Wednesday, January 21, 2009

thoughts on evangelism

per Barb's request:

when did I become a Christian?  I don't ever remember not being one.  Raised in a strong church, I seem to have always known that Jesus's death on the cross was to atone for our sins, and that God was alive and real and what I was being taught was true.

why did I become a Christian?  As alluded to above, I believe that Christians are those who trust/believe Christ's saving work.  I believed that I needed God the same way that I believed my parents when they told me I had to eat a well balanced diet--these were the things that were needed for me to grow up how I should.  

was I drawn to God in some way that the perks didn't matter?  Well, yes, in a sense.  The perks didn't matter to me as a child . . . I knew the reality of the presence of God before I had grown into ambition in the type described.  

so what is Evangelism and what was Jesus doing with the disciples and what was/is this Kingdom of God and what is the gospel?  Bad news--we've screwed ourselves over big-time.  We're all broken, tainted, cracked . . . and we can't fix it.  Nothing we do on our own is untouched by the curse of sin, and our sin infects and warps our efforts faster than we can right them.  Good news--this was not what God intended, and he's about fixing it.  The Kingdom of God is the inbreaking of Jesus's redemption not just of our individual lives but of our communities, countries, and all of creation.  Jesus . . . well, discipled his disciples.  Which is to say that he taught and trained and lived with them in such a way that the entire course of their lives were changed so that they were agents of redemption in the world.

Of course, as Alex says in the comments on Barb's blog, God himself is the reward in all of this.  God created us to know and love him.  God created us to know and love him and we decided, for some unfathomable reason, that we were getting gypped on deal.  That we couldn't trust the one who designed us to know what was best and that we could make better decisions for ourselves with any advice or input from One who knows infinitely more than we do.  Fortunately, God loves us too much to let us get away with something so incredibly idiotic.  

My take on evangelism is basically this.  The story of our sin and Jesus's death and ressurection and atonement is TRUE.  I believe to the core of my being that we were created for a purpose, that God wasn't just amusing himself on his day off when he spun the universe out of nothing.  (And whether he used the Big Bang and evolution as a couple of his tools is really beside the point).  That if we align our lives with God and what he's doing with his creation, it's going to go a whole lot better than if we fight it.  As the inimitable Rich Mullins points out, we're all going to be saying "Alrightokuhhuhamen" in the end (lyrics here).  Might as well say it now.  Only makes sense.

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