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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

“Lost and Found”: More on Narcissistic Evangelism

If you read yesterday’s post, “Narcissistic Evangelism,” then this morning’s reflection from the gem of a devotional book, Celtic Daily Prayer, may seem poignantly relevant.  Member of the Northumbria Community Aidan Clarke writes: “What I believe about Jesus could not be contained in a thousand books.  I believe in Jesus more than I believe in the pen with which I am writing these words.  I cannot, however, expect you to believe my beliefs.  Imagine you meet me in a cafe and I introduce you to a friend. I say, ‘This is Jesus.’  I do not then give you a list of things you must believe about His family and a thick book to memorize before I let you speak to Him.  I don’t ask you to believe in Him- because you can see Him for yourself.  I ask you only to trust Him and to get to know Him.”

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Clarke speaks to the crux of what I am calling “narcissistic evangelism.”  It’s no wonder that the Dan Savages of this world are turned off by Christianity when they’re implicitly told that knowing Jesus equates with simply adhering to a prescribed set of moral codes or applying every part of the Bible literally, devoid of its historical context.  When we introduce Jesus to people by asking them to accept at the outset a list of beliefs about Jesus or His ethical expectations for us, we are, I think, as lost as the people we claim to be evangelizing.

I guess I’m inclined to think that our “lostness” and our “foundness” depend in any given moment on where we are standing in relation to Jesus. What do you think? Leave your reflections below.

Next, some reflections on nature and grace from this “pessimistic optimist” (to borrow Reinhold Niebuhr’s expression).

  • Kristina Robb-Dover

    Hi Adam,
    Thanks for reading and for your insights! I like the metaphor of adoption. “We cannot convince anyone to fall in love with Jesus, but we can show them that they are loved…” especially resonates.
    Hope all’s well for you and your beautiful family.
    Kristina

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Adam Bruso

    KRISTINA I am so sorry I just realized I spelled your name wrong. Please forgive me. :)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Adam Bruso

    Great blog post Christina. I believe that as Christians we have been tasked to be adoption agents. Evangelism is sharing with the world that there is a perfect and loving Father who loves them, and is not mad at them. This father wants to bring them into a new identity, and destiny that was intended for them from the beginning of time. We Christians hold the adoption papers for the world who has never encountered this perfect love, grace, and mercy. The adoption process can take years or it can take seconds depending on where in the process we find the person. We cannot convence anyone to fall in love with Jesus, but we can show them that they are loved, and that they have been purchased by a loving Father.

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