A Two Paragraph Parable
Karl was troubled. The medical researcher looked out the window and down into the valley of the mid-sized town he called home. He had only lived there three years, but it had become in every real sense “home.” He loved its climate, its rhythms, and most of all, it’s people. The self-important mayor and the “largest T-ball association” baseball league all held a particular charm for him. This was a good place and he was glad he had accepted the job at the bio-tech research facility connected to the University.
But now, as he looked out over his little piece of the American dream, a tear ran down the line between his cheek and nose. His research had proved to him, without a milligram of doubt, that nearly everyone in town was afflicted with a fatal disease. They didn’t feel sick, though some felt a sense of unease and that they were “not quite right.” The nature of the toxin infecting the entire town was systemic to the area. It could be removed and the damage could be undone but first the population would have to be convinced that they were indeed sick. Then they would have to be persuaded to take the remedy. Neither was going to be easy.
The two paragraphs above are fiction, written to set up this analogy: Most of America is infected with a disease called “post-Christianityism.” They know that all is not right with their “brand” of Christianity but they don’t know what’s wrong.
The thing that’s wrong–is they are living off the coupons of a previous generation’s belief system. Here are some of the facts informing the diagnosis of “post-Christianityism.”
Little or no passion in worship.
Little or no desire for God’s word.
A willingness to know more than we do.
A belief that they are Christians already though there is no transformed life as evidence.
An unwillingness to risk rejection for preaching the gospel.
An inability to articulate basic Christian doctrines like the virgin birth of Christ, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on behalf of sinners, the deity of Christ, the resurrection, etc.
An unwillingness to stand for the truth “once delivered.”
7 thoughts on “Penetrating Post-Christian Communities with the Gospel”
The more we live and do what we know as you suggest in point #3, the more we will help our communities. Persevere in what you are doing. You seem to be on the right track with your passion to revive evangelism/discipleship at the grass roots level.
in addition, I believe a major focus needs to be made to evangelize youth and young adults using the language they easily understand, multimedia – movies & songs. Young minds are continuously influenced by our culture which is driven by movies, songs, entertainment. Are we as Christians able to compete with the worldly enterprises in getting our message out there? Many try, but we seem way behind and getting our fannies kicked. Mel Gibson with Passion of the Christ made a significant impact. But then what did he do? He went back to making movies and seemingly living a lifestyle that gives a very poor witness. Shouldn’t we at least have one movie with a solid Christian message in the running for Best Picture of the Year every year? Song of the Year?
I just did a little research and found this about The Blind Side:
The Blind Side is one of those rare movies that demonstrates religious principles in a subtle way. While the Christian woman isn’t perfect (and Bullock plays the role with a bit of her usual edge), she is obviously a caring individual—even if she’s not afraid to give the football coach (or anyone else for that matter) a piece of her opinionated mind. Yet it is the humble Michael who ends up teaching her a few much-needed lessons—especially when he opens her eyes to a world where her pat answers and ready solutions don’t address the real problems.
And we are supposed to have the answers to the real problems, right?
Paul is right on! We need to break into pop the culture. Atheism has captured the young minds through the pop culture, I’m convinced we must win it back the same way.
Guys like you with your artistic skills, need to stay on the cutting edge of your craft and your walk with God. Keep praying and working to represent Christ with excellence.
Speaking of pop culture, I would love to get feedback from anyone and everyone for my comic book that has just gone online, but especially folks who know the bible inside and out. It’s a story set in a fantastic world and the character presents Christianity as I see it. Opinions and constructive criticism needed and greatly appreciated. The site is–www.ORANGEPEEL3.com
I checked out the comic book. Excellent effort. The graphics are first class. I only read it once quickly. My first impression is that the dialogue needs some work. When I think of comic books, I think of younger minds like 6th, 7th & 8th graders, which is a great age-group to try to evangelize. However, some of the dialogue doesn’t seem right for them. I think the dialogue and story line has to be more like C. S. Lewis’ Lord of the Rings. However, keep up the excellent work and keep refining it. I believe the Holy Spirit is leading you to reach many through this comic book approach. I’ll do another reading, make some notes and give you feedback via your email address. And I will pray for you. Maybe your comic books will evangelize my grandkids.
Thanks for the feedback Paul ! Yeah, I’m an artist, not as much a writer. This is the first thing I have ever both written and drawn. I had to write it though because I know of no professional in the comic book field that writes from an openly Christian viewpoint. The good thing, thanks to computers, is that I can go back a change and improve the dialog fairly easily. I’ve already adjusted some the dialog based of feedback from a few people. Please send any more thoughts you have about the comic book my way.
As far as the audience, I created it for older teens and young adults. The conversation with the Red Menace character in the latter half of the story, is like a conversation between myself now, and the person I was twenty-five years ago (about twenty years old). Although it is written for older kids it can be read by younger readers. My two daughters (nine and twelve) read it, and although they said they understood it, I’m sure some of it went right over their heads. They seemed to like it though.
How do we reach the religious lost that have been inoculated against the true faith? The same way we reach everyone else – preach the law of God, the justice of the judge, and the atoning death of the one who died for His people. The methodology (whatever is used) must clearly carry the true biblical gospel. Our mission is clear, and it is the Holy Spirit who will take it from there.