Jumbled thoughts of Chris Brown
If I truly believe in hell, and I truly believe the only way out is Jesus, isn’t it an insult if I don’t tell you?
Now I know there are Christians that take it to the extreme and want to make you accept Christ. God always respects free will, and I should do likewise. It’s your choice. I simply present it to you. If there’s a Way out of hell, I know the Way out, and I know you’re going to hell but I don’t tell you the Way out, it’s a pretty lousy move on my part.
If there are any non-christians reading this, please don’t take offense at your Christian friends that haven’t told you about it. There are a number of reasons why they’d do that. I may or may not touch on them, as this is a jumble of thoughts rather than a comprehensive article.
So we’ve established that I should evangelize. The next question is how.
Growing up in church, I’ve heard a ton of advice, both good and bad. I’ve had evangelism misrepresented to me countless times as well.
It’s been presented as the purpose of the Christian life. As in the only purpose, or close enough anyway. Don’t get me wrong, evangelism is an essential function of the church, and a big part of our purpose here on the Earth. It’s just not the definition of our purpose. Some speakers make you think it’s what a Christian should do all day. Or that I’m an inhuman monster if I don’t. Most of these speakers are called to evangelize, so walking up to every stranger in sight is almost a given for them. Which reminds me of another misconception: evangelism isn’t equivalent to walking up to strangers and saying the perfect formula of words combined with spiritual gifts that makes them decide to choose Christ. That is, however, one method of evangelism, and can be a fun outing with friends from church.
The point being that these ideas made me terrified of evangelism. I’m not the most social person. I’d go try to talk to someone, stumble over myself, and leave with them more confused than before. Or at least that’s what I thought.
A side of evangelism that is less celebrated is simply showing God’s character through life. I may not go out and pray and see broken legs healed all the time, but my manager can leave me alone with the unlocked safe and knows I won’t steal from it. I have a reputation of being honest and trustworthy. Even a little wise sometimes. And I’ve seen subtle hints of that having an effect on others.
Another aspect of evangelism is it’s not something you start or stop doing. Evangelism should be a natural side effect of life with Christ.
If you hang around me at all, and have a good conversation with me, I’m bound to mention my wife. Why? Because she’s awesome. And I’ll tell you she’s awesome. Or about how the way you said such-and-such reminded me of how she says it, or some cute quirk she has. I am in such a deep personal relationship with my wife that sooner or later something will remind me of her.
I would argue that the literal definition of the Christian life is to pursue an ever deepening relationship with God. The more I pursue Him, the more aspects of His personality I’ll see, and the more things will remind me of Him. He’s amazing, and you really should meet Him. I don’t say that because I want to control you, or think your worth is determined by your beliefs. You’re worth the absolute best. And God is truly the best I can offer you. He’s done incredible things for me, and I know He’ll do the same for you. That’s why I share.