Why I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
By Mario Murillo
“Here in Britain, it is more likely that people would deny they went to church even if they actually did, on the grounds of embarrassment. To say you’re religious in Britain is to risk excluding yourself. When Tony Blair was Prime Minister, and a rare question arose about his religious views, his press secretary said firmly, “we don’t do God,” and refused to answer.”
This is an excerpt from the preface of Unapologetic, the ground breaking volume by Francis Spufford.
This paints a bleak picture of soul winning in England. It also explains why Islam has made so many inroads in London. Moslems are not ashamed to speak out, nor are they embarrassed by their faith.
This blog is not a rant against Islam, nor is it a call for Christians to seize the White House. It is a call to take a hard, honest, deep look at what is a snapshot of our immediate future.
Soul winning is now a hate crime in England and the trend is growing here. There is a rising tide that calls for Christians to “keep it yourself.” This argument is being put forth by a strange Confederation of voices. Atheists want us to hold our peace because we are irrational and a threat to human progress. Secular progressives condemn us as hating the poor, the homosexual and women. Many modern pastors, including the Pope have asked Christians, “to tone it down.”
There are millions of innocent bystanders who hear the message of Jesus maligned every day. They are caught in the middle between those who, out of hatred, tell lies about the gospel, and those that present an incomplete gospel out of embarrassment.
The answer is not to tone down the Gospel, it is just the opposite: It is time to turn up the true Gospel. By being exposed to the real message of Jesus presented through Spirit-driven vessels, those millions who are stuck in the middle will experience history’s most pleasant surprise.
Everyone that knows me well knows this very singular fact about me: I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. But why am I not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ?
To answer that, you must see the different path this ministry has taken than most evangelists that you have ever heard of. It seems that Christ went out of his way to plunge us in the deep end from the very beginning.
While others have been called to areas of America that are sympathetic to Christian values, we have always been cast into locations that are hostile, atheistic, immoral and highly intellectual.
While still in high school I preached in the Haight-Ashbury; ground zero for the love and peace movement in San Francisco. The ministry went from the frying pan into the fire by moving to Berkeley California during the antiwar demonstrations. We were planted there for the next ten years.
For a great part of the early ministry I rarely stood before an audience that actually wanted to hear what I had to say. You could say that God sent the worst equipped person to convert the best armed opponent.
We do need not to present any further evidence than this to show you the power of the gospel: If there was a flaw in the message, any fantasy whatsoever, the crucible of Berkeley would have blown it to smithereens.
Instead, at each point of challenge something from out of this world would step in and move the ministry forward. The least likely would be converted. A greater proof still is the fact that we had not a clue about what we were doing and yet our numbers kept growing.
We were one of those rare ministries in history where the new converts could explain what God was doing better than we could.
Paul said he was not ashamed because it was the power of God. That is exactly what it was for me…the power of God doing the impossible.
When the words should not have been there they were.
When the money could not have been there it was.
When the method had no business being effective it was.
But finally and foremost, the Gospel proof was the power it put in people. They who hated it were transformed; they who had no power to stave off addictions were resurrected. In short, all who tasted the power of the Gospel had an engine installed that became an impetus to loving and positive choices. That is why I am not ashamed nor will ever be ashamed of the most awesome message mankind has ever heard!
Tomorrow: How we stop the trend away from soul winning.