A Thought-Provoking Thought

“So I’m convinced your deepest problem is not the cigarettes you smoke or the alcohol you drink in secret. It’s not the slander you speak and the gossip you cherish. It’s not the pornography you pleasure yourself with when no one’s looking. It’s not the baby you aborted; it’s not that you betrayed your brother, cheated on your bride, lied about the whole thing, and retaliated with murder [King Herod]. It’s not even that you slaughtered the Lamb and killed the Messiah. Your deepest problem is that somewhere deep down inside, you believe Jesus the Messiah rose from the dead just to kick your ass, when, in fact, He rose from the dead so you would believe all is forgiven. It is finished! Justice is accomplished. And the Father is pleading, “Come home, come home, come home!”

-from “Emerging Sideways

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Thoughts on the Day of Silence

Today, in case you were unaware, is the “National Day of Silence” a day sponsored by groups within the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) to promote tolerance and call attention to discrimination against those within the LBGT community. There was an article addressing the day in today’s edition of the Daily Kent Stater that got me thinking about the whole thing.

I’ve read of several Christian groups who are calling for parents to keep their kids home from school that day. One group has even started a counter-event encouraging students to speak against the “homosexual agenda” in what they call the Day of Truth, conveniently scheduled the following Monday after the Day of Silence.

I will personally be participating in neither of these two events, although I have friends who have and are currently participating in the Day of Silence. And I admire them for their willingness to put themselves out there publically to face criticism and ridicule on behalf of a cause they feel so strongly about. Many of them are not even members of the LGBT community; they have friends who are or are tired of discrimination against humans. I would be surprised to see a similar endeavor taken upon by most members of the Christian community on behalf of Christ or his cause. Too often I see people standing up for causes in such a bold way as to put Christians to shame. After all, if we truly believe we have the truth, if we really actually comprehend the magnitude of what it is we possess, we should be doing far more than what we are doing now.

Ask twenty different Christians what the proper response to the Day of Silence and homosexuality should be, and you’ll probably get twenty different answers. Ask James Dobson, and he’ll probably tell you we need to petition our government for a strict and conservative definition of marriage in its sacred sense. Ask Jim Wallis or some other progressive, and you’ll get a completely different answer. So what is the “”Christian”” thing to do (again, the use of the adjective form of the word is unfortunate, albeit necessary in this case).

I am tired of hearing about this whole issue in terms of a “culture war.” As if we are pitted in some life and death battle against the homosexuals and the liberals and the feminists who are standing behind the doors of our public schools just waiting to devour our innocent children with their humanistic philosophies. As if Christians have controlled the American way of life for the past two centuries and now we are losing ground as the “forces of evil” are on the march. As if America and the “American way of life” is wrapped up in a Christian belief system. Christianity survives with or without America. Unfortunately it seems many Christians have forgotten that.

The whole metaphor of a “culture war” tends toward a conflict viewpoint on the way we interact with society. We have adopted an “us vs. them” outlook on society, as if anyone outside of the fold is automatically an enemy. And I think this plays out in how we approach an issue such as homosexuality in America.

If we adopt a “culture war” viewpoint on America, then we are going to feel as if we must fight against anything that might threaten this pastoral picture we have of the perfect American Christian society. The concept that our family values are “under attack” by the implied enemy – homosexuals. Such a viewpoint naturally tends toward an (albeit extreme) response by folks such as the Westboro Baptist Church – the tendency to adopt the superiority complex of having God “on our side.” A response such as the Day of Truth, while not nearly as extreme as those that Westboro chooses, has a similar connotation. The “us vs. them, we have to protect our children from bloodsucking liberals” stance, a stance which, I believe, does more damage to the name and cause of Christ than any legislation in favor of homosexual marriage.

So in response to a day in which the complex issue of homosexuality is all around us, what is the proper response? Do we protest the protest, wear t-shirts and pass out cards with information? Or is there something else we can do?

I think we should embrace the protesters and their efforts and willingness to stand for what they believe in. Most, you may find, are not actually members of the LGBT community; they are people who are concerned with human rights and the protection and empowerment of human life against discrimination in America, a supposedly “free” country. They are protesting and drawing attention to the harassment, abuse, and murder of several members of the gay community, the most recent being that of fifteen year old Lawrence King, show because he admitted to being gay.

