Evangelical Malpractice

Wrong methods for evangelismToday, my 10 year-old son and I went to Territory Days in Old Colorado City to pass out gospel tracts and evangelize. There were thousands of people there and we were pleased to see that most of the people we attempted to give a tract to took one.

Then, when I returned home, my wife had printed the following article.This post originally appears at Underdog Theology, but it is definitely worth posting here too.

I’m not exactly sure when this piece was written, but it has many helpful implications for us today, whether we’re out on the street at Territory Days, behind the desk at our jobs, or simply evangelizing our own children.

There is a curious problem today in the evangelical [and fundamental] world — one that poses sobering questions for the church and for the individual believer. The problem in brief is this: a great army of personal soul-winners has been mobilized to reach the populace for Christ. They are earnest, zealous, enthusiastic, and persuasive. To their credit it must be said that they are on the job. And it is one of the phenomena of our times that they rack up an astounding number of conversions. Everything so far seems to be on the plus side.

But the problem is this: The conversions do not stick. The fruit does not remain. Six months later there is nothing to be seen for all the aggressive evangelism. The capsule technique of soul winning has produced stillbirths.

What lies at the back of all this malpractice in bringing souls to the birth? Strangely enough it begins with the valid determination to preach the pure gospel of the grace of God. We want to keep the message simple — uncluttered by any suggestion that man can ever earn or deserve eternal life. Justification is by faith alone, apart from the deeds of the law. Therefore, the message is “only believe.”

From there the message is reduced to a concise formula. For instance, the evangelistic process is cut down to a few basic questions and answers, as follows:

“Do you believe you are a sinner?”
“Yes.”
“Do you believe Christ died for sinners?”
“Yes.”
“Will you receive Him as your Savior?”
“Yes.”
“Then you are saved!”
“I am?”
“Yes, the Bible says you are saved.”

At first blush the method and the message might seem above criticism. But on closer study we are forced to have second thoughts and to conclude that the gospel has been over-simplified.

The first fatal flaw is the missing emphasis on repentance…

Be sure to check out the rest of the article here to find out what the 3 fatal flaws of much of modern evangelism are.

And, for some visible examples of what’s wrong in 21st century “christian” evangelicalism, check out the following videos.

-Tracy

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One response to “Evangelical Malpractice”

  1. Jason Parker says :

    I came across this today, and it fit right in with what you posted here:
    http://www.challies.com/archives/general-news/frivolity/soul-winning-made-easy.php

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