Category Archives: Holy

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Evangelizing to People Who Have Heard it All Before | RELEVANT Magazine

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Within a society where people know the gist of what Christianity teaches but words such as “converts,” “evangelism” and “proselytize” are increasingly associated with religious zealots, abusive cults and violent terrorism, it’s becoming more difficult to communicate faith-based ideas without being offensive or perceived as a close-minded bigot.

Historically, evangelism has sometimes been used as a weapon to hurt, shame, guilt and induce fear. Its longtime associations with obnoxious street preachers, sleazy televangelists and corrupt organizations make it even less appealing to the public—and to Christians themselves.

Being on the receiving end of bad evangelism means suffering through preachy presentations that are contrived and superficial. Instead of hearing something honest and truthful, it’s often just a sales pitch with quick answers and no room for questioning, doubt, skepticism or critical thinking. Theology is presented as black and white, doctrines are non-negotiable, and entire populations are predestined to either a blissful eternity in heaven or a torturous afterlife in hell.

Being on the receiving end of bad evangelism means suffering through preachy presentations that are contrived and superficial.

As a Christian, I’ve never once enjoyed being evangelized to, whether it was regarding Christianity or any other belief. Why? Because the context is usually extremely uncomfortable and the premise is built upon the preconception that you’re wrong. Instead of a conversation about faith, evangelism can feel more like an aggressive prosecutor grilling you for a crime you didn’t commit.

Can we pray for you? Do you believe in Jesus? How do you know you’re saved? What church do you go attend? What version of the Bible do you read?

Obviously, comfort shouldn’t be the deciding factor for whether we evangelize, and Jesus instructed us to carry out the Great Commission regardless of whether it’s easy or difficult, but our entire concept of evangelism needs to change. Here are five principles Christians should apply when evangelizing:

1. Make It About God.

Evangelism isn’t about promoting yourself, a pastor, a church or a denomination. It’s not even about heaven or hell. Instead, it’s ultimately about a relationship with Jesus— about revealing God.

2. Be Motivated Out of Love.

Too often, evangelism is driven by hate, distrust, guilt, shame, bitterness and fear. It shouldn’t be about stats, fulfilling a quota, self-righteously patting yourself on the back or reinforcing your own beliefs. If evangelism isn’t motivated by love, just stop doing it.

3. Be Honest.

We mistakenly assume our faith testimony should be rehearsed, without error and perfectly tidy—but this isn’t the messy reality of life. Honestly, we don’t have all the answers, and our faith isn’t about knowing everything—instead it’s about knowing God. Above all else, be real.

4. Be Graceful

The Gospel isn’t about proving others wrong. It’s about sharing the love of Christ. Evangelism should be full of patience, empathy, dialogue and mutual appreciation—full of grace and understanding. Learn, listen, and never approach someone with an attitude of moral superiority—always be humble.

The Gospel isn’t about proving others wrong. It’s about sharing the love of Christ.

5. Be Respectful.

Evangelism isn’t hijacking a family while they’re walking to a baseball game or yelling at a bus full of helpless passengers. Sometimes we need to learn to tone it down and prayerfully wait for the right opportunity to come along.

We mistakenly assume evangelism should consist of high-pressure tactics, confrontation and in-your-face strategies. More often than not, it’s the complete opposite.

In many cases, we’re more comfortable talking with people we don’t know than those who are closest to us because we don’t want to cause pain or discomfort to those we love—so we randomly approach strangers, where the stakes—and consequences of our actions—are lower. Using street evangelism-style practices aren’t always bad—but be respectful.

Overall, evangelism is increasingly seen as counter-cultural and distasteful—it’s a social faux pas. Secular society is—understandably—tired of hypocritical Christians trying to change people, especially when it’s done out of selfish ambition, to promote agendas and without love.

So what should modern evangelism look like? For Christians, the answer is Jesus. It’s dedicating our lives to helping those in need, feeding the poor, taking care of the sick, representing the oppressed, fighting injustice and sacrificially serving the world around us, wholeheartedly loving others without expecting anything in return. We should emulate the life of Jesus to the best of our ability. God help us.


Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/evangelizing-people-who-have-heard-it-all#GkYpeFqLBkJOvXUG.99


By Stephen Mattson
October 13, 2014

Stephen Mattson blogs at
stephenjmattson.com
and you can follow him on
Twitter @mikta.


Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/evangelizing-people-who-have-heard-it-all#GkYpeFqLBkJOvXUG.99

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Universal Truth

Truth is truth no matter where it comes from. If you think it is your religion that makes you favored by God, then you have already been judged by the measure in which you judge. God is love and love is unity… all else is of vanity.

 

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

 

1 John 4
7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

YOU CAN Create a Beautiful Reality

 Beauty comes from within.

The beauty of you is the center of your reality. What you fill yourself with can feed the hunger and emptiness in others. Grow like a tree that can feed the world.

 

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

 

2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

Paradise Lost

This is what innocence looks like to the initiated. Ignorance is like a child playing without understanding the consequences of their actions. Most people go through life with little concern for the future. They spend most of their time seeking after immediate gratification and not realizing what a mess their life really is.

 

Believe it or not this is the essence of the story of the Garden of Eden. It is not the story of two people alone and naked in a garden. But it is rather the story of you and the loss of innocence. Once enlightenment shines upon your darkness the paradise of ignorance is lost in the garden of the soul and we are forced to toil in the heat and testing of the mind to cultivate peace and understanding amongst the thorns of our faulty beliefs.

Where in a handbasket

TO HELL IN A HANDBASKET?

Where in a handbasket

WHAT DO WE DO NOW IF THE WORLD IS HEADING TOWARD HELL IN A HAND BASKET?

I found this online and I have to say I am not too happy about it. Sure the people there dress a little funny and their property could use a little cleaning up but do they really need to be harassed for being organic?

http://wearechange.org/swat-team-raids-organic-farm-confiscates-blueberries/

 

Now I personally am not there yet with the whole “organic” thing but each day I see more and more reason to move somewhat in that direction. I still eat meat from the store and buy food out of the “organic” section to save money. I hear arguments on both sides about one is better than another or that there is no difference. Either way, wouldn’t it be great to grow your own food? I am seeing increased concerns about food shortages and a serious lack of natural resources verses the population’s growth and consumption. Continue reading

Lion king

RELEASE THE LION WITHIN

RELEASE THE LION WITHINLion king

“The Hebrew word for holy is kodesh, which means separate, set apart. As Balaam, the gentile prophet, stated, ‘It is a people that shall dwell apart’ (Num. 23:9). The modern connotation of holy misses this, relating the word to being worthy of adoration. It is no wonder the Talmud likens the translation of the Hebrew Bible into other languages to a lion locked in a cage, comparing it to the destruction of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.” Continue reading

The Generation Gap

Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

If the sins of the father carry over, so too couldn’t his blessings and mercy?

Continue reading

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A New Day

soulblindministry:

Love and nature

Originally posted on Changing Journey:

papago I am so excited! See that mountain? That is now one of several right outside our backdoor! We’ve been dying to get out and explore the trails. Unfortunately, we’re five days in and haven’t been able to.

It’s funny how change….whether good or bad, can bring a combination of emotions.

Frustration. Of course there are the usual daily frustrations, but this change brought about some of its own. I think Daniel feels them more than I do. While we were moving, he tweaked his knee. While he’s in no way incapacitated, walking is not comfortable for him. He’s been wanting to get out on the trails so badly, but doesn’t want to risk further injury. As for me, I’d rather share the experience with Daniel, so am content with waiting. My frustrations lie with my own negligence. Two days after moving in and unpacking, I’m asking “Where is my…

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“Jimmied Letters” A LETTER TO RON MOSBY

“Jimmied Letters”
A LETTER TO RON MOSBY

This is a letter to a man I met named Ron Mosby whom I think to be an upright and Godly man.

CONSIDER THIS GOOD BROTHER

Consider the possibility that the Bible is in fact written with another purpose other than to show the might and majesty of God. Imagine if there was more to it than stories, laws, rules, songs and parables. What if God authored the book as a lesson book, not for the next life alone but for the one we are living now? I have known a great many Christians that claim salvation yet suffer in their own minds. Is it possible that freedom could start on the inside? Continue reading