What a wonderful way to start a conversation with someone who doesn’t know Jesus.
The scene, 1977, a group of us are standing in line to see the movie “Star Wars”. We watch as an old, white, van flies across the parking lot. It screeches to a halt, the side door opens and a wild looking hippy emerges and yells, “turn or burn baby, turn or burn. You’re all going to hell.” The door slams closed and the van lurches into a turn, gravel flying.
I wasn’t a Christian at the time. Totally did not get what they were doing. It certainly was ineffective. It stands in my memory as an example of extreme, religious weirdness. But there is a deeper message for me in these wild antics.
A friend of mine recently had a similar experience at a concert. A Christian at a non-Christian concert hearing what appeared to be brothers in Jesus, yelling at the crowd. She was incensed at their horrible presentation of Jesus. The unloving, rude behavior of those who call themselves followers of our King.
What causes us to believe we will reach people by barging into their lives, throwing things verbally or otherwise, and then leaving? I think it is fear. Fear, self-protection gives us the mentality of guerrilla warfare. Hurt them before they can hurt you back, attack and hide.
And fear is what leaves us silent in the face of the opportunity that has been created.
At the movie so long ago, no one said a word. At the concert, people were angry, offended, embarrassed but said nothing.
We are commanded to, “speak the truth in love.”