Hawaii 2010

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Saturday, March 17, 2012

People aren't asking and People aren't telling

How's this for a backyard view?

I have suspected this for quite a while but Christianity Today reports that engaging people with spiritual conversation has become more difficult and is resented in most parts of our nation. The classic "If you were to die tonight, and God were to ask, Why should I let you into my heaven, what would you answer?" may not be the best lead in to a helpful conversation, so says the article.

Accordingly, the number of Christians who actually engaged people in spiritual conversations on a daily or weekly basis has diminished a great deal as well.

Part of this I think is our rapidly expanding world of information, and our perceptions of the differences between religious beliefs among Americans.

I do not see this article as particularly alarming, for the ways in which God brings people to think about spiritual things is amazing and changing and always effective. Sometimes the way in which we confront people or threaten them does more to set back the cause than we expect.

This tension in the last few decades between a God who loves you and is ready to burn your forever and ever if you do not respond in a timely and proper fashion, may not actually resemble the gospel Jesus lived, and the gospel Paul preached. God may be much more interested in justice and compassion than manners and sin management.

1 comment:

Dixie said...

Interesting that you should post on this, Don. Last week I handed in a paper on how "reconciliation" as a metaphor for salvation may be a better way to evangelize in the world today. Basing our spiritual conversations on how we are alienated human beings, needing to be reconciled to ourselves, to others, to the world (and ultimately, to God), may fit with the frame of mind people have today then talk of sin and hell. It was a very fun topic to study! I could always email it to you if you're interested. :)