Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How do we persuade people to love God?

QuestionI beleieve that love is more a matter of will than feelings. So how does one convince another to fall in love? You can set two people up on a date based on similar interests but how do you actually persuade them to love each other...particularly when you think it should be easy if it is simply a choice.

How do you see our role as Christians being carried out in evangelization without being "salesmen" for Christ?


I once made the mistake of thinking that if Love is a choice, than I should reasonably be able to choose who I would fall in love with. I noticed that if I had an interest in a girl, and it was not reciprocated, I could pretty easily get over it. (Looking back, that's probably because I had not invested enough emotionally in the first place....)

So one day, a fairly attractive, Christ seeking woman began pursueing me. I was not interested. Women like to know the reason why, and I think that if I were to offer a reason, it would be jusdging her or based on my pride, and I knew that. She sincerely desired holiness and loved God, and I did find her objectively attractive, so I decided to make a go of it, and choose to love her.

It was an utter disaster. Now I think that there is an element of love, I call it 'spark', which has no rational, and is not really subject to the will (though you can choose to be romantic...) but is kind of- supernatural. I still think the will is very highly involved- even being married now, I can choose to dwell on my wifes faults, or I can focus on her virtues. You can imagine which one will fan the spark into a flame, and which one will smother it and put it out. But the spark itself has to be there.

This causes problems for loving God, if you follow the analogy all the way through. But this is actually a theological question for me anyway. The Bible says "You did not choose me, but I chose you." So how can we choose Christ anyway? This is actually a massive debate among Christians, and the churches teaching on the matter is unclear to me. But I think that it can basically come down to the same thing as with my wife- did I choose her, or did she choose me? We both choose.

I think that if we want people to want Chrsitianity, if we are going to effectively evangelize, we have to do it as lovers, not as salespeople. You can't sell Christianity. You can only tell people how wonderful Christ is and how glad you are to be in love with Him, and hope other people will eventually fall in love with Him too. I already do that with my wife- tell people how wonderful she is, and hope people will love her. (but not as much as I do!)

As a youth coordinator, I kind of 'set people up on dates', if you will, with God- set the environment, create the occaision, then sit back and hope that they meet God themselves.

No comments:

Post a Comment