The Christian’s Gospel witness is his or her call to spread the good news that Christ died to save sinners and that all who turn from their evil ways to faith in Christ will be made right with God and saved from His wrath.
Now, many Christians throughout America are currently practicing various techniques that improve their ability to effectively lose their Gospel witness. But in order to help more Christians in this endeavor, I have decided to promote the awareness of these impeccable methods so that more and more Christians might begin employing them into their own lives. The following is a helpful list of various ways in which you too can successfully lose your Gospel witness.
1 | Live Hypocritically
You may not realize it, but credibility is a big thing in today’s world. Now, this can be used to our advantage! For example, if you talk a good talk about Christ but live anti-Christ, you’ll lose all credibility. If you talk about repentance while your life shows no fruit of repentance, what you say will prove to be far less than genuine. If you talk about the Gospel that changed your life but a change is unapparent to your listeners, no one will care what you have to say. No one will respect you and therefore no one will respect your message.
So, what are the best practical ways of being a hypocrite? Well, I’d suggest practicing some “acceptable sins” such as being prideful, being greedy, being unthankful and complaining, talking rudely and crudely, gossiping, being dishonest, being irritable, not being patient, and having a lack of self-control. Or, if those fail, just be an overall, class “A” jerk to people. That’ll do the trick!
In general, don’t really be sold out for Christ and don’t actually care about your faith. Lie—say you love God, but don’t keep His commandments (John 14:15).
So, if you want to nullify your Gospel witness, first, cancel out your talk by your lack of your walk.
2 | Be an Obnoxious Political Bigot
God has surely given us an amazing privilege as Americans. We have religious liberty; freedom of speech; and the opportunity to vote. But just in case you are not aware, allow me to show you how you can abuse these privileges in a way that will successfully abolish your Gospel witness, namely, by being an obnoxious political bigot.
Now, although the Gospel should have affected the way you view politics, your political views and the Gospel message are not one in the same. So, “how does my political participation relate to my Gospel witness?” you ask. Well, whether they mean to or not, people tend to connect a message with the messenger. That means that your witness to the Gospel message is affected by every aspect of who you are. Luckily, this means you can tarnish your Gospel witness by being obnoxious and making people angry over political issues!
Now, I’m not talking about a political issues like abortion (the murdering of unborn persons), which desperately demands our political voice and activity. I’m talking about being obnoxious about things that, although they may be important, are not as important as our opportunity to reach the lost.
So, allow me to provide you some practical examples of how you can employ this method into your own life and thereby hinder your Gospel witness. First, load up your facebook with statuses bashing political figures. Better yet, make a disrespectful meme about them that will get lots of “likes.” Secondly, get into heated debates over politics with your unsaved coworkers. Make sure to get them really mad at you so they won’t respect what you have to say. Thirdly, in order to help your church lose its Gospel witness, ask you pastor(s) to preach on political issues instead of the Gospel. The list of ideas could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Of course, in order to exercise these techniques you’ll have to ignore Paul’s words in Romans 13:1-7. But this shouldn’t be too much of a problem as we’ll see with method #4—compromise!
So secondly, if you want to successfully damage your Gospel witness, be politically obnoxious.
3 | Be Legalistic
Some might define legalism as any attempt on our part to earn God’s favor through works and through law abiding. I guess you could also see it as a belief that bases spiritual maturity, holiness, or godliness on external rules. Oh, and if you’re a really good legalist, you will probably try to impose your own man made rules on everyone else as if they are the statutes of God.
Now, whatever your opinion on legalism is (I enjoy in large doses with a small side dish of hypocrisy), all I can say is that I highly endorse it as a method of successfully hindering your Gospel witness. “How can/does legalism cause a road block to my Gospel witness?” you ask. Well, that’s easy. When you become so obsessive over ridiculous rules and standards, the people to whom you are suppose to be witnessing become quite distracted and even confused by your legalism. Oh sure, you believe your saved by grace; but the beauty of this legalistic method is that everyone else thinks you’re trying to be right with God by the law and human effort—namely your outlandish rules! Your message of salvation by grace is successfully confused by your practice, which is sending a whole different message. And even if people aren’t completely thrown off by your legalism, at minimum they will at least be terribly distracted by it. They’ll never listen to you because they’ll think you’re far too crazy!
