Friday, March 24, 2006

The Point of It All...

“What’s the point of it all?,” you may have asked once or twice before. I’ve been asking that a lot lately…not because I feel hopeless and desperate for answers, but because I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching and rethinking my faith.

In my last post about being destination minded, I touched on what I think is a root issue with too many professing Christians. They say they have this “great commission,” but if you ask them what that is, they’ll probably say something along the lines of “winning souls, making converts or leading others to Christ.” I’m not saying that this is misguided or wrong, but I often question the motivation and techniques. It’s not the “what” so much as the “why” that bothers me.

It has been my experience that most Christians are concerned with how many folks they’ve led to Christ…meaning led to an altar somewhere (not necessarily in church), but definitely resulting in something resembling “the sinner’s prayer” (as if there is a script). They are concerned about getting these folks “cleaned up and in church,” because that’s the natural progression of things.

The central motivation seems to be that we need to “save” as many people from hellfire as possible. We feel that the only good fruit is the number of converts we’ve “won.” We envision The Father keeping a scorecard just like our Sunday school teachers used to do on the chalk/poster/felt board.

Likewise, we support church plans and programs that promote our evangelistic agenda. We imagine that if we combine our efforts with some slick church marketing we’ll double and triple our production of converts. After awhile, it becomes increasingly apparent that we’re just small cogs in the assembly line to mass produce baby Christians. And that’s what Jesus was about, right? Winning souls by the millions? Increasing the size of His kingdom through mass marketing?

Uh…no.

The real point of all this is to expand His kingdom one person at a time, which may or may not include you “walking them down the Roman Road” or “leading them through the sinners’ prayer.” God is totally capable of bringing in all the lost and wayward souls He wants or needs in His kingdom, but I don’t think He’s trying to reach some occupancy limit in heaven.

I believe He’s building His kingdom right here on the earth. His purpose is to reconcile, repair and restore. He’s using Jesus-centered people of every race and walk of life to accomplish that. He’s given us grace…and it is sufficient enough for every person with whom we come into contact.

Stay tuned for more on the subject of this grace…

1 comment:

Christine said...

Hey, Nolesie, I've been going through the whole rethink, too, and I like the way you've applied it, here.
It's been so long since I thought in the "old" terms of Christianity, it's nice to have it all clearly defined in front of me, to look it over and think at it from a different perspective and ponder it a while.

I mostly do a lot more praying about people, than I used to. A lot more of Putting-it-into-God's-Hands-and-seeing-what-He-comes-up-with-for-me-to-do, because my own powers and actions seem so limited and uninspired.


*still going only 60 on the highway*
:D