Posted in Faith

What’s Wrong With Being the “Crazy” Church Lady?

Woman sitting on a wall holding a bible.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”

Mark 16:15, NIV

I think we can all agree that evangelism, or witnessing to others about Christ, is one of the core duties of a believer.

The bible calls this, The Great Commission, as recorded in Mark 16:15, Matthew 28:18-20 and Luke 24:46-47.

But how many of us actively spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the rest of our community? Do we censor ourselves around our co-workers and non-Christian friends for the sake of their comfort?

A few weeks ago I was talking to one of the parents at my sons swim practice. She was venting to me about one of the new instructors at the YMCA.

According to her the lady was former military, which made her a bit rough around the edges. Plus she didn’t like the music she played during the class.

I casually mentioned that my father is pastor (yes, I’m a pk), but he is also former military, which makes his job as a pastor difficult at times. Military people in leadership positions can often come off as too direct and offensive when leading civilians.

I assured her that the new instructor would get the hang of interacting with civilians as time went on.

Little did I know that this brief exchange would lead down a new path one I was not expecting.

I was swiftly assured that one of this woman’s many problems was that she was in fact a pastor’s wife, which made her “very religious”.

In her experience religious people are the worst. Her sister was very religious, always sharing scriptures and what not. Her sister got on her nerves.

As a Christian, I was somewhat offended and taken aback by this woman’s comments. However, at the same time, I could see her point of view.

I think everybody knows or has met that “ very religious” person or “crazy” church lady that we all try to duck and hide from.

But are these people really so bad? After all they are actively sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the rest of the world.

How often do you (myself included) share the gospel with those around you? Are we vocal about our faith or do we censor ourselves around friends and family for fear of alienating them?

Should we be like the crazy church lady when it comes to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ? Let’s take a closer look at this issue.

Following the Great Commission

As a Christian I often find myself torn on how to interact with nonbelievers or people of a different faith.

It’s easy for me to talk about my faith and share scriptures with other believers, but with strangers, I would say that my efforts are less than stellar.

It would seem that I’m not the only person out there that struggles with this issue.

According to a report entitled, Reviving Evangelism, 47 percent of Christian Millennial’s believe that it is wrong to share their faith with others.

47% of Christian Millennial’s believe it is wrong to share their faith with other people.

Reviving Evangelism

Despite the fact that 86% of Christian Millennial’s feel that they can answer questions about their faith, 73% say they are gifted at sharing their faith, and 96% of them believe that witnessing about Jesus is part of their faith. (You can find a part of that report here).

While I’m not a Millennial, they are not the only generation of Christians that have problem sharing their faith.

The problem with the belief that evangelism is wrong, is that it is in direct conflict with scripture.

The Apostle Paul asks these important questions, ”How can people have faith in the Lord and ask him to save them if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear, unless someone tells them? (Rom 10:14, CEV).”

Based on the study Millennial Christians believe evangelism is wrong for the following reasons:

  • They are more aware of the cultural climate towards spiritual conversations.
  • They believe that people today are more likely to be offended if they share their faith.

What does scripture say about how we should deal with cultural sensitivity and offense.

Dealing With The Culture

Since the time of Christ, there has been opposition to the preaching of the Gospel. The Pharisees and Sadducees sought to kill Jesus and eventually crucified him. Afterward, they sought to kill and persecute the early members of the church.

What was so wrong with the message of Christ? It was counter-cultural. Everything Jesus stood for and preached about went against the cultural norms proposed by the religious leaders.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:9, “ “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.”

The current cultural climate in America is one of acceptance and tolerance for almost anything and everything. That is where sharing the gospel can cause conflict between Christians and their non-Christian peers.

Unlike other countries where Christians are and can be persecuted for their beliefs with physical harm, imprisonment and other social injustices. Persecution in the US takes a different form.

While we are not imprisoned or killed for our beliefs we are often ostracized from our close family, friends, and co-workers.

You know that crazy church lady that we were talking about earlier. The one we avoid. (ouch)

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household (Matt 10:33-36, KJV).

As Christians, we are not called to just go along with whatever the culture declares right and just. Everything we do should be balanced and tested against the word of God.

That means that there are parts of our faith that will make us unpopular with the world around us.

In a culture where you are expected to accept the status quo as true and accurate or else be branded as a bigot or intolerant it can be hard to stand on your faith.

However, the only way to stand against the culture is to continue to stand on your faith and your beliefs as Christ did.

