As much as I like (and use) Facebook, it can also be frustrating. Frustrating because you get the opinions and views of not just people you agree with, but people you disagree with. It’s not that I don’t mind to disagree, in fact, I enjoy a good discussion with people who hold different views than myself. However, what gets my blood boiling are the people (mainly Christians) who are arrogant and never wrong who would much rather shove a bucket of truth down an unbeliever’s throat than spoon feed little bits over time to a friend in need.
We’ve all seen it in some form in life at one time. The street preacher who would much rather yell, rant and rave about homosexuality than speaking in love to people the hope of Jesus from their mess. The Facebook people who loves those memes about fire and brimstone and then not only defends himself/herself but is hostile, arrogant and rude in the dialogue. Or how about the statuses that come across like the person’s views are absolute truth and then say “hey I’m just saying what God says”. Gee, thanks for speaking for the big guy, he is after all…a mute….
See, when we take “truth” (I say that in quotations because so many things that people say are true are more twisted than true) and strip it down to raw, cold facts we don’t really reach people at all, instead we turn them off to the point of Jesus, salvation and new, everlasting life. If you ever read the Gospels you’ll see that Jesus always connects relationally to his audience and then begins to preach to them. You’ll never find Jesus in the gospels on a street corner letting people know of the doom to come, you’ll never find Jesus stirring up controversy because he was condemning people outside of his religious system. In fact, the only time Jesus really starts making waves is when He attacks the religious elite! Thing about it, what got Jesus killed? His own people essentially forced Rome to crucify Him. It wasn’t Rome’s bright idea to kill this guy and when He did stand trial Pilot said He found no fault with the man.
The disciples went out in to the world to MAKE disciples. Think about that for a minute, the disciples made converts, then disciples. There was no big spread of Christianity then, the disciples were the essentially the only ones. What good would screaming on street corners do? Nothing that’s what. The disciples were far too concerned with people than they were with being right because being “right” was never the POINT. Jesus is the point, redemption is the point, repentance is the point, everlasting life that starts now is the point, not proving that your views are 100% accurate, not telling people that you have the corner on truth. Jesus, He is the point of life, it’s how God designed it. Everything points to Jesus. If you’re on a street corner preaching (or yelling) and people are passing by you and not listening, then maybe you should stop. Why? Because you’re about as affective as preaching in your closet. I’ve heard people tell me “But the word of God is being proclaimed” in that case preach in your house alone too.
Let me bring some balance here. The heart of everything we do must be love, not condemnation. I’ve seen street preachers filled with the Holy Spirit practically crying because of how burdened they were for the lost. Love flowing out of them like a river and people listening to what this man had to say. When love becomes our motivation everything changes. Our hearts are not cold and bitter, they are warm and sweet to people who are not in the faith. I am exhausted from seeing people defend there arrogant actions by quoting one single verse, or telling me to take my beef up with God not with them because they are just a messenger. That’s an excuse for being a jerk. All throughout the Scriptures we are told to have love and to speak with gentleness and respect. Let me put it another way for you: It’s not your job to save anyone, all you’re instructed to do is be a physical incarnation of Jesus and to make disciples, NOT enemies. You can’t save anyone only the Holy Spirit does that work. You don’t judge the world only God can do that. You don’t defend God, God can defend Himself. You don’t have the authority to condemn or save people, only God can do that.
Love people like crazy, God is the judge of humanity, not Christians.