“Put your sword back in its place!”

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Since we Christians are more often identified by what we hate than by how we love, it’s not entirely shocking that terms like: “Christian, Church, and Evangelical” in the pre-christian’s lexicon are pejoratives. We’ve made it quite clear what we are against but we haven’t shown them what we’re for. Jesus wasn’t identified as “that sin-hater.” When he asked his disciples what people thought of him, Peter didn’t say: “Some think you’re against the Romans, others think you hate the Samaritans, others think you can’t stand gays!”

Our rallying call is never to be “Man your battle stations!” Dan Kimball asks, “When you are studying apologetics, does your heart break in compassion for the people you are preparing to talk to? Or are you stockpiling ammunition to show them that they’re wrong?”

Though sometimes we have to debate the truth and even don the prophet’s robe, but when we do, we must leave our sword at home. “No more of this!” Jesus scolded Peter. “Put the sword back in its place.”

Calamitous evangelistic strategies notwithstanding, how might we proceed to persuade people in the general direction of our Friend?

– Originally published in Reaching Rahab: Joining God In His Quest For Friends

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