There was a list that was posted online of ten tips for Christian evangelists – compiled by a “friendly atheist.”
I thought the list was interesting and one that Christians should check out – not necessarily to follow, but to better understand the hearts and minds of others.
As I was checking out the forum, forum.friendlyatheist.com, I saw a question that someone posted.
Why do Christians feel they have to come and talk to atheists? Its not that I dont want them to; its just that most of us have seen right through all their machinations and it would be nice to talk about Nine inch Nails without being told Trent Reznor is Satan incarnate.
The poster also wrote this shortly after:
Do Christians not have a duty to evangelise? Are they not inspired and called to do so?
After reading this, I decided to write a response on the forum, in hopes of shedding some light on the matter. But I think as good as it might be for atheist, what I wrote could be good for Christians as well – as a reminder of why we evangelize (i.e., more than because we’re instructed/commanded to).
Because, really, the Lord only commands us to because many of us are still far from “perfect in love” (as our goals should be – Matthew 5:43-48, Matthew 22:36-38) and don’t love others enough to want to save them (or more correctly lead them to the one who can save them).
Hopefully, the following will remind us that the call to evangelize shouldn’t just be coming out from the Bible, but from our hearts:
From a friendly Christian to Huxley and others who wonder why Christians evangelize:
Not saying this to force a viewpoint upon anyone, but just to offer a personal explanation – the reason why Christians should evangelize (or what the reason should be, anyway) is because if Christians really believe in what they say they believe in then they believe that those who choose to turn away from God on Earth will be without God after death (like choosing to go to a place with no sun).
And so evangelism (or sharing what we believe) is – in part – like trying to get someone to quit smoking or to break out from alcoholism/drunk driving. We do so because we believe there are life-threatening (or, in this case, soul-threatening) consequences and want to help/save others.
Tragically, however, some Christians go about it the wrong way and sometimes are unclear themselves why they evangelize (more tragic), doing only as they are told to do. And so they just try to scare people out of “smoking” or “drinking” (in keeping with the previous example) or bombard people with information rather than speaking out of a genuine love and concern (i.e., acting without feeling or thinking). But please keep in mind that the offensive approaches some of you may have encountered are not the result of Christian teaching, but of poor understanding and the simply flawed nature of mankind – all people, Christian and non-Christian. Know what I mean?
I hope that clears up the issue a bit and helps everyone here see Christians in a different light or at least understand a little more why Christians share their faith and why some do so poorly.