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June 20, 2006

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"It's a great day to get saved."

I kind of like that declaration. Sounds like something Peter were say!

"I don't have much respect for those still doing door-to-door evangelism -- not in today's culture."

But alas, "today's culture" is already amiss, so I would see this as an opportunity to explore what 'hospitality' really is. Especially with strangers as these. The only 'threat' that I can imagine would be if these two were irrational to the point of being threatening. Physical threatening, that is. But if you were spiritually threatened, then perhaps, again, this was an opportunity for you to explore your own spirituality, as well as your own hospitality.

Maybe now is the time to 'map out' future strategies, if by chance a future opportunity comes your way, perhaps formulate a few friendly questions that would let the strangers know that you were open to dialogue, and that discussion is a two-way street, and that you would respect and listen to their story, and would ask that they respect and listen to your story. Too often we are unprepared when confronted with the unknown, and too often we slam the door, not really knowing if the two suited fellows were not in fact Jesus and Peter!

While I have been pondering this whole "door knocking" situation, I was wondering. Maybe in all of this the Holy Spirit was speaking to these two gentlemen that this was their mission for the night. The Lord reminded me of Matthew Chapter 10 when Jesus sends out His twelve Apostles. 10:11-14 Whenever you enter a city or village, search for a worthy man and stay in his home until you leave for the next town. When you are invited into someone's home, give it your blessing. If it turns out to be a worthy home, let your blessing stand; if it is not; take back the blessing. If a village doesn't welcome you or listen to you, shake off the dust of that place from your feet as you leave.

Maybe, just maybe they were Jesus and Peter!

Seraphim, I guess I don't see door-to-door evangelism as "walking the walk". Feeding the poor, clothing the homeless, reaching out to widows, getting involved in the lives of the marginalized -- these are the "real" doors that we should be knocking on, and thereby earning the opportunities to share the good news about Jesus with people, and inviting them to join us in the journey of discipleship.

And yet Jesus sent them out two by two to preach the Gospel. Paul says "We believe therefore we speak".

I think you err brother. Yes I understand it is better if our lives 'shout the gospel' but just as speaking is not enough, neighter is just 'good living' either.

I'shalom

Seraphim

It does seem that some people think the point of being a Christian is to convince other people to say certain words that make them part of the club

I don't know about the convince part, but yes there are certain words and GASP certain things you have to believe.

Romans 10:9 & 10 seem applicable.. but maybe that's just one of those verses that we can understand as not applying today, hmm?

I'm convinced more than ever, that we earn the right to share our faith with those with whom we're already in relationship. Personally, I roll my eyes at door-knockers, but I think that says more about ME (arrogance) than THEM (demonstrating boldness and obedience to Jesus' declaration to "Go...", at least as far as they understand it.) Does this negate the sometimes-effectiveness of "door-knocking"? Nah...just because it's an archaic method to some, doesn't mean it's not actually a fresh or novel approach to the non-churched. I understand your frustration with conventional means of evangelism when so often it's not lived out in the life of the proselytizer...in part, I think that's why so many Christians have become increasingly uncomfortable with being called a "Christian".

The bottom line is God doesn't NEED us to DO anything in order for a person to come to a saving knowledge of Him...but, oh, how He blesses the ones who, motivated by the love and forgiveness and grace and redemption extended to them, in turn, live it out! Knockin' on doors...sharing a meal...opening your home...actively listening and demonstrating concern...cultivating relationship by investing time...even small talk over a couple of beers...I know you know the list has no limits. We're only bound by our lack of creativity in what it means to live it out. I'm praying for a more vivid imagination ;)

Seraphim, thanks for the reminder about the disciples being sent out by 2's. Public evangelism has it's place. I still see a difference between public-space evangelism and private-space evangelism (not sure if that distinction is clear).

Your reference to "we believe therefore we speak" seems to be accompanyied by some presuppositions. Maybe you could break that down a little more for me.

"I think you err brother."

