The Gospel – the Good News of our faith – consists of only 4 major points;
God is God;
Jesus is LORD;
evil is defeated;
and the new creation has begun. (A deeper study of this elsewhere.)
This is good news! And it is usually the case when we have good news to want to share it with others, especially if it will be beneficial to them also. As Jesus said, if you’d misplaced the stash under the mattress, wouldn’t you be glad when you’d found it again?
Good news is worth sharing, and we have the bestest news ever! And it’s FREEE!!
So you can understand that in another town somewhere, two pastors decided to get out and try to be more active in their community about sharing the news. So one morning they stood on the side of the road with a placard. As the first car approached, up went the sign, “turn back and be saved!” As the car continued to race past, the driver yelled out, “get back in your churches you religious nuts!” Then, just after the car veered around the corner, there was a quick screech of brakes – then ……….silence! The first pastor said to the other, “I told you we should have used the sign ‘Bridge Out!’”
Tragically, this is possibly too real to be funny. You may recall the disaster of the bridge collapse in Hobart Tasmania some years ago. People died as they simply drove over the edge of the collapsed bridge section. Even when one person stopped, and ran about trying to stop them, they still drove on to their death. Too many of our neighbours, friends and family are facing death unsure of where they are headed because:
They are going too fast to hear the truth,
They have their own preconceived ideas,
They only hear ‘Christian-ese’,
They see the results of ‘religion’, and
They suffer the ‘Days of Noah’ syndrome.
Let’s look at each of these –
We are all very much aware of today’s ‘rush’ syndrome. In order to keep up with the Joneses, you are expected to keep up with all the current information (just ask medical staff or teachers). You’re supposed to know every latest piece of information relevant to every part of your life; or you may be held accountable for not knowing; or you may be held accountable because you did and didn’t use it according to all the other bits of information. Or you may be held accountable because you did use it and you shouldn’t have. It used to be that information was shared around the fire at home each evening with a hot chocolate, now it’s the ‘information super-highway’ with millions of bits (or is that bytes) of stuff flying around the world at light-speed. This is a way of hiding the truth. If you flood the system, who will find the needle? Have you tried looking for something on the net lately? When you watch the ‘News’ these days, there is hardly a night that goes by when the medical/science report does not have a report of a new disease and a new miracle cure. Who are they trying to convince? At the rate of one cure per night, I’m sure that within a decade at least, every disease, syndrome and dysfunction of the human body will be cured, except for all the new diseases, syndromes and dysfunctions they keep finding. We will be able to live until we’re tired of living. And then we have of course, the greatest cure of all – euthanasia. And in this country too many people are tired of living; they have no hope for carrying on. And many of those are under 30. How can anyone see the truth in all that guff, especially as a lot of it is not anywhere near the truth.
At this point it should be mentioned that all people will only accept information if they can understand it. A simple concept. If you speak English, then you will not accept ideas expressed in Chinese. In the same way, as our 2 pastors noted, we need to speak the language of the listener, not ‘Christian-ese’. It’s time to start telling the people who are heading for the bridge, in plain English, “Destruction ahead”. It is no good speaking of holiness, and Sabbath, and Ten Commandments and righteousness and sin-nature, when the listener does not understand what these terms mean. Perhaps it’s a sign that we don’t understand them ourselves, and therefore merely regurgitate what we’ve already heard because it sounds religious.