Monday, January 24, 2011

Communicate vs. Articulate

Evangelism: "Communicate the Gospel to those who don't know it."

The mark of a good Evangelist: People come to Christ, and stick around to grow.

There is a difference between communicating the Gospel and articulating the Gospel. I didn't know this until recently. I had lived my life in pursuit of opportunity to articulate rather than communicate. I took my Bible to school, I tried to share Jesus in class, I invited friends to church; I did everything I could to see them come to Christ.

No one did.

I was at a wedding reception talking to someone I had just met. We got on the subject of faith. He told me he had a friend that recently converted to Christianity. I asked if he was a Christan. He told me no, but was happy that his friend was. "He is so happy now, and its really changed him." He said with admiration.

I thought about this for a moment. I decided to share the Gospel with him. I went through the plan of salvation and the reason for Christ. I then waited for his reply.

He smiled politely and told me about his religious experiences with his new age girlfriend and their talks about acceptance and co-existence.

He responded how I suspected he would respond.

In that scenario, I never communicated the gospel to him. I simply articulated truth. He took it as me simply talking about the particular religious club I am a member of. So he felt the need to reciprocate information about his religious club.

After he told me about his religious experiences I told him that what was interesting about the Gospel is that it was not only true for me, it is true for everyone and not just me.

This is unwelcome information. It goes against everything we are trying to do as a society in our efforts of inclusivity, tolerance and co-existence. But you can always bet society is not where Truth is. We must look to the Word of God for Truth to be revealed to us.

We must meet people where they are at and realize that they are translating our faith through the lens of society's norms. Understanding that gives us the ability to communicate the Gospel and not just articulate it.

To a society that believes there is no moral Truth, The Gospel must represent absolute moral Truth.

To a society that believes Christianity is an option at the buffet of Religious experiences, The Gospel must represent the exclusivity of Christ and the false hood of all other religions.

To a society and to most Christians who believe that Hell is a metaphor, the Gospel must represent the physical reality of Hell and the damnation of those who do not turn to Christ.

Loving Someone is loving them enough to tell them the Truth. God is more interested in their eternal well being than their temporal well being. Many seemed to have that reversed.

Articulation is not the Goal, Communication is


あじ said...

Christianity is its own buffet, where we shop for churches and experiences. And why do other religions have to be false? Proximity to truth can be seen as differential equations. Being Christian does not exempt your cognition from contingency.

acastro said...

Exclusivity of Christ makes them false. However, no religion is entirely false. They are all based on some aspect of Truth, otherwise there would be no followers. Many religions also practice better prayer, meditation, self sacrifice, humility...whatever. So there are lessons to learn from every religion. Galatians talks about the false gospel, I use the term false religion.

Yes, there are many flavors of Christianity. However, I would argue that there is only one truth, that is access to God through the man Jesus Christ. There is only one faith that is "Christianity," Biblically speaking. Culturally speaking, where I think you are coming from, "Christianity" speaks to the diversity of interpretations and manifestations of the Christian life. Many are true Christians and many are not. Culture Christianity has more to do with affiliation than the Truth.