Previously, I wrote a post, just some ranting and rambling really, about why I don't actively 'evangelize' (in the traditional sense of the word) my non-Christian friends. You can read it here.
At the end of the post I questioned what we, as Christians should do because traditional evangelism doesn't work (in my opinion). I left the post kind of hanging with this:
Ok, not 'nothing'. But we live. Our daily practical lives of eating, driving, working, parenting, and pooping. We just live. And in that living, we be Christ to those around us. Without condition, without preaching, without going around quoting the Bible (which more and more people declare "a book of fairy tales" and will outright reject). Just love people as Christ loves them. That's it and that's all.
Am I wrong? I posted a link to that post on Reddit to see what would happen. I got an interesting comment from an atheist that kind of surprised me. Basically it was this: I'd respect you more if you WERE being pushy. If you claim to have this great truth, why aren't you doing everything you can to share it with everyone?
Well, that was the crux of what I was trying to say in that original post. But let me be clear on one thing. I don't claim to have received some divine revelation about what the truth is. Many think that God is unknowable except my some opening of the heavens. I don't think that's true. I think that an observation of history, by looking at things that are tangible, places that exist, artifacts, and writings the truth is there. Truth is truth - it's not something you feel, it's not something that can be debated, it just IS. Now I don't think it's possible for any one person to know ALL truth, that's impossible, but I do think that one look at things that ARE and see the TRUTH.
But there's a problem here. Since none of us can see ALL truth, the truth I see is different from the truth you see. That doesn't mean either of us sees something wrong, it just means that we're looking at the same thing and are seeing it differently.
What we all must do, part of our purpose as beings on this planet, is to respond to the truth that see, to follow where that truth leads and learn as much of it as possible and ACT on the truth that we have.
My search for truth has lead me to the conclusion that there is a God and that God has revealed himself in history and that history has been recorded in what we know at the Bible. Many will dismiss the Bible because it is "that religious book", but those books have in fact been grouped together because they are history. Is it a record of all history? Of ALL truth? No. But it is truth. I've shared bits and pieces of how I got there in other posts in this blog. Someday I will write it all out in one shot... but another time.
But the point I'm trying to get to is that I DON'T have this 'mystical' truth. I have historical truth. The same that is available to everyone with a lot of time and lots of reading.
Since that truth is 'out there' do I really need to load up and go around repeating it over and over again to everyone I see? I don't think so. What I do need to do is ACT on that truth every minute of every hour of every day. If it is truth, then it's reality. If it's reality, I should walk and talk and chew gum in response to that reality.
Do I always do it right? No. And it's because I can't always, 100% of the time, do it right that I can't go around telling people to walk and talk and chew gum the way that I do, because I fail at it.
I can't in one breath say "Hey, check out this Jesus guy" and in the next say "Je*** H. Chr*** I stubbed my toe, holy f***ing sh** that hurts!"
So what should I do? Am I failing in what many call "The Great Commission"? (In case you don't know, it's this: "... go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." - Matthew 28:19-20 Many preachers and churches take this to mean that one of our main jobs as Christians is to always, at every opportunity, preach and convert everyone we meet.)
By not preaching at every opportunity, by not constantly talking about Jesus to my friends, am I a failure as a Christian? As my atheist friend on Reddit said, am I showing a lack of respect to my friends by not giving them the truth I know?
I don't think so. Because I think it's more important to SHOW the truth than to constantly talk about it. But as I said before, I fail at that too, at least by the world's standards. They love to find a Christian that has failed as point to them and say "Look at that! How can his God be real when he acts like THAT?" But poor actions don't change the truth.
So I'm a failure all around. I admit that. I own it. I accept it. But my action or inaction doesn't change truth. It doesn't change what is REAL.
I've totally lost track of where I was going with this rant. But let me say this. Truth is truth.Truth is what is real, truth is reality. But truth and reality are complex. Very, very, very complex. No one can know all truth. But anyone that claims to have a divine revelation of truth should be taken with multiple grains of salt.
As humans we need to act and respond to the truth that we can see. We need to look and examine and dig into truth to learn as much as we can and then live accordingly. Admitting all the time that often we will fail to live up to that truth but continuing to strive for that goal all the time.
Actions more than words will always so a better job of representing truth, of truly mirroring reality.