Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Christian Blogging Redux

Some time ago, I read an entry on a blog that debated the merits of whether all Christians should blog... or just those who are proficient in theology and/or debating skills.

The conclusion that was reached favoured the latter view.

At the time, I remained silent but it has always niggled me because this is the very antithesis of my position.

I do not believe in elitism. I accept that there are risks with every Tom, Dick and Harry writing about their faith... there are bound to be errors of judgement in theology and composition, because we are all on a journey.

I can't accept or sanction the idea that evangelism and spiritual encouragement are only the remit of a select few (many as the people within that "few" are). The apostle Paul encountered many charlatans, heretics and people who were preaching the Gospel for a mixture of motives. Whilst he fought diligently against deliberate heresy, when his enemies preached the Gospel, he did not oppose them... in fact, he actually recorded his attitude towards such people in his letter to the Philippians:

"It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defence of the gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice."
Philippians 1:15-18

Essentially, Paul didn't care who preached the Gospel... so long as it was preached. In more recent generations, someone coined a famous saying:

"We are not all called to be evangelists, but we are all called to evangelise."

So while many may not be educated strongly in theology or even well rehearsed in scripture, if they have even a basic relationship with God through Christ, they have the knowledge of Jesus' sacrifice and resurrection... and why it was necessary for the salvation of mankind. This is central to the gospel message.

Furthermore, Paul (greatly informed apologist that he was), did not regard eloquence and intellect to be of the utmost importance when it came to his own message:

"When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power."
1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Some of the greatest preachers and apologists the Christian faith ever had... began their journeys hearing the words of some obscure man or woman of faith and being inspired by them. I think we would be fools to limit the field. People connect on all sorts of levels. A man of great wisdom and intellect... even a spiritual man, might totally miss the mark where gentle words of innocence might succeed. Every one of us is unique, we each bear a personal testimony that is not shared by another... who knows what part of our own individual stories might be used by the power of God, in order to inspire the lives of others. Or have you not read the Parable of the Mustard Seed?

I think people are being way too analytical and are injecting human management styles into what is essentially God's work. We are called to sow... we cannot know where the seed falls in the hearts of the people we speak to, we can only be faithful in sharing what we have. Evangelism is merely one beggar telling another beggar where he may find bread... and living bread at that.

To try and control who speaks for God on the Internet, is to put human rules and regulation in the way of the Gospel. My own personal attitude is to fling wide the gates... let all who know Jesus speak of him... and if I do come across anything that is at odds with the Gospel message in my own meanderings on the web... to gently point this out where necessary.

So for those who have been encouraged to abandon their keyboard, I equally encourage you to take it back up again. Your walk with Jesus is unique to you, and you do not know whose heart you may set on fire, simply by sharing it.

1 comment:

  1. AMEN Nick!!
    I love especially this
    "fling wide the gates... let all who know Jesus speak of him... and if I do come across anything that is at odds with the Gospel message in my own meanderings on the web... to gently point this out where necessary."

    As I was reading this post I was thinking of how the Savior said, "suffer the little children to come unto me for such is the kingdom of heaven"... It's not the great secular, or theological knowledge that the Lord smiles upon, it's the contrite and humble heart. Like a child, some of us may not have the greatest speaking skills… indeed we may know very little. But the most important knowledge is to know God. “Knowing God” meaning: to have a very personal and intimate relationship with Him, where one trusts, submits and leans on for all their strength and support... And I can’t think of anyone who knows God better than little children. “Out of the mouth of babes..”
    Great Post! Thanks again!


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