Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Not-So-Great Commission

The Great Commission? Honestly, I'm not always a fan.
At least not the way I normally see it done.
Yes, Christ told us to take His gospel into the world.
In only one place in the Bible does He give us these instructions:
Go and make disciples of all nations...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.--Matthew 28:19-20

But He didn't say HOW.
He didn't say TELL them.

Why can't we teach by showing them?
Why can't God speak up for Himself?
The Bible seems to think He can.

Are you going to plead Baal's cause? If Baal is really a god, he can defend himself...--Judges 6:31

Baal couldn't, of course, but the God of Israel can and does:
No plan of Yours can be thwarted.--Job 42:2
Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him.--Psalm 115:3

God does not need us to preach.
In preaching to unbelievers we too often look and sound exactly like those with whom we disagree--with atheists, for instance. An atheist believes as fervently as I do, and he or she wants the same thing I do. He wants to convince me he's right.
"Agree with me," he says. "Admit I'm right, or you will pay the price of your folly."
That, my friend, is preaching boiled down to its simplest component.
And we, trying to fulfill what we think Christ commanded, often do exactly the same.

Better, I think, to do what Christ told us to do not once, but many times:
Believe. Obey. Follow. Love. Forgive. Serve.
In doing these, we will not only speak the Gospel. We will BECOME the Gospel.