In a recent post, I introduced Gwydion Oak, a practicing Pagan, “Wiccan in particular”, who wrote an article for WitchVox.com titled, How to Witness to a Pagan.
Though written to introduce Christians to Pagan beliefs, hopefully making them “more effective in sharing” their faith, and presumably, less obnoxious, his remarks often provide principles for sharing with anyone who doesn’t embrace the Christian faith.
In this article, I’d like to share more of his thoughts, and add some of my own, on the topic of ‘successful’ evangelism.
Accept that You Can’t Win Them All
“Realize before you begin that you will not convert everyone you meet,” Gwydion begins, “and know when to stop.” He recalls missionaries who seemed to regard a Pagan’s refusal to join their church as evangelistic failure or a personal rejection. “In most cases, neither is true,” he wrote. “If a Pagan finally tells you that they have found their path, and wishes you well on yours, that simply means that you need to let go…”
Interestingly, Gwydion has described what often happens, when a Christian forgets who’s in charge of changing minds. Only by the Spirit of God, can a Pagan, or any non-Christian, become convinced of the truth of the cross. When we don’t recognize this fact, and keep pushing our opinion in the hope we can get them to accept our way of thinking, we’re trying to do the Spirit’s task, and we are never very good at it.
Make sure your listener understands the message, when sharing your faith, instead of making acceptance your goal. That is a responsibility God puts in our hands.
One Last Comment from Gwydion
Gwydion thinks, and I agree, that knowing when to back off will help foster religious tolerance, which is not a bad thing if we understand all that truly means.
“You don’t have to accept their beliefs, or agree with them, but since you never know what the future may hold, suspend judgment. That is the spirit of religious tolerance…that everyone has a basic right to believe according to their conscience.”
And we understand that God’s Spirit is able and responsible to change consciences! Thanks again, Gwydion!