Evangelism: Saving the World One Christian At A Time

Around 1500 B.C, there was a new form of god practice that was happening in Persia and Rome, called Mithra. Mithra, was known as the Sun god. This god was worshiped so they could properly receive an abundance of health, wealth and food. Mithra became so popular that they named him, the King of gods, the lord of heaven and earth, he was the mediator between heaven and earth. What’s even more interesting about Mithra was this, Mithra was born on December 25th by the virgin Anahita. Mithra was born in a manger and was visited and taken care of by shepherds. He traveled around and taught. He brought around twelve people with him. He performed miracles. Mithra sacrificed himself for the good of the world.

When the first century world heard our modern gospel message of Jesus, this was not new news. This wasn’t even good news.

In the first century all Israelite’s knew, anyone who was crucified on a cross was rejected by his people, he was cursed by the people of God, the law of God, and was cut off from all community and the essence which makes life worth living. Anyone who was called a blasphemer was not only cut off from community of people, but, also from the community of God.

When the first century world heard our modern gospel message of Jesus, this was not new news. This wasn’t even good news.

When the people in Rome heard the message of the Cross, they automatically went to the symbolism of that day. In that day, people who were crucified, were considered slaves and rebels, and, being crucified was considered to be the most degrading kind of punishment. Thus people in Rome considered Jesus to be unrespectable and perverse. For people in Rome, no person crucified could even be respected because they were a traitor to the empire. How could they be a God?

When the first century world heard our modern gospel message of Jesus, this was not new news. This wasn’t even good news.

In John 17, in one of Jesus last moments we see a radical prayer being prayed. In Jesus’ prayers for the believers prayed “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” A few chapters earlier we see Jesus tell his disciples “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

I believe this is the essence to Evangelism. It’s not what we have to say to the world. Rather, it is the way that we learn how to love each other. When we are able to lovingly serve one another, when we can put aside our theological and ecumenical differences and be one, just as Jesus and the father one, then the world will know who God is. They will know Jesus by the way that we love each other.  Last week Jimmy Spencer wrote an article (http://bit.ly/gSGq8O) proclaiming the coming tear between the Protestant Evangelicals. And, while the language in the blog is a bit biased, the truth of the tear is all the more real. We must learn how to lovingly disagree with each other in our differences. We must learn how to respect the image of God in the other person, and, that the individuality of each person, makes the community all the more stronger (1 cor 12:12).

We must learn how to be Christians, in order to invite others into following The Way with us. This radical movement of faith, hope and love, began with a core group of believers sacrificing and giving up everything for each other. When they served each other and the world, the world was drawn to its unity and love, that the invitation of Jesus was already moving in them. As Christians, we are called to become magnetic communities, where our love for each other, will pull people in. In realizing this split between us, I pray that we learn that the person on the side of the road in the Good Samaritan, might actually be our Christian brothers and sisters. Without each other, the world will not know God, as much as when we are with each other. Saving the world, means, loving one another first. Saving the world, means saving the world, one Christian at a time.

I can no longer condemn or hate a brother [or sister] for whom I pray, no matter how much trouble he causes me. His face that hitherto may have been strange and intolerable to me is transformed through intercession into the countenance of a brother for whom Christ died.- Life Together

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3 thoughts on “Evangelism: Saving the World One Christian At A Time

  1. berrytc44 says:

    The first two paragraphs are almost word for word what Rob Bell said. The only problem is that it isn’t true. I am not going into all the misconceptions and interpretations of history because that would be a really long post. The real issue is this…if those things about Mithra and other “gods” are true what does that mean for Jesus? How is he unique then? Lastly, why believe Jesus is any different then the made up stories of mythology? All of these questions are raised from this post and unfortunately there is no real good answer when this view of history is taken.

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