Lifestyle Witness

Rose, my pastor, made a comment on my online Bible Study called Decoding the Apocalypse in response to a question: What is a clear witness? Below was my response to her comment.

As with most things, the Enlightenment Project produced a rash of reductionism. Witness was reduced to things like the “Four Spiritual Law” and “door-to-door” evangelism with the sole intent of putting an argument to people demonstrating that they were sinners and needed salvation so they could go to heaven when they died. If they surrendered they prayed the “sinners prayer” and got their barcode, so they could be successfully identified upon entry into eternity. Sound familiar?

Living openly, lovingly, and for others with Kingdom of God attributes such as the “fruit of the Spirit” was not prioritized as “witness.” If it was, it was more like “sissy” witness where “speech and argument” was seen as “real” witness. Of course, Paul introduced what he calls the “fruit of the Spirit” which is love, out of which come all kinds of lifestyle corrections. I believe for him, the “fruit” was a tangible demonstration of the “age to come” entering into “this present evil age.” It was the lifestyle of the future being brought into the lifestyle of the present. It was living the future now as though it was then. Living in this way surely would produce abundant conversations about why one is living differently than others in our physical communities. Telling one’s story in lifestyle would surely allow for opportunity to tell one’s story in words where one can give and honest, resounding, answer that she/he loves God. There is little or no argument that can be given for a life change. When the blind man in Scripture told his story, “I once was blind, but now I see,” having known the life of the blind man who was now a seeing man, who would argue.

Yes, to live well and to talk well we need to be empowered by the Spirit. His presence and power is not just for healing the sick and casting out demons. His presence and power are needed to help us live a Kingdom present life in the midst of an age gone amuck. When was the last time that when faced with a choice of a decision to be Kingdom people or “amuck people” we stopped and even briefly asked for the power of the Holy Spirit to decide in favor of being a Kingdom person? I better stop now, I’m talk’ too much here. 🙂

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