against his faith, or to save somebodies life. He would not lie, pretend to be your friend but kill you at the next opportunity because you drew a picture of Jesus or called him a pig, or because you once were a Christian but then turned your back to Christ. A Christian does not kill you, no matter how offensive you behave, because he believes in a God who through Jesus taught him to love every person, the good and the bad, friend and foe.
Even on the cross, instead of vomiting hateful words, Jesus uttered these words “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they do”. Anybody who follows this man’s religion can be my friend, because such a man or woman doesn’t seek to harm anybody.