On March 13, 1904, a statue of Jesus was placed on the border of Argentina and Chile. Known as “Christ of the Andes” – the monument stood for peace between the two countries. But the confrontational, self-preserving nature of man soon reared its ugly head. The Chileans began to protest that they had been slighted because the statue had its back turned to Chile. Thankfully, one Chilean newspaper saved the day. One of its columnists wrote an editorial that not only satisfied his countrymen, but made them laugh. It read – “The people of Argentina need more watching over than the Chileans.” – Bits & Pieces, June 25, 1992.
Isn’t it ironic, that even a statue of Jesus turned into a seed of contention between two countries? It reminds us that whenever we bring our own will into religion, we are destined to fail. Job made an excellent point in Job 6:25 when he said, “How forceful are right words! But what does your arguing prove?” The truth itself is more than enough to convict the soul. When we add any spirit of disagreement to the truth, it seems less desirable and is quickly rejected.
A major barrier to evangelism is often the attitude by which the gospel is communicated. By grace, God has been patient with us and given us the opportunity to understand the Bible. Once we do understand it, we can be so excited by what we have learned that sometimes we have a hard time allowing others enough time to learn the truth as well.
Remember these important steps in reaching out to others with God’s word:
1. Have enough compassion for the souls of others that you will be willing to communicate what you have learned.
2. Keep from arguing with others about the Bible. Start talking in areas that you have in common and let the Bible guide you together.
3. Always be willing to change your views, if they conflict with the teachings of Scripture.
Remember, God raised up His own symbol of love, peace, and reconciliation. The cross of Christ remains a reminder that all men can be united with their Creator and with one another. But how we view that symbol, and how we communicate it to others, is up to us.
“And that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” ~ Ephesians 2:16
AUTHOR: Jeremiah Tatum