Which means that our faith will cause us to be persecuted and will cause us to lose friends and family.

Dealing With Not Wanting to Offend Others

Man holding a sign that says Jesus facing another man.

…but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and “A stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense.”They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do.

1 Peter 2: 7-8

All Christians need to understand that the gospel of Christ is offensive to those that do not believe. The only way you can not offend someone with the gospel is to not share it.

This is just what the enemy wants is for us to be silent about our faith because we don’t want to upset or disagree with someone.

This is the exact reason why the “overly religious” Christian is treated with such disdain by non-Christians and even fellow believers.

Could it be that being around those people causes us to be convicted because we aren’t sharing our faith enough?

Have you ever stopped to think about how often the world freely and often offends Christianity? Yet, we remain silent because we don’t want to offend those around us.

We should not be afraid of offending people. Because that is going to happen. What we should instead be focusing on is the way we share the gospel with those around us.

How We Should Evangelize

Two women sitting on the couch facing each other.

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

We know that the gospel is going to be offensive to those that don’t believe.

While this may be true, that doesn’t mean that we have to present the gospel of Christ in an offensive manner.

The reason why most people run from the “crazy” church lady is because of the way they share the gospel.

Even though their intentions are well meaning they often come off as rude, preachy, and unauthentic to other people.

Instead when we evangelize we should strive to do the following:

1. Be Kind and Respectful

We should follow Peter’s advice.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…(1 Peter 3:15,NIV).

We should be able to present the gospel of Christ with humility, gentleness and respect. Not with condemnation and self-righteousness.

When the religious leaders brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus he did not yell at or berate her. Instead, he forgave her of her sins and told her to sin no more (John 8: 1-11).

When you are acting like a jerk or snob nobody wants to listen to what you have to say.

2. Don’t Argue With People

Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful ( 2 Tim 2: 23-24, NIV).

As I stated earlier the gospel is offensive and many of the moral standards taught in the bible go against the cultural norms. There are times when you will run into people that will challenge and attack your faith.

If you can not defend the gospel in a calm and respectful manner, then walk away from the conversation. This allows you to maintain your integrity and ability to try to witness to this person again.

3. Be Real and Authentic

You don’t have to act super spiritual to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with non-Christians. The best way to share the gospel with someone is to share your own testimony with them. This makes you real and relatable.

Jesus, even though he didn’t sin, was still able to relate to his disciples and the people that followed him because he knew the struggles we as humans faced. His life here on earth may have been a sinless one, but it was not without hardship.

4. Keep It Simple

Don’t try to complicate the message of the cross. Keep it simple. Now is not the time to give a lesson on theology. Start with Christ and end with Christ. Cover the who, what, when, where and why of the Gospel.

5. Have Compassion & Patience

As we grow older and mature in our faith we can often fall into selective amnesia about our past life before Christ. This can lead us to be impatient and our compassion towards the unbeliever begins to wane.

We are called to care for our fellow man whether they come to accept Christ or not. Jesus had compassion on the crowd of 5000 people that had come from far and wide to hear him speak.

I can guarantee you that there were people in the crowd that were not his disciples and had no desire to become his disciple. I’m sure their were a few religious leaders hiding in the crowd.

But Jesus took compassion on the crowd regardless of who was in it. He took 2 little fish and 5 loaves of bread and feed them all.

Remember we were all once sinners. Someone had to have compassion and patience with us. We should extend it others as well.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for tips on how to share the gospel without being offensive you can read this article .

Personally, I think most of us don’t share the gospel because we are afraid to be classified as the “crazy” church lady or that super religious friend that doesn’t get invited to anything.

But it seems like maybe the “crazy” church lady or that religious friend is exactly who we should be. Just the kinder, gentler, and more compassionate version.

I’m not saying that you have to quote scriptures every 5 minutes or that every conversation that we have should be about Christ.

If he truly is our Lord and Savior and we are really grateful for all he has done for us we shouldn’t be afraid to share what he’s done for us with the world around us.

When you eat at a great restaurant you gladly tell your friends, family, and even strangers about it. We should take that same attitude with us about Christ.

He is depending on us to go out and share the gospel with the whole world.

How do you feel about evangelism? Do you know any “crazy” church ladies or gentlemen? Have your feelings or beliefs on evangelism changed? Please share your stories with me in the comment section.

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Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Faith

Are You A Man/Woman After God’s Heart?

Israel had many kings, but no King was a famous as it’s second King, David. Before he was a king, David was a shepherd boy tending his father’s sheep. He was the youngest of his father’s sons.

