Silly Christian Comments – Part Three – Preach Christ, if necessary use words

18 12 2008

The words of St. Francis of Assissi “Preach Christ, if necessary use words” are very popular in the modern American church.  We seem to believe that words get in the way.  This does not reveal a very high very of the Word.  The Gospel is tied to words.  God communicated to us throgh words.  He sent His Son to us, as John states “The Word became flesh.”  So why avoid words?

I think the concern is to not come on too strong.  We want to be sensitive to our neighbors and avoid the perils of street preachers calling out about the damnation of those who have not repented.  Yet, are there only these two choices?  Is is obnoxious words or no words?  Is there not a Word to be spoken that mediates these extremes?

If we avoid words all together what do we have left?  We are told to replace words with deeds.  Show that we are Christians by our love.  It makes for a nice song, and Christians should be knows as loving, caring people who do go out of their way to help others, but this is not how the Gospel is defined, thus it cannot be the way it is preached.  Your Mormon neighbor is just as capable of being loving and nice, but his gospel is no gospel at all.

We should make certain to seek out ways in which we can serve those God places in our lives (see Matthew 25:31-46), but this does not negate our need to preach Christ using His Word (see Matthew 28:19-20).  What else might Paul be after in Romans 10:17 when he says “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”?

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