Christian, Christianity, God, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Mercy and Sacrifice, Religion and Spirituality
There is a man who stands in the town centre. He has done it for years. This photo is his latest sign. What do you think? I mean, technically he’s not wrong is he? But is it the best emphasis given all the richness there is in God? Do we want to see half-hearted converts just hedging their bets in case the end of the world does appear sooner than they hoped?
Throughout the Bible we see God state that He desires mercy over sacrifice. Jesus even repeats this mantra to the Pharisees, imploring them to learn what it means. What’s more merciful – to scare people into the kingdom? Or to remind them of alternative ‘100% guaranteed Biblical facts’? Like whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Like the fact that in Jesus we are new creations. Like faith, hope and love?
This is the first part of a new series about mercy and sacrifice.
Robin Lawrimore said:
Thank you for this post! There are too many Christians attempting to scare people into Heaven when it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance. The love and kindness through us will build relationship with others so that they do sense that mercy available. I remember that song from the 70’s – “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love…”
It certainly wouldn’t be MY choice of sign. I do not believe anyone can be scared into belief. On the other hand, I will not criticise him, or deny that God may have prompted him or that God can use his ministry.
I think of Arthur Stace, an Aussie no-hoper, who couldn’t read or write but was dramatically converted. He received a unique gift from God and was challenged to walk the streets of Sydney writing in beautiful script the word “Eternity” on pavements in chalk. (the only word he ever wrote). Many thousands testify of being saved through his one-word ministry.
His is a remarkable story and a brief account of it can be read at
Anthony Baker said:
It is not technically correct to say that no one can be “scared” into belief. What about the people of Nineveh? Jonah didn’t exactly preach a seeker-friendly sermon when he walked through town.
But when it comes to things like this sign, I question the effectiveness.
The thing I forgot to write is that this guy just stands there. He doesn’t engage with anyone. He hands out sheets of paper with various conspiracies on. To be honest I think there may be some mental health issues. And then I have a minor panic and worry that he’s got it right and I’m wrong!
I may stand next to him with a sign that says ‘Jesus says don’t worry’ 100% Biblical fact!’ Or similar….