I have noticed a few things lately in talking with people here in Merkel. These people are not Church of Christ but they do know a little about the Church. After talking to a few on some deep issues I have noticed that there tends to be a negative feeling about the Church. Basically what seems to have happened is there are a few people out there that don’t come across with love when spiritual issues are being discussed, I am NOT saying that we should be passive about issues that are important to God. What I am saying is that when we approach issues we must do so with an overflow of Love. I am guilty of having a certain amount of animosity from time to time that I must keep in check if I am to be more like Christ. Let me also restate (for the record) that I don’t think we need to back down at all on the issues that are vital to Christ and His doctrine. Showing the proper amount of love opens people up to the truth.
    I met someone once who wanted to talk to me about my views on homosexuality. The first thing I did was listened (unusual, because I tend to want to talk their heads off). She told me about her life; that she was Catholic and that there were people within Catholicism that said she was going to Hell because of the way she lives. She explained that they didn’t offer an explanation as to why. She also told me about another situation in which there was a group of “Christians” that told her that everything was ok with how she was living and that as long as she “followed” God she would make her way to Heaven. I believe both to be wrong and I told her that. Her way of life is sin and sin will send you to Hell. The problem is that the Catholics were wrong in not delivering their message to her with love and understanding. Three hours I spent listening and finally explaining. After I told her about the sin and was very blunt, but also loving, she hugged me and said “thank you so much for explaining this to me.” I told her, “That is an odd response to what I just told you.” She said that no one had ever taken the time to educate her. I prayed with her and the decisions that she would have to make in the future and then something interesting happened. God opened a door.  The camp (one that was not church related but community based) required her to have my phone number. A few weeks later I began sending out mass text. These texts are a simple scripture that I read and think will touch someone’s life. She still receives these texts and replies with a very simply “thank you for the scripture” (sometimes less, sometimes more). God has provided a means of further communication where other types of communication have been cut off. Seeds are being planted on what others believe to be rocky ground.
    Let’s be willing to share His message in love when God opens a door.

Dman