I will not go into the debate about whether or not homosexuality is a choice or a nature; that is another, quite lengthy post. I will say that as a follower of Christ, I feel that it is my responsibility to engage people, not enrage them. Political protest has its place; this is not that place. An issue as sensitive as this, and an issue the Church has continued to fail in, needs to be addressed with understanding and compassion, not picket signs and words on condemnation.

The whole thing reminds me of the story where Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. Ironic (and perhaps intentional) that the woman was a Samaritan, a member of a group of people who had been out casted from mainstream society because of their origins. Jesus does not condemn her, he interacts with her. The very fact that he was talking to her spoke volumes of what he thought about her, because in that time it was unthinkable for a Jew to speak to a Samaritan, especially a woman. I find it interesting that Christ first offered her the “living water” of God before he ever even mentioned her sinful lifestyle.

If we, as followers of Christ, are supposed to emulate the life, teachings, and actions of Christ, why do we condemn before we offer a hand in love? Why are the first words to come out of our mouths words of judgment and not of acceptance?

Today is the Day of Silence for the LGBT community. It should also be a day of silence for the Christian community – silence in contemplation for our past sins, and silence for the condemning words that too often come from our mouths and hearts.

On Being Broken and Being Free

I’ve come to a conclusion.

Everything is broken.

In Christianeze we refer to this as “the fall” or “total depravity” or other sweepingly long words, but I think broken is a better word. Its understandable. And its true. To say that mankind is “fallen” gives the idea that we were at one point on a pedestal. And through our actions we were somehow “demoted” into the state that we are now. Mankind is not “fallen.” Not in the sense that we are not sinful or in need of redemption, but rather in the sense that we have not been booted from some high position of superiority. We speak of the “fall of man” in grandiose terminology, as if the ultimate goal of humanity is to return to the “perfection” we were created in.

In reality, we are not “fallen,” but rather broken. The reason we find ourselves in the predicament that we are in is because we have broken relationships. In the beginning, we betrayed a trust, not lost a position. And in betraying that one trust, that one relationship, the effect was to break all the uniting bonds which we held with God and the world around us.

You can see it all around you.

There are the obvious effects of brokenness. You know, the ones that conservatives are trying to legislate and stand up against, the symptoms of brokenness that the Moral Majority attempted to remedy in the 90s. Divorce, broken homes and broken marriages, abortion and drug use. But then there are the symptoms that we don’t often attribute to being broken (at least not by certain groups) : war (all war), racism, poverty, Darfur, the AIDS crisis, the obesity epidemic. All of these are symptoms that point to the problem. Too often we treat them as problems in their own right. Politicians try to remedy our moral problems through politics, when they are merely treating the symptoms. And treating the symptoms of brokenness with politics is like treating a gunshot wound with a Sesame Street styled band-aid.

The pursuit of all humanity – its actions, its thought, its culture – is to remedy this brokenness. Somehow, we all know that something isn’t right here. We can feel that this isn’t how it was supposed to be, but we don’t know why.

We try to remedy it with religion. Perhaps god would be fix it all if we act right and give him or her or them our prayers and thoughts and money. If we just go to church enough, if we just give enough money, if we just act the right way then maybe somehow it’ll be enough and god will come down to fix the brokenness that we aren’t quite sure we have. But regardless of how much time we spend in church, or how much money we give, or how many good thoughts we have or how many good deeds we do, it doesn’t seem to work. We have this idea that what god really wants is for us to act a certain way or do certain things, and if we do these certain things then he or she will be happy with us. We miss the point. We feel this brokenness, this emptiness, not because we are not doing the right things, but because we do not realize that the problem is that we have broken a relationship. When an adulterous wife leaves her husband for another lover, what the husband wants more than anything is for his wife to return to him. It would seem ridiculous if the wife, in an attempt to repair the relationship, sent a check with 10% of her weekly earnings to her husband, or if she wrote him endless love songs singing about her husband’s greatness, while still remaining in the arms of another lover. What the husband wants is not his wife’s money, or admiration through song. What he wants is for her to return to him.

