It seems to me in recent years, there has been an increase in hostility toward Christianity. The view that Christians are judgemental and hypocritical is shared by many in the area we live. It is true that these negative traits can apply to people who worship Jesus and to people in general. One thing I've been trying to work on is to live like Jesus instructs His disciples when He tells them to be "as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." He himself was totally innocent, but also very wise and cunning in His actions. Though He was "gentle and humble in spirit" (Matt 11:29) He also turned over tables with whip in hand to cleanse the temple of money changers (John 2:15). If we as Christians don't live pure lives, how will our message be credible? On the other hand, if we don't share Jesus in a way that is purposeful, even crafty, then how will people ever come to know about His great love?
One of the ways that our church is acting this out currently is through our low cost medical clinic. During the week, we meet the needs of people in our community freely. They come and get their needs met. Nothing is asked in return. Some of these people end up becoming members of the church through the connections they make with people at the clinic. This is no accident or coincidence. Our preacher told of a man from the community that figured it out one day. He said, "Hey, I see what you Christians are up to! You just do these things because you want to get people to become Christians!"
There is no greater need than the need to be saved. The ultimate motivations of our actions should be love. Sometimes that means we go "fishing" to hook people in. Sometimes we might have to be like slimy salesmen. We might have to be subtle or we might have to be aggressive or we might have to be gentle.
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