As the world is becoming closer because of the internet, making friends is as easy as ever. People from countries of different races, cultures, and traditions make connections in the comfort of home at a fingertip. That said, reconciling differences is not always a walk in the park as it is in saying hello to initiate a new friendship. Conflict can always possibly occur. In this blog post, we will discuss differences in belief, specifically religion, is it a sin to be friends with atheists?
Being with a person that does not believe in what you believe is a sin.
This is the main concern of this topic.
“Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus”, Outside the Church there is no salvation. You might probably read or heard this phrase many times. And this might also be the reason why you think that having atheist friends is a sin.
This might mean that you are tolerating their beliefs.
But going deeper, having a friend who does not share your faith will not jeopardize your salvation unless you also subscribe to believe what they believe.
As Catholics it is our duty to respect others, upholding their dignity regardless of their religious beliefs. We need to treat them with compassion. Knowing that although with differing stances on the matters of faith, they are still our brothers and sisters in Christ, worthy of love.
We, Catholics, are called to be holy. In this way, we also inspire others to live in holiness. This is evangelization.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.
Having atheist friends is actually a good thing!
Since they are closer to us, it is a chance to show them how Catholics live. We can teach them gradually the basics of our faith. From praying before meals to telling them “I’d pray for you”, we can present our lively faith so that they may also inspire and encourage them to know more about it.
Now that we digest the whole topic, let’s answer the question.
Is it a sin to be friends with atheists?
No, having friends that are atheists is not a sin. Being around them and conversing with them is not sinful unless you convert to their beliefs and lose your faith. Despite the non-belief, we still need to respect their dignity as human beings.
In every friendship, respect is important. It is shown in meaningful conversations, understanding each other which leads to personal growth. Just like our treatment of our protestant brothers and sisters, we should approach them by engaging in dialogue, and building genuine friendship so that they see to us the real meaning of Catholic living.
That we may bring the knowledge and love of God to those who do not know Him, Loving Mother, pray for us.