Thursday, March 12, 2009

Witnessing is not Loving

If I have had this conversation with you before, forgive me, but I wanted to blog it out as well...

I am still bothered by a discussion I had last year with a KPC member (at that time) regarding an upcoming "Block Party" we were about to host in our neighborhood.

I was told that by hosting a "Block Party" without any intentions of having an altar call, that we were being "carnal".  (I HATE theological jargon).   I explained that the point of the event was not to accomplish anything, but instead to just build relationships of love with our neighbors.

The response, "Well, at least I can go around sharing the gospel to people that show up, even if you don't preach anything."

My response, "I don't think I want you going around doing that, the point of the event is just to get to know and love people right now."

The response I received is the basis for this post:
"Isn't sharing the gospel with people loving them?"

So... is it?  Is walking around sharing the "Good News" with people always loving?

I believe the Bible shouts, "NO!"

Proverbs 27:14 - If you shout a greeting to your neighbor too early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse.

What is the point of this verse?  It is saying that something that is good (greeting), when done in the wrong time (early in the morning), or the wrong way (shouted), will NOT ONLY be rejected, but will have the OPPOSITE effect (taken as a curse).

How does this apply?  The Gospel is a greeting--it's great news for the world!  But, if we don't love people and use discernment in our timing, presentation, and perceived reception, not only could the Gospel presentation not be received as a loving gesture, but it could be received as an act of spite.

Given this principle, we can know that WITNESSING IS NOT LOVING someone, when there is not love already present.  However, logically speaking, loving someone does imply (at some point) witnessing.

How about you?  Do you see the difference?  Know anyone shouting their greetings too early in the morning?