Tuesday, May 5, 2015 4:12 AM

Gentleness and Respect

Tuesday, May 5, 2015 4:12 AM
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 4:12 AM

One of the things not thought of very often in the next quote is that to become a Christian is an actual secondary socialization. The conversion of an adult to a new religion is a form of secondary socialization (cf. P. L. Berger and T. Luckman, The Social Construction of Reality [New York: [1]

In fact, this is an unspoken problem for the unbeliever, may be the number two reason for the rejection of the Gospel outside of personal pride. For the unbeliever sees Christianity and Christians outside of their social circle. To become a Christian means to separate in a way from one’s own social construct and reestablish ties in a new social construct.

Many times their present social construct ridicules Christians and they may have to make new friends. Where they once held Christianity in contempt, they now find they are defending Christianity. They may want to keep their old friends, but find it increasingly difficult to maintain the relationship…these are relationships that have defined their life up to now.

This understanding is important in carrying the Gospel to a lost and unbelieving world. Peter tells us to carry the Gospel with “gentleness and respect”. Peter had to undergo this very “secondary socialization” process in a social construct that was very unforgiving of any change outside of Judaism. He received this very “gentleness and respect” from Jesus Christ.


[1] Witherington III, B. (1995). Conflict and Community in Corinth : A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

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