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February 23, 2018, 2:59 PM

Soap in the Eye!!

When my kids were little we used to buy the tear-free type of shampoo.  The last thing we wanted to do was make them more upset about bath time.  Eventually, each of them learned to keep their eyes closed when they were being rinsed.  As they got older we reinforced the importance of keeping their eyes closed during the shower.  As an adult, soap in the eye is an undesirable experience.  If you have ever had a refreshing shower interrupted by soap in the eye, you understand how painful it can be.  The reality is, if you want to really get clean, soap is required. Depending on how dirty you are, the stronger the soap the better.  Soap is effective for cleaning skin but it’s not anything you want to clean your eye with.  It might work but there are other less abrasive ways to rinse the eyes.  Discovering the best strategy of presenting the Gospel has become a course at seminaries across the world.  It can be very difficult to find the middle ground that is effective without being too abrasive.  Paul provides us with a perfect example of this during his time in Athens.  According to Luke in Acts 17, Paul met with the leading religious groups of that time and region and tried to relate to them the truth of Scripture in a manner that they could understand.  He referenced statements and ideals they would have been familiar with and used them to point the Stoics and Epicureans toward Christ.  He even acknowledged their misplaced attempt of worship of idols and even the unknown god.  The point of his teaching was that Jesus is the Messiah and the time of ignorance had come to an end.  He shared the Gospel in an effective and nonabrasive way. Note that it was not a watered down weak version of the truth, It was the full truth delivered with love.  As with every presentation of the Gospel, there will be those who reject, those who are interested but not right now, and those who accept and are saved by faith in Jesus.  When we share the Gospel let us be mindful of Paul’s model and try to keep the soap out of the eyes of the ones we are trying to help get clean.  The Gospel can be offensive enough on its own, it doesn’t need our help to make it more so.  We just need to faithfully speak the truth in love. 


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