"So would that only be for what you consider to be heaven or are you saved for here and now?"It's been a while since I have been evangelised and I have to admit it left me feeling a little annoyed but I am trying to work out exactly why? Two well meaning young men tooled up with no doubt the latest in hip communicating tracts accosted me on the street and just came right out with it. "So are you saved?"
I guess I wouldn't have minded if had they introduced themselves even in a nominal way to establish the semblance of a context. Perhaps I wouldn't have minded if I wasn't in full uniform (including cap btw!) trying to raise money to bring hope and fullness to those who experience the hell of life confronting them the moment they wake up to the moment they fall asleep.
However, I smile and politely say that I firmly believe I am and I wondered whether they too were saved. "Oh yes" they smile. "So would that only be for what you consider to be heaven or are you saved for here and now?"
A new look comes across their faces!
"So you are in The Salvation Army then?" I'm impressed that contextually they are making some connections. "Do you preach the gospel?"
I ask them whether by that did they mean merely the good news that Jesus came, died and rose again, or did they make the connection that gospel was that but ever so much more. I asked if they meant did I align myself to the sovereignty and rule of God and that by implication saying Jesus is Lord is to declare a counter cultural reign or way of living. I assured them most certainly we preach the gospel and we do it to the extreme.
I sensed they were growing tired of me and there is a reprise "so are you saved...?"
"Look do you think I would be stood here doing this if I wasn't?"
"Well we need to go and evangelise now...!" I think I remain patient in tone. "Well all the best", I venture "...and I hope you also get the chance to use your hands"
"Don't forget remember to love people with your hands as well!"
As they prepare to go I ask them if they had heard of Lesslie Newbigin, they hadn't. Did they get what Newbigin meant when he said that 'words without actions are dumb' - they didn't, and that is why I think I think I was left feeling a little annoyed - words without actions are dumb in both senses of the word.