Monday, November 4, 2013

So I am going to Hell... Why can't we just be friends?

Hello my friends!

It's been a while I know... 

Life has been full of hard transitions and blessed ones as well. Even though I have not been writing here in this space I have indeed been writing. I am working on a project I have put off for too long now.
My eyes are doing very well now. (Actually better than I even expected! Thank you Lord!)

I wrote this piece months ago, but figured I should finally post it. It follows along with the theme, "Lets Talk Church," which I started in hopes of furthering discussion within the Christian church about the church. Without further ado here it is. 

This week I read a poignant piece posted by Thom Rainer. It is formulated by comments made over time from one of his readers. She cuts right to the core of some of the issues plaguing Christians today. Please take a few moments and read, 

While it's true we are called to be a witness for Christ and to be ready to give an answer for what we believe and why, there are times when I believe we miss the mark by making this our only goal. Like hunter's on the trail we seem to place bold red targets on people's hearts and then go in for the shot firing away with our Christianese-verbiage and 3 point plan tactics.

Jesus tactics though were so much simpler. His call for us was as well.

Jesus call for us, in my own simple paraphrase was, “Love God with your everything and love and treat people as you would want to be loved and treated.” Matthew 22:36-40.

While working with our teen groups over the years we have placed a heavier importance on this than any formula for witnessing. Listen more than you speak. Asking the right questions and then being an intentional listener can speak more volumes than having all the right answers. (Yes, we still teach them the deep Biblical answers.)

We challenge them to care more about the person. What are this persons concerns? What are their joys? What do you share in common? What can you learn from each other? In other words, take the target off of their head and commit for the long haul to actually be their friend.

I remember when I first learned this in high school. Before choosing to follow Christ I found myself the “project” of some well-intentioned Christians a few times. I was also on the receiving end of some of their hurtful comments etc. You know the extremely blunt, but truthful one's that they spit out of their mouths like poison,

"You're not a Christian so you are going straight to Hell!"

Yes! Now that really made me want to know more about their Christ!

And they seemed so very approachable and full of love as they said it and all... (Sarcasm anyone?)

I thank God that I also met some wonderful people who simply loved me where I was at despite my impending doom in Hell. They listened as much or more than they spoke and let me have the space to figure things out without fear inducing pressure tactics.

Their evident and heartfelt love for God kept me curious, while their open love for me gave me a safe place to wrestle with God on these issues instead of people. I assure you His Holy Spirit is irreplaceable in someone discovering God's word and plan for salvation. 

Since you already know what I eventually chose to do I will finish with a few questions. Please won't you join the discussion?

I realize everyone has a different story and experience in regards to their choice to follow Christ or to not follow Him. 

What is your experience? 

What do you think about Thom Rainer's post?

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