Thursday, January 14, 2010

Evangelism -- It's Not What I Was Taught

I've written before about the tyranny of evangelism and all the angst that seems to be out there amongst Christians. If you want to get a Christian to lower their head in shame, just ask them who they "witnessed" to this week?

But Yeshua gave a very simple command about how we are to witness to being His disciples. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34,35

So....I think the idea is that those on the outside are supposed to ask how do we get in on this radical love you guys have. I'm not saying we don't have an answer but isn't the timing supposed to come when they ask the question? Isn't this what Peter said?

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

1 Peter 3:15-17.

This is what Peter did when it came to finally going to a gentile by the name of Cornelius. In essence, Cornelius asked and Peter answered.

Whew, no more pressure about needing to witness. All we have to do is love one another and do something decent for others. While we're having a good time, once and awhile somebody's going to want to get in on the party. How cool is that?


brack said...

The idea that we are to go and make disciples, I don't think, is a bad one. But what we haven't been taught is that to a disciple involves a relationship and not just a 2 minutes recitation on the 4 spiritual laws. Great post again David.

David Grant said...

I'm processing a thought that I'm not quite ready to blog about regarding the great commission. For years the emphasis was on the command "go". Is that a realistic command for all believers? Did the apostles hear that emphasis. There might be another view that I'm leaning towards these days, "as you are going" or as you are living your life make disciples. This seems to make more sense of why the early church didn't take the command seriously. But perhaps it was never a command but a statement of being. I am rethinking virtually everything about my evangelical/pentecostal/fundamentalist background and I'm not finding much to hang onto.

But hey, we expect non-believers to completely change their culturally accepted norms without blinking an eye. If we know it's "good" for them, perhaps....

All of this happened cuz a guy asked me 2 simple questions that penetrated my heart like a lazer. Everyone else heard the questions and nothing changed for them. Here they are if you're so inclined.

brack said...

three main reasons why I'm on a similar journey. (1)About 10 years ago, I asked God to make me genuine and He has faithfully been working for my good in that and other areas. (2)About 5 years ago, I began seeing more similarities in the "christian" and "secular" folks than differences...and not in a good way. This caused me to question every aspect of the scriptures and how we apply them. If we are called to be salt, why does look like sugar? (3)My brother passed away almost 2 years ago, and one question still haunts God's love infinite enough for those who make fun of Him? I know what I've been told, but...

Can't wait for your next post.