Friday, November 04, 2005

Turning the World Upside Down

I am currently helping David with some door-to-door work in Belper. Our method is
  • Deliver some leaflets through letter boxes. These are well-produced, glossy affairs. They say something about what Grace Church exists for, what the gospel message is in broad terms, and an invitation to take it further with specific ways of doing this.

  • Follow up with a visit. This has to be done within a week, usually, since people often forget what comes through the door pretty quickly. Though we work together for encouragement, we go to each door as individuals.

  • The visit is low key and friendly, and not a "full-on" evangelistic challenge. We ask if they have seen the leaflet, read it, and what they thought about it. Usually by this stage you know pretty well whether people want to talk further. Most people are not interested, but some do open up a little. Then you can begin to talk about the gospel with them.

Of course, some people like a good bit of banter. This week David and I were out and I met a man who was adamant that there was "not a shred of evidence" for the existence of Jesus, but that there was plenty of evidence for the ancient Egyptian gods! I tried to rectify his view as best I could but he was unmovable. He was willing to believe that Julius Caesar existed, a much less well attested fact, but certainly not Jesus.

In the end I had to accept once again that the real reason that people reject the gospel and the facts surrounding it is not because the facts are not well attested. The real problem is summed up in the natty sentence, The heart of the human problem is problem of the human heart. When people do not want to believe the facts they won't. And they, quite irrationally, do not want to look any further into it. They are content with the view they have. To accept the gospel means big changes. It has implications on belief, decisions, priorities in life, loves, relationships. In other words, your whole world is turned upside down.

It is good to remember this as we meet people and seek to share the gospel. The human hearts that we meet seem to know instinctively the implications of what we are saying. We are not just offering an interesting leaflet, a thought-provoking sermon or Bible study, or nice new people. We are introducing Christ who gives new life and destroys the old.

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