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Sharing the Gospel

August 21st, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

My wife made a good point to me tonight. Some people think that the way to show people that Christianity is good is to behave well, so they are impressed with Christians. There is something to that, but it goes off on a tangent. Christianity is good because it is true. Even as something we wish to be true, it is not so much that it will make me a better person as that it gives me hope even though I remain a bad person. Even if I don’t succeed in becoming pure— and nobody does, really— God forgives me, as a father forgives a naughty child.

One reason this is important is that Christians really cannot succeed in preaching the Gospel by showing off what good people they are. The World is not impressed by Christian virtue; only by worldly virtue. Often those things coincide— bravery is both a pagan and a Christian virtue— but not always. In fact, the World usually thinks that the more Christian you are, the more you are a duped fanatic. Just think of the extreme Moslems— we are not so much impressed by their bravery as appalled by their willingness to kill people. They do not convert by their example. At best, they make people take a look to see what makes them so brave.

Moreover, thinking that to convert people to Christianity means you must be exemplary in all ways makes us ashamed to admit our Christianity. I do not want people to see how deficient I am and decide that Christians are weak and thoughtless people. It is better if I forget about impressing them with my strength, and concentrate on letting God use me as he wills to convey information or whatever else I may do for Him.

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  1. randy
    January 26th, 2010 at 13:54 | #1

    “They will know we are Christians by our love.”

    People will recognize God in us, as long as we are willing to obey in all things. (But love is so costly, perhaps only a few are …)

    I don’t believe conveying information is the main thing, so to speak. (That is not to say we shouldn’t do it.) A humble apology, an admission of weakness, might well be a more effective witness than alternatives.

    I don’t think this contradicts the basic thrust of the post. We cannot put on a show and impress people. We have to be authentically impressive, not in areas which impress the world, but rather by our nearness to God. That is normally the result of struggle, working out our salvation with fear and trembling. God uses the weak and foolish. But nearness to God is going to bother some people, as the light will cause some to hide/mock – even while they may find themselves inwardly attracted, if they could only admit it to themselves…

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