jtrhart

Polite Evangelism?

In links on April 26, 2008 at 3:29 pm

philiph and nathanaelI read a quote from C.H. Spurgeon over at Pyromaniacs today:

Men are perishing, and if it be unpolite to tell them so, it can only be so where the devil is the master of the ceremonies.

Out upon your soul-destroying politeness; the Lord give us a little honest love to souls, and this superficial gentility will soon vanish. I could with considerable refreshment to myself pour sarcasm after sarcasm upon religious cowardice. I would cheerfully sharpen my knife and dash it into the heart of this mean vice. There is nothing to be said in its favor.

It is not even humble; it is only pride of too beggarly a sort to own itself.

I loved how he worded this, “Out upon your soul-destroying politeness“. What great use of words there. Politeness is meant to be cordial and make others feel good. When I think of politeness, I think of doing the things my mother always told me to do: always say please and thank you, don’t point, don’t stare, don’t make fun of others, hold open the door and such. Obviously this is a different kind of politeness, this is the kind of politeness where you hold back the real message that is not very acceptable for fear of offending someone.

I’ve often asked myself this, “If I really believed what I believe, that those without a restored relationship with God will spend eternity in hell, why aren’t I more vocal about it?” and an even better question, “If I really believed a soul could be redeemed, why aren’t I sharing this with every person I run into?”

Look at the story of Philip and Nathanael in John 1:43-45:

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

Philip didn’t seem to waste any time telling Nathanael, as soon as he found out who Jesus was, he found Nathanael and told him. I think this sense of not wasting any time combined with the impolite message is much needed today.

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