Sunday, July 11, 2010

Too cool?

“It has happened to me again. A friend of mine has become a Christian. I have known him for many years and have always been concerned about his relationship with God. In the past couple of years, he made some very bad decisions about his life, and I wondered if he would ever be open to the gospel. But I didn’t want to rush into talking to him about Jesus. I wanted to take it slow — to win his confidence. I didn’t want to take any chances of offending him.

While I was waiting for the right moment, someone he worked with came up to him one day at work and asked, ‘Are you going to heaven or hell?’ Can you believe that? How tacky. How insensitive and uncool. It must have been a tract-wielding fundamentalist. But . . . uh . . . my friend had never been asked that question. It bothered him. He decided he didn’t want to go to a place called ‘hell.’ To make a long story short, my friend continued talking to the ‘fanatic’ and became a Christian. Now he is preparing to go to Bible school so he can be a minister.

Uh . . . you don’t suppose this strategy of trying not to offend people is flawed, do you? You don’t suppose that the gospel is offensive by definition? You don’t suppose that anytime you talk to people about Jesus, you risk offending them? Or that being offended just might be part of the process of conversion?”

-- Mike Yaconelli, The Wittenburg Door, sometime in the late 80s.

HT: Ray Ortlund

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