March 6, 2011

Email Evangelism

Filed under: Evangelism — Tags: , , , — Marv Plementosh @ 12:13 pm

Are you, like me, sick of the constant barrage of pseudo-christian emails?  I receive them constantly!  They usually point out some moral outrage in our country and culture, or they call us to pray for a certain political or judicial outcome.  Often they will try to heighten our awareness of angels or bring a tear to our eye with some over-sweetened story of a dying child who says he sees God while deathly ill.  I suppose some folks eat these things up, but to me they have the flavor of over-sweetened moralistic piety and no more reflect the truths of our Lord Jesus Christ then a puddle of mud (maybe even less).  I often delete these types of things as soon as I realize what they are, but lately I have been considering another tactic.

How about having a standardized return email saved in the “draft” section of my email program?  One that could be ready to pull out at a moments notice and fire off in reply to any sappy christian-esque correspondence I might receive? Maybe it could be worded something similar to this:

“Dear Friend,

I thank you for the email you sent me regarding <insert sappy topic here>.  I am sure it must have touched you in some meaningful way, or you would not have sent it, and so I thank you for thinking of me when desiring to share these more insightful and touching moments.  Having said that, I must confess to you that I find the touching thoughts in most religious emails pale in significance compared to the true facts that I have come to understand from God’s Word.  Let me explain…

I have broken the commandments.  All of them.  I have lied and lusted, I have made many things my god (most often myself) and hated with murderous intent.  I have blasphemed and relished in wicked imaginations.  Often, when convicted of these things, I protectively held onto them.  All of these things are crimes against God’s Law.   And yet…Christ came and took my punishment!  God in the flesh humbled Himself to become man and bear the curse of a sinful wretch like me!!  And why?  Well, not for any reason to be found inside of me, I can assure you.  He was tortured and killed for my crimes against God’s Law, and when He took my punishment, He legally gave me His righteousness in the Heavenly Court.  Me!!  The most sinful of the sinful!!  He saved me!  The grace, and love behind this confounds my mind and astonishes me every time I dwell on it!  I now live a life of repentance striving to serve my new master every day, and even though I often fail, I am still forgiven.  He has brought me into His family, and with incredible grace & patience is slowly changing me so that I might bear the family resemblance.  When I sin, He chastises me (sometimes severely), strengthens me and continues to rebuild me from the inside out.  The incredible thing He has done (and is doing) for me and in me is totally His doing, I could never do it myself, earn it or pay Him back, and yet He is doing it anyway!

Many emails may be touching in some sort of abstract way, but the truth is that when they are compared to what Jesus Christ has already actually done, well…. I just think they pale in comparison.  Salvation and a new birth at the hand of a Holy and Just God is simply an overwhelming concept for a sinful and undeserving creature like me. 

You sent me an email regarding something you found meaningful, something that brought you hope, and I again thank you for sharing.  But I hope this standardized form-letter reply I have sent brings you hope of a far more substantial and real nature.  When Christ died on that Cross and regained life again on the third day, it was then that He offered life to you as well.  The Good News I just can’t get over is that there is forgiveness and eternal life through repentance and the forgiveness of sins in the name of Christ our Lord!!!  And so now, friend, I encourage you to find a quiet place so that you may fall to your knees, repent of your sins and seek the forgiveness of the one who died on the Cross.  He has promised that those who believe in His work (and His work alone) will be saved.  He makes His people into new people… whole new creations!  He makes people dead inside alive once again.  Trust me when I tell you that the real and factual hope of life in Christ is far more touching and meaningful than the email stories that carry only the glimmer of a shadow of a reflection of the one true hope, that being Christ Jesus our Lord!

Your Friend and Adopted Child of God,

<insert name here>”

I think a response letter like that might go a long way.  So many people get worked up over emotional stories, and miss the wonder of the most incredible story ever told.  Replying with a letter like this is a great way to take the focus off of “religiosity” and put it solidly back on Christ where it should be.  And the best part is this… co-workers can hardly accuse you of religious activities in the workplace when this letter is simply in response to a religious letter they themselves sent you!  I would encourage all who read this to clip the letter and save it as a “draft” right now in order to have it handy for the next religious email you receive.  To Christ alone be the Glory!

- Reposted From ChurchSalt.com

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