Today, I watched something remarkable on Youtube. I've included a link to the clip below, and I hope you can spare five minutes to watch this. But first, a little background. Penn Gillette is a member of the comedic duo of magicians known as Penn and Teller. If you're familiar with their act, he's the big guy who talks, as opposed to the little guy who doesn't. Gillette is also an outspoken atheist. In his video blog, "Penn Says," he shares the story of a man who recently gave him a Bible after watching his act. The link above is that blog post, in which he professes great admiration for the man, who he calls "A good, good man," and the way in which this man (apparently a Gideon) shared his faith. But he goes further than that, and this is the remarkable part of the video:
"If you believe in God and Heaven and Hell, and are afraid to talk about it because of social awkwardness...how much do you have to hate someone to NOT prosletyze? If you believe that eternal life is real, how could you not try to convince people. If I thought a truck was about to hit you, I'd push you out of the way, and this is MUCH more important than that..." (These aren't direct quotes, but as close as I can come after watching the clip twice)
Gillette reaffirms his belief that there is no God and says, "One polite person is not enough to change that for me." But as an atheist, his logic is impeccable: If we as Christians don't share our faith with those who don't believe, either we don't truly believe this stuff, or we don't care about our non-Christian friends. Ouch!
Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JHS8adO3hM NOTE: Gillette usually uses some pretty raw words in his act, so there is an "adult language" disclaimer at the beginning of the clip. However, I didn't hear anything objectionable in this particular segment.
It makes us think, doesn't it? It shows the kind of impression we can make on even the most skeptical person if we approach them with integrity, humility and a loving spirit. It also presents us with a tough question: If we believe the Gospel and we love the lost, why don't we share our faith?
This Sunday, I'm beginning a sermon series called, "How to Win Your Friends...Naturally." That's also the name of the first sermon in the series, based on Peter's sermon in Acts 2:22-40. The big idea of this series is that while some people are comfortable with confrontation (like good ol' Peter), most of us would feel comfortable sharing our faith in some other way. Fortunately, Scripture shows us five other ways that people shared Christ. Full disclosure: I get this idea from Bill Hybels' book, Becoming a Contagious Christian. I highly recommend the book, but I won't be preaching from it. Instead, we'll look at six stories of people leading friends and neighbors to the Savior in a way that felt totally natural for them. I'll bet at least one of the methods will sound pretty natural to you, too. Pray for us during this series. It all leads up to Faith in Action Day, October 11. God is on the move in our church, making us more and more into a church that loves the world outside our walls.