Archive for ‘evangelism’

May 3, 2010

I’m just sayin…

You know, I’m not the hard core evangelist kinda guy. I don’t pass out tracts, don’t stand up in a crowd of people to preach, and I don’t wear ‘Christian’ t-shirts with a Gospel message so that perhaps the spirit would use the t-shirt to save men. I’m much more comfortable being the quiet guy wearing the Abercrombie t-shirt, or the just fellowshipping with the brethren over coffee, or cooking fajitas at my house for my brothers.

I’m not into Ray Comfort, or the popular evangelical tactics. I don’t really like the attitude of ‘us against them’ in evangelism, and I don’t really like the whole ‘fighting the culture’ mentality that some evangelists take. In this sense, I reject the whole transformationalist messsage carried in evangelical pop-evangelism. I’m unashamedly opposed to transformationalist (cha ching…two kingdoms huh Daniel?) views of culture. The culture is not to be confused with the cult. There is a sacred and a secular.

I don’t think of myself as an anti-evangelist, although they have given me good reasons to be anti-evangelism because the abrasive attitude of some evangelists reminds me more of Westboro Baptist Church, than the Church Christ founded.

I think apologetics isn’t evangelism, and evangelism is much more important than apologetics. I don’t confuse the two categories, while I do recognize the necessity of both. Apologetics is used to shut people up, evangelism is heralding the message of the Gospel, the announcment of forgiven sins, and the reconciliation of a people to God. 

I’m not big into confrontational evangelism, I am big into relational evangelism. I do witness to cousins, friends, brothers and sisters. Although, I have witnessed to the occasional stranger, for example the young hispanic gangster who asked me for a cigarette (gasp! I even smoked one with him!). It was an interesting interaction of culture, I’m a hispanic but I’m not a ‘cholo’  and while my background may have some ‘cholos’ in it, I don’t familiarize with the subculture they’ve created. Of course the message transcends the culture, so whether it was a yuppie, or a cholo the words of sin, righteouness and judgement all mean the same thing to both groups of people. I would think that I presented a coherent message in a gracious manner. No need to yell, no need to run him through a list of sins – he knew he was evil. I didn’t attract him by giving him dollars, being tied up, or playing a game. All he wanted was a cigarette.

I don’t mind open air preaching, but I’m not an open air preacher. I do think some tracts make the Gospel herald look like an Entertainment Tonight reporter with some Gospel mixed in. But, I also don’t think the other methods are evil, or should be excluded from the life of the Christian in evangelism.

I guess, what I want to say is that sometimes we run into the zealot, the guy who can’t stop sharing Jesus, the guy who treats sharing Jesus with people in his manner, his way, and only his way as if it is the supreme act of piety, as if God’s work will not be done if we don’t evangelize in that way, at that time, in that manner. I don’t need to stand on a stool, passout million dollar bills or chick tracts to get someones attention. I already have some peoples attention, why not focus on them and include the occasional stranger?

Finally, what about the church? After all the Lord commissioned the disciples, and people have interpreted that as implying the Church. If its the comission of the church to evangelize the nations through preaching and the administration of baptism and the Lord’s supper, wouldn’t it be beneficial to invite unbelievers to the gathering of the Church? The great commission wasn’t given to us as individuals but the chuch as a corporate entity.