Ex “Christians”

Mark Loughridge at [3:17](http://three17.blogspot.com/2005/11/ex-christians-criticising-christianity.html) has an excellent article up on people who grew up in a Christian environment and now “know better.” At the end, he has a set of proper Christian responses, starting with “agree with your accuser quickly.”

His third point kind of amuses me:
> In evangelism we need to aim to break the pride of sinners before applying the grace of the gospel. Law first, then grace. Otherwise we will have intellectual converts who have never humbled themselves before God. And as Christians we need continually to humble ourselves, for pride is the surest route to failure.

“Law then Grace,” as a one-size-fits-all approach, is a pretty standard Lutheran concept. Is Mark a Lutheran? (On the othe hand, does it matter?) My gut reaction is that aiming to break somebody else’s pride is a pretty steep goal. I have the darndest time with my *own* pride. How am I to expect to manage somebody elses? I think I’d want to modify this one to something more like “try to help them recognise their pride.” Still a tall order, but one I’d feel more confident trying to approach.

3 thoughts on “Ex “Christians””

  1. Well, sticking in my oar….My prefered method is to ignore their pride — speak the truth in love [which requires one to deal with one’s own pride] and let the Holy Spirit do what He alone does best….convict of sin, of righteousness & of judgment.

    Rick Joyner once said that the truth spoken in love is irresistable.

    Too often we speak the truth but our motivation is not really to “win our brother” but to win an argument.

    One thing I especaially try to guard against is giving them any more material with which to strengthen their own preferred stronghold — which means, among other things that I allow them the grace to move, however slowly, from their entrenched position into the light without losing face. Their humility needs to be before the Lord — my pride shouldn’t require their pride as a whole burnt offering on my personal altar.

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  2. Thanks for the link – sorry I’m only noticing it now! Perhaps if I had said that “we need to aim to see the pride of sinners broken by God” it might have been better put. I can break no-ones pride, but too often I think that we are so keen not to offend people that we play up to their pride.

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  3. Mostly I was just quibbling, I think. You are very right that too often in evangelizing we try to get people to like us. Jesus is Lord of All, not prom king.

    Perhaps the best I could aim to do is to *point out* a person’s pride to them. And then pray that God would do the breaking.

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