QUESTIONS ON THE GOSPEL
Question: The brothers do not want us to pay too much attention to man’s emotion, but when we preach the gospel, should we put some emphasis on man’s emotion and try to touch man’s emotion? Should we also use our own emotion?
Answer: Preaching the gospel is not a matter of whether or not we should touch man’s emotion. The fact is that man has a spirit and a soul within him and that the major part of the soul is the emotion. Hence, in order for a person to be moved, we must first cause his emotion to be moved. Therefore, when we preach the gospel, we should stir up man’s emotion. However, we can do this only to a certain degree. After a person’s emotion is stirred, we have to minister the spiritual reality to him. It is useless to merely stir up people’s emotions without ministering to them the spiritual realities, because once they leave you, everything will be over. Thus, we have to stir people’s emotions to an appropriate degree. Some use too much of their emotion, causing the whole meeting to have an emotional atmosphere, yet there is no solid seed planted into people. As a result, everything is in vain. If a person receives only a kind of excitement yet inwardly does not gain anything substantial, he will remain empty. However, sometimes even though the message itself is excellent, if the seed cannot enter into the ground, it will avail nothing. Hence, we should practice both within limits. We may illustrate this with farming. After we have tilled the ground to a certain degree, we have to sow the seed. Merely tilling the ground is useless; we must also sow the seed. Likewise, it would be futile to sow the seed if the ground were not tilled and loose. Without this, the seed cannot be sowed into the ground. Thus, both must be done in an appropriate manner.
Question: It is usually not so easy for a poor person to preach the gospel to a rich person, or for a “lower-class” person to preach to a “higher-class” person. What should we do?
Answer: It is always difficult for the rich to forget that they are rich and for the poor to forget that they are poor. It is also not so easy for those who have high positions in society to forget their status, or for those who have a low position in society to forget their status. However, for the sake of the gospel, all people should come together, having no consciousness of whether they are rich or poor, highborn or lowborn. When we preach the gospel, we should not have the feeling that we are poor or lowly. Even if we are really poor and of a lowly birth, we should not care. All we care for is the gospel. On the other hand, if we are a rich person or a government official, we should not have pride in ourselves, because our goal is to preach the gospel. When we preach the gospel, we have to be delivered from ourselves so that we do not know what it is to be poor or to be lowly.
Question: If while preaching the gospel we speak too much and our words are too heavy so that the other party has some negative feeling, what should we do?
Answer: We all know that there are two ways to box. The first way is to give the opponent a blow. This way seems rough and heavy, but actually it does not hurt at all. The other way is to hit your opponent in a way that gives the impression that you just barely put your fist on his body. This way does not seem to be heavy at all, but when your opponent takes off his clothes at home, he will find that he has a bruise. It is the same with the preaching of the gospel. Sometimes we have to preach the gospel to certain people in a mild way so that we do not give rise to any negative feelings toward us. We need to practice speaking a heavy word but not in a rough way, just like the second way of boxing.
(The Path of Our Growth in Life, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)