My New Excuse - 12/11/09
I have been initiating Gospel conversations with random people for over a year now, and the irrational "fear of man" is finally starting to disappear. But something else is in me to take its place: laziness. These conversations and the spiritual battles underlying them can be intense and it takes a lot of mental energy to get out of my comfort zone. It is so much easier to be complacent and lazy, but I believe selfish pride is at the root of that laziness. I am the Lord's unworthy servant; who am I to put myself first and take it easy rather than obey His commandments? At the end of his parable of the field worker, Jesus says in Luke 17:10: "So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' "
Evangelism requires discipline. No matter how much we may believe in it or how good we are at it, it is valuable only if we actually do it. I ask you, do you believe it is important to obey God's command to share your faith? If no, why not? If yes, what will you do about it? Are you a doer of the word and not a hearer only? Faith without works is dead according to James. A fisherman shouldn't just go to fishing shows and buy fancy equipment and subscribe to fishing magazines and wear fishing clothes with fishing slogans and join fishing clubs and listen to fishing music - he needs to put his hook in the water! And so do we if we are to be "fishers of men" as Jesus commands. Our "Christian" subculture is starting to look more and more ridiculous to me the more I realize how far we fall short of what God intends for us.
Please know this: I am still very committed to a balanced life in Christ, including my family and church involvement and discipleship and concern for the poor and oppressed. I just feel that the lack of emphasis on biblical evangelism is a huge void in the American church - and is closely related to an easy believism with its false assurance of salvation.
I admire Mark Cahill for his insistence on being a doer of the word. In his book "One Thing You Can't Do in Heaven" he asks a revealing question: How often would you begin an evangelistic conversation if you were paid $100 for each one? Should this question even have to be asked? Should God have to pay us to obey Him? (Some might ask "What is a human soul worth" but I won't go there. We are only seed planters. Saving souls is God's business.)
According to Hebrews, faith is what pleases God. Faith is believing in what you cannot see. It always involves some sort of risk, stepping out of your comfort zone in some way like Peter did when he stepped out of the boat and walked on water. Wherever you are at in your faith, to please God you must take the next step out of the boat and out of your comfort zone. There are so many different levels of witnessing involvement, tagging along with a more experienced Christian, giving out tracts, using tracts to start conversations, talking with neighbors, and so on. I have just begun and have much more to learn about it. Like anything, it takes practice. I wish I had known of the biblical approach of "law to the proud, grace to the humble" years ago. I have been "spinning my tires" for years with other modern and unbiblical evangelistic approaches. Please don't make the same mistakes I have...