… someone to not tell them about Jesus?  I think there is a danger to so focus on serving others and showing compassion to those in need that we never share the good news of Jesus Christ with those who need it.  We want to love on people – great!  We want to show compassion wonderful!  But if we are operating under some misguided notion that we never have to tell – we actually are hating our neighbor, not loving them.

Penn Gillette of Penn & Teller, an avowed atheist, points that out:

“I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. If you believe that there’s a heaven and hell, and people could be going to hell, and you think, ‘Well, it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward’…How much do you have to hate somebody not to proselytize?”

Truth from an unlikely source.  You can watch his vlog where he discusses this below:

HT: Bill Kinnon

32 comments
  1. This is a frequent rub in urban ministry circles, which often tend to be on the more liberal side of Evangelicalism.

    There is such an emphasis on ‘getting the guy a job’ or ‘seeing that she gets justice’, which are obviously valid issues, without recognition of the reality that if I get the guy a job and he becomes a productive member of society but goes to hell, then I reqally didn’t help him much.

    At the bottom of this is a denial of hell, wrath, and divine displeasure with sin; or worse, apathy about those things.

    Shame the pagans have to point these things out to us. No wonder we have such a credibility problem!

    Steves last blog post..The Intersection of Theology and Experience

  2. This is a frequent rub in urban ministry circles, which often tend to be on the more liberal side of Evangelicalism.

    There is such an emphasis on ‘getting the guy a job’ or ‘seeing that she gets justice’, which are obviously valid issues, without recognition of the reality that if I get the guy a job and he becomes a productive member of society but goes to hell, then I reqally didn’t help him much.

    At the bottom of this is a denial of hell, wrath, and divine displeasure with sin; or worse, apathy about those things.

    Shame the pagans have to point these things out to us. No wonder we have such a credibility problem!

    Steves last blog post..The Intersection of Theology and Experience

  3. “At the bottom of this is a denial of hell, wrath, and divine displeasure with sin; or worse, apathy about those things.” (Steve)

    Steve’s right – there is a denial about this ‘hell’ thing. But to me it seems Steve has ethics confused – concerning importance.

    The person getting a job and becoming a productive member of society is an alleviation of ‘hell’. That person was in dire straits and likely would of committed actions in question – maybe causing hell for himself and for others (becoming useless to society). That’s a change we can all cheer about. Some confession is an alleviation of some hell none of us know exists – and this takes precedence? Wha, wha, what!

    True witnessing is done with one’s life – yes speaking is involved – but discipleship is quite the key (or mentoring). If people see the way we treat each other and how this community functions – people will want to join and love joining. We don’t really need to accost people in their private time to win them over – heck – live a life worth admiring or run some programs out of the church that mean a lot – people will love ya.

    SocietyVss last blog post..#300 Post – Do They Know It’s Christmas Time (at all)

  4. “At the bottom of this is a denial of hell, wrath, and divine displeasure with sin; or worse, apathy about those things.” (Steve)

    Steve’s right – there is a denial about this ‘hell’ thing. But to me it seems Steve has ethics confused – concerning importance.

    The person getting a job and becoming a productive member of society is an alleviation of ‘hell’. That person was in dire straits and likely would of committed actions in question – maybe causing hell for himself and for others (becoming useless to society). That’s a change we can all cheer about. Some confession is an alleviation of some hell none of us know exists – and this takes precedence? Wha, wha, what!

    True witnessing is done with one’s life – yes speaking is involved – but discipleship is quite the key (or mentoring). If people see the way we treat each other and how this community functions – people will want to join and love joining. We don’t really need to accost people in their private time to win them over – heck – live a life worth admiring or run some programs out of the church that mean a lot – people will love ya.

    SocietyVss last blog post..#300 Post – Do They Know It’s Christmas Time (at all)

  5. @Dave – yes that was pretty incredible. Don’t expect hearing such things from atheists.

    @Rachel and @Andy – Amen

    @Steve – I agree that in many circles the focus is the temporal, not the eternal.

