Christianity, like genius, is one of the hardest concepts to forgive. We hear what we want to hear and accept what we want to accept, for the most part, simply because there is nothing more offensive than feeling like you have to re-evaluate your own train of thought and purpose in life. You have to die to an extent in your hunger for faith, for wisdom, and quite frankly, most people aren't ready to die.
For wordsmiths and masters of words, without necessarily being harsh with words, the words have a tendency to shoot straight to the hearts of people, and this either deeply touches them or deeply angers them. Like the apostles in all their loving controversies are those who are masters of words while combining this gift with truth.
It is never ridicule, but a compliment, that knocks a philosopher off his feet. He is already positioned for every possible counter-attack, counter-argument, and retort...only to find a big bear hug coming his way.
God will save whomever He chooses to save. The Christian should proselytize not because he thinks he can change everybody; he should proselytize because the Gospel being shared is the ultimate act of love: because he thinks he can love everybody.
When you are posessed by evil spirits, it is crafty manipulations that you follow; but when you are posessed by the Holy Spirit of God, it is wise discretions you pursue!
When we begin to reflect Christ, the Bible, when more understood as being centered around Christ, seems to be potentially every man's biography regarding God's promised experiences and truth for him - his individual, unique path of humbling oneself before the Lord and then being exalted by the Lord back into his true and righteous personhood. Many followers may speak of it merely to try to change other people (before changing themselves), but the prophets speak of it as a living word which miraculously tells their very own experiences.
Radical obedience to Christ is not easy... It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.
The Christian disciple today has access to a world wide web of materials. There is plenty out there for a curious new Christian to discover. Even the maturing disciple can find groups, Bible studies, and prayer materials to help them grow for the mission of Christ. The Church remains stuck in the past, approaching the Internet as an unreal space filled with individuals lacking community. The Church is just now beginning to understand that there is much work to do if we are to engage in mission that is not limited to one worldly abode alone.
We hear a lot about evangelism today and how the church must pay more attention to evangelism. But mostly evangelism is not what we tell people, unless what we tell is totally consistent with who we are. It is who we are that is going to make the difference. It is who we are that is going to show the love that brought us all into being, that cares for us all, now, and forever. If we do not have love in our hearts, our words of love with have little meaning. If we do not truly enjoy our faith, nobody is going to catch the fire of enjoyment from us. If our lives are not totally centered on Christ, we will not be Christ-bearers for others, no matter how pious our words.
Religion is like a pair of shoes.....Find one that fits for you, but don't make me wear your shoes.
Religious laws, in all the major religious traditions, have both a letter and a spirit. As I understand the words and example of Jesus, the spirit of the law is all-important whereas the letter, while useful… becomes lifeless and deadly without it. In accord with this distinction a yearning to worship on wilderness ridges or beside rivers rather than in churches could legitimately be called evangelical… if your words or deeds harmonize with the example of Jesus, you are evangelical in spirit whether you claim to be or not. When the non-Christian Ambrose Bierce wrote, “War is the means by which Americans learn geography,” his words are aimed at the same antiwar end as “Blessed are the peacemakers.
In an era of mass media, it is easy to believe that the more eyeballs, the more impact. But radio, television, and tracts accounted for a combined total of less than one-half of 1% of the Busters who are born again.
Introverted seekers need introverted evangelists. It's not that extroverts can't communicate the gospel, either verbally or nonverbally, in ways that introverts find appealing, it's that introverted seekers need to know and see that it's possible to lead the Christian life as themselves. It's imperative for them to understand that becoming a Christian is not tantamount with becoming an extrovert.
The verbal tool of exploring mystery together is not confrontation or preaching but dialogue. We subject ourselves to the same questions we pose to others, and as we traverse them together, we may arrive at surprising conclusions we could never have reached when simply trying to defeat one another's logic. Our questions are open ended, granting the other person the freedom to respond or not to respond. The questions stick with us, even haunt us, long after we ask them, and we await insight together. The process is more important than an immediate decision.
Evangelism is not an option for the Christian life.
Evangelism without social work is deficient; social work without evangelism is impotent.