We try to remedy it with money. We attribute this feeling of brokenness with a lack of happiness in life, so we search for happiness and find it in our plasma television sets and our cars and our high paying jobs, because people look up to us and admire us and envy us, so we must be doing something right if they want to be like us. If I just had a bigger house, if I could just send my kids to better schools, then we could really be happy and I wouldn’t have this unsettling feeling that something still isn’t right. The more I think about how much value we put into money, the more ridiculous it seems. We spend our entire lives held under the burden of collecting as many pieces of 6 x 2 inch cloth as possible, because for some reason we think that the more pieces of cloth we have, the more happy we will be. How ironic it is, that on the back of every piece of cloth are the words “In God We Trust.” What god are we really trusting in?

We try to remedy it with approval from others. Maybe if we have the right clothes, or the right appearance, we will feel whole again. One author I have read contended that the reason we wear clothes is because this relationship is broken:

“Man is wired so he gets his glory (his security, his understanding of value, his feeling of purpose, his feeling of rightness with his Maker, his security for eternity) from God, and this relationship is so strong, and God’s love is so pure, that Adam and Eve felt no insecurity at all, so much so that they walked around naked and didn’t even realize they were naked. But when that relationships was broken, they knew it instantly. All of their glory, the glory that came from God, was gone. It wouldn’t be unlike being in love and having somebody love you and then all of the sudden that person is gone, like a kid lost in the store. No insecurity was felt when the person who loved you was around, but in his absence, it instantly comes to the surface. In this way, Adam and Eve were naked and weren’t ashamed when God was around, but the second the relationship was broken, they realized it and were ashamed. And that is just the beginning.” -Donald Miller, Searching for God Knows What

When we were first created, there was no need for clothing. We were stark raving naked but we didn’t care. We had such an intimate connection with God and with each other that clothing was unnecessary. We had nothing to hide. When our relationship was broken, we now had shame, something to hide. In seeking to cover our shame, we covered our bodies, first with leaves and then with fur. I find it also interesting that when our relationship with God was broken, so was our relationship with creation. Creation suffered as a result of our sin. And it still does today.

The symptoms of brokenness are all around us.

The problem that too many churches and politicians and non-profit organizations have is that we are trying to treat the symptoms of cancer rather than seeking out the cure. We treat each area as its own problem, with its own cure and its own symptoms, when in reality it is all related. The problem is not that we try to find answers in religion and money and fashion and politics. The problem is that we don’t understand the problem. The problem is we are broken, in every sense of the word.

But what, then, is the remedy?

Embrace your brokenness.

Embrace the fact that you and the world around you is broken. You don’t need to put up a front, to act as if you’ve got it all together, or to live up to someone else’s standards. The fact is that you cannot fix your brokenness. There is nothing within my power that I could do to repair the way I interact with God or people or the world. Thats how it is, and there’s nothing I can do to change it.

Now, do not write me off as being pessimistically fatalistic. I have found that, quite to the opposite of how it might appear, there is amazing freedom in this thought.

By accepting the fact that I don’t have it all together, I have found freedom. Not political freedom or physical freedom, but true spiritual freedom. Freedom in the sense that, I believe, Paul meant when he wrote about the freedom of the believer in Corinthians. It is a freedom that Paul experienced in Christ, having come out of a sect of religious thought that focused so much on having it all together. What Paul found was that the remedy to our brokenness is not in trying to put the pieces back together; the remedy is to bring the pieces to God, broken and disheveled though they may be, and allow Him to do the fixing.

This is true freedom. To be able to live in the knowledge that God understands that I am broken. After all, He was there when it all happened. He understands that I don’t understand. He understands that I still have these desires and impulses that I’m not quite sure what to do with. He understands that I struggle with questions that I can’t find the answers to. He understands that I can’t put these pieces back together myself. And He loves me all the same.

In embracing this brokenness, in accepting that I don’t have it all together, there is remarkable freedom in how I live and interact in this world. I do not have to fear what others think. I have my faults, I have my oddities, but I know I am broken, just as everyone else is, so I have nothing to fear. I can be open with people, I don’t have to hide my sins behind a mask, because I know that I am broken, but its going to be okay because I have given the pieces to Someone who can fix it. And I do not have to judge others for their sins or their oddities, because they are equally as broken as I am. There is a deeper understanding of others – after all, they are dealing with the same brokenness I am. They may manifest their struggles differently, but deep down inside we’re both just looking for someone to tell us how to put the pieces back together.

Brennan Manning put it this way:

“When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristotle said that I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer.

“To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means. As Thomas Merton put it, ‘A saint is not someone who is good but who experiences the goodness of God.’

