Ever played Capture the Flag? Imagine your mission is to take prisoners from the enemy’s camp and bring them back to your camp. Now, imagine your camp is so dumpy and unattractive your prisoners don’t want to go in. In fact, the condition of your camp keeps you from accomplishing your mission. That would be frustrating if you were dedicated to your mission.
Did you notice my scenario didn’t say either camp was attractive? As odd as it may sound, the scenario above is what we have been battling this week! Yes, I know our mission volunteers are not playing Capture the Flag. But everything else is a description of reality.
We have been sharing the Gospel. We have been asking people who are lost (Satan’s prisoners) if they want to be free (forgiven, child of God, etc.). Our message should be aided by the work and reputation of the local church. In fact, our message has been hindered by the local church!
For some reason, legalism is very common in this area. Those who are lost know what the local churches teach. Every one of them is really good at saying what they are against but they don’t seem to be for anything. So our group comes into this setting demonstrating the love of Christ in a mission medical clinic. After people are treated we ask permission to speak with them about the Gospel. We have yet to be refused. We reach the point of asking, Would you like to receive God’s gift of forgiveness? What they hear (due to local church influence) is, Are you ready to be perfect and give up everything you enjoy?
They know they are in the enemy’s camp. They don’t like the enemy or his camp. However, their perception of our camp is so bad they don’t want to consider coming in. Sounds just like my first paragraph and that is what we have battled this week.
We should do all we can to make the Gospel attractive. We need to be able to say with the psalmist, O taste and see that the Lord is good! The problem isn’t God’s goodness. It’s how He is presented by those who claim to represent Him. Think about it!
In the meantime, check out a few pics from today. We were in a small batey where pictures were not appropriate. However, the results today were huge! In fact, it’s just hard to describe. Will attempt that tomorrow. Just know and celebrate several folks coming to the Lord today and pray for our day tomorrow in another batey.