Tag Archives: evangelism

In the Background

Christianity is a faith, I believe, that functions in the background. Or at least it should. The Christian faith is a personal one. It functions as the relationship of individual to Deity, but it is also a function of individual to individual. The most effective dissemination of the Gospel has always been on a one-to-one basis. Granted, God has blessed many great evangelists over the years with widespread ministries, leading hundreds and thousands to Christ at a time. But I think the numbers would show that the greatest spread of the Word has been through personal relationships with each other, with letting the Christian lifestyle speak volumes, with communicating our hope in casual conversation. When Christians take the Gospel to the public arena, particularly the political arena, the message somehow gets tainted and stilted. In that realm emotions like fear flavor the good news in a way that is often harmful because political-religious concerns involve protecting the right to worship. That fear drives that political action, and what starts as a movement to protect freedom of worship almost turns into a blanket action to forcefully establish a state religion, something that the founding fathers were very careful to protect against. (Of course, there are also those who use their beliefs to foster an attitude of superiority, who allow that attitude to breed anger, hatred, and bitterness, but those are the individuals that need to be separated from the whole because they clearly do not aid the Body. They are the cancer that brings the Body down and should removed.)

Christianity is a faith that operates best in the background. Our faith should be visible, but not obnoxiously so. Our faith should be presented with love and compassion but also with patience and understanding, two virtues that I think are all too often forgotten or ignored. No one can be forced to believe in Christ or in God, yet the practice of our faith should be compelling and awe-inspiring. This is why it is so important to develop active relationships with other people — with other Christians for the strengthening of our faith and the renewal of our spirits, and with unbelievers so that we may demonstrate with our lives and testify with our lips the power of the hope that is in us. Let us relate our hope to others and build the Kingdom one life at a time.

The Disservice of Contemporary Christianity in America

The discussion on homosexuality here resulted in a few thoughts on the counterproductivity of the contemporary Christian approach to evangelism.

I do believe that Christians in our society today have done a great disservice to the homosexual community in their very angry, judgmental approach, something that Wilkins apologized for on behalf of those individuals in his speech. The result is that it makes it that much harder for us who do not hate homosexuals or pass judgment on them to share our testimonies of faith. I have been bitter and cynical toward Christians in the past because of this, something that God has been gracious enough to remove
from my heart in recent days, but I do feel weary at the thought of trying to break down those walls that separate Christians and the Church from those who do not believe, and not just those who are homosexuals. Personally, I do view homosexuals as every bit as equal as me and as every bit in need of a Savior as me. Why would I do them the disservice of holding my joy in, of being neglectful of their need? Where would I be today if no one had shared the Good News of Christ with me? Christ loves the homosexual just as much as He loves me and He wants them to live a life of righteousness, too, following close to Him. Those who follow Christ must give up some things, specifically those things that will hinder their relationship with Him. But in return He gives so much more. The homosexual is asked to give up an impure lifestyle, and at the very
least they are returned a healthy, vibrant, joyful relationship with the Savior of their souls. Is leaving them alone worth the cost, worth the sacrifice of withholding such a blessing?

I believe that Christianity would be a much more vibrant, much more influential faith today, especially in America, if all Christians would actually remember Who it is they represent and what it is that He taught us to do — love, share the Gospel, disciple, minister, serve – and compare that against they way they actually live and act. Actions speak louder than words, my friends, and I fear that the actions of Christians in America are sending the exact wrong message. No wonder we’re such hypocrites…