Randy Alcorn – Gospel and Niceness

Randy Alcorn is featured over at http://www.sermoncentral.com/ with this article:

When Gianna Jessen (an abortion survivor) spoke at our church recently, she said many memorable things. The one I’ve been thinking about most is to be a follower of Christ you need to be willing to be hated.

I agree.

Of course, this does NOT mean being hateful. Nor does it mean seeking to be hated. Or having a persecution complex, so you think people don’t like you because you’re following Christ, when they actually don’t like you because of how you’re acting.

I am all for graciousness, kindness and servant-hearted love as we speak the truth. I seek to practice this with the non-Christians I’m around. But at some point the greatest kindness we can offer them, coming out of a life of humility and faithfulness to Christ, is the good news about Jesus. That good news actually involves some very bad news about human sinfulness, which is what makes the cross an offense, meaning that it ticks people off.

The danger comes when we live in such fear of being mislabeled that we don’t step forward as unapologetic and unashamed all-out followers of Jesus. They can call us Jesus freaks or ignorant or uncool or intolerant or anything they want; that’s fine. We should do what we believe pleases our Lord, regardless of how it pans out in opinion polls. That includes loving others and giving radically and ministering to the down and out and addressing addictions and saying we think it’s wrong to kill children of all ages and helping people find alternatives. We do such things not seeking the approval of our culture, but of our King.

Alcorn makes these important points in his article. Note especially #3.:

  1. If we seek our culture’s approval, we’ll either never get it or get it only at the expense of failing to represent Christ.
  2. Among some believers the new definition of a good Christian is holding your beliefs privately, not challenging those who publicly share beliefs that dishonor Christ, and avoiding controversy at all costs lest we be perceived as “those kind of Christians” who hate gays, oppose abortion, favor inquisitions and love to burn witches.
  3. There is nothing new or postmodern about the gospel turning some people off. As D. L. Moody said when someone criticized his approach to evangelism, “I like the way I do it better than the way you don’t do it.”It is not gracious and kind to withhold the gospel from those who, according to Jesus, are going to hell without Him. Sometimes what we imagine to be our graciousness and kindness is actually indifference or cowardice.

    “All men will hate you because of me.” Mark 13:13

    “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” John 15:18

Read the article in full here –  http://www.sermoncentral.com/

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