More On Evangelism

Posted: April 4, 2005 in Everything

I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately. Unfortunately, I haven’t been writing much here. Sorry! I thought I would give you some words today from one of my favorite contemporary Christian thinkers, Brian McLaren. The following is from his book, “The Church on the Other Side.”

“For starters, somehow we Christians, especially evangelicals, convinced ourselves of the myth that America used to be a Christian nation–“our” nation–and some bad people took it away from us. Let me just ask: When was it a Christian nation? When we were killing, culturally imprisoning , and stealing the lands of millions of native peoples in a New World version of the holocaust? When we were importing and exploiting millions of slaves? I believe the Christian nation myth is untrue, but more than that, it is pernicious for what it does to us.

“The myth turns us into victims (Those bad guys took away our country!), aggressors (We’re going to take it back, so watch out!,) and defenders (Quick! Circle the wagons!). As aggressive, defensive victims, we hardly carry the posture of Jesus Christ, who came to seek and to save the lost, who had compassion on the nameless crowds. As aggressive, defensive victims, we sound more and more like the Pharisees, who said, “This cursed mob doesn’t know God’s Word!” (see John 7:49), and less and less like Jesus who said, “These poor people are harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (see Matthew 9:36). The cover story of the November 1995 issue of Moody Monthly described the problem too well: ‘Sinners in the Hands of Angry Christians.’

“In the new church, this attitude toward non=Christians will change. ‘The world’ will be viewed less and less as the bad boys out there whom we fear, fight, and resist, whom we seek to control through legislation and intimidation with a self-righteous sense of superiority. Instead, ‘the world’ will be viewed more and more as the needy neighbors who haven’t yet found the grace that has found us, who receive our love because God loved them enough to send his Son to give them ‘eternal life’ (John 3:16), who are doing the best they can with what they’ve got, and who can’t be expected to do any better until we find ways to help them want what we’ve got.”

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