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[The Creation of the Chicken]

An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
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Monday, March 16, 2009

The Gospel in a sales pitch

This article by Terry Mattingly reminded me of an Evangelism class I had to take while attending Northwest College. I distinctly recall feeling like the class was a little stale and the program it espoused overly rehearsed - particularly for a denomination like the AG which prides itself on being so moved and prompted by the Holy Spirit. Now I look back upon the notion of such a class as being utterly absurd, because the most lasting and effective evangelism I have ever seen happen has taken place because someone led a life worth following. And then someone did.

What do I mean?

Well how many times did Jesus say to his followers: "follow me"?

Should we not as followers of Christ lead lives that will be a far superior witness to people than "witnessing" according to a script - no matter how well designed? We sit idly upon centuries of Spirit inspired Tradition that Mr. Carter so well notes is sorely lacking in other circles. Something tells me that "The Prayer of Jabez" or the text I had to buy for my evangelism class isn't going to stand the test of time, but those things that do stand that test are the sorts of things that really have been purified and tried with success in the human heart, soul, and mind. And it waits for us...much of it within my sight right now - likely gathering dust or unattended.

It's not about attracting people. It's about CHANGING people. I'm still a disciple in training...but the wealth and depth of materials I have at my fingertips in the Orthodox Church really is a condemning reality for me. How lazy I am. The spirit of sloth is rampant in me. You Orthodox out there know the Lenten Prayer I need to have change me.

In a way, I suppose, the whole of the Christian life is an evangelism class. To that degree, an Orthodox Evangelism class might perhaps start with a session on curbing the passions, know what I mean?

...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 6:37 PM [+]
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