Well, that's sure a possibility, my friend.
I'm still soaking in all that's being shared here.

Blessings.

well -- not serious error, like heresy. i believe your ortho-doxy and ortho-praxy are in good shape. (like you should be worried about my good opinion... forgive me a sinner)

I think the reaction against the door knockers is against a presupposition that there are those who are superficial in their faith. They only do visitation on Mondays and the rest of the time you couldn't convict them of being a Christian in a court of law.

I like St. Frances who said: "Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary use words" but it was St. Paul who said:

(2 Corinthians 4:13) "We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak;"

So I think it's not enough to believe the essentials. We have to also witness by the fruit in our lives... but it's not enough to just have fruit in our lives we have to speak the gospel. Sharing with our hearts and our life styles? Absolutely.

But also opening our mouths and giving verbage to the "hope that is within us"

LYB

God's Peace

Seraphim

If Christ came knocking on my door...you can be sure I'd be blogging about it! and perhaps he did for you,Chris.

Is "Walking the Walk" really knocking on people's doors, telling them "today is a great day to be saved!"?? Every day is a great day to be saved!

"Seraphim, I guess I don't see door-to-door evangelism as "walking the walk". Feeding the poor, clothing the homeless, reaching out to widows, getting involved in the lives of the marginalized -- these are the "real" doors that we should be knocking on, and thereby earning the opportunities to share the good news about Jesus with people, and inviting them to join us in the journey of discipleship."

Amen. right on!
In my opinion, the door-knocking technique is rather outdated, and overrated. Although its not something to be proud of, "door-knockers" have a bad reputation. Living in a small town, you can often find those same people being the "typical judmental and hypocrytical christian" in the eyes of those being witnessed to. How many people in today's culture are really open to "door-knockers"???
Standing on the porch, after you said "Hows your extended family..ect", the man answered "My fmaily is the hardest to reach."
Could that be because they know how we really are? They see all sides of us, and know all of our flaws! Maybe we should be working on that, and fixing the problem from the core, rather then hiding it for a day to go knock on people's door and start out in the same (and in my opinion cheesey) phrase every time.
Yes, many "door-knockers" are genuine, and feel led to "go out there", but how can the "average Joe" decide who is and isn't? Agnostic people aren't stupid, they know when things aren't personalized...and making them feel like you really care about them starts with something very simple. Acceptance.

Is "Walking the Walk" really knocking on people's doors, telling them "today is a great day to be saved!"?? Every day is a great day to be saved!

um, didn't Jesus say something like, "Today is the day of Salvation"

but how can the "average Joe" decide who is and isn't? Agnostic people aren't stupid, they know when things aren't personalized

I'm thinking the Holy Spirit here.

"I'm thinking the Holy Spirit here." -Seraphim

heheheheh... now would this be the same Holy Spirit that was leading my girlfriend who said that it was "leading her" to break up with me because that's what "GOD" wanted right now? =P Looking at how people in todays culture really only WANT to do what THEY want to do, it would take a miracle for it to work. The good news is that God is AWESOME. So it'll work a few times. But what about all the damage that it does. Do we really stop to think about full reprocussions of what we actually are doing? I'm not saying to be timid, we're called to be bold. But throwing rocks with scripture written on it at some guys windows isn't the best way to be a light to the world. Personally door to door is too much like telemarketing, (on a side note I think telemarketers are the new tax colectors of our day) only it's worse cause you can't hang up your door, and there's no National Do NOT KNOCK list.

Looking at how people in todays culture really only WANT to do what THEY want to do, it would take a miracle for it to work.

yes. a miracle. my point exactly.

if i may go out on a limb here (your girlfriends discernment nonwithstanding) I still believe that the Holy Spirit is still the initiator of salvation. Jesus saves. not me.

part of the confusion in the church is the 'invite the world to the church thing' the church is supposed to go to the world.

And what 'damage' exactly are those going door to door doing? the growth rate of the mormans and the jw's are staggering. So we the real Church think we can win the lost by doing nothing?

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