When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere. – Luke 9:1-6
Even though Jesus tells his followers to go and make disciples of all nations, the passage above concedes that not everyone will want to become a disciple. One such person responded to me yesterday on Twitter.
In reference to my post yesterday I tweeted, “Since Jim and Pam had sex before marriage, should Christians stop watching The Office?” The question was tongue-in-cheek and intended to entice people to read the post.
To that tweet, someone responded, “yes–christians should sit in a windowless room and not talk to anyone and not go anywhere but church-please do that-jesus asks”.
I don’t think this person read my post or he would have known that I was suggesting Christians should feel free to watch The Office and other TV shows as long as the programming doesn’t cause the viewer to stumble.
I was somewhat taken aback by the tweet and searched the person’s Twitter profile and recent tweets. From what I was able to glean, he uses Twitter to attack Christians for no reason and stir up arguments for contention’s sake.
If the disciples had come across him in their journey, I imagine they would have shaken the dust off their feet and moved on.
Some of this person’s targets didn’t respond like that, though. Instead of shaking the dust off their feet, they engaged with him and attempted to defend themselves and our shared faith. From what I saw, everyone responded lovingly and in a manner that would have honored Jesus.
God loves everyone and, as followers of Jesus, we’re called share the gospel with anyone we can. Unfortunately, some of the people we share with will be like the path in the Parable of the Sower; no matter how hard we try, the seed isn’t going to take root. Instead of trying to make seed grow that just won’t, we need to move on to better soil where our effort will bear more fruit.
Obviously we continue to pray for people who reject the gospel, we show them the love of Jesus and we look for Spirit-led opportunities to readdress a life with Jesus. But whether on Twitter or next door, we need to be willing to shake the dust off our feet and move on.
The time we spend with someone completely opposed to Christ, could better be spent with someone thirsty to experience the love, grace, compassion, peace, justice and wholeness that is only found in Jesus.
How do you respond to people who are opposed to Jesus?