Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19
1 Peter 1:17-23
In my tradition (Presbyterian), we really, really like talking about the importance of living out our faith.
For example, consider the movie about Johnny Cash, Walk the Line. Do we want to be the kind of Christians who gossip and think we should ostracize those who have fallen short, or do we want to be the kind of Christians who flush the addict’s pills down the toilet and refuse to allow the dealer access to the addict?
This focus on deeds (based on faith, of course) is not a bad thing, but sometimes we like to focus on living out the faith because it keeps us from having to talk about our faith.
In my mind, talking the talk, (aka faithful evangelism) isn’t bullying and it isn’t knocking on, much less knocking down doors.
It is being ready to walk in when the door is opened. Listening, paying attention, caring for others, and when moments to arrive, being ready to receive them. To be able to articulate what it is that you believe as a way to offer compassion, comfort, and hope.
“Christian witness does include telling the story of our own faith journey and how we have experienced the presence and work of God in our own lives, but the goal of authentic evangelism is not to talk about our personal religious experience, but to talk about the God we have experienced…. The story we Christians have to tell is not only about how God has been present and at work in our individual lives; it is to set our little stories in the context of the story of all of God’s people….”
“Evangelism in a Pluralistic Society- A Reformed Perspective”
Shirley Guthrie at the Covenant Network Conference, 2002
For a Christian like myself, evangelism means engaging in these conversations in the spirit and example of Jesus Christ.”
Brian McLaren, More Ready Than You Realize, Zondervan, 2002, p. 16.
Anyway, that’s what I’m thinking. How about you?