7/3/16 Walter about 55
I’ve been busy with a home renovation project so I’ve been taking my daily outreach goal with me to Menards on many of my trips there for building supplies. Today one of the people I reached out to was a man named Walter, who came from a church upbringing but no longer attends church. Like so many he has drifted away from faith in Jesus in favor of faith in his own ability to be a good enough person for salvation.
This drift toward one’s own perceived goodness is like gravity – it affects everyone and can only be counteracted by regular exposure to the truths of God’s word. However, unlike many, Walter can’t read the Bible because he never learned to read, though he was proud of his success in his construction career despite that handicap. So beyond sharing the Gospel while we talked, how could I help Walter get the regular exposure to God’s Word that he needs?
Walter isn’t the only one – how can the truths of the Gospel be available to other non-readers all around the world? If Christianity is truly a universal faith, then why isn’t it universal and equally available for all? The answer for a non-reader such as Walt, or for others with limited access to God’s Word such as a child, the elderly, the poor, those with an intellectual or physical disability, those isolated from Christian influence, etc. – is the same answer from the beginnings of Christianity – the Church. If we have been born again and adopted into God’s family we have an obligation to participate and care for all the needy members of our new family, which requires patience and perseverance and tolerance, just the reasons why worldly people will not find involvement in church very attractive.
I talked with Walter about his need to be regularly exposed to God’s Word to keep himself from drifting away from the truth. But with so many cults and false teachers out there, and his inability to compare their teachings with biblical truths that he reads for himself, I tried to give him some advice on how to find a Bible-based church even though he can’t read: do the church members make a habit of comparing what they are being taught with the Bible? Do they study it diligently both individually and in small groups? Do they take the Bible seriously enough to follow it? These aren’t foolproof signs of Biblical churches, but for someone in Walters shoes, it might just be all he has to go on.