Friday, July 21, 2006

Purpose Driven Believer

I try to live a purpose driven life. For me, “purpose driven” is the only logical way to approach decisions and set priorities. Purpose driven methodology is a series of questions and answers that lead to a goal and an appropriate level of commitment made to reach that goal. “What”, “why”, “how”, and usually “when” questions all need to be answered before the right decision can be made, the proper priority determined, and the appropriate level of commitment made.

There is no doubt in my mind that spreading the Gospel message should be the top priority of Christians and Christianity in America. When we get to heaven, we will all be at the mercy of God for salvation. Non-believers need to know what Christians believe and why Christians believe what they believe in order for them to also have the opportunity of eternal life through the grace and forgiveness of God.

Christianity is not just about the afterlife, though. While on earth, everyone has some control over the society they share with others. By spreading the Gospel message and defending the faith, Christians can maintain a just society while helping others understand the traditional Christian view of salvation and everlasting life. Before departing earth, Jesus told his disciples to teach others what he had taught them. Believers are expected to follow His example and do what He said.

The “how” question regarding the spread of the Gospel message is not as easily answered as the “what” and “why” questions. While this is not the only issue that divides believers, it is a Christian purpose that can have many different approaches. From my perspective, many of the different approaches to spreading the Gospel do as much harm as good in reaching the unsaved, but my perspective has many limitations. Therefore, I am careful not to criticize anyone who is going about spreading the Gospel message the way they think is best and most effective.

However, when forming their own view and opinions, most people are just as observant of the actions of others as they are considerate of the views of others. Therefore, it is mandatory for Christians to be accurate in facts, clear in explanations, and consistent in actions because living the Gospel in a transparent way is an essential component of spreading the Gospel.

Living the Gospel means behaving and acting in ways that are consistent with the Gospel message being proclaimed. Some behaviors are mandatory. Some behaviors and actions will vary depending on the abilities, circumstances, and tolerance for risk of the believer. Some behaviors are not absolutely mandatory, but should be a part of the life of the mature Christian. Praying, fasting, and giving are all obviously part of this list of behaviors Christians should be doing. In my next post, I will make the case for why political participation also belongs on the list of behaviors of mature Christians in America.

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