Wednesday, April 19, 2006

witnessing to the world

Hemant, the eBay atheist, writes why he is addicted to Christian media. The summary:
Christianity works best for non-believers when we hear stories that sound like something we would see or do. Joel [Olsteen] tells me to not be dishonest by telling a story from his college days (Hey, I went to college, too!) and then supports his message with a story from the Bible. Dobson tells me I shouldn’t be dishonest because Proverbs 6:16-19 says so (as he does in the April issue of Charisma). Period. Who would I be more inclined to listen to?
Punkt! We should ever compromise the integrity and truth of the God's Word. We should not apologize for speaking of it nor shy away from it. Yet we best communicate via stories - Jesus did. Truth should be woven into the fabric of our communication and we should always be pointing toward Christ. Compassion should mark our lives and yet we should stand out as different and as one upholding a new covenant standard. Storytelling in this manner and purpose is powerful.

Hemant's summary continues:
On a similar note, the conference advertising and the Christian TV shows show people who seem so contrived and *not* like the people I’d see on a regular basis (Can anyone else imagine Benny Hinn or Jan Crouch at your workplace?)… It’s a different world. And if you want me to join you, you have to appeal to me. That’s not even close to happening.
Reinforcing that we do not need to be different just for the sake of being different but that the difference should be "Christ and Christ alone". I'm sure the Hinn/Crouch approach works for some. I personally have trouble getting over the style differences. But if that's who they genuinely are, then God bless them - so long as they stay true to God's leading in their lives.

Being an ambassador for Christ should on one hand change every aspect of our being yet on the other hand, I am still who I am - perfectly designed for the purpose, place, and time that God has placed me. I desire to be all things to all men but only as God leads. I want to do all this for the sake of the Gospel.
For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became mas one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but nunder the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (1 Co 9.19-23 ESV)
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4 comments:

Shannon Laser said...

Amen to that Rick! I love that scripture.

There is so much interpretation on the scripture;
we are to be in the world but not of it

I spend a great deal of time investing in peoples lives, teenagers and adults alike. Real people with difficult real lives. One thing that remains constant, in every life, is that I need to be relevant to them in order to be effective. And how they perceive me has a direct impact on how relevant I am.

How others perceive us (my personal favorite; holier-then-thou) limits our ability to share Christ with them. How do we get past that? I have been learning the hard way to open my heart, soul and life to people. To let them see that the only difference between them and me is Christ. To let them see the impact Christ has in my life. Not with words, but in real tangible ways.

The reality is that we all struggle with similar issues; and it’s how we choose to react to them that defines us. To be in the world—is to be available to those who need us. To not be of it—is choosing to live our lives unlike unbelievers.

Scripture is wonderful, but we have to keep in mind that when Christ gave instructions He was modeling it too.

Randy B. said...

Rick,
I agree that "stories" often help us understand the truth of Scripture. However, there are two things to keep in mind. First, when Jesus told stories, they became Scripture because He only spoke truth. That is not the case with us. We should probably stick with the Scriptures if we want to say it's the truth. Second, I like this order--Scripture then story to help understand it. I don't like story then Scripture to support it. People often do that to twist Scripture or to explain incorrectly something that humans do.
Randy B.

Vince said...

good words Randy B. Get your own blog why don't you.

Vince said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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