“The gospel of grace nullifies our adulation of televangelists, charismatic superstars, and local church heroes. It obliterates the two-class citizenship theory operative in many America churches. For grace proclaims the awesome truth that all is gift. All that is good is ours not by right but by the sheer bounty of a gracious God. While there is much we may have earned – our degree and our salary, our home and garden, a Miller Lite and a good night’s sleep – all this is possible only because we have been given so much: life itself, eyes to see and hands to touch, a mind to shape ideas, and a heart to beat with love. We have been given God in our souls and Christ in our flesh. we have the power to believe where others deny, to hope where others despair, to love where others hurt. This and so much more is sheer gift; it is not reward for our faithfulness, our generous disposition, or our heroic life of prayer. Even our fidelity is a gift. ‘If we but turn to God,’ said St. Augustine, ‘that itself is a gift of God.’ My deepest awareness of myself is that I am deeply loved by Jesus Christ and I have done nothing to earn it or deserve it.” -Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

There is infinite freedom in this thought. To think that I can live free of worrying about whether or not I am doing it all right, whether I have fulfilled my check list of good deeds to do, making sure I don’t appear to be uncertain at all. The fact is that I am uncertain, I am disheveled, I am broken. But I don’t have to act as if everything is ok. I don’t have to be afraid of people finding out my faults. After all, we all have faults, we are all trying to put the pieces back together. Everyone has their ways of keeping it together – the religious tape, the money glue stick, the approval staples. But I do not have to put my pieces back together. I am broken. And there is nothing I can do about it except to accept it and turn it over into the hands of Someone who can fix it.

I am broken. But I am free.

Some Thoughts on Music and Life

I’m on a recent music kick thats caused me to really think about the kind of stuff I listen to and why I listen to it in the first place. So often I just plug my iPod in and just let it shuffle through whatever happens to be on, without thinking about what it is. Most of the time its just background noise to cover the deafening silence that would otherwise pervade my life. Plus it helps me in not concentrating on the constant ringing in my ears that I won as a result of the many concerts I’ve attended.

I’ve been on a acoustic/folk/downbeat kind of musical journey as of late. Jack Johnson, Bright Eyes, Jon Foreman, that kind of stuff. Slower, acoustic guitar, mellow kinds of music. I’m not really sure why. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still up for heading down to the Agora and rocking out to some As I Lay Dying or Norma Jean. I just find myself captivated by the less processed, more organic side of the musical spectrum.

It seems that the style of music you listen to is (to some extent) based on the time of life you find yourself in. I was told once that once I went off to college I’d fall in love with country music. (Thank God this hasn’t happened yet). But recalling my troubled high school years, I would scan the radio for the hardest thing I could find, full of blazing guitars and triple-pedal drum beats (is that even possible?). And how often are teenagers stereotyped as listening to that style of music? The whole scene – the hardcore, troubled rock, the styles that go along with it – why is it that this is most often typified with the adolescent years? Now, before I go and generalize myself into a universal box, I’ll say that I love some hardcore blasting through the speakers. And I don’t think I’m that troubled (you can beg to differ if you want :-P). But maybe, with all the changes going on, that style of music reflects that kind of craziness? Maybe in the midst of so many changes, the dissonant beauty of thrashing guitars is the audible expression of the inward conflicts raging inside? I know that I find myself playing some As I Lay Dying or underoath whenever I’m mad. Its a release. Its listen to that, or hit something. I choose the less violent option.

But I guess my recent fixation with the deconstructed, acoustic side of music reflects something in my own life. Life right now is not so much about conflict as it is about finding meaning. Yes, changes are taking place in my life that reflect a lot of conflict. But these changes are not about dealing with authority or raging hormones. These changes are about finding purpose and fulfillment in life – figuring out which career path to take, looking for someone to make that journey meaningful, finding peace with God and the world.

