Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Looking back to look forward...

I sometimes wish I could be more like the way I was - so confident in The Truth, thinking that doctrinal purity was the sure path to Christian discipleship. But articles like this are a sharp reminder of why I can't go back...

Everybody, I mean everybody where I live has heard some version of the Gospel, the issue is that they've so rarely seen it, though they've seen plenty of doctrinal arguments. In fact it seems to me that evangelism is simply a form of doctrinal argument. As I've said before, the goal seems to be to 'argue people into the kingdom'. The fact is none of us have anywhere near the intellectual integrity we think we have. We think we have hard-core beliefs but when it gets down to the relational push and shove of everyday life we think what we want to think, do what we want to do and believe what we want to believe.

Non believers aren't impressed by our arguments, nor our intellectual integrity, they are impressed by our ability to love. My ability to convert someone (which is non-existant) is generally hindered by my argumentive skills. I'm saying all of this to say that my willingness to reach out to someone will be more likely based upon their proximity to my life, the love I feel for them and the opportunity I'm given; and less so on my doctrinal stance.

If you really love Jesus, and you really love one of His creatures, you'll naturally want to introduce them to one another. My focus isn't upon helping them to avoid "hell" (whatever that is), my focus is on sharing with them the best, most loving and joyful love relationship I'm capable of enjoying.

BTW, this is why (the Internet Monk) pisses so many people off, he places relational integrity before perceived intellectual integrity.

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