Why do Christians share their Faith?
- An atheist friend once asked me "why do Christians share their faith?"
- The post below is a brief response to this question.
A Definition or Three
- In answering the question, I will be using three terms that may be unfamiliar to some individuals. These terms are (a) gospel, (b) witness, and (c) witnessing. Let us look briefly at the meaning of these words.
- The Gospel is the good news that we can be reconciled with God through Jesus Christ.
- To witness, is to share this good news with another person.
- Witnessing, is the act of sharing this good news with another person.
The Great Commission
- The classic Bible-passage (on witnessing) is Matthew 28:18-20
- Then Jesus came to them and said, "… go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
- Note: Jesus commandments are to love our family, our friends, our neighbors and even people who might choose to be our enemies … and to walk humbly with God…
Calvinism or Arminianism?
- Note: Calvinism and Arminianism are two positions within Christianity.
- I will answer from both perspectives...
- The bottom line is that we witness out of obedience to Jesus Christ (whether we are Calvinists or Arminians).
- If you are an Arminian, you witness to indeed SAVE souls. If you didn't witness to them, they would end up eternally separated from God. So, you witness to them because you care, and because you care, deeply.
- If you are a Calvinist, you witness to be a player in the unfolding tapestry that God is weaving; the person is going to be saved (or not) whether you participate or not. However, if you don't obey God (and participate in witnessing to that person), some other Christian will be more obedient to God (and will participate in witnessing to that person). And that Christian witnesses both because they care for that person, and because they care deeply for God (and so wish to obey him).
Word Pictures (analogies)
- Sometimes it is easier to answer with word-pictures... so, here (below) are some...
- The "you" being referred to in the analogies (word-pictures) are "non-Christians".
The House (analogy)
- It is the middle of the night. Your house is on fire... I bang on your door to wake you up. Fire! I yell. You wake up, and you choose to believe me or not. I see the smoke, I see the flames. Maybe you don't. I try to convince you that there is a fire, so you will run out of the house and be saved. A few months ago, a neighbor had similarly woken me up when my house was on fire, and I had run out and been saved.
The Office (analogy)
- It is broad daylight. Your office building is on fire, and you are on the third floor. The firemen yell for you to jump from the office window; we have a trampoline-safety-net; we will catch you. Will you trust us enough to jump and so be saved from the fire? Maybe you will, maybe you wont. A few months ago, I had jumped similarly and been saved from an office fire. In gratitude I had become a volunteer fireman.
The Train (analogy)
- A 6 year-old child playing on the train tracks. You see a train coming. You run to the tracks to get her off the tracks. But she beats you off, and runs back onto the tracks to play with her toys there. You sob in anguish as the train runs her over.
The Vest (analogy)
- Your partner thinks he is invincible and skips his bullet-proof vest as the two of you go into a drug-infested tenement. As you go up the stairs, two shots are fired out of the darkness. One hits you in the chest and knocks you unconscious on the landing. A few minutes later as you come back to consciousness (having been protected by your vest), you notice that the second shot went through your partner's heart. He is dead. If only he had listened to you, and used his vest.
- I have just discovered the "experience" of Belgian Chocolate. I am in love (with the chocolate). I wish you to experience this. So I invite you to share this experience (out of my friendship and love for you). Hearing about it from me, is nowhere near experiencing it. You are skeptical. But I know that once you have experienced the chocolate, you will be in love (with the chocolate, just as I am). Only once you have truly tasted the chocolate will you truly experience (and know) the joy, the sensuality, the richness-of-life brought out by a box of this chocolate. And so I invite you, and you accept (or refuse)... What more can I do?
- I have just discovered the "experience" of Starbucks Coffee. I am in love (with the coffee). I wish you to experience this. So I invite you to share this experience (out of my friendship and love for you). Hearing about it from me, is nowhere near experiencing it. You are skeptical. But I know that once you have experienced a cup, you will be in love (with the coffee, just as I am). Only once you have truly tasted the coffee will you truly experience (and know) the joy, the sensuality, the richness-of-life brought out by a simple cup of delight. And so I invite you, and you accept (or refuse)... What more can I do?
- These analogies are a small attempt to present different aspects of what committed Christians have experienced (in meeting Christ, and being in daily relationship with the God who created the Universe), and why we Christians share the gospel, and our stories, with others...
- We were asked the question "Why do Christians share their faith?"
- And in answer… Christians share their faith out of love (for God and for our fellow human beings).
Grace and Peace to you
- Wishing you Peace and Joy through Jesus Christ.