by Nat Sniatecki
First of all, my apologies for the lack of posting recently. A new job plus a trip to a summer camp makes for a significant decrease in laptop time.
But being in the woods for long stretches of time with no electronics and hearing a series of excellently written and presented sermons really stirred some thoughts into my head, and I realized that I am nothing but a beggar who has been given bread. Each one of us rebelled, and became beggars not by birth, but by our own decisions. It was my own actions that led me to a place of spiritual poverty. Not the result of a class war. Not the sins of my father. Not because of a series of unfortunate events. Me. I did this.
And I wasn’t manipulated or forced to sin. I’ve sinned every day because of my own weakness and foulness. And I can blame it on no one else. This was my own choice, and hence, I deserve to starve. I have done nothing to deserve spiritual nourishment, and yet, God gave it to me.
This should be the attitude of all who have received Christ in their hearts. As Christians we are in no way better than non-Christians. Now that we’ve been given bread, our duty is not to stockpile and batten down the hatches to make sure no one steals it. Christianity rarely involves defensive maneuvers. Now that we have the greatest blessing and we’re no longer condemned to starve, we should want to tell every other beggar in the world. Everyone from celebrities and renowned atheist authors to squalid third-world residents and actual beggars. Regardless of status, class, and wealth, every one of us is a beggar, by our own choice. None moreso than another. I am no better than a drug addict in Detroit with a dime to his name, nor am I any less than a professor in Oxford with a mansion and two Bentleys in the driveway.
There are two common fallacies in modern Christian evangelism, aside from the lack of evangelism itself. The first is to assume an attitude that implies that because we have been given bread before some others, we are superior, or we have been chosen and others have been rejected by God. That is not the case. We have simply stretched out our hand before others have, and if the Spirit of God is truly in us, then our concern should not be of superiority and inferiority, but rather how many other beggars we can save from starvation before the final hour.
The second common fallacy is to hollow out the bread, so that the beggars who remain will not be uncomfortable with the amount of food they’re given. Sometimes the starving go hungry for so long they don’t realize how much they crave nourishment. By diluting Scripture and making it more palatable to the spiritually starving, all we are doing is harming the world by not giving them the nourishment we’ve received. Compromising the message is in no way beneficial to either party.
Do not forget that we have been given bread by the Master, and in turn, we are expected to tell others. By adopting salvation, we are trying to realign our hearts to God’s, and thus, our aim should be to save them from the doom both we and they have earned.