Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Evangelize the Christian

Statistics vary, depending on who is giving them and what point they are trying to make, and from where they draw their numbers.

Example; 70% of Americans state they are Christians. Following that as a statistic with a call to devotion being the point.

For Christian leadership with a more legalistic approach, the focus of the stats may mean the discouraging and minimizing of the value of that percentage.

The legalist Preacher may declare, "They say they are Christians because they go to church every Easter? Please!" Or... "They live in their wordly behavior but claim Christianity..."

These and much more (we have all heard them before) are used to indicate that they (those wordly ones) are not really Christians, and/or a method employed, to keep conformity of behavior among the ranks.

On the other hand if the perspective is more from the area of grace, the 70% value may be the launch site of efforts to encourage the wordly ones in that 70% with the abundant grace available that makes their lives more abundant.

When I discuss faith with someone who is obviously in the "wordly lifestyle", I have no intention of discouraging them in the realm of their behavior. This, according to my understanding is counter productive and is the job of the Holy Spirit, my prideful flesh would more likely just mess it up.

Rather, I feel instructed to listen to (testimony / christianese) them talk about their faith experiences, and I am excited to hear what God is doing with them. This sometimes includes God's correction of their behavior, but this is them telling me about it not the other way around!

It never seems to fail. I have never seen it fail... that when I get excited about their relations with God (such as it may be) they are more excited! They have encouragement to go deeper into that unknown (for them) territory.

I tell them how dearly God loves them and encourage them to talk to God (pray/christianese) for he is a friend that is closer to them than any friend could be. I encourage them to find a modern language new testament and not to be afraid to let God speak to them through it.

It is more than noteworthy to mention that when Jesus happened upon the tax collector Zacchaeous up a Sycamore tree, that He did not chastise him for his lifestyle but rather said that he would eat at his house that day.

True enough the sinner repented at the complaints of those around Jesus, but this was after he already knew that Jesus had accepted him as he was.

Trust this fact, Brothers and Sisters... God is faithful and BIG enough to correct the lives of His chosen and sometimes he uses his other children to help with this. But more often what happens, is we try to complete in the flesh that which was begun in the Spirit.

This grace approach is not perfect as some of those that are lost will abuse it, just as the legal approach is not perfect it hinders some from coming at all.

But His grace is my comfort zone and that is the approach I must use.

Be an Ambassador for Christ. Evangelize the nominal Christian with God's Good News!

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