Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Different View of Evangelism

Take a look at 1 Corinthians 12, or Romans 12 or here is Ephsians4, "11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love."

Notice a key word in this passage, "some".  A lot of bible expositors (preachers_ fail to notice the "some".  They eagerly exhort us all to be evangelists, regardless of our gifting and calling. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we tend to promote our own gift, and evangelists typically have a better position for promoting than most other Christians.

In the USA we have prospered under a capitalistic economy.  I am a capitalist myself. As I shared in an earlier blog post, capitalism thrives because it takes the fallen nature of man into account. Evangelism is the most capitalistic of the gifts. If we recruit more "customers" we make more money, which allows us to recruit more customers, and so on in a very productive cycle. Hence evangelism is a productive gift.  Who can argue against evangelism?  Certainly I cannot and would not.

However, the above lists of gifts do NOT promote any one gift over another.  Then why do we do that?  Why do we promote evangelism as if it were the highest gift?  Maybe i have already explained it, maybe it is our capitalistic bent that explains it.

If we look at Jesus' example, it seems He did NOT put evangelism as the best and greatest.  Jesus' own evangelism was different thatn ours. Take a look at Scripture. He seemed to be quite serious on helping people see their sinfulness- their need for salvation.  Like the Rich Young Ruler and the Jewish Lawyer, Jesus is NOT intent on "closing the sale."

Maybe we should re-think our devotion to evangelism as the highest gifting.  Evangelism is a calling, just NOT the only calling.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I agree and have thought the same thing for several years now! Finally realizing this took away so much of my feelings of guilt.