I started reading a book last night. Well, it is more of a booklet than a book. It was a free PDF download that I came across via a link on a friend’s facebook wall. The Booklet is called “Parable of the Dancing God” by Dr C. Baxter Kruger. Perhaps at first impression it might sound like a careless title to give our God, but after reading a number of pages, I realized that it was a fitting title for the book. The basic message of the book from what I can tell so far is the “Father-heart of God”. It uses passages from the Bible to show us that God longs to be close to us; that He is unreserved in His affection and love for us. One illustration that the author gave was the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15). I love this parable!
I gained some new and fresh insights in to this parable last night as I read the original parable again. I noticed that the Prodigal son, didn’t return to his father because he was overwhelmed with love and intrinsic remorse. Instead, he returned to his Father because he needed help. He realized that he was in a desperate situation. He humbled himself and headed back to his Father because he was lost without his Father. This was exciting for me to realize because I know that my initial conversion or repentance came out of a fear and desperation. That was my driving motive. I realized that I had offended and sinned against my Creator. I wasn’t drawn to God out of an inner love and awe for God. I know this comes across as selfish, but let me explain further… I turned to God out of frustration, fear and desperation. He ran towards me with open arms, embraced me and put a ring on my finger (the family ring – for He made me a son, a joint heir with His Son). The Father’s love and mercy, through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross have since wooed me and caused me to love Him and seek him and want to be close to Him.
The reason that I consider this significant enough to blog about is because I am aware that many Christians have a real problem with many of the evangelism methods and techniques that are used by many Christians today. Personally, I love and use the biblical methods for evangelism that have been made popular by Ray Comfort, and Kirk Cameron’s Way of the Master ministry, and in particular, Ray Comfort’s one message called Hell’s Best Kept Secret.
Many believe that this message will turn the unsaved people away from hearing the Gospel message. You really need to listen to the Hell’s Best Kept Secret MP3 before understanding the real truth about this argument though. There is definitely a danger when preaching from the Law to become legalistic and religious, but this is not the case with the biblical use of the law when sharing the Gospel. There are a number of examples given in the New Testament where Jesus used these methods when engaging in discussions with unsaved people (Woman at the Well; Rich Young Ruler..).
Many argue, the unsaved person needs to be “drawn to the Father by the love of the Savior”; “we need to love them to Jesus in a gentle way”. These are nice warm approaches to evangelism and not “wrong or evil”, but as a specific approach to deliberate evangelism efforts, I don’t see them as being what we see modeled in the Scriptures by Jesus and the Disciples. Sure, it is true that our actions and heart need to display love. They may be suitable for individual cases where the sinner is aware of the law and their sin and where they have been hurt by aggressive teachings about the law and sin and Hell. But the average unsaved Australian that I speak to these days is leaning towards the position of “I’m a good person” and not “I’m a sinner, please help me get saved”. So a suitable approach is to first help them see that they are a sinner in need of a Savior and then give them the Good News about our loving Jesus and the sacrifice that He made.
I’m off to read the rest of that book now…