The more I learn about evangelism the more I see we have a gospel problem. This problem is on a number of fronts:
1 – It has become culturally unacceptable to share faith – it communicates that you have a way of life that is better than what someone else has chosen.
2 – The gospel is murkier than ever – not that it is in reality…in reality the gospel is simple. However, after years and years of study and nuance it can be very easy to develop an understanding of the gospel that is basically impossible to articulate to anyone new and that hinders our evangelism.
3 – Ministers are not evangelistic. The tremendous reluctance to share one’s faith isn’t just a cultural/generational issue – it cuts across all levels of maturity and all generations and positions in the kingdom. This means people in the pew aren’t finding good models for evangelism among the more spiritually mature. We have equated spiritual maturity with knowledge over faithfulness.
4 – We lack conviction of what it is we really believe – partly because it has been made fuzzy, partly because identity has been linked to a zillion things other than Jesus, and partly because as a whole our society has lacked certainty – it is hard to share a faith you are uncertain about yourself.
There are more than can be shared but I believe these are major headwinds facing the church today. The good news is that all of this can shift in one generation and I believe that is likely to happen!
The more we professionalized ministry, the more the rest of the congregation left it to the professionals.
The more we diluted the gospel message, the less need we saw for personalizing the message.
The more we were told that those who “asked Jesus into their heart” should be accepted as brethren, the less we saw the need to share that message.
We can see the devastating shifts that have “recently” occurred within one generation… Many of the Disciples adopted anarchy and Marxism as part of the Social Gospel 1870-1910.
More relevant to those nearer to the CoC- within a generation of David Lipscomb’s passing we completely abandoned the optimistic Kingdom on earth view dominant throughout the 19th century and adopted the Catholic amillennial view formalized by Augustine’s “City of God” in the fifth century. This view holds the real Kingdom to be a place called Heaven after we die and fosters “Abandonment Theology;” apathy towards the moral collapse of society.
Fortunately, current Bible scholarship is now aggressively discrediting the amillennial (and pre-millennial) views as inconsistent with the Hebraic worldviews of the OT & NT authors. The internet is allowing tens of thousands of believers to bypass the reactionary, Pharisaic attempts at mind control exercised by religious publications, seminaries and pulpits- many are rediscovering the clarity and simplicity of the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Let us pray that this trend reaches a great crescendo within this generation.
Age without end, Amen!
“Ministers” are more often than not “Teaching Elders” and that is ok — we just need to identify them that way (sloppy taxonomy makes sloppy theology). We don’t employ evangelists domestically and we call them missionaries over seas (and their numbers are dwindling).
We don’t “believe” what Paul and the early Christians did: God divorced the nations (ruled by the human puppets of rebellious territorial spiritual entities). In Acts 14 and 17, Paul’s speech makes it clear that he is trying to bring folks back to Creator God (not underlings) by means of Messiah/CloudRider who will judge the nations (more at Matthew 25).
When I read “Scheme of Redemption” there was no mention of the sons of God fall, the floods connection to giants / bastard spirits their deaths would produce. Some parts of Catholicism still retain this lore but “Protestants” are mostly ignorant of the henotheistic implications of Paul’s proclamation, and patristics and apocrypha, pseudepigrapha, etc. generally.
No pre-baptismal apotropaic renunciations and repudiations of those standing against the reign of heaven #Jahbulon
I am enjoying your Youtube channel and your blog. Hope you allow posts from non believers (former bible believers). You might be interested in my personal experience and conclusions on evangelism: https://somequestionsforgod.blogspot.com/2021/03/where-are-all-christians.html
I would appreciate your thoughts.