14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town. – Matthew 10:14-15 (ESV)
This morning I read an interesting article about the implausibility of creation being by chance, and how scientists, the deeper they dig, are discovering that all of the universe must have been created, thus there must be a Creator (although many are so solidly atheist that they can’t see the theological forest for the philosophical / theoretical /scientific trees).
What grabbed my attention more than the article itself was the online comments. Most posted by people who seemed to know a thing or two about physics. Some of them atheists.
And they were snarling.
If there is one thing Satan dislikes, it is losing. And, the simple fact of the matter is, no lie can stand up to the Truth. We Christians can stand firm on that foundation. We can boldly proclaim Christ is the Savior of the world, God is the Creator and Sustainer of All, and The Lord is all His Word claims He is.
What we cannot do is get cocky about it.
Many years ago, my wife and I were part of a street ministry. I remember quite vividly being with our group in the Minneapolis Skyway one cold winter night. A couple of Muslim men were walking toward us when one of our group decided to be bold and share the Gospel with them.
The problem: these men had no interest in hearing the message. And they got defensive and angry in a hurry. An argument ensued and, pretty soon, a pair of Minneapolis police officers appeared.
I have mulled that incident over in my mind a few times over the years. I fail to see how God was glorified in such an inglorious conversation. How would anyone be drawn by the love of Christ when they are being verbally berated by one of His followers? Are we called to share the Gospel, or proselytize? If browbeating people into faith worked, wouldn’t the Crusades have been more effective?
We are not called to arguing or strong arm tactics. We are not called to snarl. We are called to share. To present. To love. And, if people won’t listen, then leave. Just go.
Shake the dust from your feet. In other words, leave alone those who do not wish to receive what you have to give. Don’t carry their dust with you. Don’t feel the need to persuade or argue. Do not think you can cajole them into the kingdom of heaven.
We have to remember: we are called to be salt and light. We are called to share the Gospel – boldly, honestly, but not obnoxiously. Not judgmentally.
The Truth is to be proclaimed far more than defended. After all, a lie will dig its own grave. The Truth will continued to be revealed, and every lie of the enemy exposed.
Remember that Jesus did not defend Himself before Pilate or Herod. Who is man to think he can put God on trial?