Posted by: pastortomvabeach | July 8, 2014

Thought for the Week July 13, 2014

I am currently facilitating a group that is reading and attempting to apply some of the ideas in a book entitled God Space, by Doug Pollock. Doug has served for a long time as the evangelism trainer for Athletes in Action and has a passion for helping people to know how to make space in relationships for spiritual conversations that ultimately make room for conversations about Jesus.

In one of the early chapters he shares what he calls “Spiritual Conversation Killers”. Number nine out of ten is “combativeness.” Doug contends, and I think rightly so, that we often view those with whom we want to share the gospel as opponents who must be won to our Christian viewpoint.

Because this is so, we prepare ourselves with ideas that attack opposing philosophies and parry any responses as if we were in a spiritual boxing match. This often leads to heated debates which grow into arguments and, if the truth is told, rarely, if ever, does anyone argue someone into the kingdom of God. It’s more likely we argue ourselves out of a conversation that could have planted good seeds and may never happen again because of the reluctance of our opponent to stir up another argument. Dallas Willard once said, “It’s very difficult to be right about something without hurting someone with it.”

That doesn’t mean the gospel is not the truth and that we should never share something that may offend someone. The gospel is offensive but we should not be offensive in the ways that we present it to others. When we see not-yet-Christians as opponents we are often likely to use the Good News like an offensive weapon to win our battle rather than as a healing balm to soothe their hurts.

The thing that stood out to me in Doug’s thoughts on this was when he said, “we need to remember that not-yet-Christians are not the enemy; they are victims of the enemy. Because of this we are called to move into the culture with compassion seeking ways to free them from the tyranny of their oppressor rather than give them another challenger to beat them down.

What might happen if we really get hold of this thought and begin to see those without Christ as Jesus sees them? Would you ponder on that a while?

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