NO JESUS, NO PEACE! KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE!
I have pretty much always viewed evangelism as running through the mall trying to get people who don’t look like Christians to accept Jesus by giving them a tract. I thought I would have to learn all about other cultures, not just foreign ones, but also the different cultures here in America i.e. the hip-hop kids, the “MTV” generation, hippy granola-heads, and pretty much every other group of people that don’t wear button-down shirts and khakis. You would basically need a Ph.D. just to follow “The Great Commission,” something Jesus gave to a bunch of illiterate fishermen. I’m a bona-fide college dropout, so by my own viewpoints, I was a failure Christian.
But God brought me to the first few verses of 1 Corinthians 2:
And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Just to clarify, I’m not saying this gives free reign to run around willy-nilly shouting “JESUS SAVES! NO JESUS, NO PEACE! KNOW JESUS, KNOW PEACE!” to people who dress differently than you. We aren’t meant to judge people’s hearts based on such shallow externals as their clothes/makeup. Salvation should result from relationship, but that’s fodder for another post for another day! I’m also not saying that I should confuse my opinions on God with His word. That’s dangerous and I’d be accountable for it. The only thing we should speak is what we know to be 100%, beyond a shadow of a doubt truth. If what I’m saying doesn’t bring hope and resonate through to my most basic DNA, I should probably think about keeping my mouth shut.
I believe these verses mean that no person can be fully equipped and educated to be ready for any situation they might come against. People are fickle and all the preparation in the world can become outdated and obsolete in mere seconds. But God’s truth is timeless. Jesus’ life, death, and redemption are a truth that applies to the very fiber of our person, and is therefore a part of every culture, ethnicity, race, gender, age-group, etc.
I’m working on putting together a curriculum for relationship education for middle/senior high schools. I have been reading blogs, books, websites, sticky-notes, pretty much anything I can get my hands on that will help me be effective at what I am passionate about, helping teenagers realize their passions and live the best life possible. I believe that’s only possible with God, who, before time began, developed those passions inside all of us. I’ve recently realized that I’m wasting my time with all of this. Not that I shouldn’t stay educated in my field, but these things shouldn’t be the basis for what I bring to my students. I need to come to them knowing only the hope that is Jesus Christ and His crucifixion. How can that bring hope and direction to someone who is just figuring life out, and how can I bring it to them in a government-funded, church-state separate (which I agree with!) school without getting a nice letter from the ACLU? I guess that’s what I’m going to be working on for a while now…