Sunday, June 24, 2012

The lost art of evangelism... but is is supposed to be an "art" ? And the art of the Green Tea crash.

I am not an evangelist. At all. This is probably because this is not taught.. well maybe not properly. Upon a few dictionary searches this is what came up:  "The preaching or promulgation of the gospel."  or Missionary zeal, purpose or activity. Despite not coming from a Christian family, I started going to Awana and Sunday School around age 9 and was told to tell people about Jesus and that's all. (leaving out the persecution part.... or the part where I got beat up.. .. but I did not know what that was until I was 20... the hard way) I have always wrestled with evangelism despite the fact we should all do it somehow. Some methods are different than others, some work some don't and some need generous (or massive) tweaking.  I wrestled with this because I have seen Christians abusing. God is love and God is just, now because we believe that, should we not try and nudge others to try and live better? In a way, yes. But how should we do this? By standing on the street corner and yelling? I wouldn't, it takes guts, hardcore faith and more guts n faith. By preaching? By being a speaker on behalf of God, gently guiding people to holiness? Perhaps relational evangelism, getting to know someone genuinely. Being concerned for their eternal security and getting to know the person inside, without having some kind of agenda. All may work for some, but should we come down on people?

In a way, all Christians are wired to evangelize. Perhaps from a good dosage of teaching they receive themselves. I believe it can come up supernaturally, God wills for all to be saved and receive the knowledge of the truth of Scripture (1 Tim 2:4). We should make disciples and find ways to tell others about Jesus without being condescending. One such issue that comes to mind is gays. Yes, being gay is a sin and not God's view for relationships, how the church approaches it is rather sketchy. I have been brought up to respect people no matter what they do, but as a true loving and just person, must I tell them to stop? I feel sorry for people who are marginalized because of this; on both sides of the fence. I am not an advocate for people who practice it because it is indeed unbiblical but in my heart, I cannot tell them to stop because God gives us free will. But does He predestine people for destruction? I'd be very worried and bugged if He did. Stealing and lying is also unbiblical, so it should be treated on equal grounds. It skews the image God creates us in as much as anything. I feel that the unloved should be loved, guiding them to the amazing grace of God.

Marriage is God's idea, Genesis 2:24 man and woman. I am sorry peeps who support gay marriage but foundationally is FOR man and woman. Although I think church and state should be separate entities.

On a slightly different train of thought; sin is separation from God. Now, if we see someone (or do ourselves) continue in a sin should we question their salvation? THAT is SCARY! If I struggle a lot with (blank) than I might not be saved? Hmm...

SO evangelism, what's your take? and on anything else?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Sunday Shopping Conundrum

For quite some time now, most if not all stores have been open on Sundays. In 1982, the Canadian government upheld The Lord's Day Act (and rightfully so) since it violated the soon-to-be-created Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Lord's Day Act was deemed unconstitutional in 1990 and stores were open Sundays from then on.
Now, for some pathetic reason, some Christians still oppose this. Seriously! Get over it! It is not salvific so no need for concern.  But, I have seen believers abuse their freedom of speech in order to violate the rights of others (like protesters). Since not everyone beleives the Bible, why should we force our beliefs into government? Because we think it's wrong? I am sorry but that is foolishness. Everyone has the GOD GIVEN right to do what ever they please.  Below is the response from an assignment I did on it.

Businesses being open on a Sunday is an outdated argument, but for when the article was written it was a bigger deal to Christians. Today, many accept the fact that everything is open Sunday. Although this issue has become increasingly irrelevant, there are still some who believe it is a sin for stores to be open Sundays. The Christian defence for this, albeit a weak one is found in Exodus 20:8-10; “Remember the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. Six days you shall work but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God. You shall not work, nor your son, daughter, servant, animals or sojourners”. It should be understood that this comes from Old Testament covenant law and that these are not the only things God commands of His followers.
Some believers read this passage too literally and do no work or shop on Sundays. In a pluralistic, supply and demand society I can see the need for stores open on Sundays. It is good for the economy.
I do not see any issue with having stores open on Sundays. Not everyone agrees with biblical principles, so believers have absolutely no right to judge others. Trying to Christianize law and customs of the world is naive because everyone has free will and the right to chose customs and beliefs for themselves.
I believe in the importance of a day of rest, the sabbath is meant for gathering and worshipping the Lord (even though we should have an attitude of worship all the time). Taking a day of rest is not only healthy for the body but for the Christian walk as well. A sabbath edifies us in our Christian walk. If one were to take this passage literally, they could not eat, feed their families, animals or necessary chores when one lives on a farm. Reading into Scripture requires a dose of reality and open-mindedness, even if others do not agree with it.