Friday, January 9, 2009

Proselytizing - What is our duty?

I was recently listening to the radio, and the man was talking about Penn, from Penn and Teller, and mentioned a video on YouTube with Penn talking about a man who gave him a Bible and was witnessing to him. If you don’t know, Penn is a staunch atheist, and many times in these little clips on YouTube he talks in an extremely negative way about religion of any kind, and even has a clip which is titled, “The Bible is b____t”. There is almost nothing I agree with this man on, except two things. One, magic is entertaining, and secondly, proselytizing is the duty of all Christians.

If you get a chance, I would encourage you to watch the video. It’s well worth the time. “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize,” is his question, and I think it’s something we all need to ask.

Now, I’ve heard all the excuses. “What if they ask a question I can’t answer,” or “I just don’t know enough about the Bible.” “I’m not good at communicating” tends to go along with those. Of course, Jesus said this; “So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!” (Luke 21:14-15) The important thing, according to Jesus, is faith. Of course, we all need to do what we can to understand our faith in a logical way so we can explain it (I Peter 3:15), but let’s not wait until we have all the answers. If we do that, we will never take the gospel to the world.

My personal favorite excuse, simply because it sounds so holy and righteous, is “I’m going to live my faith, and let that be my testimony." Interestingly, Jesus never said, “go into all the nations and live the gospel.” Of course, we need to live our faith in a very real, vibrant way, but that is not all. We must speak it. It needs to be told. Yes, we need to be polite. Yes, we need to not shove it down throats. But too often that is an excuse for silence, when it should be an excuse for not being obnoxious.

I’m not suggesting here that I haven’t failed. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This convicted me like I hope it does for a lot of people. We must be disciples who tell the world. They are dying, and unfortunately, there are many who are going to hell, either because they have never heard, or they haven’t heard the message given in love. That is our duty.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. – Matthew 28:18-20


A Gracious Home said...

I enjoyed your post but I would like to know what is an Evangelical Methodist Church?

Stephen Miller said...

You can check out their site at