June 5, 2006
Witnessing for Legalism
How do we make people "christian?" Why do we witness? What is a witness? Evangelism? Who does it, and how do they do it?
Recently I had a conversation, and many of these questions and ideas came up. To be honest, these things bother me. When I first became a Christian in late high school, I was broken and transformed by Christ. Through a few years of fundamental, overly conservative church attendance, not to mention this place, I lost my first love. The life Christ gave me was stomped out, replaced by legalism.
Legalism was my number one goal and I didn't realize it. Why? because I was concerned with being a good "Christian," and had to have a good witness. No matter what I had to protect my witness, and the world made me sick, secular music made me sick, to be honest secular people made me sick. Love the sinner, hate the sin...yeah right. This so easily translates into hate the sinner, until they are a good and clean Christian.
Now, well, I've changed. I love God again, I love his work, and I love people, especially those who say stuff like damn and shit, those who like a good beer, those who don't think like I do. And here's the deal, I DON'T WANT ONE SINGLE PERSON TO EVER BECOME A CHRISTIAN BECAUSE OF ME! (I know, your expecting me to say, I want God to do it...but that's not where I'm going either).
See, a Christian is a person who rearranges their life around the western, modern day church. To go to church every Sunday, to dress right, to quit smoking, cursing, stop being a liberal. Being a Christian is adopting principles and practices of men, to be like the world, but in the culture of Christianity.
Rather, God is working in this world. He speaks to people through movies, music, conversation, and much more. People outside the walls of the Christian world are thirsty for spiritual things. Everyone is concerned with the kingdom of God, whether they know it or not. Where do I come it. I'm sent by God to help others actualize and realize God in their life. Allow them to become followers of Christ in their culture, to their friends. These people become the church fluid.
I no longer need to worry about my outside appearence so much, creating constructs to follow so that my "witness" will be protected. I worry about following Jesus in my community, here at church and here at the apartments. Both need to be redeemed, both need Jesus. What does it look like? Genuine, real, ugly, broken and redeemed. Fun, exciting, mysterious, hard. It simply looks like life as a Jesus follower.