I cannot believe I'm actually offering Christians advice on how to spread the Gospel more effectively. It's a far cry from my younger days, when anyone who professed faith earned my rolled eyes and closed ears, at a minimum.
I wasn't alone. Many of my fellow heathens and unbelievers can be particularly unkind to persons of faith. While not excusing this behavior, it is often a reaction to unkindness and intolerance on the part of certain believers who might wish to re-examine their actions. Dutchman6 elaborates at SSI:
First, the backstory(comments are worth reading, as well).
Then the first half of this post: "But the thing about Christians is that we must hold ourselves to a higher standard if we wish to be respected AS CHRISTIANS."
I agree. As one commenter in the backstory suggested, handing out water and quiet testimony will bring far more people to Christ than in-your-face, confrontational tactics. I mean, you do want to bring people to Christ, right? That was the point of the whole thing, wasn't it?
I'm still an atheist, but I've grown a lot more tolerant and understanding of my Christian brothers and sisters over the years. And I'll tell you this: said tolerance and understanding were not won by people waving signs, passing judgement and otherwise getting in my face. They came from watching true Christians, living their lives in quiet dignity and leading by example. They came from admiring people like Sarah Palin and Allen West, who don't just pay lip service to Christanity for the purposes of political expedience--they live their faith every moment of every day. And it shows.
It's all basically summed up in the wise words of a young man I once met: "Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words when necessary." In other words, let your actions speak not only for you, but for God. If your words and/or actions are driving people away from God...then who are you really working for?