A Dangerous Attitude Toward Evangelism

There’s a cliché floating around that greatly concerns me.

Now let me be clear. I wouldn’t call it a heresy. I think it’s simply a misunderstanding. But misunderstandings can become plagues if not snipped in the bud.

What I’m talking about is this idea that, as Christians, we are supposed to let our actions be the utmost testimony to the world. I recently read a couple articles about two NFL quarterbacks whom adhered to this dangerous attitude toward evangelism.

“I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since. Some players get more vocal about it … some point to Heaven after scoring a touchdown and praise God after games. I have no problem with that. But I don’t do it, and don’t think it makes me any less a Christian. I just want my actions to speak louder, and I don’t want to be more of a target for criticism than I already am.

“——- will not stand on the bleachers and shout; but he will privately live that life consistently with Jesus. I love that about him.”

While such statements bear some truth, the attitude they exhibit is not completely Biblical. Here is why.

There is a constant theme throughout the Old and New Testaments that when believers are filled with God’s Spirit, they spoke His truth. Here are just a couple examples.

“Then the Spirit clothed Amasai, chief of the thirty, and he said,” 1 Chronicles 12:18

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me … to proclaim liberty to the captives.” Isaiah 61:1-2 (later repeated by Jesus in Luke 4)

“But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Sprit, looked intently at him and said,” Acts 13:9

And Jesus, our Lord, is the paramount example.

“And Jesus, fill of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days being tempted by the devil … And Jesus answered,” Luke 4:1-2,4

The Bible is packed with countless other examples.

People loved Jesus when He would heal the sick; the crowds flocked to His presence when He fed them. But it was His words that separated the sheep from the goats. His verbal testimony is what provoked people to pick up stones to kill Him.

Paul wasn’t beheaded because he lived a private Christian life. The Apostle James wasn’t slaughtered by Herod’s sword because he attended church. Christians in North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and India are not electrocuted, burned at the stake, and forced to watch the murder of their families simply because their behavior emits religion. Christ followers are martyred for their fearless proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is then echoed by their lifestyle as a cornerstone.

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If our actions fail to support our words, we are hypocrites. If our words don’t overflow as a result of our salvation, then we need to evaluate if we are finding our satisfaction in God alone. We will naturally talk about what–or whom–we find joy in.

This timidity may very well be rooted in a buried, bashful fear of man. Such has been an enduring struggle in my life. I need to constantly ask myself if I’m seeking the approval of man over the approval of Yahweh.

Proverbs 29:25 says the fear of man is a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe. I don’t like to share my faith. In fact, if I were to be blunt, I hate it. Naturally, I love the approval of man. I hate rejection. I hate the weird stigma that comes with not knowing how to start a “spiritual conversation. I am terrified of talking to people about the Gospel. I would much rather preach a message or hide behind my computer screen in a blog post. But Jesus’ Church is built on the blood of martyrs who unashamedly embraced persecution for proclaiming the Gospel. And for the rest of my life, I am going to have to make war against the flesh that desires the world’s recognition rather than hearing those words “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:23).

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The Bible is crystal clear. We must be bold in sharing the Gospel holistically. Souls hang in the balance.

Oh, trust me, I’m 110% for living a life that is “worthy of the calling we have received” (Ephesians 4:1). But our mission will never be complete until we speak for what we stand for.

Don’t allow crazy “preachers” at  your college campus deceive you. There is a way to share your faith with others that doesn’t make you seem like a madman.

Let’s not succumb to this ineffectual attitude of American Christianity. It will prevent us from accomplishing what the Holy Spirit yearns to do in us.

“The world can do nothing to a Christian who has no fear of man. -Brother Yun”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? Any how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news! … so faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:14-15, 17

Your Friend, D.Kim
Acts 20:24
FTM

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Why I Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore

I apologize for the fact that it has been half a millennia since I last updated my blog.  Yes, I have been busy, but that is no excuse.  We are all busy and we are all capable of making time for the things we care about.

