A terrific blog starter from Luke: I encounter a lot of people expressing pride in or downright boasting of their faith in Christ (this is quite common on Facebook, for instance). The whole concept of bragging about one's Christian faith seems a bit paradoxical to me. I'm not saying people should be ashamed or silent about their faith, but when it gets to the point of boasting, it seems to me like they may have missed a pretty fundamental point. Am I off base here?
From Jane: Years ago . . . years and years ago . . . Otto and Carol "adopted" me . . . dear saints . . .
I read your blog, and I could hear Otto saying, "Never talk about your faith. Live it. Your faith will speak for itself." Were they as old as my parents? Close. I ' m sure Otto and Carol have gone on . . . I haven ' t thought of them in forever. Good people. Gentle people. Salt of the earth.
From JLB+: For me, it's a "both/and" proposition. We're called (and empowered when we dare to step past our culture-imposed inhibitions - which also can be "spiritual warfare") to walk the talk (as St. Francis is supposed to have said, "Preach the Gospel at all times. if necessary, use words.") and we're also called to honor the Word in our words - to pray for and use the opportunities opened for us to share our own experience and faith journey. This sounds intimidating to some folks - but if you've ever crafted an elevator speech (those 15 second wonders that you pull out to get your message across when sharing elevator space with the executive/HR person of the company you really want to work for), sharing our faith journey can be just as easy and much more natural. It helps to think ahead about your witness and plan out what you might say if given those golden 15 seconds. There are lots of scriptural warrants and examples in our very own tradition of just that type of behavior. Ask the "long-timers" of St. Anne how Fr. John prepared them to walk neighborhoods and share the good news of a start-up congregation! Bottom line: begin with integrity (living what you believe). The rest will likely come naturally!
Let me comment on your first question, bragging vs evangelism. Where do we draw the line of sharing the good news and being annoying? Wouldn't it be better to walk the walk instead of talk the talk?