Thursday, April 13, 2006

Pimping the Gospel

Here's an link to a blog entry from "Out of Ur" that articulates a tendency I see in the Christian church to shortcut communication of the gospel. Jonathan Yarboro, a church planter from Boone, North Carolina, calls it "Pimping Jesus: Consumerism and the Red-light Gospel".

It is easy to get people to make quick decisions for Christ when they think it will get them special privileges at the shelter or extra size meal portions when they are hungry. It may take a while for a person who is addicted or who has been beaten down to trust us enough to listen to what we have to say about Jesus, so we must first show the love of Christ by our deeds.

As we communicate we need to understand what the listeners are really hearing. Words spoken in a vacuum will be meaningless if the listeners are not also seeing consistency in our deeds. A person who was regularly abused by his or her father, may have a difficult time experiencing God as a loving heavenly father until they first experience a human father figure that they can relate to. We need to model the life and teaching of Jesus, love and listen, and when we know they understand, call them to a lifetime commitment to follow Jesus.
"While we’ve been pimping out the gospel, the real Jesus is weeping because he wants a lifelong relationship that includes joy, forgiveness, brokenness, hardship, and intimacy."

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