I think many people have heard The Gospel or a variation of it. However, how many have truly heard it in ways they understand as it relates to them?
I ponder this as I think of both the people I have passed by or met and not shared it, or I shared it in a way they could not understand or accept it.
I sometimes get criticized by the way I dress during my casual hours, or among my friends in the Biker Community. I also get criticized by the types of music I listen to, or the places I hang out. For those that criticize they may not truly understand that the presentation of the truth is more important that wrapper in which it is delivered.
You see there are many who have heard the gospel, but hurt by the organization that presented it. Whether it was by unnecessary judgement, such as the way they look, talk, or dress. They may have been judged because of their vices, mistakes, or even being divorced. There have been people who also see Christianity as a tool for division, and yes, even war, as many wars were started or fought over both land and religion.
There is an old saying, “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” I do not necessarily believe you do as the Romans, but you may certainly be more tolerated or accepted if you dress and speak more like them. Trust me in what I say that many of those turned off by the church, may know a whole lot more about the bible than those in the church. Never make the mistake of thinking otherwise. Walk alongside of them, speak in terms that are understood by them, in an empathetic, non-judgemental way. Often, all you have to do to build trust, is to be an empathetic listener, and speak in a way they understand. Jesus did this in parables.
Jesus didn’t say don’t go into the bars, or back alleys. He didn’t say don’t go to those that look, speak, or talk differently than you do. He said,
…“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
So if and what I am criticized for the way I dress, or whom I may be around, or the areas I go into or ride, I say, “I seek the follow the example of The Beautiful Outlaw in Jesus Christ.” And He never looked upon the outward appearance, he looked upon the heart.