Friday, January 6, 2012

Love Is Patient, Kind, and Doesn't Need A Sale's Pitch

In my last post, I suggested that our methods of evangelism have been skewed and the gospel has become a mere product we Christians are pushing. So why does our evangelism look and feel a lot like a door to door vacuum cleaner salesperson?

It probably has to do with our understanding of the gospel. If our gospel consist of merely getting into heaven and escaping hell, which it does for many evangelical Christians, then that is all that matters. Our job is to convince people to accept Jesus so God doesn't condemn them to burn in hell for all eternity.

I mean that's a pretty good sales pitch if you ask me.
"Do you want to burn and be tortured for all eternity in hell?"
No? Ok good, say this prayer and you won't have to. Nice doing business with you. See you on the other side (if you were sincere)"

I think that's what is so appealing about that version of the gospel.

It's easy and convenient. We don't have to be concerned with justice issues, environmental issues, etc as long as we are "winning" souls for Christ. And we like to win.

Not to mention there is always a "them", Those who don't believe and haven't accepted Jesus like we have. And whether most will admit it or not, we like for there to be a "them". Those that will get theirs one day because they didn't do something that we did. Those people, that in one way or another are not as good as we are. If you don't believe me, suggest that it could be possible that God might save everyone one day and then listen to some of the first responses you get... "
"but what about (insert name of people you don't like here)?".

But I believe the gospel is more than that. Actually I don't believe the gospel has anything to do with that. If it did,I think Jesus might have said something about it when he proclaimed the gospel, But he didn't.

Instead, Jesus talked about good news. Good News for people here and now. Good news for the poor, good news for the outcast, good news for those who don't think they are good enough. Good news for those who do think they are good enough. Good news for the whole world. The only people Jesus ever seemed to get upset with were the religious people who thought they were "in" and everyone else was "out". He was pretty harsh with those folk because they had a bunch of "them's". Jesus saved words such as "hell" for people like that.

I can't help but think there is more to the good news than what we have come up with. I think many have gotten it wrong. I think I have got it wrong. I think the good news is better than any of us can imagine, and therefore an invasive sales pitch could never do it justice... It needs a proclamation.

It needs to be proclaimed by people who have tasted it. From people who have in one way or another experienced the grace and the love of God and don't want to keep it all to themselves.

For love doesn't make sales pitches. It doesn't boast by seeing how many converts it can make. It simply exist for others. And that, in itself, is enough to change the world and hardest of hearts.

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