Wednesday, February 25, 2009

method vs message?

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete. - 1 John 1:3

I was watching some video clips of some Christian teachers that I follow on YouTube last night, and decided to read some of the comments left by the viewers. Starting off, i expected to read some really great comments, full of insight and encouragement left by other viewers... Instead, i found myself walking through a war zone between mockers and professing Christians.

There was an occasional person seeking truth for some honest questions, but by and large, many of the commenters weren't looking for answers - they were on they attack. As I continued through several pages of comments, I observed several conversations between those slinging accusations and individuals who seemed to be Christ followers. The troubling thing, though, was that often I couldn't tell who was the non-believer and who was the Christian. Respondents lacing their comments with profanity, filled with hatred for the person opposing their view point, condescending remarks - absolutely disgusted by what I was observing.

I had read the verse above today, and couldn't help noticing that it applies to what I observed last night. John writes that the purpose of sharing our faith, what we have seen and heard, is so that others would have fellowship with us and with Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith.

It is extremely important that Christians be not only equipped to give an answer for the hope that we have in the Lord Jesus, but we MUST FINISH WHAT THE TEXT SAYS!

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. - 1 Peter 3:15

...with gentleness and respect. Our method will defeat our message on the battle ground for truth if they are not Christ-centered and Christ-driven. Only a method of sharing and defending our faith consistent with the Gospel we proclaim has any hope of being received and honestly considered by those we intend to reach for Christ. We must not forget that the reason we share and defend our faith is so that others may have fellowship with us, in fellowship with the Lord Jesus - this is our joy as followers of Jesus Christ.

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