Dan left a very good comment on my post “New disciples = disciple makers in Acts 13.” In this post, I want to highlight Dan’s comment as well as (hopefully) start a discussion/conversation about a very important point that he raises.
To begin with, the post itself was about the response of the Gentiles in Antioch of Pisidia when Paul and Barnabas shared the gospel with them. They were so excited and so overjoyed that they immediately began sharing the same gospel with the people of their city and the surrounding area. How do we know? Because Luke tells us that the word (message) of the Lord spread throughout the whole region.
In response to this post, Dan said:
This is so true and glorious. But one thought occurs to me:
How do we translate this in America? To those people, this was brand new I think, and very liberating and so they welcomed it enthusiastically. In the U.S., the mass of population has been inoculated against the Gospel by hundreds of years of abuse by the institutional church — overpoliticized, hypo(and hyper-)critical, unloving, judgmental,ritualized professional. My wife says it seems we’re always fighting a two-front war — one with the unsaved and one with the traditional church. I feel every time I share my faith with someone i have to first issue a disclaimer that I’m not “Christian” the way they think of the term.
So… I ask you the same question that Dan asked me: How do we translate this (what we read about in Acts 13:48-49 especially) in America, or other parts of the “Christianized” Western world?