People are not fish and we don't bait them.

photo used by permission johnnyberg on
I recently read a short article on evangelism that began like this...

If you want to be a successful fisherman, you don't look for the most comfortable spot on the lake. Instead, you go to where the fish are, and you make it as easy and attractive as possible for the fish to swallow your hook.
Since we are called to be "fishers of men," I get the fishing analogy and I agree with not just looking for a place that's comfortable.  Sometimes we have to go into the dark and uncomfortable situations in order to share Christ's gospel with those who don't know him.

They lost me, however when they suggest that we make it "as easy and attractive as possible for the fish to swallow the hook." First, I don't like thinking of people as fish to be baited, then hooked and second, I'm not sure that we should make it as easy and attractive as possible for people to receive Christ.  I don't see that in the Bible..not from Jesus and not from the disciples.  They didn't water down the message just to make it attractive.

In fact, Jesus was often so forthright with the cost of following him that many people turned away and I don't read anywhere that he chased after them trying to make the gospel more palatable.

I'm not saying that we need to be rude or pushy.  We don't need to make it difficult to understand what it means to follow Christ.  But we do owe it to people to respect them enough to help them make a fully informed decision to follow Jesus.  Too many churches and Christians mislead people by telling them that once they accept Jesus as Lord, their lives will be just hunky-dory.  When trouble hits, and it always hits, new believers think that God should jump right in and fix everything for them.

He never promised that.  Truth is, Jesus said " this world you will have trouble, but take heart, because I have overcome the world."  (John 16:33)

He also warned people to count the cost of following him in Luke 14:25-33.

So, let's be careful to do what it says in 2 Timothy 2:15..."Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."

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1 comment:

Dee Kincade said...

I agree, Jan. The Bible tells us that some people will not accept God's free gift.

As Christians, sometimes all we are supposed to do is plant the seed, and water it with prayer. Later, God will have someone else lead the person to faith in Jesus.

The truth is that if we trick or bait unbelievers; we are lying to them.