Fellowshipping with Darkness
Oft times I hear Christians tell me "You shouldn't be hanging out with Pagans, the Bible says not to be yoked together with darkness." But the fact of the matter is, unless I go to Pagans with the Gospel and with my friendship, chances are they won't listen to anything I have to say. Sure, it's an admirable thing to desire to take the Gospel to people. But unless we do it with love, will people listen? The Apostle Paul discussed philosophy and religion when he traveled to new areas. He took the time to listen to others while he presented the Gospel message. Jesus Christ Himself, went and ate dinner with prostitutes and tax collectors while He shared the Gospel. In order to effectively share the Gospel with others, we can't just stand ten feet away while preaching at them or shoving tracts their way. We must not just make an effort to be friendly, but we must BE friendly. To many, words mean nothing without a friendly face behind those words. The truth of Christ must be proclaimed, but we must offer a friendly hand at the same time. Christ didn't just proclaim the Gospel and leave it at that. No, Christ walked with the sinners, He had compassion on them, healing them, eating with them, feeding them.
Which is what I strive to do. To be more like Christ as I present the Gospel to others. I don't pretend to be friends so I can share the Gospel, I am a friend to those whom I share it with. I don't force the conversations to go where I want them too, I listen, I care, I empathize, but I also speak the Truth of Christ. When I talk with a friend who is Pagan or Wiccan, I don't just say 'thou must be saved.' I present the Gospel, but I also listen to their hopes and hurts and fears, and what they believe as well. Why should they be willing to listen to what I believe if I won't be willing to listen to them too? It's not any big suprise to them when I disagree with them, but sometimes it can be a shock when I disagree in a manner that is civil. Yes, I'll admit that I eat with Pagans, I pray with and for Pagans, I hurt with Pagans...whether or not they ever accept Christ as their Saviour I am their friend.