The articles that I have written that have left me historically the most fulfilled have been my Christian articles. Whether politics, the church, or biblical truths, all have tapped into topics, I felt called to talk about on my platform. When I was challenged to write a column, one on Christians was the right choice.
Some of you want to explore religion but don’t feel welcome at church. Some people have had super negative experiences with Christians. Some were told that you must be a perfect Christian to attend church.
I am here to tell you that you are welcome here no matter your past, present, or how you feel about Christians.
That being said, this will be a recurring staple of my tenure as an opinion editor. Bi-weekly I will be publishing this column talking about biblical truths, Christian politics, and commenting on culture through a biblical worldview.
If you have any issues, questions, or anything else under that umbrella that you would like me to address, you can email me at email@example.com. Please enjoy.
Recently, I was walking to class, and I passed a man standing on the corner of Albrecht and 12th, passing out the new testament. I was rushing to class and couldn’t spend much time speaking with him, but the girl walking in front of me would even acknowledge that he was standing there. So, I felt bad. I talked to him, and he offered me a copy of the new testaments, and I declined since I am already a believer and have a bible.
Again that same week, we had another gentleman on our campus in front of the union yelling some form of the gospel in the street. After coming into the office, I asked my Editor in Chief what I thought about these things, and she told me I should write an article about them.
These are good examples of evangelism. Evangelism is defined on google as “the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.” And this has serious biblical backing.
Christians are commanded to “make disciples of all nations.” Spreading the gospel is kind of the whole shtick. It’s referred to as “the great commission.” It is our job as Christians to spread the gospel, which is greek for the “good news.” We are supposed to tell people about Jesus.
The question is, how do we do this? I know from personal experience that there is a lot of apprehension around telling people about the good news.
I don’t want to be seen as pushy or like I hate people. There are a lot of preconceived notions about Christians that are unfortunately founded in truth. But that doesn’t mean it’s okay for me to shrink away from my responsibilities.
So that brings us right back to the sidewalk and the sunny day in front of the union. I think there is just one little problem with this method of evangelism; it’s not effective. I have never heard a single testimony of someone coming to know the Lord through talking to someone on the sidewalk.
I don’t want to paint large strokes with a broad brush. I am not saying that it’s never effective. There are some great videos like those by Ray Comfort and how he chooses to talk to people about Christ.
However, I think your average Christian doesn’t have the training and hasn’t been equipped to talk about the Lord with random strangers on the street. Furthermore, people are afraid to share their testimonies with others because sharing a testimony is often an intensely personal journey involving how Jesus redeemed you.
And yes, I do mean redeemed. Many testimonies involve addiction, abuse, anxiety, depression, suicide, grief, and other highly personal topics. Sharing a testimony is not an easy experience. Nor is it always a comfortable one.
So then, again, how do we share the gospel with others? What it comes down to are our relationships. People are sure a lot more likely to accept an invitation to church if they know who they are going with and that they won’t be alone.
People will be way more open to receiving the good news if they know the person talking to them isn’t there to condemn them but loves them.
This all goes without saying the natural attraction power that Christians have. Recently at work, a girl told me she didn’t want to be friends with me. No explanation of why. Ouch. What’s strange, though, is that she won’t stop talking to me at work like we are still friends. Without telling you guys the very long story, I think I boiled down what happened to our friendship.
This isn’t the first time I have noticed this trend, either. People who don’t think the same way I do or believe the same things I do have often told me they find me trustworthy and enjoy being around me.
I don’t say this to brag because I don’t think this has anything to do with me. It has everything to do with the holy spirit.
I think she rejected me because I am Christian, but in that same vein, she wants to be around me because she sees the light in me that the world doesn’t have.
In Matthew Chapter 15, the Bible says, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. … In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Essentially there is a light in Christians that naturally brings new people to you. People are attracted to people with the holy spirit because people are attracted to love and hope.
At the same time, people reject that light because it means you can’t live for yourself anymore. After all, you now belong to Jesus. Psalm chapter 100 says, “Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”
So to effectively spread the gospel to people, I don’t think you need to be on the sidewalk. I think you need to be a part of their lives, invest in their families, and cheer them on.
Even if you are in an environment where you can’t be open about your faith, you can still set an example for others through how you live your life. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control are the fruits of the spirit.
So show others who you are and what you believe in by demonstrating these qualities, and people will be drawn to you because they will see the way of living for Jesus. After all, he has redeemed you and is changing the way you see others.
This doesn’t come without warning, be careful. First Corinthians also says that “bad company corrupts good morals,” and Proverbs tells us, “like iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another.”
Sometimes people hurt you. Friendship breakups suck. And you can find yourself in uncomfortable places.
God tells us to love all people; he doesn’t say love people if they look like you, are also Christians, and also believe everything you believe. Jesus doesn’t put stipulations on loving our neighbor as yourself.
But he has also told us to guard your heart. Because everything else you do flows from it. So brothers and sisters, be bold and courageous, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Live in the boldness of what the Lord has called you to. If you feel the holy spirit nudging you, then follow his commands. Not everyone is going to like you; that’s life. But it’s also the nature of being a Christian that you will plant seeds in people’s hearts, and you may never get to see them grow.
There may be lives I have touched and people I have encouraged that I won’t be able to know about for decades, if ever.
So if people are going to see how you live, live for Christ. If you want to spread the gospel, get to know people, pour into their lives, and invite them into yours. Invite them to church and be afraid of hard conversations. We are often uncomfortable when challenged to grow.