"Losing you 'witness'"

I overheard a Pentecostal co-worker yesterday saying he was having a hard time trying to get a non-religious relative to church because he (the Pentecostal) had “lost his witness”. Since he has had personal problems over the years, I assume this is what he is referring to.
I heard this phrase years ago when I was in evangelicalism, so I know what he means by it. But I want to pose the question here for the evangelicals on CAF:
Please explain “losing your witness”.

Actually, it could be referring to any number of behaviors.

At times of stress, a person may seek out relief from former behaviors such as smoking or drinking heavily. Reaction to the “personal problems” may be cursing or other language, being short-tempered, or some other type of abruptness that the person may have reverted.

The person may be performing behavior(s) that were were formerly put behind (the old or carnal man). They may feel that this behavior is unchristian or immature. Unfrotunately, this feeling just leads to guilt which probably compounds the “personal problems.”

I am not saying any of these are what your co-worker is doing just that these are behaviors people often act on when under stress. Also, I am not sure which “Pentecostal” tradition he subscribes. Some are very quick to put guilt on members for some particular actions.

I’m Catholic as well but I also ran into a similar situation. After a long week at work a group of co-workers and I sought refuge at a local resturant that serves the world’s greatest margaritas. One of my co-workers said she couldn’t go because if someone saw her she would “lose her witness.” To me is seems like it’s more of a front than anything. I really don’t care what people think of when they see me, if someone sees me have a beer and they want to think I’m a heathen bound for Gehenna, that’s their problem. I especially have an issue with it if it comes as something that someone wants to do but won’t because they simply don’t want to be seen doing it.

I keep losing my “witnesses”.

Every time those JWs come to the door I sprinkle them with Holy Water from the font at my front door. For some reason I keep losing them, they don’t come back.

“We are “epistles” written by Christ…”

In my experience, the person who loses his witness is basing such on emotionalism and anti-intellectualism which are major problems among pentecostal people. I have never heard someone in less emotional, more intellectual churches make such claims. In fact, I have heard some people from the emotional pentecostal churches claim that churches where people are not barking at the moon are spiritually dead. :rolleyes:


Good one!! :smiley:

Years ago I heard a former Pentecostal preacher lament a saying among his camp: “a bird with a broken wing will never fly straight again”. A bit of a cruel piece of wisdom. One mistake, and you have an invisible sign on your chest for life, no matter how many times the person confesses. Thier ‘witness’ is forever broken. Sounds very Puritan.

So her christianity is based on how others see her. Pretty sad.

Um, I could be wrong, but I think “losing my witness” would probably be akin to what a Catholic would call “causing scandal”.

I think the person who didn’t want to appear as if they were drinking may be from a denomination which denounces alcohol consumption. As Catholics, we are free to consume alcohol and so we wouldn’t be causing scandal if someone saw us with a beer. Perhaps it wouldn’t be the same for their situation.

If someone saw a devout Catholic going into an X-rated movie they would “lose their witness” by “causing scandal”. If that person were trying to bring others into the Church, their witness would lose credibility because of their hypocritical behavior.

Unfortunately, some of the posters at CAF can “lose their witness” by being scandalously uncharitable in their posts…so let’s try to be charitable to people while disputing the facts. :wink:

Friend, you speak my mind.

Yes, that is classy…


This post gives the best definition of the meaning of one losing their witness. It is a grevious scanlalous situation that becomes public. Just look at the recent scandals in the cc. These are examples of losing ones witness.

Just look at the recent scandals in the cc. These are examples of losing ones witness.

I agree with you, but I also have to add that we must be careful not to become prejudiced against a whole group of people because of the sins of some of them. :aok:

Expect her to quote Romans 14 about not causing others to stumble or is it I Cor 6 maybe.

Anyways, do her a favior and show her I John 1:8-10

1 John 1:8-10 (King James Version)

8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

**9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. **

10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

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