In my youth I attended many different churches. I was born Catholic. Then we attended a Baptist church. After that, we worshiped at a Pentecostal church. Throughout my adult life, although not a Christian, I was involved with the Church of Christ.
One thing I’ve learned from this experience is that every religious group thinks it is correct and that every other religious group is wrong. Often Christians will look down upon other Christians because of their denomination.
I have been involved in politics for some time, trying to save our nation. But prior to 2010, I was not a Christian, even though I fought for principles that were biblical in nature.
In late 2010 I made the decision to become a Christian and dedicate my life—or what’s left of it—to God. I was unsure at the time of what denomination I should join. After all, if I were to become a member of one denomination, then people of that faith group would like me, but people of all the other denominations may hate me. So what was I to do? Not knowing the gospel that well, I was afraid of tying myself to one faith tradition and then being taught by man and not by God.
I decided not to join any specific denomination, but to seek God on my own. Let him be my teacher. Since that time I have grown in faith and love for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As I seek guidance from the Lord as to what to do and where to go, I am constantly saddened by the lack of love for others and passion for souls within religious institutions.
While I continue daily to read my Bible and seek the Lord’s will, I have also decided to find other people who have written about matters of faith, to try and find insight that might help me grow and learn to reach out to others.
One of the resources I picked up was Paul Louis Metzger’s book Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths (Thomas Nelson, 2012). One thing that struck me while reading Paul’s book was that he can find good in anyone. He is able to find good in the Atheist, the Buddhist, and the Muslim, to name a few. Although Paul does not agree with their religious points of view, he is open and humble enough to admit that they have some good qualities. He builds relationships based on those qualities, thus opening the door for Christ to use him and build true relationships, which in turn can lead to turning souls to Christ.
As Christians, we are all called to make disciples of men and women. We are all to let the light and love of Christ shine from within us. That will attract people who are not yet followers of Christ to us. At the same time, if we do not have the light or love of Christ within us, we will chase people who do not yet know him away.
To let God use you in an effort to win souls for Christ, you must have the joy and the passion for Christ within. We must be able to reach out to people who don’t yet know Christ personally in a kind and engaging manner, so that they are more willing to listen to what we have to say.
Paul Louis Metzger demonstrates this in his book and in his life. Relationships are built on what we have in common, not our disagreements.
I would encourage everyone to pick up a copy of Connecting Christ: How to Discuss Jesus in a World of Diverse Paths. Read it and take it to heart. Let God put within you a passion for winning souls for Christ.