Sunday, February 17, 2013

Random Thoughts...

There are several random thoughts that are rolling around in my otherwise empty head. I thought that if I would take a few moments to write them down in an unorganized fashion, maybe they would find an escape and leave me alone.

I'm laughing a little bit at the arrogance that we often have. Many years ago I was invited to an evangelism conference and then subsequently uninvited. At the time I suspected that it had something to do with the sometimes negative perception that "magic" has among Christianity's conservative core, although the reason that was given was that they had invited too many evangelists and had to cut back a few. Years later, I did find out that it was because of magic. That's okay. I've learned to accept that it is going to be a part of what I face as a Gospel Illusionist. I did get to go to that conference about six or seven years ago, but haven't been invited back since then.

Really, I'm good with it today. The only reason that it comes to mind is that I was at a church in the area of that conference last night and this is the weekend that it is being held this year. Perhaps the churches in that area are better served by the more traditional evangelists. We all have our places in the work of the King.

Many years ago, I was invited to a church for a children's program. I suspected that the church had a very fundamental core and so I asked the pastor if using playing cards would be a problem. He told me that it would be better if I didn't.

My initial reaction was -- Really? You've got to be kidding!
But as I thought about it, I realized that he was probably really sticking his neck out by having me come in the first place. I decided to honor his request and give him a great program, sans playing cards. I've been invited back to that church many times now--and the use of playing cards in no longer an issue. I've developed a relationship with them and they trust me to deliver a clear gospel message. Today they give me the freedom to share using whatever props or illusions I feel led to use.

Building relationships is often the key as we work to share the gospel. I recently saw a Facebook post that shared a picture with the words, "A woman that has an abortion isn't a victim; she's a murderer!"
I thought, "How sad."

Regardless of where you stand on the issue of abortion, this is not the way to build a trusting relationship so that we can share the love and forgiveness found in Jesus.

I immediately thought of Jesus when the adulteress was brought before him. The crowd wanted to stone her to death and pointed out that the Law called for her death. Jesus didn't condemn her; the Law already had--the people already had. He would have been "right" to say that since she had violated the Law and the penalty was to be stoned to death, they should stone her. But he didn't. He said that whoever had not violated the Law (whoever had not sinned) should throw the first stone.

I'm wondering if Jesus would have the same thing posted on His Facebook timeline. I don't doubt that Jesus would preach against sin. It's just that I remember all of the times that Jesus seemed to go out of his way to build relationships with sinners! There was the woman at the well in Samaria, the tax collector's home where he had dinner, the Pharisee's home and the encounter with the prostitute who washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. There were great numbers of unclean lepers that he touched, blind that he gave sight, sick that he healed, hungry that he fed.

And what about you and me? What about our sin? Our uncleanliness? Jesus came a great way to build relationships with us. He left the glory and majesty of heaven to take on our flesh; ultimately to take on our sin and our punishment so that we could have eternal life in heaven. Isn't that the story that we need to be telling?

Last night I issued a challenge that I've issued many times before. I'm issuing it here, again.
Tell somebody--somebody that desperately needs to hear it: God loves you. Jesus died for you.

When I started writing this, I was going to cover a few more of the random thoughts in my head, but this rant has gone gone on long enough. Be kind to the masses that are struggling with life. Share the love of Jesus with them. Give them hope in a hopeless world.

And remember--
God loves you.
Jesus died for you.

John <><


Mike said...

Having seen the mixed magic/message of yours I think you balance the two very well with emphasis of the message.

John Hill said...

Thanks, Mike!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

John Hill, you are totally on target!

Brenda Eldred said...

I enjoyed your post and it is so true. People are looked at through rose colored glasses. If you did wrong then you are bad but they never consider what has brought that person to do something wrong. We are to love the sinner and hate the sin, not put them in the same group. To often a person is kept as a villain and never seen as a victim.They forget to first ask, what sin am I guilty of.

Amanda said...

Have you got any YouTube clips of yourself? I'm intrigued by your way of communicating God's word.

John Hill said...

No, Amanda, I don't. I guess I need to work on that.