Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
(Colossians 1:28 ESV)
Outreach, something that as a Christian we must do:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:19-20 ESV)
This is called the great commission. A commission as my military friends will tell you is a strict order. This is something that we must do. Yet we have to do it with love and compassion. We have to be ambassadors for heaven and f Jesus taught Love and that we must suffer at times but persevere till the out end we will be free from the suffering because we have done good.
The Issue that we face is this, many try to evangelize through forceful tactics. This causes many to back away and creates even higher “walls” around those individuals and can even separate those of faith.
We have to stop with the force and show the methods in which Christ himself taught. We have to be gentle and calm when we speak and show the passion. We must be prepared to answer every question that is asked of us. If you do not know the answer to the question tell the individual that you do not know, it is okay to be truthful.
We have to remember to speak in the terms of individuals, to preach the Gospel in methods of understanding. We must learn to speak in the terms that will glorify the Gospel yet help people understand the Gospel. The Holy Spirit will teach us how to speak and give us the words we need when we need them:
When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
(Matthew 10:19-20 ESV)
We as a Christian should beware of this and we should also be knowledgeable of Post Modernism views that exist in the world. We should learn other cultures from the Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics you can understand the Postmodernity of the world around us.
Postmodernity is that which follows modernity. Yet it is a radical change, especially from that which was moral, ethical, and spiritual. It is a change in thinking (philosophical) and acting (cultural).
Academic or philosophical postmodernism is reflected by emptiness of existence. Yet most Americans have no concept of philosophical postmodernism. They just live in the world into which they were born and try to make the most of it.
- Acknowledge your culture-encoded version of Christianity. It’s important for an apologist to look at his faith through the eyeglasses of his culture so he can more effectively communicate his faith in a way that it’s understandable. Post-moderns are often sensitive to overstatements that come across more as dogmatism than as someone still in the process of learning and growing.
- Affirm truth, love, and compassion. The apologist must know the truth of Scripture and communicate it with love and compassion. When postmoderns knows you care about them, they will listen to your message. Postmodernism tends to chasten the know-it-all arrogance of a modern world. Only God knows all truth; no one believer has a full grasp of truth. The apologist, like all believers, must assume the attitude of a learner and a fellow traveler on the road of life.
Christians can even agree with some of the relativism that postmoderns are quick to notice on certain issues. Without compromising on the absolutes, without denying the claims of Scripture, we can acknowledge matters on which we can’t know all things and which God hasn’t spoken.
- Magnify the importance of faith perspectives. Realize that all conclusions involve a degree of faith. Science doesn’t know all things. Science can’t examine all data, and the human mind is not infallible in arriving at conclusions. So there is an element of faith when we come to a conclusion.
- Show respect. The desire to be fair—to treat others no more harshly than one treats oneself or wants to be treated—is precious to postmodernists. So speak to them with respect to their opinions and the way they arrive at conclusions, while showing them that Christianity is a better way.
- Learn to listen to postmodern stories. In the postmodern world, we need to tell our own personal stories: unsanitized, rough and lumpy, not squeezed into a formula (Hindson, Caner, 2008).
Another thing many show is a lack of tolerance! We tend to get caught in a trap in which we want to fight with individuals and want to force our way of life on to them. We also see this with the secular society that try to force their way of life on society as well. Recent example is the gender equality bathroom bill; this is the same as a Christian trying to force a bible down the throat of a LBGT individual that is an Atheist. First thing we have to remember is that not everyone will be saved and not everyone wants to be saved. We can preach the real Gospel though and plant that seed in the heart and it will grow.
We live in a world that is not tolerant anymore, we live in a world that wants to change the definition of the world Tolerance at that. tolerance as “tolerating or being tolerant, especially of the beliefs and customs of others, even though these are not like your own.” Therefore, to tolerate means to allow, permit, or recognize and respect others’ beliefs and customs without sharing them (Gove, 1981). We have to respect others and understand that if we do have a conversation that we should understand the limits of our message. We cannot sit there and keep pushing the issue, doing so can cause the individual to lose interest or even become angry and leave. I have lost friends for just admitting I am a Christian, so be prepared if you are young in the faith. Do not be scared but be prepared for the blow back, Jesus said that we will be hated for his name sake though it also says that if we persevere will be saved (Matt 10:22).
Also one thing that bothers me a lot is the sinner’s prayer, there is not biblical reference to this. A person that wants to come to the Christ must do so in a personal way, our relationship with God is a personal one. There is not a set prayer ever, Jesus said “Go and sin no more” the disciples was given power to forgive sins. Notice that the person they forgave never had a prayer. Salvation takes place in the heart not through words, words can be empty and meaningless at time. If you are witnessing to a person and they want to come to Christ it is your responsibility to help them pray to God and pray with them, yet there is no set prayer. The Sinner’s Prayer emerged as a 1765 as a method to convert slaves to Christianity so they would accept their captivity (Howard, 2005). They even converted the prayer into songs the slaves would sing to spread the message among the slaves (Howard, 2005). Praying is the most personal thing we can do, it is our way of speaking with God. We should not try to corrupt this with manmade prayers but with the words given to us by the Holy Spirit.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
(Matthew 6:7-8 ESV)
We as Christians must trust the Gospels and the Triune God, we cannot stray from them because when we do, we get into creating our own god and blasphemy. Christmas is the largest blasphemous celebration there is. Luke 1 & 2 even tells us the birth of Jesus and John the Baptist, and John was born well before Jesus in the month of December. Luke even tells us the month that Jesus was conceived (Luke 1:27-80; Luke 2:1-20). This has become a perfect example of why Religion is the enemy of faith, we need to return back to the faith, the sight set on what the heart sees not what the ears hear from those that try and steal your money and mislead many into a path by giving false hope that if you are a Christian life will be easy, which is a LIE!! Life as a Christian will be hard, you will lose friends and family. You will be persecuted in many ways and in some countries even jailed and killed. As a Christian we will suffer in varies ways, that is the way, we must carry the cross and follow Yeshua, we must be slaves to the Holy Spirit fully devoted to the path of Christ. Not a denomination as Religion is made up of doctrine from men.
For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist.
(2 John 1:7 ESV)
Bible, Holy. “English Standard Version.” Wheaton: Crossway Bibles (2001).
Gove, P.B., 1981. Webster’s third new international dictionary of the English language, unabridged (Vol. 1). Merriam-Webster.
Hindson, Ed, and Ergun Caner. The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics: Surveying the Evidence for the Truth of Christianity. Harvest House Publishers, 2008.
Howard, Robert Glenn. “A theory of vernacular rhetoric: The case of the “Sinner’s Prayer” online.” Folklore 116, no. 2 (2005): 172-188.