And with music, too often the meaning of the song gets lost behind the guitars and drums and synthesizers. With the lighter side of the spectrum, the message conveyed is clearer, more distinct. The words come through. While heavier bands may convey the emotion through the dissonance of the guitars and screaming vocals, the other side conveys the emotion through the words themselves, through the vocal inflections and simple rhythms of the instruments. I’ve found that an orchestra arrangement can move me more than an Emery or underoath song.

oncePart of my thought on this was probably inspired by a movie I saw this weekend. If you’ve ever seen the movie Once you probably understand what I’m getting at. The movie just won an Oscar for the song “Falling Slowly.” The movie came out of nowhere to be a huge critical success. It was made in two weeks and on a $100,000 budget in Ireland, made it to the Sundance Film Festival where it got a lot of attention. The story is about two musicians – one a street guitarist and singer, and another a Czech pianist – who combine their musical talents to complete the songs of the guitarist and, in the process, they find healing and reconciliation in their relationships and lives. The movie was so great cuz the entire time I was expecting there to be some dramatic turn, like how in every romance there’s a break up or an accident or something dramatic like that and in the end they end up happily ever after. But it never happened like your typical Hollywood romance. And thats one of the reasons its so good. It doesn’t end how you want it to, but it ends how you know it should. And the music throughout the movie is so good that immediately after I watched it I went out and bought the soundtrack. The music drives the movie, it is considered a “musical.” But the music doesn’t stand out like your typical musical. It fits, just like its a natural part of life. Which it should be. The music is what brings them together, what brings healing and life back to their lives. If you get a chance, see this movie.

All that to say, thats my thought on music and life as of late. Here’s what I’m listening to as of late and what you should look into:

Jon Foreman – Fall and Winter

Once Soundtrack

Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake

Damien Rice – O and 9

Jack Johnson – In Between Dreams

“Take this sinking boat and point it home
We’ve still got time”
-Falling Slowly, Once Soundtrack

Ash Wednesday

I want to try and tackle something in this post that I’ve never really given much thought to. That is the issue, or rather celebration of, Lent. And with it being Ash Wednesday and all, I suppose its a good time to do so.

Growing up in the Baptist circles that I did, the practice of Lent was never really considered with any great deal of thought, except to acknowledge that other denominations were celebrating this strange religious ceremony where they rubbed ashes on their foreheads and did other weird things like that. To my young Baptist mind, it all appeared very strange, maybe even cult-like. But now as I think through these kinds of issues, I’m giving the whole idea of Lent another look.

Ash WednesdayGenerally speaking, Lent is practiced predominantly in Catholic and Eastern Orthodox circles, but in some circles, especially in some of the emerging church groups, the practice is becoming more and more popular. In general, the practice of Lent is supposed to be a time of “self-examination and penitence, demonstrated by self-denial, in preparation for Easter” (1). The forty days of Lent are meant to be a reminder of the forty days that Christ spent in the desert being tempted by Satan. They lead into the Easter season, with the Passion Week concluding the time of Lent. Depending on which tradition is held to, some denominations hold that Christ also spent a total of 40 hours in the tomb after his death, another reason for the 40 day fast. Either way, the generally accepted practice is to either give up something for the duration of Lent to focus on the sufferings of Christ, or to add into your life opportunities or times where you are selfless in service and action.

I was surprised to find that the idea and practice of Lent dated back to the Council of Nicea, the same council that gave us the basic tenants of the faith that most Christians will agree compromise the necessities of Christian faith. I always kind of assumed that a practice such as Lent, which the church and denomination I attended did not practice, was one of the rituals that Catholic churches thought up. You know, kind of like the indulgences in the middle ages and things like that? The kind of negative, un-Scriptural practices that are the basis for why Catholics are “evil.” But if the practice of Lent goes back in the early first century, I think Lent deserves a little more thought that to just be discarded as un-Scriptural.

While there is no specific biblical basis for the specific practice of Lent, the whole idea of fasting is very biblical. I’m still trying to understand exactly what it is that many Protestant denominations have against the practice itself. The only thing I can really come up with is that it dates back to the Reformation, during which the Protestants sought to rid the Church of all influences of Catholic doctrine and practice, and in doing so, did away with many of the feasts and celebrations that went along with Catholicism. Some Christians say that the practice Live Lentof applying an ashen cross on the forehead of believers on Ash Wednesday is “of pagan origin” and should be avoided (2). I’m no expert on pagan rituals or anything, so I can’t really say that its true or not, but if you’re going to argue that we shouldn’t celebrate something because it has ties to pagan rituals, then Christmas should not be celebrated in its present form (3). So the argument about the pagan ritual doesn’t really hold up too much.

