Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Quick Thought: Chameleon Evangelisation
Since Westboro Baptist Church's "elder" Fred Phelps died, the attention the church has gained has intrigued me. At the same time, however, it embarrasses me that members of WBC call themselves "Christian". What they do - and more specifically how they do it - is diametrically opposed to Christianity. They want to win souls for God, but sometimes you can win the battle but lose the soul.
The church's actions have made me seriously think about how I evangelise and how I talk to people about Christ and the Catholic Church. I have also thought about my own failings as a human being. I'm a Christian. I am a Catholic-Christian. I'm not a perfect Catholic-Christian nor am I perfect human being. What I am is this:
I am a person made in the image and likeness of God doing his best to cooperate with God's grace and liveout the Gospel message. This means that at times I will strongly disagree with some societal trends, certain behaviours, and even go as far as to call them "sinful". At times I may fall, stumble, and seem hypocritical, but such failings are not indicative of what I believe in or what I stand for, no; they are indictments on my own failings as a human being. I desire to continue to grow in holiness and become more Christ-like.
The world is changing and it has become so diverse. As a Christian, to help bring the Gospel message to others, I may be required to speak differently to others depending on their personal context - as Christ did - in order for the Gospel message to be heard. As St. Paul writes in Corinthians, I must "become all things to all men":
"For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law—though not being myself under the law—that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law—not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ—that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." - 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
This does not mean that I compromise my beliefs or suddenly become tolerant of sin or actions that are contrary to Natural Law, but rather I am required to look at others through the eyes of Christ and to see Christ in the eyes of others. Blend in, but remain steadfast in who you are:
"Learn who you are in the eyes of God." - St. Eugene de Mazenod