Skip to main content

Warning: Evangelistic Message

Just been having a chat about how certain churches tend to operate on the assumption that anything that grows the church must be good and that even the gospel might need changing if it doesn't result in church growth.  It reminded me how I once challenged an evangelistic group that were visiting my university in the UK.  I asked them why their message was all about God as your best friend and going to heaven when you die, and had nothing about sacrifice, the cross, and the commitment that Christ asks from us.  The reply I got was instructive: "well who would want to become a Christian then?"  It is worth noting that this reply wasn't delivered with any trace of irony or sarcasm.

So this would be a good point to demonstrate how far from the NT such an attitude is, but that will have to wait for another day.  The new academic year is beggining and I need to make this quick.  Here is my alternative evangelistic message, and maybe it explains why I am not a very good evangelist . . . i'm just too honest!

*Message begins*

Repent and believe, the kingdom is at hand.  It's gonna cost you big.  Don't take this on lightly, don't rush into this decision.  Because pretty soon you are going to have to make some huge sacrifices and I want you to be certain that you really want to do this. 

Christianity does not give you all the answers, in fact it will likely give you far more questions to worry about than you had in your previously apathetic state.  Christianity does not solve all your problems, in fact it will show you problems that you were previously oblivious too.  Christianity will complicate your life horrendously.  All those people you are used to ignoring and not caring about, if you become a Christian you will have to love them all unconditionally! 

As a Christian you will need to commit to sharing your life and resources with people who you would never otherwise have anything to do with.  Not only that but most of the rest of the world will not understand your basic motivations, constantly misrepresent you and assume the worst about you because of your affiliation.  Even in the group of people you hang out with to encourgae each other in this new lifestyle their will be people who try to hurt and discourage you and who will misunderstand you at every opportunity. 

Not only so.  This decision means that you accept as Lord a person whose greatest acheivement was dying a horrible and unjust death for the sake of others, this person does not share your concern for your personal and financial well being but is obsessed by building a kingdom that has nothing to do with all the idolatrous pleasures you currently delight in and will have huge difficulty in letting go of.  Instead this kingdom's ideal is that of sacrificial love and you can expect many opportunities to express it. 

However, I should probably say that knowing this person (their name is Jesus) makes all of the above somehow worth while and even fills life with a joy and grace that transcends my pathetic desires and frustrations and links me tangibly to the life of eternity. 

So . . . Anyone interested?

*Message Ends*


  1. I totally agree with what you say above and I am certainly in theological opposition to any form of prosperity Gospel.

    I remember a time, though, when I was so beaten down by the church, had heard so many times that I was a worthless sinner headed for hell who God could not possibly love that I really needed to hear that God loved me.

    So, it is a balance, I think. Agape love is somehow at the center of things. Agape love calls forth sacrifice. Not sacrifice for the sake of sacrifice but sacrifice which puts the needs of others before my own wants. And sacrifice for the sake of righteousness and truth.

    My church of origin practically taught something along the lines of "If you want to be a teacher/doctor/missionary and you think you'd be fulfilled and enjoy this work, then you'd better choose something else that will make you miserable because God requires sacrifice, not enjoyment." I'm not convinced of that.

    Jesus knew what God required of him and he sacrificed everything for God's will. In meantime, he was also accused of being a glutton and a drunkard.

  2. Absolutely!, but as i hope my message made clear, it isn;t about being miserable but recognising the cost. all the best things in life require sacrifice, but sacrifice can be a joyfull affair, if it is done for someone or something that you love. :-) Oh, and God does love you, lots!

  3. it isn;t about being miserable but recognising the cost. all the best things in life require sacrifice, but sacrifice can be a joyfull affair, if it is done for someone or something that you love.

    Yep, I totally agree with that. I think that learning this may be something of a "conversion experience", though. Not a first-faith conversion experience, either.

    I'm babbling and can't really put this into words; that's usually the time to stop!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Why Dr Charles Stanley is not a biblical preacher

Unusually for me I was watching the tele early on Sunday morning and I caught an episode of Dr Charles Stanley preaching on his television program. Now I know this guy has come under some criticism for his personal life, and that is not unimportant, but it is also not something i can comment on, not knowing the facts. His preaching is however something I can comment on, at least the one sermon I did watch.

He started off by reading 2 Timothy 1:3-7. Which is a passage from the Bible, so far so good. He then spent the next 30 minutes or so talking about his mum and what a great example of a Christian mother she was. Now nothing he said or suggested was wrong, but none of it actually came from scripture, least of all the scripture he read from at the beginning. It was a lovely talk on how Stanley's mother raised him as a Christian despite considerable difficulties and it contained many useful nuggets of advice on raising Christian kids. All very nice, it might have made a nice…

The false link between suicide and mental illness

One characteristic of human society is the tendency to keep doing something over and over again despite it not working. One example would be our approach to incarcerating criminals to punish them instead of rehabilitating them, compounding their trauma and making it harder for them to live productive law-abiding lives when they get out. But this is the "common-sense" approach, the intuitive human response to the failings of others, punish them and they wont dare do it again. It has never worked, ever, but let's keep doing it. Secular society is screwed because it cannot comprehend that its vision is blurred by sin and therefore knee-jerk, common sense solutions are usually destructive and counter-productive.

So it is with our response to suicide. To kill yourself must be the response of the weak minded and sick - so the thinking goes - so to combat rising suicide we treat individuals medically. Yet suicide is a perfectly rational response to a world as broken as ours and…

The Addictive Power of End Times Speculation

The mighty Rhett Snell has picked up his blog again (I wonder how long he'll last this time), check out his theory on why people get so into annoyingly unbiblical end times nonsense.

I think that where codes-and-calendars end times theology is dangerous, is that it can give a sense of false growth. We read a theory online, or hear it from some bible teacher, and we come to think that we have mastered an area of our faith. A bit like levelling up in a computer game, or Popeye after he’s eaten some spinach. At worst, we begin to believe that we’ve taken a step that other Christians have not; that we’ve entered an elite class of Christianity.