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Be careful when explaining the Gospel

Friday, October 29, 2021

Today I learned an important lesson. The short film FreedomWithin helped me to learn this lesson.

I had seen this film some years ago, but today I stumbled again over it. I watched it several times and burst into tears at different places. In the evening prayer there was a common prayer in Jaani church, and after the prayer I shared this film to about 10 participants, then explained why I wanted to share it and asked them to pray for me and the Synod.

I suggest that you watch this film before reading on. It lasts only 5 minutes.

The film expresses how a good message (one that reflects the Gospel, represented by the light and the word “Liberté”) is both frightening and fascinating.

The young man at the beginning of this film is in Hell. Hell is when we live in the dark, without hope. Hell is a state of mind that looks almost peaceful at first sight. Getting out of Hell needs the help of others. The call “Liberté!” causes a great dismay. Getting out of Hell needs somebody who tells us the way and calls us to repent. To repent means to “turn around”.

When I am in the situation of the caller, I must be very careful and patient:

  • Just imagine that instead of slipping a sign through a slot in the wall, the caller would try to tear down the wall! The young man in Hell would refuse to follow the call.

  • Another problem when failing to be careful is what happened to Joseph, whose brothers interpreted his stories as signs of vanity and arrogance. The borderline between grateful pride and arrogant pride is a swampy area.

  • And a third problem is, of course, obvious: when you are in the situation of the caller, you never know for sure whether your message actually reflects the Gospel. Never be too convinced of your convictions.

I must learn be humble, patient, careful and sympathetic when explaining the Gospel to others (more precisely: some aspect of the Gospel that happens to fascinate me at this moment, but usually seems less fascinating to others).

On the other hand, synodality also means to be bold when you feel so. And I feel that there are Christians to whom I must say a few things. See A shift in paradigm.