Friday, February 8, 2008

Evangelism

I detest that word - Evangelism. It evokes thoughts of knocking on doors and hitting people over the head with my religion. I really don't think that is what Jesus had in mind when he said go out and preach the gospel. I have seen so many people turned away from Christianity by overeager, under educated zealots. They will meet someone who is of a different belief system and immediately try to save the other person. Instead they should be getting to know that person, living by example and thinking like Jesus.

I have heard many Atheists say "If that is what your religion is all about - No, thank you!" when faced with this kind of hypocrisy. I can't say that I blame them. I have befriended a few Atheists in my day and I have found them all to be thoughtful and knowledgeable people. More times than not they have read extensively about Christianity and have come to the conclusion that there is no God. I am not sure if there is anything that anyone could say that would change their minds; but I know for certain that telling them they are going to hell and that their children would be better off somewhere else is surely not going to persuade them.

I wish that I could knock some sense into some of these Bible thumpers. They are often the most closed minded people you will ever encounter though, so it is doubtful that they will see the error of their ways. I truly believe that God has called us all to mission work and that he does want us to preach the gospel to the non believer. It is the method of delivery that I often question. Our lives are to be our witness. One of my favorite quotes is "Be careful what you say and do; you may be the only bible someone ever reads" I earnestly try to live my life this way. Do I make mistakes? Yes. Do I always live as Christ? No. I do my best.

I pray that there will be a chance for everyone to acknowledge God at the second coming. I fervently believe that God wants everyone to join him in heaven, so it is my hope that there will be a chance for everyone. So I don't feel that it is my duty to tell anyone that they are going to hell for non belief, because I don't know what is going to happen in the future. God has it all figured out. All I need to do is live my life as he wants me to and stay out of other people's business.

Passage 1 Peter 1:13-25:
Be Holy
13Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. 14As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy."
17Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. 23For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. 24For, "All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25but the word of the Lord stands forever." And this is the word that was preached to you.
Passage 1 Peter 2:1-3:
1 Peter 2
1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.