In 1 Samuel 16, we find the story of Samuel’s journey to anoint the next King of Israel. He passes over Jesse’s first two sons believing that God would choose them as king. But it is here that God reminds him that God does not look at the outward appearance, but at the heart of a man (1 Sam 16:7).

I can imagine that he was probably picked on quite a bit with 7 older brothers in the house. But it was this little brother that was anointed by the great prophet Samuel to become the next King of Israel.

In Acts 13:22, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do. (NIV)”

David -A Man After God’s Heart

Many of you may already know the story of David, if you don’t I encourage you to read it. David was a great hero and ruler of Israel. He was also an adulterer, murderer, and he failed to discipline his children.

Yet, he was still considered a man after God’s heart. Why? This has always been a question the puzzled me. After all, how could someone who had committed such terrible sins still be considered a man after God’s heart?

In my mind I couldn’t reconcile the sins that David committed with the heart of God. If you take after someone your just like them, you copy them, you walk like them, you talk like them. Isn’t that what it means to take after someone?

It wasn’t until a yesterday while I was listening to a preacher talk about David that I understood what this scripture was saying.

It wasn’t that David’s heart was like God’s, but that David was chasing after the heart of God. In spite of Davids shortcomings David always wanted to please God.

Is that our main goal as Christians to please God or to please men?

Even when David sinned and was confronted by the prophet he confessed and repented (2 Sam 12:1-14). He didn’t harden his heart, like some of us would have done.

When David challenged Goliath it wasn’t for fame, glory, or the hand of Saul’s daughter. He was indignant that such a man would challenge God’s people and make a mockery of His God (1 Sam:17).

When is the last time you’ve been indignant when the world makes a mockery of the things of God? Did you stand up for it or just keep silent?

When the ark of the covenant was returned to Israel King David danced with all of his might before the Lord. He didn’t care what anyone thought of him because he was dancing for God (2 Sam 6).

When God blesses us, do we give him the glory and tell others about what he’s done for us?

Unlike his predecessor Saul, David was obedient to God. The last part of Acts 13:22 says,” … he will do everything I want him to.”

Are we obedient to the holy spirit when he tells us to buy the person in front of us groceries or to give more in the offering this week?

How Do We Become Men/Women After God’s Own Heart

Being a man or woman after God’s own heart does not mean that we are perfect and it does not mean that we will be without sin. It does mean that:

  1. We need to have a relationship with God.
  2. We need to focus on pleasing God.
  3. We should be quick to repent and turn from our wicked ways.
  4. We need to stand up for the things of God, even if it means we have to stand alone.
  5. We need to to be obedient and committed to the teachings of Christ.

All of these things can be accomplished by reading Gods word and developing a personal relationship with Christ our Redeemer. David had a personal relationship with God. He trusted God in spite of the difficulties and the challenges he faced before and after he became King.

Because of Jesus, we are able to develop a relationship with God, without the sacrifice of animals, like David did. So, let us strive to be men and woman after God’s heart.

Remember that God looks at the heart of a person. Ask yourself today am I a man/woman after God’s heart?

If you have any other tips or insights please feel free to share them in the comments section.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro

Posted in Faith

5 Ways to Tell You’re A Christian

belief bible book business
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

What is a Christian? How do you know that are you are one? Maybe you have doubts about whether or not you’re still in the faith? Or Maybe you’re just curious.

For whatever reason you find yourself scrolling through this post today I pray that you will be blessed by it.

Without further ado, I present to you 5 ways to tell you’re a Christian.

1. Christians have Confessed & Believe That Jesus Is Lord

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Photo by Edwin Andrade on Unsplash

Simply put to be a Christian you must first be a disciple of Jesus Christ. A disciple is a follower or student of a specific person or philosophy. So how does one become a disciple of Christ?

Romans 10:9-10 puts it plainly, ”If you declare with your mouth, “ Jesus is Lord.” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

This is the first step to becoming a believer in Christ. However, it is important to remember that this is a two-step process. People can confess with their mouths and not believe in their hearts what they are confessing. Which caused them to become false converts.

This may sound harsh, but I know too many people that believe they are Christians because they go to church every Sunday and attend bible study every night. If you have not confessed and believed that Jesus is Lord and believed that God raised him from the dead you are not a Christian.

It doesn’t matter if your father was a pastor or how much money you give to charity. You can not alumni your way or earn your way into heaven.

Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6, NIV).

