February 13, 2010

Terms and Turf

A few days ago, my brother Mike sent me an email with the link to this Fists for Jesus article. Asking me if I had seen it, asking if it was for real. The answer to both was yes it is. He was deeply troubled by the violence it represents, of how Christians would be viewed in light of this.

I was disturbed by it as well. I do not know all that is behind this type of activity but I have trouble getting my mind around how you relate this to Jesus and His teachings. Yes, I believe the Lord was a stand up type of person. He was fearless; He took on the religious and political power structure of His time, going after their exalted positions of privilege and power. He prevailed, but He did suffer horribly as a man to redeem us as our God.

I just do not picture Him cage fighting or condoning it.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5 (KJV)
I thought the concept of meek was that of strength under control, accepting in the name of Christ that which you may have the power to fend off. Maybe I am wrong, but I like to think not.

As an evangelical Christian, I try to reach out to people who are different from me, who do not share the faith in Jesus as Savior that I hold dear to me. I need to try to reach them on their turf, where they are comfortable. But I have to meet them on my terms as well, sharing my faith as Jesus taught, not changing it to fit into what the world will accept today. Yes, Jesus took the whip into the temple to drive the money changers out, but He didn't knock them down and whip them bloody when He did. Strength and conviction, yes, but with control and a righteous anger. They were defining His Father's place on earth.

Maybe some feel the need to meet those who need Christ in this arena of life by fully participating in it.

But Jesus asks us to be in the world and not of it.

I know some who hold Jesus as Savior hold to this as an effective way to reach others.

I just do not get it.

I would rather just share the Gospel:
Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead.
And then spend the time telling them how they can be sure that when they die, they will go to heaven. That's the work I am doing now at my place of work in ministry.

There have been so many misguided ways of sharing Christ with others throughout history, so many fallen ways of living that faith. I struggle along myself in my own path to Him. I want to get there, I want others to get there. But I so do want to do it in a way that makes my Lord smile down on me.

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