Wednesday, April 29, 2015

On Evangelism...

I'm not sure if you know this, but I'm not a terribly confrontational person.  Now, my very closest relationships would probably disagree, because I'm not AFRAID of confrontation, but I don't seek them out in outsiders.  I'd rather keep you a little at arm's distance when it comes to those things that REALLY matter to me, unless I know you pretty well.

A friend of mine from facebook posted a link to this video a while ago...

It bugged me for a week or so, and then I forgot about it so my mind had some time to gel around it.  When I came across it again just the other day, I found that I had something to say...

See, I can see it from both sides. 

I like the preacher, I've seen him do a few other things in the past. I agree with much of his theology and have a had a few "RIGHT ON" moments listening to even though in this clip we don't actually know what he is telling the crowd, I believe that I would have probably agreed with him.  Probably.

And yet, I can hear this girl's heart.  I can understand her desire to shut down angry judgment and focus on the love of God, and the saving GRACE of Jesus.  I can see myself arguing in exactly the same manner.  Honestly, one of the primary reasons that I DON'T like outside confrontation is that most people approach open confrontation from a spirit of judgment. They then USE that judgement to make assumptions about MY argument without listening.  We all do this to a certain degree.

People hear I'm divorced, they automatically assume I'll stop this homeschooling nonsense, or that one of us cheated or some combination of the two (weird combination of things to fixate on, I know).  People see that I'm heavy, they automatically assume that I sit around and eat piles of food every single day.  People know that I'm Christian and they automatically assume that I dislike entire people groups, and various natural activities because I have to if I'm Christian.  They also assume that I AM judging them, constantly and harshly.  Assumptions make communication super difficult.

Interestingly enough, by every religion that measures these sorts of things, I am a sinner.

Like Totally!

In my life I have been drunk. I have screamed at people in anger. I have committed murder (abortion).  I've have more than my fair share of caffeinated beverages AND shellfish. I have had lustful thoughts, enjoyed sex outside of wedlock. I've lied, I've coveted, I've disobeyed my parents, been disrespectful to my husband, gossiped, been divorced...and the list goes on and on and on.

You want someone to judge?  I'm your girl.  I'm the one that whole sermons have been studied and memorized and preached to convict and benefit.  But where, in this list, do you find a place for me to have secure enough footing to judge anyone...ever?  I'd love to know, because I can't find it.  I hate some of the things I've done in my life. I'm so very thankful to not be on some of those paths anymore.

It's what I love most about my faith and Jesus in particular.  He knew ME.  He understood the options I would have, the temptations I would be presented with and fall to, and He was not ever shocked.  He knew where I would fail, and how long it would take me to succeed.  He saw my belligerent defiance, and watched me break.  He knew my intellect, my propensity to doubt and argue points in my head, my procrastination.  He knew when I forgot to flush the toilet or didn't shower.  And far from judging all of that, and telling me all the ways that I HAD TO CHANGE, he took my sin to the cross and died with it there, so that I could know him, know the Father, have the Holy Spirit with me to guide me even when I did NOT want Him.

In the end, although I am not a missionary, I think they are both right.  I think people need to be loved.  I think some people NEED the jostling of their belief systems that a solid sermon on sin can cause.  That fight...the debate that pits RIGHT -vs- WRONG is necessary to fire the brain and solidify the track of thought.  I've been blessed to fight these fights on occasion. Sometimes I've been correct and sometimes I've had my understanding of the world and my core actions about that understanding challenged and corrected.  Iron sharpens iron, but it's not a gentle process.

I think some people NEED to be held gently, carefully...safely, until they find their feet.  And most of the time every person will need BOTH the igniting of the mind and the cushioning of the heart at some point in their lives. This isn't even the flip side of the coin...this is simply one facet of the diamond that IS loving cantankerous, beautiful, intelligent people.

And that's all I have to say about that.

See ya around...

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