When you truly confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior there is an inward and an outward change. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here(NIV).”

2. Christians Should Be Free From Habitual Sin

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Photo by Diana Simumpande on Unsplash

In the beginning, it can be hard for a new believer to tell if they are actually saved. They may still curse, drink, smoke drugs, etc. But as they begin to mature and grow in their faith in Christ all of those things should begin to fall away.

Sometimes the changes are instant and sometimes the changes are more gradual. Becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you are perfect and that you will never sin. On the contrary, it means that you will constantly be at war with yourself or your “flesh” as the bible puts it and the holy spirit that now dwells within you.

1 John 3:6-9 that, ”No one who lives in him (Jesus Christ) keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him (NIV). “ New Christians can take solace in the fact that as they grow in their relationship with Christ that they will no longer engage in habitual/wilful sin.

Will you still sin? Yes. But as you mature in Christ you should sin less.

3. Christians Love Others

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I think the most common thing I hear people say about God is that He is Love. However, it is just one of the many aspects of God’s character. An aspect that we as Christians are supposed to share with the world.

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. (1 John 4:20-21, NIV)

We are not only commanded to love our brothers and sister in Christ, but also those around us. We are even to love those that we consider our enemies and to bless those who curse us (Luke 6:27-36, Matt 5: 43-48).

This is in stark contrast to what the world teaches us. Which is to hate those who hate you and to get revenge on those who do us wrong. If we live this way towards our fellow man then it is impossible for us to claim to love a God that we haven’t seen.

I am by no means saying that it’s easy to love and get along with everyone. But we are to do our best to be like Christ. Which means we are to love others as Jesus loved us and he loved us (John 15:12-13, NIV) to the point of death.

4. Christians Do Good Works

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Being a Christian doesn’t just stop with confessing and believing in Jesus. It requires us to change and grow by putting off our old sinful nature and loving other people.

From this abundance of love, we should produce good works. As James put it, “Faith without works is dead (2:14).” As Christians, we should be willing to help those in need. Not because we want to be seen by other people(Matt 5:16), but the compassion of Christ compels us too.

There are many people that believe that by doing good works they can earn their way into heaven. However, you can not donate your way or feed enough homeless people to get to heaven. It is only by believing in his son Jesus Christ that you can be saved.

Maybe you don’t know what you should be doing, but if you seek Christ he will show you. For we have been created in Christ Jesus to do good works (Eph 2:10).

Jesus is no longer here on earth with us to love on the lost and the downtrodden. We, his followers, are now responsible for being his hands and feet. We have been called to show the compassion Christ to the world around us.

5. Christians Do Not Deny Christ

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Photo by Nilton Oliveira on Unsplash

This last one seems like a no-brainer. I mean how can you call yourself a Christian and deny Christ? That means that your not a Christian.

However, have you ever shared something that happened to you or your family that you know could have only happened because God intervened and didn’t even mention him?

Or have your kids ever wanted to invite their friends from school to a church event, but you politely suggested that they not for whatever bogus reason you gave. When really you were afraid they would be mocked or feel rejected because the other kids might say no?

I know I have been a victim of that one. I had to get on my knees and repent! I had to check myself to make sure I was still in the faith.

Or have you ever failed to stand up for what you believe in because you were the only Christian in the crowd?

See it’s in these little ways that we deny Christ in our lives that people don’t think about. That if we don’t catch them can eventually turn into full-blown denials of Christ.

The bible says, ”Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels (Luke 9:26, NIV).”

What a shame it would be to get to the gates only to be turned away because we were ashamed of our Savior

Final Thoughts

I know many of you expected to read things like if you pray, read your bible, and go to church you’re a Christian. While it is true that these are things that Christians should be doing to help them grow in their faith and develop a relationship with Christ.

There are many people that do all of these things out of habit or ritual and have never given their lives to Christ.

I hope this list has helped you in your walk with Christ. For those of you who are Christians, I hope this list helped affirm some things for you or even caused you to stop and examine yourself.

If you are someone that claims to be a Christian because you attend church services regularly, you sing in the choir, or because your parents were preachers I encourage you to go back to the first point in this post.

If you have found yourself in a backslidden state I encourage you to reaffirm your faith in Christ and get back in the race.

If are reading this post and are not a Christian I pray that this post has touched your heart in such a way that it would draw you closer to Christ and that you would take that step to become his disciple.

Please leave a comment if you feel that I have left something out or you would like to share something that you learned or agreed with from this post.

Until Next Time,

The Crafty Afro