The Internet Monk has become must read amongst the many blogs I scan. Today, his post How to Talk to an Evangelical on a Journey is exceptionally good reading.
As you can guess from my title, I do have one note, and if you know me, you may be aware that I can’t help introducing this note with a story.
I was leading a study group some years back in a church that was divided over issues of worship styles and spiritual gifts, which could be called disputes over just how the Holy Spirit would work in a church. Members of this group had been the targets of attempts to “evangelize” or more accurately to move them from one group to the other. Some of those attempts had involved belittling their faith or commitment to Christ.
I asked the various members to tell me what approaches had seemed most hurtful and least constructive to them. They batted around a number of examples. Then I said, “I wonder if any of us have used these approaches on non-Christians?” (That “us” was definitely inclusive, by the way.) We all admitted that we had and then continued with a vigorous and helpful discussion of how one can share without talking down.
That’s why I used “ANYONE” in my title. While there are some elements that are specific to current evangelical journeys, I think all of the points can be adapted to nearly any situation. We would all do well to read them carefully and apply them wisely.