Monday, October 1, 2012

Evangelism and the Personal Relationship

Every once in a while various parts of Christianity get up to a "why do we suck at evangelism?" discussion. Inevitably, into this discussion various ideas are discussed, many of which sound suspiciously like either the latest pop-psych or NLP re-spun for religious crowds. If you cast a wide enough net, you start to realize there are plenty of people interested in community, intentionality, men's and women's groups, various sorts of mentorship, etc... This stuff has nothing to do with Christianity- some of it has to do with humans living decently on this planet, which would be helpful assuming Christians ever get round to realizing they'd like to live decently on this planet, rather than talking a big game and yet still staying plugged into the matrix.

One thing that is kind of unique is this personal relationship with Jesus business.
Most people just sort of assume that this is universally a good thing, but what it generally does is leave men a bit confused, and women with warm fuzzy feelings. Okay, there are men out there with warm fuzzy feelings too, and there's probably a woman or to in my camp- we analyze things we've done in the past under the influence of this 'relationship' and wonder how we can screw up that badly.

So, what is the fundamental flaw here? What people desperately need here is trandscendence, and with this personal relationship business, there is none of it.
It is so far hidden from the average American that, well, why should they go to church on Sunday? They've got a personal relationship, and in lieu of that, they've got personal relationships with a lot of other cool people, and after all it's Sunday and the weather is nice- why not go out picnicking or something instead?

Some people say God does not exist, and in a strict sense I would agree with them, because saying God exists categorizes him as part of the existing order. Everything in the existing order is knowable,to an extent which defies the mystery of God.

So, the ardent soldier on, laboring under the misapprehension that the personal hasn't been addressed thirty thousand times already. We would save more souls with a "God is not your boyfriend/husband/lover" campaign. Seriously. There are too many self-satisfied pseudo-Christian obviously wasting time and money doing things that have nothing to do with God's will, and in many cases the 'personal relationship' allows them to justify themselves via their feelings rather than trying to find out what exactly it is that God wants.

No comments: