Thursday, September 13, 2007

Barriers to College Evangelism 3: Compromise

It is one thing to find a picture of the street reflecting a church. It is another to have Christians who reflect the man on the Street.

It is easy to think that we will better be able to befriend Non-Christians and witness to them if we are more like them. Doesn’t Paul say, “I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some”? (1 Cor. 9:22). He does – and we need to ensure that there is no offence but the offence of the gospel in our friendships with Non-Christians. Yet we may not remove the offence of the gospel.

There are two ways we tend to remove the offence of the gospel.

1. We sometimes deliberately don’t talk about those aspects of the gospel that we think will be most offensive (judgment, hell, the exclusivity of Christ). When we do this we remove the part of the gospel that shows people that they really need Jesus. This might make us more popular, but it will cripple our evangelism.
2.We sometimes live lives that suggest by our compromised lives that the gospel doesn’t have the offensive implications of the need to obey the Lord Jesus. So we join in with the coarse joking, we have a few beers too many, we stretch the boundaries of sexual purity and join in with the latest gossip. Living like Non-Christians removes the vital witness of the transforming effects of the gospel, and denies our statements that Jesus has redeemed us from slavery to sin and brought us under his Lordship.

1 comment:

Paul Shaddick said...

Thanks for this series of posts. The barriers you describe seem to be widely applicable to most of us:
Isolation: how many of us have virtually no significant friendships outside of the church
Fear: how many of us fear damaging friendships with not-yet believers by declaring our allegiance to Christ in both words and in actions
Compromise: how often are we tempted to avoid confessing before non-believers that we too are sinners deserving of God's wrath and that our morality does nothing to save us. We all weaken our testimony by our sin - though I suspect our sins of ommision speak just as loudly as the things we do.
Busyness: Many of us think it better to pretend we are now sinless and join the party of the Pharisees in the Christian ghetto away from 'the world'