The problem is this: We know God. We know who God is, how God has loved and cared for us. We know who Jesus is, we read his words and we pray to and with him. We believe that God created the world, and everything in it. We believe that every human who walks the Earth is a child of God, brought into being by our one divine Creator.
Often times the tone of evangelism just doesn’t match the God that we know. Often times the language of tracts and of “evangelists” seems manipulative, defensive, full of fear and anger and exclusion. It seems disconnected from our God. We have been told things like:
- for us to be in, we need to know that others are out.
- we need to defend God, or defend the Bible.
- God loves the whole world, but is prepared to punish humans for eternity if they don’t confess Jesus as the Christ.
We are working on being a more compassionate and caring church, we have brought in people who are ready to share, and be vulnerable - ready to lend a hand and help each other out. That is part of what we are inviting people into when we invite them into relationship with Christ. We are also asking them into relationship with the Body of Christ - which is us.
I hope we can explore the Bible and bring our experiences of God and of being humans into this conversation so that we may be able to find the joy of sharing Christ again. I pray that through this conversation we can stop thinking we have to deny our experiences, and that we can trust in a God who is good and kind and generous and just.
- Bob Brown, pastor