Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Cart Before The Horse

We Christians are a weird people. Seriously. I know we are supposed to be peculiar, that we are to be the light and salt of the world, to be different from what passes as the world culture at large, but how is it that we are supposed to do that?

So many times and in so many ways we are willing to stand in public places and rail against sin and opposition to God, but we never address the real issues; the things that concerned Christ who is our Savior. You remember Him; the one that told us to go out into the world and build relationships with people to show them who He is - ya, that Jesus, God's Son (sarcasm is an old habit that refuses to die).

It seems that we spend way too much time telling everyone about the things we are against, the things we consider sinful and unrighteous; things that are in opposition to God's will.

Is this not getting the cart before the horse?

Again, seriously, if we want to win people to Christ, should we be beating them over the head with their sins, trying to pass laws to deny them this or that? Would it not be better to get to know them and show them Jesus through the way we live and treat them?

People outside the faith are not our enemies. They are our mission. If we hope to win them, we will not do it through public campaigns against abortion or gay marriage. We will do it by recognizing the things we have in common. We will do it through serving them and loving them even though or when they disagree with us.

And even if they should act like our enemies and treat us as such, how did Jesus say we should treat our enemies? Please see Matthew 5 - The Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says to love them, to give to them, to go the extra mile for them. No where does he say to enter into public debate with them.

The apostle Paul, who was quite righteous on his own and urged the same from other believers, never viewed his Gentile audiences as enemies though they were sinners in every sense of the word. They were His mission field and he went to great lengths to find common ground with them in the hope of building relationships and winning some for Christ. Check out Acts 17 and I Corinthians 9 for his philosophy of the mission field.

So Christian, if you want proper horse placement with regard to your cart, start with befriending the sinner and building relationship. If they come to faith, let Jesus deal with sin. Then you can both work together with Jesus to keep each other accountable and grow in you faith.

We were once all enemies of Christ. He offered us friendship and salvation through service to us. We are commanded to do the same for others whoever they may be. Now hitch up the horse correctly.

I think I'm done now.      

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