Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Burning buildings, drowning victims.......and evangelism-- part 2

I remember clearly the calls to evangelize given by speakers as they used the burning building or drowning victim illustrations. As stated in my last post, I find stating unbelievers are in a burning building and it is the Christian's job to warn them of the danger puts the emphasis on the conversion, not on discipleship.
I also think these illustrations to motivate evangelism also inspire a "talk at ya and convince ya" type of evangelism.  I need to tell you from safety that you are drowning or in a burning building. I need to point out your sin to convince you that you are a sinner and you need a savior. The Roman Road approach. While I am certain there are many who have been converted by this manner, I just don't see this in Scripture.
Philippians 2 tells us to have the same attitude or mind that Christ had--who was God but didn't claim hold to his rights as God but instead humbled himself as a servant even unto death. The picture I see in Philippians is Jesus jumping into the water or running into the building. God didn't shout how sinful we are from heaven then jump down to die on the Cross and rise again. Instead, as John's Gospel states, The Word tabernacled with us. God made his dwelling with us, walked among us so we could see his glory.  And swept a bunch of people along for the journey of salvation. I wonder if Christians adopted the Philippians 2 attitude in their evangelism if the world would look a little differently.

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