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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sports, Dance, Jargon and Opening Up

Hey guys,

         I'm feeling up for a sharing mood, so I decided to bring it to your mind. Today, I want to express what was being learned throughout the past two weeks. I hope that this may inspire you or maybe even challenge you a little bit.

         So I read through the first two chapters of "More Ready Than You Realize", and I found it rather interesting. For one thing, it gives me a real life example to read through while explaining how the Bible can be applied to our lives when evangelizing. One of the first things that I thought was rather cool was to think of evangelism like a dance, as the authour explained it. It was a rather different image, but I understand what he means by this. People often bring up this expression during arguments: "it takes two to tango"; this is a very true expression, seeing as you need two people to be talking with each other. Just like dancing, we have to effectively communicate with the person to whom we are witnessing (or in better terms, "reaching out"). So yes, dancing is a great analogy to use if you want to understand about how you can reach out better to other people. Another great one that was used was a football match involving Christians against non-believers about many political and social issues, such as Sunday shopping and homosexuality; each team is trying to win over an argument, but evangelism doesn't need to be a win-lose situation; we need to change our game plan and aim for having everyone winning the real prize (1 Corinthian 9). So reaching out should be a win-win event where everyone will be able to live forever with Jesus.

         Another thing point that was brought up a lot was that we need to allow people to freely about what they are hearing, and let them choose as to whether or not they want to follow God. It's often better to openly express your opinion, but you shouldn't try to force it upon others; that would make them become less open to the topic, or scare them away completely. This often makes me think of another old proverb (not from the book of Proverbs): "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." It also helps that during an Inter-Varsity retreat that I recently went to two weekends ago, we were learning about "being sticky on campus", and what I mean is, learning to be more open and inviting with each other and with the surrounding communities, such as your circle of friends, and your co-workers. The point is to be inviting and give people the choice, not to "kidnap" them and force them to do something against their will.

         I also noticed that we as Christians tend to throw in a lot of vocabulary that can be rather confusing, such as the concept of being "born again" and the doctrine of the Trinity (God being one divine being in "three persons"). What being born again means, as Mr. McLaren was saying in his book, is that we change our mindsets from acting like we know it all to realizing that we have much to learn from God. As for the Christian jargon and doctrines, McLaren proposed that we "re-root" the doctrines into real Christianity, meaning that we try to simplify what is considered to be common in the Church without "watering it down". I really think that he's on to something with this whole idea, so I'm gonna take up on this challenge.

         So to summarize, I'd like to say it like this:

  • We should be warm, inviting people, opening up to people through God's love and by aiming towards everyone winning salvation through Jesus Christ and renewing strength and guidance by the Holy Spirit.
  • We should try to help our spiritually seeking friends to understand what Christians believe in general without having to water it down or go through all the details from history and controversies.

         I hope that what I'm saying helps you guys see this differently as it has for me. The challenge is out there if you ever want to take it. I hereby leave you with those parting points.

God bless you and thanks for reading.

Alex