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18 September 2008

Preaching to the Choir

I had an interesting e-mail conversation with a friend yesterday. I'm going to miss some things in this post for the sake of brevity, I'm sure, but here are my thoughts...

I think that it makes us feel pretty good about ourselves when we talk about Jesus to other Christ-followers. After thinking about the comments below, I believe this kind of thing is one area that might make a lukewarm Christian feel like they've got enough God (thanks to Francis Chan for this phrase) for now -- good religious talk. It gives off just enough "heat" to make someone think that they're "on fire." Here's what my friend said in his e-mail (I asked for permission to share it -- no worries that I'll broadcast your personal e-mails):

"I see so many Christians sharing with those who are already Christians, and I think are they trying to convince the other person that they are also a Christian. Most church-going Christians I speak of are afraid to share with others about why they love their church and why God is important to them. Instead they leave God's work up to the few that are willing to share with anyone who is willing to listen."

This isn't just about sharing why we love our Church fellowship as much as it is about telling people why we love Jesus Christ. I'm afraid that most of us are woefully lacking both in directly speaking to people about repentance and salvation, and in showing grace and love to people through our actions.

Why is that? Are we too scared? Do we think we don't know enough to answer the tough questions? Or do we just have enough God right now, thankyouverymuch, and this would make us too uncomfortable?


Leroy said...

Reminds me of an REM song, kind of..."shiny, happy Christians holding hands".

We often times find ourselves being a "good" Christian by living our faith. Don't get me wrong, I think that IS a good thing, but I don't always follow it up with WHY I live the way I do. I'm certainly not afraid to tell people I'm a Christian, but I do sometimes hesitate when I think they might take me the "wrong" way if I say "I live the way I do because I have Jesus in my heart". Why? I suppose it's because we hear of so many people responding with "oh, you're one *those* kind of people".

Does it come down to the fear of rejection based purely on selfishness?

Preston N said...

I think part of the issue is many Christians have such a weak understanding of why they believe in what they believe. They lack the confidence and knowledge of their own faith that when they often are asked to share or explain with others they really can't verbally explain why they believe in what they beleive. An outward working of this is was noted in the stats you posted in your recent post "No Longer a Christian Nation?".

If we want to share our faith with others we must first know what to share - if we don't know what to share, then how can we be truly effective in sharing the gospel.

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