Saturday, August 02, 2008

Soul Searching part 5: Confronting the Evangelism Boogeyman

By Rich Bordner

(continued from here)

When it comes to sharing our faith, these days it is popular for many Christians to think in terms of "lifestyle evangelism." This type of sharing one's faith forgoes an emphasis on verbal proclamation ("sharing the message of the gospel with words") in favor of certain lifestyle actions: service, working hard, listening to others' stories, etc. Many today take this so far that they rarely or never talk about Jesus to someone.

You can't underestimate the power of a "lifestyle of love," as its called, but the thing is that you also can't underestimate the power of actually sharing the gospel message by talking to someone about it. There are many reasons for this, but one reason that the posts on *Soul Searching* underscores is that given the current cultural climate of M.T.D, given that religion is just not that big a deal to most Americans (Some of which are in churches every Sunday.) and most don't think about it a whole lot, "preaching Christ by your lifestyle (to borrow an oft used phrase)" won't make people curious about Christ! They won't "get" the gospel just from your actions!

True, a few might...you can always come up with a testimony or two. But the majority won't. The cultural atmosphere of M.T.D doesn't allow for that kind of evangelism to be effective. This, of course, doesn't mean that we go to the other extreme and eschew a lifestyle of love and service. Such a "life" adds "life" and punch to your words. But neither can we go with the current trend...we must resist it.

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