Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Horse with Beautiful Feet, Part 5

Most people have defensive walls built around their lives that make it difficult to share the gospel, and Christians often take their best battering ram and charge the strongest part of the wall in an attempt to win someone to Jesus. I have done it many times without much success; however, some people are ready the moment we share with them.

In the movie “Troy” there was a great, ill-fated battle to take the city by the Greeks, and when that failed they came upon an ingenious plan, “What if they invite us in?” Well, of course this is nonsense unless you become a friend or an attractive gift. You know the rest of the story as the enemy hid in the wooden horse that was welcomed as a gift in the city.

How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!"
Rom 10:15

Now let’s look at this verse. Are our feet really welcome when we share the gospel, or are we seen as a nuisance, or worse, an adversary? I have seen countless methods of evangelism by Christians and even cults that are basically annoying mainly because what they were sharing was not even understandable, much less relevant for the moment. I have also seen an air of superiority and condescension which my friends and I call “the rebuke spirit”.

For example, at work John says, “I am really having trouble with the wife.” or “The #@**/! kids are driving me crazy.” Too often we reply, “If you simply came to church, tithed and gave your life to Jesus things would change.” Well, this is like speaking Chinese to present-day people (unless you are Chinese, then it is like speaking Urdu, etc.) We are also giving the impression that our lives became perfect when we did those things.

On the other hand we could say, “My wife and I also had problems as well as unruly kids, and we got it worked out.” This is something your friend can understand; you had problems and got it worked out. This is welcomed news, and John might let you in the gate to say more. Unlike the Greeks in the horse we really do want to help.

This is the use of testimony, your personal eyewitness account. Your friend’s problem is the “ripple in the water” that we should look for as we are fishing for men. The gospel starts to make sense to him over time, and as he begins to understand the roots of his problems - no God in his temporal life - he will begin to understand the value of our Jesus. In the midst of his personal crisis he will say, “I am so glad to see you! What do I do now?”

Your feet have just become beautiful.

…but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. 1 Peter 3:15


Suja said...

Nice post. It is soo true, in India often missionarys are looked on as the enemy, and I think thats probably due to the methods they use to "convert" people from other religions to follow Christ. Sometime ago a friend of mine and I were having a discussion on missionary's in India, my friend (a Hindu) was clearly against missionary's, he recounted this incident in North India where apparently a missionary couple or organisation (I don't remember which now) would only give food and help to this really poor village if the villagers converted to Christianity.

I'm inclined to think my friend exaggerated quite a bit, but there probably was a tiny bit (or more) of truth to his story, I think as Christ's ambassador we have to be careful about what kind of message our actions send out.

mike said...

Suja, thanks for your posts! How did you find my blog? Yes, we need to minister the gospel yet as Christ ministered it. He cared for people and they knew it. He told Matthew to follow, and they went straight to his house to fellowship with sinners. I believe that He can open the same kind of doors for us. Be blessed! Mike

Suja said...

I was actually reading another blog and clicked "next blog" which is an option on the bar at the top of most blog pages, thats how I got your site. I like what I read.. your writing is very simple and clear. Look fwd to reading more here.