Sunday, November 11, 2018

Ask first, then shoot!

The order of evangelism that I was taught (Evangelism Explosion, Two Ways to Live, and probably more) was wrong.

This is the 'shoot first, then ask questions' method. OK if you are on sentry duty, not OK when seeking to communicate the gospel.

The 'method' that honours the other's humanity is ask first, then 'shoot' or talk about your own faith. And its not 'ask' like a quiz, its discussing a person's approach to life, their life interests, its about being a person to another person, because God show us what being a person is about.


Monday, October 15, 2018

Princes

Recently the 9th in line for the British-Australian-Canadian-New Zealand crown decided to have a flash wedding to marry her beer-pushing boyfriend.

Apart from being a preening display of wealth and mates-with-the-flash-in-the-pan famous, it demonstrated to me a manipulation of Christian faith.

I was insulted by the contrast of the lavishness with the use of the church (which was also attended by rather over-lavish frippery). Nothing seemed to connect with the self-emptying of Christ.

Now we've got to put up with the 6th in line for the throne wandering around Australia being feted for nothing.

Prince...a good name for a dog (I note our Creator in the OT warned Israel of the danger of princes).

I'm on Cromwell's side!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Throw him in jail!

A Christian in Canada has been recently arrested for making 'hate speech' (whatever that is). His crime was to distribute leaflets at a homosexual 'pride' march listing the medical risks of homosexual behaviour and seeking to proclaim the gospel. Not sure of how these leaflets read, but they included some political remarks as well.

It is deplorable that a person could be arrested and face jail for giving out leaflets. It is also a deplorable approach to evangelism.

Here's the paradigm he's using:
  1. first, make enemies
  2. second, criticise people's life choices
  3. third, throw in a dash of political invective
  4. fourth, wonder why it has no mission positive results.
Not how to proclaim the gospel at all.

Let's apply it to lying, or pushing in front of people in the bus queue, or pinching coins from the tip jar at a coffee shop.

I'll let you think about those scenarios.

So here's how it could really work.

Be a regular at 'gay' bars and coffee shops. Just sit there, be peaceful and make friends. Join people at their coffee or drink (have to be careful with alcohol tho, not only is it good talking water, but it serves as punch-up juice as well).

Get to know and be known. Have conversations. Don't judge people (not our job), but live out the gospel in their presence.

Under the Lord's hand I'm sure you will have conversations that alert people to the better life in Christ.

Handing out leaflets is likely to lead to no such conversations. They do not represent loving concern for the individual in his life-situation; they represent 'go away' tickets.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Family relationships

Sunday's sermon was yet another cracker from our teaching team. As it was on Col 3:17-4:1 it was about family relationships.

Questions were invited during the sermon; I had a couple but didn't get to the head of the queue. Comments really. Here they are:

1. the challenge we face is to live in grace (as Paul enjoins) surrounded by a workplace, or social life that is not configured as Paul encourages us...particularly as we (humans)  often take offense of pride so easily.

2. Col 3:20 can so easily be 'de-graced' as we read it; imposing on kids 'you have to obey me becuase God commands it'  devoid of the context of love...Eph 6:4  throws a bit of light with 'do not provoke to anger'. We so easily forget the basic context of the gospel, indeed the whle Bible is that 'God is love' and everything is motivated by this.

One of the chilling stats that was mentioned was the demographic of violence against women: young men. My only observation is that this perhaps represents a retreat of the vague Christian consensus (get rid of Christianity from the public square and you get rid of its benefits), a reaction that flows from the feminist logic that men and women are equal, and the favouring of women over men in public discourse.

On this latter point, I've noticed in my local paper that girls appear in good news stories far more than boys. The resentment this might foster is insidious.

None of this is an excuse, it is rather an observation of society madly entertaining delusions. And not to overturn the radical teaching of Paul in Galatians 3:28.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Power-ups

I mentioned in a previous post the need for Christians heading to university (or what passes for university these days) to be intellectually equiped to discuss their faith with those who oppose, reject, ignore and despise it.

Here's my first attempt at a rough curriculum of 20 x 3 hour seminars I've called Power-ups (PIMs might also work: Positions, Ideas and Messages). I envisage 10 seminars a  year over a two year program. None in December and January (although more on January another time!)

YEAR 1
February: Ideas that have shaped our world 1
A quick take on history of ideas up to and includ ing the Enlightenment.

March: What people believe 1
The world's major current religions (as practiced by adherents)

April: Ideas that have shaped our world 2
History of ideas up to now. Would touch on Victorian optimistic progressivism and its influence on Charles Darwin.

May: What people believe 2
The current Australian experience, including Westernised Eastern religions.

June: Spiritual gangs
Cults and sects and how they work, what they do and why, historic examples of Jonestown, Heaven's Gate, etc; and quasi-Christian groups: The Family/Children of God, Boston Church of Christ, doomsday cults, etc.

July: Talking to Jehovah's Witnesses
Their history, failed prophesies, beliefs, topics of conversation, 'language' and points at which to start a conversation (the weak and incoherent elements of their ideas).

August: Talking to Mormons
Their history, failed prophesies, beliefs, topics of conversation, 'language' and points at which to start a conversation (the weak and incoherent elements of their ideas).

September: Talkling to Scientologists
Their history, failed prophesies, beliefs, topics of conversation, 'language' and points at which to start a conversation (the weak and incoherent elements of their ideas).

October: West meets East
The intrusion of Eastern religious ideas into common modern Western culture: 'mindfulness', Yoga, turns of phrase such as 'karma', transmigration of the soul, etc.

November: Talking to Muslims
Their history, failed prophesies, beliefs, topics of conversation, 'language' and points at which to start a conversation (the weak and incoherent elements of their ideas).

YEAR 2
February: How we think
Philosophical analysis for everyday use.

March: Believing in zip
Atheist, and Agnosticism and the modern hobby of Sneeringism: history, failings, beliefs, topics of conversation, 'language' and points at which to start a conversation (the weak and incoherent elements of their ideas).

April: Natural failings
The Naturalistic Fallacy in real life, moral epistemology, and the game of borrowing from a Christian thought world, and arguing against it .

May: Social frames
Social trends and thought worlds: the influence of environmental panics sincs WW2 and the growth of 'environmentalisim' as a religion, the tension between welfare and responsibility, between care for others (by government) and the rights of others. The role of vicarious virtuism and its conceits.

June: Achilles' left heel
The evolutionary hypothesis examined 1

July: Achilles' right heel
 The evolutionary hypothesis examined 1

August: What was Achilles thinking
Evolution as the modern thought world. Theistic evolution, scripture, science and misconnects.

September: The web is weaved
Totalitarian political systems: their source, course and current influence. Players and plays.

October: Professional talkers
The professional media and commentary.

November: The God Who is There
Capstone session based on Schaeffer's trilogy: The God Who is There, He is There and He is Not Silent and Escape from Reason.