What NOT to do as Christ’s Ambassador
Once we took our son to see the Rose Bowl Parade. Shortly before start time, an unofficial parade-before-the-parade began. A group of “Repent or go to hell” sign carriers walked the route, shouting through bullhorns…
“Confess your sins or go to hell.”
A man sitting close to us started heckling them. Then a sign-carrier took offense and started yelling back through his bullhorn. Soon a tense in-your-face screaming match began. It was a teachable moment for our son – a real-life example of what not to do as Christ’s ambassador.
Sadly, the “Repent” bullhorn carrier embodies what many people think of evangelism today. Just the word “evangelism” is loaded with negative connotations of pushing one’s agenda onto other people like this sign-wielding man. In a recent Barna survey almost half of practicing millennial Christians said,
“It is wrong to share one’s personal beliefs with someone of a different faith in hopes that they will one day share the same faith.”
You might think so too.
Recently, I suggested to a young, church-going woman that she should love people of
other faiths enough to share the good news of Jesus. It stung her ears. She believed that I was advocating “hate speech.” She had adopted the cultural belief that every religion is fundamentally the same. She wanted to take a part of Jesus and mold Him into what she wanted Him to be, then add a friendly, happy, Hollywood version of another faith. I realized then that she didn’t have a real understanding of the biblical faith Sadly, no one had passed on to her that she served a living, holy God who called her to be an Ambassador for Christ.
Freedom to Share
People have different beliefs about who God is. And I’m thankful to live in a country where people are free to pursue their beliefs. And here’s the thing about different beliefs, they can’t all be completely true. I love how succinctly David Platt puts it in his book, Something Needs to Change. “God either exists or he doesn’t, which makes one person’s beliefs true and the other’s false, regardless of how passionately one holds that belief.” Now more than ever, we must know what we believe.
Unfortunately, the cancel culture we’re living in is a reaction to some zealous people who may have overstepped boundaries in the past. Now in an effort to not “push” their faith on people of another faith, most Christians aren’t sharing the hope of Jesus at all.
“I’m afraid to offend someone or rock the boat,” a friend confided. “It’s easier just to keep my mouth shut then mention I’m a follower of Jesus.”
While we’re all struggling to navigate our politically supercharged culture, some are defeated and fatigued from the pandemic. Others are just tired of defending themselves from non-believing co-workers who goad them with conversations about what “all Christians” believe about sex, race, or politics. Through it all, there are very few faith-filled people out in our subdivisions and workplaces sharing the radical, transforming hope of Jesus Christ. Something has gone very wrong.
Yet faith-filled believers can persevere and promote our biblical faith in respectful, loving and hospitable ways. When you come across an immigrant here in the United States, remember they’ve come through a naturalization process. Immigrants, internationals and refugees came here knowing America has a Christian heritage. What if you knew they might already assume you’re a Christian and be disappointed if you hid your Christian faith? What if sharing the good news of Jesus with them isn’t actually as hard as you might have imagined?
Learn more. Find out how religious freedom opens doors for you to share your biblical faith with people of other faiths. Discover simple practical things you can do now to naturally share your biblical faith with love on the April 29, 2021 episode of iHOPE Empowers. Then read this article about what happens when one everyday Christian gets the courage, confidence and know-how to share her faith with people of other faiths and cultures: https://ihopeministries.org/share-hope-during-covid/.
Tags: Ambassador for Christ, Christ’s Ambassador, Evangelism, Biblical faith, Jesus, Share Jesus, Good News, Gospel, Christian Witness, Gospel for Muslims, Religious Freedom, David Platt, Hope of Jesus