I live with four little people.
That means on a daily basis I repeat myself enough times that I feel like I should be making roylaties from my household syndication. Sometimes I wonder if I speak a remote tribal language and that is why my kids fail to comprehend the words that are coming out of my mouth. Occasionally I feel the same way with my husband.
Am I really that hard to understand?
The problem with listening is that we always bring to the table our own thoughts and perspectives which from time to time can make it difficult to truly hear what someone else is saying. If you are like me, your wheels are constantly turning whether you are in conversation or out and it can make communication a near impossible task.
Knowing all of that, I understand the confusion over my recent "In... not Of" blog post.
I seem to have stirred up some thoughts and most of all stirred up some frustrations.
I accept the challenge.
I am not your average southern mom/youth minister.
I lean towards "moderate" and don't always vote Republican (insert GASP here).
Therefore I understand that my views and thoughts may not always be what some may expect it "should" be.
However, I stand true to my statements in my previous blog that as Christians we must rethink the way we have oriented ourselves to the World. We have put ourselves in the middle believing that we must choose either God or the World when the reality is that we should have never placed ourselves in the middle at all. God deserves our priority and our focus and when we put Him in the middle of our life equation we realize that we can be "in" the world though not "of" the World.
We can eat, sleep, breath, exist, and yes... we can preach the message of Christ to a lost and dying world without immersing ourselves in sin or seperating ourselves from our Father. In fact, the great commission is a call to GO INTO ALL THE WORLD (see Matthew 28:30).
The confusion over my last blog is my failure to fully communicate what I am suggesting we strive to be and do. I am not calling Christians to sit down and shut up.
In fact, if that were the case... this blog should cease this very minute.
I am suggesting quite the opposite.
STAND UP FOR JESUS.
STAND UP FOR GOD's WORD.
And keep your preferences at home.
Your preferences are not eternally productive or effective, that would be why God gave us the Bible in the first place so that we would not rely on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). NOW if your preferences are Biblical and align with His Word, then certainly STAND UP. But don't put words into God's mouth. And don't assume that to be a Christian means you must alienate yourself from the very mission field you are supposed to be impacting, lest you forget... Jesus dined with the sinners.
Being a Christian means you are seperate because you have chosen to follow Christ.
You don't fall victim to the wiles of the devil, you resist temptation, live a life above reproach, encourage the down-trodden, advocate the Gospel, be the salt and the light...
Being a Christian means that you are an active participant in life on earth so that you can be an effective witness. (And before someone jumps in... by "active participant", I do NOT mean actively participating in sinful lifestyles and situations but actively participating in life in general, not choosing to become so seperate that you lose the ability to witness).
I think that's the difference.
I find seperation important because I understand the necessity to remove myself from sin.
But I do not understand how we effectively minister to a world in which we have chosen to have no connection to at all. And to some extent I believe that a few Christians have seperated themselves to the extreme, forgetting that they are supposed to be the "hands and feet".
How do you reach out to a world that you have chosen to ignore?
Maybe that is the problem.
Maybe your interpretation of "evangelism" is different from mine.
So in the spirit of discussion.
Those that are interested... answer a few questions for me.
What do you think it means to "evangelize"?
Do you feel that you can be a better evanglist in word or action? Or are both required?
Is purposeful evangelism the only kind? (how do you like that crypted question).
Now understand, all are entitled to their opinion and though we may all read scripture, sometimes people have varying viewpoints. So be nice and try your best to truly hear others.