On Aug. 30, the second annual Celebrate Freedom Festival will be held at the Georgia International Horse Park. Last year this event brought some 42,000 people to the park to enjoy the exciting variety of activities including live music, stunt BMX and skateboarders, a children's area and powerful messages of hope.
The question such events engender is should Christians witness?
The politically correct answer, both in our culture and even in some of our churches is no. However, the question to me is how can one be a Christian and not witness? Did not Jesus (who Christians claim to follow) state clearly that his followers would be witnesses wherever they went?
"Jesus called out, 'Come along with me and I will show you how to fish for the souls of men!'" (Matthew 4:19, The Living Bible). "Jesus drew near and said to them, 'I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age'" (Matthew 28:18-20, GNT). "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere - in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8, NLT).
These commands from our lord are pretty clear. I guess it might be possible to be a Christian and not be a witness, but I don't believe it is possible to be an obedient Christian and not be a witness.
It is possible that one might argue that the commands sited above were for the disciples of our lord and not for his followers at large. Personally, I think such reasoning is flawed at its core. In fact, most commentators seem to feel that the Acts 1:8 command would have been uttered to the largest gathering of believers post-resurrection-the 500 described in 1 Corinthians 15:6.
Putting aside these commands for a moment, I think there is another reason for believers to be witnesses. If we believe what the Bible reveals about God and Christ to be true, how could we not share it? It's the greatest news ever recorded.