So thirdly, if you want to hinder your Gospel witness, jump on board the legalistic train.
4 | Compromise
If you’re not good at being legalistic, or even if you are, you’re in luck. Compromising is also one of the best techniques for effectively tarnishing one’s Gospel witness. And fortunately for us, there are several ways to compromise.
First, you can compromise scripture. Since our culture can be pretty critical of scripture, feel free to compromise it. Instead of holding to the basis of all our faith and practice, you can replace it with something like science, experience, psychology, human “experts,” or a number of other things.
If you need more methods, you can also compromise doctrines. Oh, there are several doctrines that many people find unappealing and even repulsive, such as sin, God’s wrath, eternal damnation, Christ’s resurrection, the virgin birth of Christ, God’s absolute sovereignty, and the list goes on. Eventually, if you play your cards right, your doctrinal compromises will start to chip away at the purity of the Gospel message itself. You will very effectively lose your Gospel witness by losing the very Gospel itself!
Or if that’s too bold for your personality, you can try the popular method of blurring the Gospel with ambiguous clichés that don’t convey the content of the Gospel so as to lead one to genuine repentance from sin and faith in the person and work of Christ. Currently, two common catch phrases you might find helpful are “I asked Jesus into my heart” or “I began a personal relationship with Christ.” These two work wonders because most people have no idea what you mean by them when you say them!
Lastly, you can always compromise the way you live. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Be in the world but not of the world”? Well, this isn’t a Bible verse but it is Biblical. For example, Christ said that believers are the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16). Christians are to be set apart and different, and thereby operate as sort of “spiritual lighthouses.” But, we can easily forsake this role and abort our Gospel witness by compromising and living just like the world—making our salt less salty and our light less like a Maglite and more like one of the flashlights you can win at Chuck E. Cheese’s.
So fourthly, if you want to successfully discredit your Gospel witness, compromise like there’s no tomorrow.
5 | Seclude Yourself
In John 17 Jesus prayed, “I do not ask that you take them [believers] out of the world” (verse 15), and said, “As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world” (verse 18). Yet in spite of what is pretty straight forward in these statements made by our Lord, if we choose to make seclusion from the world a virtue, falsely suppose that hiding behind the doors of the church, and make avoidance with the unsaved an additional fruit of the Spirit, an evidence of spiritual maturity, and a character of godliness, we can more successfully lose our Gospel witness.
Unfortunately, scripture shows that it’s ludicrous to suppose that we should disassociate from the world. Paul won’t even entertain the idea (1 Corinthians 5:9-11). As he said in 2 Corinthians 5:20, “we [believers] are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal [for sinners to be reconciled to Him] through us.” But, if we seclude ourselves from the world well enough, we probably won’t ever be convicted by these truths!
So, if you desire to successfully eliminate your Gospel witness to the world, don’t go near it. It works every time!
6 | Never Share the Gospel
If you can’t manage to trash your Gospel witness through the methods presented above, this final technique is the failsafe—never actually articulate the Gospel. How can you advance the Gospel message if you never actually state it? You can’t! And that’s why this final method is impenetrable!
And if you at all feel guilty about not spreading the tremendous news of Jesus Christ, you can easily reassure yourself with these popular and completely false words: “Preach the Gospel always; use words if necessary.” Now, to be Biblically accurate and truthful this phrase would have to read, “Preach the Gospel always; use words because it’s necessary.” You see, Romans 10 says,
14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? . . . 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ (the Gospel) only comes by the message of the Gospel. So, if you want to successfully eradicate your Gospel witness, employ this 100% guaranteed method: don’t testify to the good news of Jesus Christ. Go ahead, be ashamed of the Gospel, which “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).