Christian concerns – the spectrum

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Evangelism

The articles I have written that have left me most filled historically have been my Christian articles. Whether it’s politics, church, or Bible truths, all tapped into topics I felt called to speak on my platform. When I was challenged to write a column, the one about Christians was the right choice.

Some of you want to explore religion but don’t feel welcome at church. Some people have had super negative experiences with Christians. Some have been told that you have to be a perfect Christian to go to church.

I am here to tell you that you are welcome here, no matter your past, your present or what you think of Christians.

That being said, this will be a recurring staple of my tenure as an Opinion Writer. Every two weeks, I will publish this column on biblical truths, Christian politics and commenting on culture through a biblical worldview.

If you have any issues, questions, or anything else under this umbrella that you would like me to address, you can email me at [email protected] Have fun.

Recently, I was walking to class and saw a man standing on the corner of Albrecht and 12th, distributing the New Testament. I rushed to class and couldn’t spend much time talking to him, but the girl walking in front of me even recognized that he was standing there. So I felt bad. I spoke to him and he gave me a copy of the new testament. I declined as I am already a believer and have a Bible, but thanked him for doing his best to spread the good news.

Again that same week, we had another gentleman on our campus in front of the union shouting some form of gospel in the street. After walking into the office, I asked my editor what I thought of these things, and she told me I should write about them.

These are examples of evangelism. Evangelism is defined on Google as “the spreading of the Christian gospel through public preaching or personal witness.” And this has serious biblical support.

Many churches refer to the main chapel as a sanctuary. It is meant to be a place of peace and refuge. Photo credit | Barnyz

Christians are commanded to “make disciples of all nations.” Spreading the gospel is kind of the whole thing. This is called “the great commission”. It is our job as Christians to spread the gospel, which is Greek for “good news”. We are supposed to tell people about Jesus.

The question is, how do we do this? I know from personal experience that there is a great deal of trepidation in telling people the good news.

I don’t want to be seen as arrogant or like I hate people. There are many preconceptions about Christians that are unfortunately based on truth. But that doesn’t mean I can shirk my responsibilities.

So that brings us back to the sidewalk and the sunny day in front of the union. I think there is just one small problem with this method of evangelism; it is not effective. I have never heard a single testimony of someone who got to know the Lord by talking to someone on the sidewalk.

I don’t want to paint big strokes with a wide brush. I’m not saying it never works. There are great videos like those of Ray Comfort and how he chooses to tell people about Christ.

However, I think your average Christian has not been trained and equipped to talk about the Lord with random strangers on the street. Additionally, people are afraid to share their testimonies with others because sharing a testimony is often an intensely personal journey involving how Jesus redeemed you.

So to effectively spread the gospel to people, I don’t think you need to be on the sidewalk. I think you have to be part of their life, invest in their family and encourage them.

And yes, I mean redeemed. Many testimonials relate to addiction, abuse, anxiety, depression, suicide, grief, and other very personal topics. Sharing a testimonial is not an easy experience. It’s not always comfortable.

So, again, how do we share the gospel with others? What matters are our relationships. People are certainly much more likely to accept an invitation to church if they know who they are going with and that they won’t be alone.

People will be much more open to receiving the good news if they know that the person speaking to them is not there to condemn them but loves them.

All of this goes without saying the natural power of attraction that Christians have. Recently at work, a girl told me she didn’t want to be friends with me. No explanation of why. Ouch. What’s weird, though, is that she keeps talking to me at work like we’re still friends. Without telling you the very long story, I think I have summed up what happened to our friendship.

This isn’t the first time I’ve noticed this trend either. People who don’t think like me or who believe the same things I do have often told me that they find me trustworthy and that they like being around me.
I’m not saying this to brag because I don’t think it has anything to do with me. It has everything to do with the holy spirit.

I think she rejected me because I’m a Christian, but in the same vein, she wants to be near me because she sees in me the light that the world doesn’t have.

In Matthew chapter 15, the Bible says, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. … In the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Essentially, there is a light in Christians that naturally brings new people to you. People are drawn to people with holy spirit because people are drawn to love and hope.

At the same time, people are rejecting this light because it means you can no longer live for yourself. After all, you now belong to Jesus. Psalm 100 says, “Know that the Lord is God! It is he who created us, and we are his; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

So to effectively spread the gospel to people, I don’t think you need to be on the sidewalk. I think you have to be part of their life, invest in their family and encourage them.

Even if you are in an environment where you cannot speak openly about your faith, you can still set an example for others by the way you live your life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are the fruits of the spirit.

So show others who you are and what you believe in by demonstrating these qualities, and people will be drawn to you because they will see the way to live for Jesus. After all, he redeemed you changes the way you see others.

People have probably gathered here for centuries to be in community with each other.
Photo credit | Barnyz

This does not come without warning, be careful. The First Corinthians also say that “bad company corrupts good morals”, and Proverbs tells us, “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another”.
Sometimes people hurt you. Friendship breakups suck. And you can find yourself in awkward places.

God tells us to love everyone; it doesn’t say love people if they look like you, if they’re also Christian, and also believe whatever you believe. Jesus does not demand that you love your neighbor as yourself.
But he also told us to guard your heart. Because everything you do stems from it. So brothers and sisters, be bold and courageous, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Live boldly in what the Lord has called you to do. If you feel the Holy Spirit nudging you, follow His commands. Not everyone is going to like you; that’s life. But it’s also in the nature of being a Christian to plant seeds in people’s hearts, and you may never see them grow.
There may be lives I have touched and people I have encouraged that I may not know about for decades, if ever.

So if people are going to see how you live, live for Christ. If you want to spread the gospel, get to know people, get involved in their lives, and invite them into yours. Invite them to church and be afraid of difficult conversations. We are often uncomfortable when we are challenged to grow.

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