8/23/10 Jose, about 35
Today I met with Jim (from my church) at a park for a "fishing' expedition. We met and talked with Jose who was there with his young son. Jose is a nominal Catholic who at first said he is unsure of salvation. Like many people, his lack of certainty has more to do with his lack of commitment to absolute truth rather than feeling he is undeserving of salvation. "Its not important what you believe, just that you feel good about it" he told us. We tried to share the truth of salvation in Christ alone, but although Jose said he agreed he kept returning to a works based mindset.
Witnessing with a fellow believer from church like I did today reminds me of the different styles of evangelism. Its always good to question our approach as to whether it is biblical or simply traditional. For example, is it necessary to have a Bible in hand when witnessing? Or can it simply be shared from the heart? It must always be our authoritative guide but speaking it from the heart as opposed to reading it to our hearers can mark the difference between having a conversation and doing a presentation. I know God's word "shall not return empty" (Isaiah 55:11) but I also know that unbelievers have no spiritual discernment (1 Cor. 2:14) and how can they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14) Jesus used parables his hearers could relate to, and Paul "reasoned in the marketplace" (Acts 17) with his hearers. Another example of an evangelism tradition could be the possible overuse of Romans 3:23 which says "For all have sinned" - yet I feel this is actually assuring to most people because they reason that there is safety in numbers - ("surely God wouldn't send everyone to hell?") - without the personal conviction of sin that comes with exposure to the Ten Commandments. A better verse to focus on might be James 2:10 - " For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." How about the "sinners prayer" which isn't even found in scripture? What do YOU think?