Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ok, so the following series of thoughts may, on some level, sound like they fly in the face of what I wrote yesterday but just stay with me for a little bit, ok?

I want to talk about the flip side of community. What I'm talking about is the side of community that keeps us cloistered in our Christian ghettos (I mean that in the classical sense, not the more modernized sense)with little reason to poke our heads out of spiritual clouds unless we are "evangelizing." What I'm talking about is the idea that in order to remain a strong Christian, you must surround yourself with only other Christians. I'm referring to the moments in our lives when someone tells us (directly or indirectly) that we need to befriend the sinner so that we can win them to Christ and save their soul from a burning Hell. I'm talking about love with strings attached.

How much do I like it when I can tell that someone is befriending me simply so they can have access to something I have, or something I can do for them? How much do I hate it when someone knows I have access to a certain thing and all of a sudden they're interested in my life when in moments past they had absolutely no desire to know anything substantive about me? But, sometimes I have found myself guilty of the same thing. I seek out certain friendships with other people because of what I have to offer them, namely Jesus. Now, don't get me wrong, Jesus is definitely someone that should be woven through the fabric of our lives, but not in such a way that we don't hear people's hurt or stand with them through their pain simply because all we see is their sin and need for salvation.

How many times have we been standing with someone who may or may not know Christ, and the entire time they are talking about whatever faces them, we are thinking about how we can use what they're saying to point them towards Christ? How often does our desire to be a friend become contingent on whether or not we can "convert the soul?" I would venture to say it happens far too often. People don't always want the gospel. Sometimes they just want an ear that listens and a shoulder that catches tears. Sometimes they just want someone to be there when they're needed. Sure, God can open up opportunities for the gospel to be shared, but shouldn't that in a lot of ways be His deal? Ultimately , shouldn't the moment of decision for someone come about, not because of a calculated plan of attack against the sinners of the world with salvation but as a result of designer... I'm tired and losing coherence. I'll try back when my eyes aren't closing and sandmanic thing are not wafting past my eyes. Yeah, I'm really tired. I'll finish this later

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