Being The Nuts and Bolts of Christianity: An Experiential Witness

In the opening scenes of Ragamuffin: The True Story of Rich Mullins the character of Rich Mullins is placed in the role of narrator of the film through a radio interview that interjects narration throughout the movie. This interview opens with a question about how he came to faith. Mullins responds, “I am a Christian, not because someone explained the nuts and bolts of Christianity, but because there were people willing to be nuts and bolts.” (originally from his book, The World As Best I Remember It) This quote epitomizes what the witness of a missional community should be. It’s what I hope our Diakonos Community is becoming.

Too often we see witness or evangelism as presenting an airtight explanation of what Christians believe that will convince the hearer that this is the best way to believe. The Bible seems to present a different picture of witness in the early days of the church, though. There were times when the Gospel was publicly proclaimed. Still, there are many places where early Christian leaders (and Jesus himself) emphasised that the witness we live out will be as important as anything we say. Consider the following:

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14 – 16 

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34, 35 

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:2-6 

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1 Peter 2:12 

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:11, 12

A community of people that are living the self-sacrificial life that Jesus modeled will speak the Gospel to people burnt out on the self-centered culture of our contemporary age. Together we live out the nuts and bolts of Christianity. Together we let the light of Christ shine in the midst of the darkness of this world. When the actions of a Christian community match it’s words, this is the witness the world needs to see.



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