1/1/15 “Joe” about 40
I have found initiating most marketplace gospel conversations to be surprisingly positive, but there is always the possibility it won’t turn out so well. In a Menards shopping aisle recently, I talked to “Joe” who turned out to be an ardent atheist, very outspoken for his atheistic beliefs and against Christian belief. He went on and on about all the Christians in his life who have offended him in one way or another, portraying himself as a much better human being in comparison, and challenged me to disavow the actions of the other Christians he had talked about. Right after him was a middle aged man and his wife who identified themselves as leaders in their church. They associated me with Jehovah’s Witnesses, disapproving of my attempting to share the Gospel in this way, so I told them “I believe that’s exactly why many Christians don’t want to share their faith, because it’s easy to get put in the same category as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. But we have good news to share, and we can’t let association with the Jehovah’s Witnesses keep us from sharing it.” I believe the atheist, Joe, will find reasons for his unbelief wherever he can, and unfortunately the people who have reached out to him give him an easy excuse. But if the gospel is to believed, it must be heard, and Christians ignoring the need to share it won’t be any more convincing. And I also believe the couple who disapproved of my outreach efforts will find excuses not to reach out themselves wherever they can, and for them the association with the Jehovah’s Witnesses make a convenient excuse also. For them I would quote D.L.Moody, who famously answered, when criticized about his way of doing evangelism; “I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it."