Christ-Centeredness at the Coffee Shop

I sit and sip and God seems to appoint. Over the past weeks, God has not failed to bring someone to my table. I doubt that they come because of the intensity of my natural draw. Perhaps it is because they see the many books scattered about me, an organized chaos of sorts. Perhaps they come to simply enjoy a nice chai latte, and having nothing else to do at the moment, they engage me either directly or indirectly through another conversation. Or, most likely, God appoints a time, a place, a person, and having already provided the beautiful means of salvation through a crucified Christ, so He provides the boldness to witness of it. I do not mean all of this to be juxtaposed against “the Great Commission Christian (crucifying) any hesitation to proclaim the Gospel to any sinner in any place at any time, (Russ Moore)” or the necessity of confrontational evangelism, but rather the grace of God in also providentially granting opportunities to witness on a daily basis.

All of this considered, God has not failed to provide a soul to engage. Some have been unbelievers looking to enter into religious discussions. Some have been brothers and sisters in Christ who are looking for comfort everywhere and in everything and in everyway other than by nearness to Christ. Still others have been young men and women divided over doctrines and truth and reality, contemporary and traditional stigmas, and the various ways of “doing church”. And others are heart broken mothers desiring more for their disgruntled teens and not knowing exactly what to do or where to find answers. The coffee shop is a true microcosm of the world, a great bundle of independencies and self-centeredness and complacencies towards the things of God.

So what do we evangelicals offer to these in the coffee shop, or anywhere else in the world? Our own Laodicean state? Our vested self-righteousness? An impure Gospel that is no Gospel? A vision of a God that is co-equal with His creation, or, worse still, trumped by the power of the “almighty” decisiveness of men? Prosperity? Large crowds? Cool atmospheres? Entertaining light shows and rock concerts? A personal witness so corrupted by our carelessness that it has become like the salt that is good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under by the feet of those still unsaved?

People are not idiots within their personal arenas, in general. Most are strong upon their convictions and what they believe to be true. They will fight for what they hold most closely to their hearts. So, again, what do we offer to the 73 year old retiree from Milwaukee, Wisconsin who holds to orthodox Roman Catholicism; to the mother frantic over the state of her lost 15 year old; to your own father whose religiosity condemns him before God and hardens him in unbelief; to the artsy 18 year old atheist self-worshipper; to the college group confessedly confused over right, wrong, truth, error, etc.; to the brother or sister in Christ who is soul-deep in biblical error, being led by wolves in sheeps clothing?

I commend quite passionately, Jesus Christ, the Lord. Offer an air-tight presentation of the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ, the awesome glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, the holiness demanded within the words of Jesus Christ, the righteousness offered in the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ, a worldview that exalts the Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, a personal radical passion for Your Savior, Jesus Christ, a Christosoteric position on salvation, the absolute reality that Jesus Christ stands this day to comfort, to save, to sanctify, and all of this to the glory of God and the accomplishment of the most perfect plan of redemption devised within the very throne room of the Almighty, our God. By your closeness to the Word of God and the fragrance of Christ that permeates your attitude and words and love towards them, make them so full of Jesus that they are hungry for nothing else and sick of themselves. Herein, Christ will be truly sweet, and the Gospel the power of God to save.

And a bit of testimony: As God has provided the time, the people, and the Word of Christ, so God has been pleased to flavor each that I have had the privilege of speaking with. So, wherever you are, whoever God gives to you, make Jesus Christ and Him crucified the sole intent of your conversation. Center all upon Him, His work, His satisfaction. Do not stray from the Word of God. For in proportion to your straying from it, so you will stray from Christ, for they are one and the same, and so will the soul given to your charge in that moment miss out on a conversation – not with you, but with Christ in you. A man recently told me of the sure torment that he would face should he now perish, and asked me for comfort from it, that he wanted what I had; I told him, “What I have is Jesus Christ because Christ gave Himself to me and for me. I cannot comfort you…but Jesus Christ can! Believe in Jesus Christ! Turn from sin and believe in Jesus Christ! Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” Sinners need not a teacher to indoctrinate them on the caveats of theology, nor do they need Christians to engage them with anything less (enculturated Christian practices designed to woo the sinner) than the biblical Christ which seems to be the “in” thing right now, for the former sounds to them like “blah, blah, blah”, and the latter is more dangerous in that it fails to confront them with the greatest problem in the universe, i.e., a sinner before a wrathful and holy God, and the need for immediate salvation (it rather seems to comfort the sinner in their practices because the Christian is willing to engage with them in the like practices); sinners need a Savior, and as the carriers of this Treasure, we must centralize Jesus Christ exclusively for He is the greatest solution in the universe unto the glory of God!

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One Response

  1. Welcome to the world of sharing your thoughts, my friend. Needless to say, you’re a natural. Anytime someone can use the word “microcosm” in any context they should do so.
    Excellent first entry…after reading it, i am reminded of the words of God in Deuteronomy 6:4-7: “Hear O Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words which i am commanding you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

    Is there ever a time when we are not doing one of these things? NO! This encompasses our entire being! Lord, help me to diligently pursue others to teach them of your truth!

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