I think ‘being all things to all people’ has as much to do with cultures as individuals. In a third word culture it may be that words are more valued than in the American culture, where in many ways, Christian words are ridiculed. Where we have ‘Saturday Night Live’, and a host of other magazines, shows and movies, making a mockery of Christianity. In addition we have TBN and other Christian television stations that include some programs that do not portray the meek and humble spirit of Christ, and some of which have had scandals attached to them. In our culture, my belief is we need a different approach to win the lost and exalt the name of Christ.
In America we have such an abundance of Christian conversation, that I think the hearers have gone numb. It seems obvious to me that there is a low-grade hostility towards Christianity. I, for one, do not think this is a rejection of God or of spiritual things, but rather a repulsion to hypocrisies, true or perceived, and a rejection of some attempts to win the world with an ‘in your face’ attitude,
‘Way of the Master” radio program comes to mind.
Among other things, we submit to those we admire and respect. Of all the attributes of the comprehensible form of God, Jesus Christ, we see
A man we admire and respect like none other, before or since.
Doctrine is food for a hungry soul; we create appetite with deeds of love, mercy, and kindness.
It has been said so much better by John Brown, born in 1780 who taught thousands of students through his classes and C.H. Spurgeon admired him highly and said he ‘set the standard’ in his works.
“Few things are more fitted to soften prejudices against, and produce a disposition fairly and favorably to consider the claims of, Christianity, than Christian individuals and societies, cheerfully, and liberally, and laboriously supporting every probable scheme that is brought forward for lessening the mass of human suffering, in the form of poverty and disease, and for increasing the sum of human health and enjoyment. These are subjects in which men of the world can take an interest, and of which they can form a just judgment. Of the excellence of peculiar doctrines of Christianity, of the internal holiness which the faith of those doctrines is intended to produce, and actually does produce, they can form no just estimate, and they speak evil of things which they know not.
But to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to console the distressed, to provide means of recovery for the bodily or mentally diseased, appear to them “ things good and profitable unto men;” and when they perceive Christians discovering a readiness to make sacrifices, to expend time, and property, and labor, to gain such objects, in a degree far superior to that of men not possessed of Christian principles, the natural effect is, to lead them to inquire into the cause of the difference; and finding what a Christian should never be backwards to avow, that it is the result of their peculiar views and feelings as Christians, their prejudices are softened, and they are furnished with a motive to examine into what these principles are, and are placed in more favorable circumstances for entering on such an examination, and conducting it to a desirable issue.
This consideration, of itself, ought to be felt by every Christian as a powerful motive to comply with the injunction in the text, “Be pitiful.”