Christianity is often made more complicated than it need be. Sadly, we as Christians are typically the one’s responsible for causing the confusion and creating the unnecessarily complicated platform that has become the common understanding of Christianity to those outside of the faith. We need to reel this back.
In a conversation with a very good friend and pastor just the other evening, he stated that he is longing for revival in America. Social issue have caused much division as of late, with protests and politics working their way into every thread of our community fabric. While I agree that we need revival in America in general, my friend spoke the precise words that I was thinking, “But we need revival in the church first!” How so very true.
The church must come to grips with biblical truth. It must accept this truth regardless of person prejudice, personal feelings, social norms, ever-changing cultural customs and bad theology. Truth is truth, and the bible needs to be the deciding factor in all that. With this as a platform from which to leap, we need to reexamine these truths, simplify what we do as Christians, and above all, make certain that what we take part in is in line with these truths.
Jesus gave us one job when He left the earth. This is frequently called the Great Commission, and can be found in Matthew 28: 19-20
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you”.
So how do we go about this? Some think the best way is to win every argument. While I’ll confess, there are places where arguing in the apologetic sense is right and needs to be done. As someone before me has so wisely stated, there are some hills worth dying on (in a dogmatic theological sense), but they are few.
I think the best way to make disciples is laid out for us in scripture. In the biblical charge to “make disciples, our responsibility is simply stated in Acts 20:27.
For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.
We must share God’s word in its entirety if we are to make true disciples. This means teaching the Word, right from scripture with explanations based on scripture. We must be certain we are not injecting our personal thoughts or feelings into our interpretation. We must make sure that we are not allowing the influences of culture to sway the way we receive God’s word. We must not allow our political leanings to be the deciding factor in how we relate God’s word to the people who need to hear it. We are doing no one any favors when we soften God’s word so that a person is less offended or “convicted” by what God’s truths are. As a matter of fact, when we do this we are acting in a counterproductive manner, and are disrespecting God. Worse yet, we are allowing beliefs that may affect the eternity of the very people you are trying to reach.
Our responsibility is to share the gospel – NOT change people’s minds, influence their opinions, or even convert them to Christianity. In other words, ours is not to change the hearts and minds of the people. This is the sole responsibility of the Holy Spirit. We plant seeds and water, the Holy Spirit does the changing of hearts and minds and harvesting.
The gospel is ours to share, and the word of God is ours to teach. But the hearts are God’s alone to receive, as only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction and change. We are NOT the Holy Spirit. Stop trying to be. Stop making this more difficult than it needs to be. Simply share the Word simply. Allow God to do thew rest.