I have been in the process of reading through the book of Acts 30 times.  It has been very challenging but so incredibly convicting and eye-opening.

It is sad to say that for the most part, the church in America has become an irrelevant institution.  Of course there are many factors that play into this such as politics, lack of leadership, hypocritical acts by the church, etc but has it ever struck you that church was never supposed to be a building?  Before I dove into the book of Acts that’s what I thought church was, people getting together on Sundays, singing some songs, listening to a guy with a polished message, eating some donuts and coffee, and then going home to begin the week.  This is never what church was meant to be.  It is simply how we do church in America.

When I read Acts, I am blown away by how POWERFUL the first church was.  Crippled people were healed, dead people were raised back to life, and literally THOUSANDS of people were baptized and became followers of Jesus Christ.  The book is quickly becoming one of my favorite books of the bible!  I have learned so much but there have been 2 themes that have really convicted me as I have studied the Acts of the Apostles.

1.  BIBLICAL Fellowship.
I grew up in a Korean church when I was little.  Every Sunday after service, moms would take turns cooking lunch for the entire church.  Downstairs in the basement we had a “fellowship” hall which is where we would eat.  The hall was also used for youth group, sunday school, and other gatherings.  Therefore, growing up I thought that is what fellowship was.  Getting together, eating, talking, just spending time with one another.

In Acts fellowship was more than just a gathering, it was an unstoppable movement.  Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-37 gives us some of the best views in all of scripture of what BIBLICAL fellowship looks like.

” And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved” – Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)

“2 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.34  There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” Acts 4:32-37 (ESV, Emphasis Mine)

The words “one” and “together” come up over and over again throughout this book.  The idea of BIBLICAL fellowship was more than just spending time with one another.  It was unity, the idea that these people were closer than family.  So deep that “there was not a needy person among them” (4:34).  Yes, I believe that building relationships is important and there is a time and place for that.  But BIBLICAL fellowship occurs sparsely in America today, one of the reasons we don’t tend to see the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

2.  Perseverance Through PERSECUTION
The more I read through Acts, the more I realize that I don’t get persecuted enough for my faith.  It is because of my lack of boldness.  It is pretty despicable and I am no where close to as bold as the first believers were.

In Acts 5:17-42 the Apostles have been arrested for disobeying the high priest’s command to stop telling others about Jesus.  Take note that this is not the first or second time that they have been arrested for their boldness.  Eventually they are freed but before they are let go they are beaten and charged once again not to speak in the name of Jesus (5:40). What stuns me is their reaction to persecution.

“Then they left the presence of the council, REJOICING that they were counted WORTHY to SUFFER DISHONOR for the name.  And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they DID NOT CEASE teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.” – Acts 5:41-42 (ESV, Emphasis Mine)

Are you guys picturing this?!?  These guys just got beaten, like PHYSICALLY BEATEN for sharing Christ and they walk out celebrating like Lebron James would if he won a championship.  Think about how discouraged we tend to get when we are “persecuted” for our faith in America.  The apostles treated persecution as the greatest honor for a follower of Jesus Christ.  To even be associated with the person of Jesus Christ was an utmost honor to them and it should be for us as well.  Because if we are not willing to face bold opposition we are not ready to be boldly used by God.

Everything I have learned can be summed up into one statement:  I don’t want to go to church anymore.  I don’t want to go to church because the church was never supposed to be a building.  The church was supposed to be an unstoppable force, unlike anything that this world has ever seen.  Therefore I want to stop going to church and I want to start to BE the church.  I want to start to BE the church to my roommate and my suitemates.  I want to BE the church to my teammates, coaches, trainers, and fellow student athletes.  Ultimately, I want to BE the church to Spartan Nation and the world who needs God’s love so desperately.

It is time that we stop going to church and start being what was meant to be the most powerful force on earth:  the body of believers.

Your Friend, Derek Kim
Acts 20:24
FTM