    @SocietyVs – I don’t think Steve has his ethics confused. He isn’t saying meeting practical needs is not important or that we shouldn’t do it. Just that eternity lasts a heck of a lot longer than our lifetimes on earth and we would be remiss not to share about how one can know they can have eternal life.

    If I had good news like that (and I do) I would be a complete jerk not sharing it.

  6. @Dave – yes that was pretty incredible. Don’t expect hearing such things from atheists.

    @Rachel and @Andy – Amen

    @Steve – I agree that in many circles the focus is the temporal, not the eternal.

    @SocietyVs – I don’t think Steve has his ethics confused. He isn’t saying meeting practical needs is not important or that we shouldn’t do it. Just that eternity lasts a heck of a lot longer than our lifetimes on earth and we would be remiss not to share about how one can know they can have eternal life.

    If I had good news like that (and I do) I would be a complete jerk not sharing it.

  7. I think it would be good for this generation of Christians to reexamine what biblical (agape) love is.

    It necessarily involves action, sacrifice, others-centeredness, and an unconditional quality. And it’s difficult to love people if you don’t value them.

    We’re told to love one another, love our enemies and love our neighbor as ourselves. How can I love my neighbor, who is without Christ, and fail to communicate the coming wrath and the possibility of being reconciled with God?

    I can’t.

    If there is no effort or desire on my part to share Christ with my neighbors, it is difficult to assert that I love them.

    So I think that’s really the issue here. We need our hearts stirred to love as Jesus loves. We need to repent of our lovelessness and inaction. We should be weeping for the lost.

    Great video.

    Steves last blog post..The Intersection of Theology and Experience

  8. I think it would be good for this generation of Christians to reexamine what biblical (agape) love is.

    It necessarily involves action, sacrifice, others-centeredness, and an unconditional quality. And it’s difficult to love people if you don’t value them.

    We’re told to love one another, love our enemies and love our neighbor as ourselves. How can I love my neighbor, who is without Christ, and fail to communicate the coming wrath and the possibility of being reconciled with God?

    I can’t.

    If there is no effort or desire on my part to share Christ with my neighbors, it is difficult to assert that I love them.

    So I think that’s really the issue here. We need our hearts stirred to love as Jesus loves. We need to repent of our lovelessness and inaction. We should be weeping for the lost.

    Great video.

    Steves last blog post..The Intersection of Theology and Experience

  9. “Dang, Jason. We define Hell differently too?” (Steve)

    I think there is ‘hell’ now and thats of most importance – but I also think there is an afterlife. As for hell – I think we need to deal with that now – its a message of helping someone to better their lives. I am not against evangelization per se – if people want to share door to door or on the streets that’s cool – its not my focus in life.

    “If I had good news like that (and I do) I would be a complete jerk not sharing it” (Shane)

    In a way I agree Shane – if I had the answers to some people’s problems and they approached me with these concerns – to not share some solutions for that problem would be selfish (and in a way – mean). But for me – my faith is about dealing with morals and direct problems – not some basic original sin mentality and the atonement. For me, the atonement is very complete – what needs to be shared is Jesus’ insight into God and humanity (and I find this approach has worked excellently).

    Societyvss last blog post..#300 Post – Do They Know It’s Christmas Time (at all)

  10. “Dang, Jason. We define Hell differently too?” (Steve)

    I think there is ‘hell’ now and thats of most importance – but I also think there is an afterlife. As for hell – I think we need to deal with that now – its a message of helping someone to better their lives. I am not against evangelization per se – if people want to share door to door or on the streets that’s cool – its not my focus in life.

    “If I had good news like that (and I do) I would be a complete jerk not sharing it” (Shane)

    In a way I agree Shane – if I had the answers to some people’s problems and they approached me with these concerns – to not share some solutions for that problem would be selfish (and in a way – mean). But for me – my faith is about dealing with morals and direct problems – not some basic original sin mentality and the atonement. For me, the atonement is very complete – what needs to be shared is Jesus’ insight into God and humanity (and I find this approach has worked excellently).

    Societyvss last blog post..#300 Post – Do They Know It’s Christmas Time (at all)

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