Monday, 16 May 2011

sharing the faith

The other day, I looked out our front window, and this is what I saw:
you'll have to just imagine their animated faces :)
2 women, well-dressed with Bibles and pamphlets in hand, engaged in a spirited conversation with my neighbour. In a second, I knew they were Jehovah's Witness folk, and that they were trying to convince him (a Hindu) of something related to faith.

I've never been comfortable sharing my faith in such open (and uninvited?) ways. I took a year off after high school to spend time with a mission organization. I met a lot of great people, but the philosophy/mission was much different than my own. Evangelism was expected, and not just by our actions - using words to convince.

We were given several options of places where we could do the outreach portion of our time (for one month). I chose Morocco because we weren't allowed to do street evangelism there. We worked at an orphanage in Casablanca, and were told NOT to share our faith. I could gladly abide by these rules.

I'm not a marketer at the best of times, and selling my faith? I just can't seem to do it any other way than through my actions.

And door to door? Have you ever sold something door to door? Well, not me - not chocolate bars, magazine fundraisers, and certainly not my faith. And so I wonder: is my faith not strong enough? Do I not think there's a message worth sharing?

I heard this quote while studying at university, and it rang true for me. I still love it:
"Real religion does not give us final answers. It makes us ask better questions."  David Tracey, Catholic theologian
I do think that there is a message worth sharing, and I'm happy to try to put into words what I believe - when people ask.

And I'm happy to hear about others' faith - even (and sometimes especially!) if it is wildly different than my own. I love to engage in interfaith dialogue, and share faith in a kindergarten sense of the word - I give some to you, you give some to me. We share. Your faith influences, builds up, strengthens, and challenges, mine. And even changes me. And I hope to do the same for you.


3 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more. Still trying to find the right "fit" for "sharing" in the frequently used sense of the word --- rather I hope to learn more about listening and creating space where dialogue is possible and offering love and hope in the midst of that.

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  2. avsl - I really like what you said - I think it's so important to have dialogue where both parties are listening, and offering love and hope. I may not be in the majority here.... but I truly believe that there is one universal spirit for the world - we all feel it - hindus, buddhists, muslims, christians, jews....
    I think that's why it's so hard for me to consider baptism at this stage in the game - because I can't believe that all other religions in the world are wrong, and christians are the only ones with the right belief.
    I love the way you talked about sharing your faith through action, Rebecca. So many times in this world there's a lot of talk, but not alot of action to back it up.

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  3. Don't worry about whether you're in the majority/minority, Rachel - we see eye to eye on a lot of these things! You're in good company. For me, baptism was about choosing one - like a life partner. I don't think there is "the one" - there is a choice, and when you choose "the one" you go with it. Christianity is what I know, and there's enough in it that feels life-giving to me, even if some Christians seem to speak a totally different "language" than I do. This can be hard. And I hear you about other religions - this is something I feel/believe wholeheartedly too. But it's something I try not to shout out in certain circles. Traveling to India, Morocco, Indonesia really opened my eyes to people of other faiths, and wanting to dialogue/learn.

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