Thursday, April 09, 2009

Share Your Faith or Preach Jesus?

I don’t like to be picky about words and phrases, but lately I have come to deplore the terms, “share your faith” and “outreach.” I cannot find any Biblical reason to use them and can think of many ways in which they are unhelpful.

First off, read through the book of Acts some day and see how many times words like preach, teach and proclaim are used in reference to the Gospel. There is a reason for that. The Gospel is news, but it is also a message to be obeyed. When we say we are going to “share our faith” it sounds like a) it is one faith among many that we want others to appreciate and b) that it is a uniquely personal religion (“my” faith). True Christianity is neither one among equals nor something that gets to be defined by the user. And the message of the Gospel, since it is both correct and intrinsically demands a response, must therefore be proclaimed... not just shared like a cup of tea.

Secondly, I don’t even know what “outreach” is supposed to mean? If it means, “reach out to people,” well, okay. But that is not evangelism. And I fear that our “reaching out” with gifts and services may start to feel like we are meeting our evangelistic obligation.

So, Resurrection Sunday is here! (Do you even know what the actual word “Easter” means?) And that makes a great time to preach Jesus.