My first Pagan

Yesterday I had a wonderful opportunity to talk with a lady who classified herself as a Pagan. By this she meant that she was into nature, positive/negative energy transfer, re-incarnation, bits of Christianity, evolution, etc. She had constructed her beliefs from her search for truth and had her own unique belief system. I first listened to her beliefs and then had an opportunity to share the biblical gospel. She thought that she was a good person and that her good works outweighed her bad. (energy balance beliefs/karma).

 We had a lenghty talk. She did not agree with the biblical view of our total depravity and the coming judgement for sin. She was in no way humbled by the law. I was hesitant to actually share the gospel, but as she seemed to be genuinely wrestling with the impossibility of anyone being saved, I decided to share the good news of Christ crucified. Her reply was to call it bribery. Wow, talk about throwing your pearls before pigs. I was shocked that she would react so negatively to the gift of God. I have never in my 12 years of Christianity heard someone call the gospel of Christ “Bribery.”

 Besides all this, there was a constant struggle with her post modern mindset. Try as I might, I found it impossible to help her see that what matters is not how hard we believe, but whether or not the object our belief is real.

Oh, well, at least she was really interesting to talk with. I gave her the address of my blog and she said that she might write about our encounter on her blog too.

May God call this lovely lady to repentance from sin and faith in Christ alone.

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8 Responses to My first Pagan

  1. augustrose says:

    Enjoyed the recount of this strange visit. I like your description, “Try as I might, I found it impossible to help her see that what matters is not how hard we believe, but whether or not the object our belief is real.”

    We are only responsible to make our best effort to share. It is on them from there. You planted seeds for the next laborer to water. Hopefully, one day someone will have the opportunity to bring her into the Kingdom because of the seeds you planted.

    God has definately called us all to repentance from sin and faith in Christ alone. We’ll pray she takes Him up on His offer.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks,

    I hope that she might drop in to this blog and post a comment. She said that she would check it out.

  3. Coops says:

    Do you know what her blog is? You could keep in contact like that & maybe be a real help to her over time 🙂

  4. No, I just hope she post’s here. She might even put a link to her blog. We will have to wait and see.

  5. Dave says:

    Hey Daniel,

    First I would just like to thank you for visiting my blog, as I don’t get very many visitors. 🙂

    I’m sure all of us that have been faithful in witnessing for Jesus Christ and sharing our faith with others know that this type of response will be common. I’ve experienced very negative responses to personal evangelism more then once.

    Even within my own church.

    You see, if we keep the topic ‘religious’ and ‘spiritual’ then we usually don’t offend. In other words, if we only talk about the positive, moral aspects of Christianity then we don’t usually hit any nerves. Every religion has moral standards and that’s what religion is for. Religion is an attempt by man to reach God and or to pursue righteousness.

    But without Jesus, it is all self-righteousness and the Bible tells us that our righteousness is as filthy rags. We are all fallen, we all have fallen short of His glory and moral standard. We all have guilt and shame.

    It’s this reality that is so offensive to everyone, even those within the Church. When we start to ‘share’ this part of the gospel message, that’s when we start to see people get uncomfortable and even hostile.

    Because it’s this part of the gospel that exposes peoples self righteousness. It’s this part of the gospel that shows people their true need for someone else’s righteousness and not their own.

    It’s this part of the gospel that I find to be what people don’t want to hear; when I tell them that they are sinners; that they have transgressed God’s holy law; that they are liars, thieves, adulterers, murderers, slanderers, gossips and not worthy to have fellowship with a holy and just God and that their condemnation is just; and that they deserve to live eternally without God in hell.

    This is the part of the gospel that is so often sugar coated by many because of how offensive it is.

    But this is the most effectual part of the gospel and the part that I just can’t leave out. Because even though people will walk away from you, even though they will shake their head and disagree with you, even though they will never want to talk about spiritual things with you again, they will hear you and they will be convicted in their hearts; and one of two things will happen. Slowly God will use your seed to bring them into the light of His truth or they will continue to suppress the truth and live in a lie.

    But for those who are actually given ears to hear and eyes to see, they will hear and know the rest of the story; they will actually hear and understand that Jesus Christ is God and not just a good moral teacher, they will understand why he was born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit. They will understand that Jesus’ ministry was to, at the right time, die for our sins upon the cross, so that we may have eternal life with the Father. This is the ‘good news’, but in order to have ‘good news’ it must accompany ‘bad news’. 🙂

    But……… with saying all of this, I would just like to mention one other thing.

    We are living in a Post Modern World. We are in a Post Christian culture. In other words, we ain’t in Kansas any more. People see things more as ‘what ever works for you’ now days. Objective truth has given way to subjective truth, absolutes have given way to relatives. Spirituality has become more personal, mystical and universal. In other words, Christianity is just another religion in a long list of religions, all paths lead to God, what ever works for you.

    So I have found in my personal experience that just simply sharing the gospel in many cases is so offensive that it leads to separation. In other words, people see you coming and they head the other way, to avoid you. Don’t get me wrong, the gospel has to be shared, because Paul tells us in Romans, I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is necessary for salvation. But I believe that we need to have discerning spirits about when the right time to share the whole gospel is. In other words, we need to be prayerfully watchful for when God opens that door.

    I have found for myself, that my witness is much more effective at first. What I try to do is to develop friendships first. Then pray and then watch for a time when God will bring them to me with questions.

    Sometimes this isn’t possible of course and sometimes you only have time to just simply evangelize; and of course there are many times, when, even after making friends; you still get the cold shoulder.

    So, have I ever wanted to give up? Yeah, many times. There have been many times I’ve asked myself, why? But when I witness people that God has used me to be effective in their lives, I am lovingly encouraged to get back on the horse and proclaim His truth once more to all that would hear. 🙂

    Y.B.I.C,

    Dave

  6. Dave,

    Thanks so much for your rich contribution. Yes, we need to do both: be ready to witness at every opportunity (this includs being friendly); and to build strong friendships with our non-Christian friends and dig in for the long haul.

    I appreciate the time you put in to your comment here. I also liked your blog. (If you have just read Dave’s comment you can link to his blog at http://www.abidinginhisgrace.com

  7. Pastor Chris says:

    As Paul experienced at athens: some ridiculed, some wanted to hear more, some received. (Acts 17.32ff)

    My question to you: what might you want to do differently next time you are in a situation like this? Would you take a different approach?

    Are there facets of the gospel that you would focus on instead of sin, since there was no agreement on that point?

    Pastor Chris
    Evangelism Coach

  8. Thanks for the question. I did try a few different approaches in trying to explain the reality of God and the just judgement to come.

    In hindsight, perhaps I could have focused more on the reality of a created universe; she had some evolutionary ideas mixed in with mysticism that would have been good to pursue further.

    Hey, I don’t expect to bring anyone to belief in God, that is all His job, but I understand where you are coming from Chris. It is good to try to learn from every encounter for next time.

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