“…I hate Christianity so much, I can’t even imagine associating myself to it. Although I’m an atheist, but personally, I think it’s the worst of all religions.” Those were the conclusive words of Paul, a ‘friend’ I met during one of our evangelism sessions.
There are things that your eyes will see and your ears will hear, if you follow the instruction of Christ as laid down in John 15:27, but these are only signs that Christians need to bridge the gap between reality and spirituality. The statement we started with, was made by Paul who was from a good Christian home but lost his mum at the tender age of 10. His dad never remarried, after the incident, probably not because he didn’t want to, but the tragedy hit him so hard, he kept on battling health issues.
Day in, day out, week in, week out, people from church, would visit Paul’s dad at the hospital or at home and pray for him but not once, would they buy provisions or give Paul any financial assistance. It got Paul wondering what the true meaning of Christianity was. A couple of years later, his father passed on and he had to fend for himself.
He found his way to the city and joined a medium sized church, while working in a bakery. After an issue of theft, an order went round for workers to stop sleeping in the bakery and he quickly told brethren in the church. “God will make a way”, “God will surprise you” Was what people he asked for help replied with. Even the pastor’s response was “You are a child of God, and so you can not be stranded”. Three days later, he was fired. Paul quietly withdrew from church and struggled to start a driving school and a transportation business. He didn’t change his name but doesn’t believe in a religion that loves with mouth and not with actions.
As Christians, we should NEVER stop at visitation and prayers if we can help financially or materially because we never can tell if another life like Paul’s is attached. These days, many Christians prefer to take what they see as the easy way out – Prayers; rather than go the extra mile to carter for the needs of others when they can afford it just so they don’t feel inconvenienced. It doesn’t make one bit of sense praying for someone when that pressing need is what you have the capacity to carry.
One habit that would definitely help our evangelism sometimes, isn’t the amount of sermon we preach or the number of times we visit, but the care we show to those in need. A small church in Australia successfully converted almost the whole community to their members, simply because they served refreshments after every service. You don’t necessarily have to be tagged Mr Helper or Mrs Helper as some people who help for show but quietly follow Deuteronomy 16:7.
Finally, we as Christians need to collectively change the tag of “People that can pray but can’t help” and think deeply about Luke 3:11. Love your ‘neighbor’ as yourself. Neighbour isn’t necessarily the guy living next door; but anyone in need of any assistance you can render. Many people have been lost from the fold when all they get is prayers and nothing more. We need to take proverbs 28:27 more seriously and we’ll surely see a productive evangelism.
Don’t get it all wrong. Prayer is the most important gift you can give to someone but stopping at that when you can help has done nothing but rubbish the prayer and to some extent, painted you as a hypocrite. Christians are not stingy hypocrites. We are givers who love, care and help not just one another but other people irrespective of religion, tradition and belief.
I hope this makes some sense. Thanks and stay blessed.
Mature Minds Talk.