All in all, I’d say that the primary reason it hasn’t been celebrated much by Protestant circles is due more because of tradition than anything else. And since its not really a biblical mandate or anything, I can’t really say that its something that should be practiced more. I see nothing wrong in making a commitment during a set period in which you will focus more on the sacrificial aspect of piety. The only thing that I would have a problem with is individuals going through the season of Lent for the sole purpose that it was established by a Church authority and it is expected of proper followers. Unfortunately, I think that this is how many people end up observing Lent – merely doing it because its expected. However, I see no reason why anyone should not practice Lent, as long as it is done in the right spirit.

Personally, I’m not sure if I’ll give up anything for Lent (which probably means I won’t) but I’m still thinking through it. Either way, Happy Ash Wednesday (if you’re supposed to wish a “happy” Ash Wednesday)

(Edit: I came across an interesting blog talking about this same kind of topic. Check it out here)

::surviving::

So, of course after spending a weekend at a huge youth conference I’m going to have something to write about, right?

D2S Survive

Dare2Share held their “Survive” Tour in Columbus this past weekend, which I and my church youth group attended. After being rocked two years ago on their “Blaze”Tour, I had pretty high expectations as far as what would go on. Perhaps its because I’m older and thus more critical of everything, or maybe its because going the first time I had no idea what to expect, but it didn’t seem to be quite as good. Don’t get me wrong, I was convicted in several areas of my life that need to change, but overall it didn’t seem to have quite as big of an impact as the conference did several years ago.

But, being the people watcher that I am, I made a couple of observations on the whole youth conference environment.

Jesus is my HomeboyFirst off, Christian t-shirts (for the most part) are one of the worst ideas ever invented. Now, there are a few good ones out there that are pretty cool and not too cheesy, but overall, I don’t see the point. Something about the words “Jesus is my homeboy” or “Jesus Recycles” scrawled across my chest doesn’t quite do it for me. Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t really see the point. Maybe it’s just that I’m pretty anti-Christian marketing or whatever. I guess overall my main criticism would be that it in some ways it cheapens the message that is already falling prey to plastic televangelists and cheesy Christian films. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for rocking out in a sweet T. Its just sometimes the message a t-shirt is sending is more than just the words scrawled across the front (or side, or back, or upside down along the sleeve, or whatever weird way they decide to position the lettering)

Second, my brother and I made the observation that a lot of times, these sort of conferences are a platform to just show off how sweet your clothes are or how emo or hardcore or whatever you can be. Its not just Dare2Share, it seems to be most “Christian” events like that (e.g. camp, D2S, etc.) come with some kind of contest or something to see who can dress the most rebellious or the most hardcore or something. Striking that pose that says, “Yeah I’m here but I really think I’m too sweet for most of this crowd” or something like that. Its just something I’ve observed in most Christian circles. We have to dress like we have something to prove, like we’re too sweet for this scene, or something like that.

All that to say, I don’t want it to seem like I only have negative things to say about the conference or Christian youth culture in general. There were a lot of good things about the conference.

Lincoln BrewsterLincoln Brewster was a pretty good worship leader and I’m really jealous of a guy who can pull off a mohawk and still look sweet. The drama and speakers were good. And the challenges to personal purity and other areas like that were convicting and good to hear.

In other thoughts, I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about the door-to-door evangelism aspect of the conference. It is a good personal challenge and stretching experience, but in thinking through aspects of the Gospel and personal evangelism, at times the door-to-door, almost assembly-line way of going about it seems at times a bit impersonal. I’m sure that God can take any means of evangelism to reach those he wishes to, but I’m still undecided on that aspect of personal evangelism. It seems to me that the best way for someone to truly accept something is to hear it from someone they trust to begin with. Now, I don’t know about you, but when a stranger comes to my door, the last thing I do is trust them. So it just seems that door-to-door evangelism isn’t the greatest way to reach people. Now, there are those exceptions, such as the people who would never have any contact with a church save for those few who do door-to-door, where that aspect of evangelism is necessary and good. But for bringing conviction and repentance in someone’s life, it seems like that would require time and effort (i.e. discipleship). But I’m still not sure. We did collect a lot of cans for the homeless (always a good thing) and sparked a few conversations and conversions. So the efforts were not wasted.

And thats all I got. Things I heard from the conference are still turning over in my heart and my head and hopefully will bring about lasting change. But that’s always the trick.

 

 

jesus | student ministries | creating | coffee

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