Skip to main content.

Back to: >> Religion

Christian Evangelism

Preaching to convert others to Christianity is the work of evangelism. An early posting on provided the following introduction:

    "Don't they [non-Christian people] walk their own road to God? Isn't it arrogant to suggest that they will be denied heaven, simply because they don't believe as we do? Besides, don't all religions believe they are right? Why then should we imply that the majority of the world's population will end up in hell for not accepting a message that they never had a chance to hear?

    Are Christians being narrow-minded religious bigots to claim that eternal life and forgiveness of sins can come only through faith in Jesus Christ?

    "The issue is a matter of truth, not a matter of bigotry or prejudice. Jesus is all He claimed to be, then all religious beliefs that do not bow before Him as Lord and Savior are simply wrong. The issue, then, is to show that Christianity is true and not simply one of many equally valid religious theories--that it doesn't offer just one of many possible roads to God."

The operative word is "If". Every religion has its own "if" and it follows that Christianity is the right and true way only "if" you accept the "if" premise--on faith. The same can be said of Islam or Judaism.

A world view is that religion is not a matter of logic and truth. It is a matter of faith (often identified with truth), and that each person must decide for him/herself.

Frederick J. Streets is Chaplain, Yale University, New Haven, CT. In a letter to the editor, Streets has this to say:

Re: "Should Christian Missionaries Heed the call in Iraq?." by Deborah Caldwell (Week in Review, April 6 2003, [New York Times]).

I am appalled as a Christian and a Baptist by the proposed evangelism campaign in Iraq by some Christian organizations. I am concerned that this would become an example of religious imperialism.

God is not found in only one religion. Religious communities should not try to dominate other religions and cultures.

The moral and ethical challenge facing the Christian community is not to promote itself and its ideology in postwar Iraq. Its values are expressed when believers assist in providing humanitarian relief to those sufferings the effects of war and encourage humane and equitable relationships among people.

To engage in this work as a means to converting people to their Christian view of God degrades Christianity.

From Caldwell in the NYT:

"As American troops began invading Iraq last month, Christian relief workers from all over the United States geared up to follow. Loaded with food, medicine, diapers and toothbrushes, volunteers began planning their aid to Iraqis, 97 percent of whom are Muslim."

"The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest American Protestant denomination, announced that its International Mission Board would send volunteers to distribute food and shelter, and to help Iraqis 'have true freedom in Jesus Christ.'"

Not all evangelists are Fundamentalists. Many, perhaps most are. See Fundamentalism for the various definitions. Evangelism was alive and well before Mohammed was born, and it still is. This simple fact and the article Rev Streets referred to say something:

    Here is the latest opportunity provided by the military in some 18 centuries for evangelists to try to change the world.

Reverend Streets is also a realist. He knows that kindness by example is the most powerful message anyone could send.

Links For Research

Christianity Today Magazine

Luther's Legacy
Virtual Christianity


No comments yet

To be able to post comments, please register on the site.