I have a hard time with evangelism. It’s become a struggle for me to openly share what I really believe. I have moments where I talk about my time at church and brief moments where I can share that I don’t believe what some people have experienced of Christianity is correct, but I don’t really have moments where I articulate what I fully believe anymore.
When I was in high school, I was much better at this. This morning as I was sipping coffee and eating eggs, I thought about one person in particular–one of my friends in high school. She always asked good questions–questions about evolution, homosexuality, politics and social justice. She was a rare gift to me–someone who not only didn’t blow me off as an annoying Christian but also didn’t just accept what I said as absolute truth. She created a very interesting dialogue. When we graduated, I remember her telling me that she wished she had such certain beliefs as me. I felt really proud in that moment, like I had accomplished something just short of miraculous. I had lived in front on this person with an assured and certain faith, yet she recognized something I did not yet recognize myself. She saw that when I spoke of my faith, I spoke of a whole bundle of things I was certain about. And she could not be certain of my entire bundle.
For me, Christianity included so many things. It included republican politics. It included creationism. It included the right to tell everyone else they were wrong. It included male leadership. It included the fact that homosexuality was most certainly the worst of all sins. It included a lot of absolute truths. But in it all, THE TRUTH seemed slightly diminished.
Now when I think of my friend, I wish I would have told her a little about my doubts. I wish I would have spoke far less about anything other than Christ when I spoke of Christianity. She may have been able to accept Christ if he hadn’t been republican, anti-science and a homophobe–all things that I don’t believe Christ is.
I want to live my life everyday full of Christ. I want my actions, thoughts, words and spirit to be Christ-like. And when I speak of Christianity, I want to speak of Christ. And only Christ. I find myself in a place where evangelism no longer includes an agenda. It includes a persona. Christian ethical behavior can be–and should be–taught to those of us who have entered into God’s story; but when the invitation is sent, I simply want to invite people to Christ. I trust Him to do the rest.