Thursday, July 14, 2005

Christian Training Pants

It appears that there are several different view points on Christianity, but no matter what the view point, the big picture is that Christ came to save us, all of us. For some of us, we have accepted Christ into our heart and then make it our mission to build relationships with people and then through those relationships share the love of Christ and what that means. For others, they accept Christ into their hearts and then they aren't sure what to do, but it is usually not their fault. The Church has done a great job of expressing the need for evangelizing, it just hasn't done a very good job of correctly showing its people how to do that. So, as a result "Christians" have gone around sharing the 4 spiritual truths. This is great, but a lot of times it comes off in an offensive way. I mean can you honestly tell me that people coming up to you on your way to the fireworks, the mall, the coffee shop, the video store, etc and asking you or shouting from a street corner: "if you died tonight, do you know where you'd be going?" is an effective way to spread the gospel? Okay, so maybe you'll get a few people to accept Christ this way, but then what? They are left alone with this decision because they didn't know the person they were talking to from Adam. Thus my hypothesis that relationships are the key to sharing the gospel. Truth put into words may be helpful, but truth lived out through action is effective and an example of life application of the gospel and the truth that someone is accepting by asking Christ into their heart.

All of the above aside, I think that The Church has put emphasis on the wrong thing. Yes, salvation is important, I'm not denying that, but is that all Christ's message was about? If that was it, why would anyone accept Christ before they are were death's doorstep? Christ cares about how we live our life: feeding the poor, taking care of the environment, loving our neighbor, worshiping God, etc. If it was purely all about salvation there wouldn't be so much in the bible about how to treat others in the here and now.


Kim said...

Another Great Post. Thanks.

I was just thinking about this.

(1 Cor 13)

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

I recently realized that this is not just how we are called to love one another, but that this is how God loves us. That's really amazing when it sinks in.

I think when people meet Christ -- not hear about Him or read about Him -- but when they meet Him, there's no way they really can resist. I can't really explain something that awesome -- I can only look in His direction and point.

Thanks for your encouragement and kindness.

stephanie said...

Thank you for the sweet comments and encouragement. You, too, have some great insight. I always think about the Love passage in 1 Corinthians, but I don't think I've ever stopped to think about how the way we are to love is the same way God loves us. He leads by example, so that we have someone to follow. :)

Teresa said...

Amen! My husband and I are church planters and that is our focus. It sounds like you and your husband are a great team too. The church's problem: society has changed how they accept things and the church has not. They need to go backwards to go forwards. I think though that we need to be aware of divine moments that Christ is present and prompting us to share on the spot. What happens then, if God has that plan, He will take care of, but in most cases, those people need to get to know you a little for you to build credibility with them. It sounds like you are doing that with the youth--God bless!

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