Is it ever ethical to attempt to persuade others to change their religion, worldview or other fundamental belief? This endeavor has received in the recent years increasing line of criticism. In January 2001 in South Asia, Dalai Lama has condemned Christian and Muslim practice of seeking converts, “Whether Hindu or Muslim or Christian, whoever tries to convert, it’s wrong, not good.” (Thiessen, 2011, p. 6).Richards, Svendsen and Bless aptly describe the sorts of pressures restricting the ability to engage in religious persuasion as “an increasing apathy of secular states towards the importance of religious freedom and the exclusion of religion from the public square; the preclusive dominance of established ideologies in other states; consolidations of power by authoritarian regimes; worries about the destabilizing influence of new or unfamiliar religious movements, religious extremism, or terrorism; a downgrading of religious freedom rights vis-á-vis these other human rights; the marginalization of minority religions; reactions against globalization or perceived neo-colonialism; burgeoning state and transnational regimes; expanding notions of privacy; and transforming modes of communication” (2011, p. 154). Martin E. Marty suggests that “[t]he proselytizer violates boundaries and disrupts traditions” (Ibid.). Novak explaining why Jews are resenting those who proselytize says that they come across as people who “feel no moral compunction in denigrating other faiths and their cultures for the sake of cajoling their adherents to cease being what they have been and change their identity to becoming what the missionaries are” (1999, p. 43). At last, many people perceive a connection between religious proselytizing and violence. Sociologists Grim and Finke found that “violent religious persecution is pervasive. Of 143 countries…, 86 percent (123 countries) have documented cases of people being physically abused or displaced from their homes because of …religious persecution” (Richards, Svendsen, Bless, 2011, p. 156). Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: evangelism
“Evangelism is not a professional job for a few trained men, but is instead the unrelenting responsibility of every person who belongs to the company of Jesus.“
“Any method of evangelism will work if God is in it.“
Look also at a 168 pages long masterpiece written by the pen of Leonard Ravenhill: “Why Revival Tarries“. I would only add a personal review of one of the readers, that I found very apt, to give just a small idea what it is about.
“This book should come with a warning label on it saying: “If you want to destroy your life go ahead and read this book!” This book absolutely destroyed me in every way possible. I remember recieving this book from a friend in Philly and was in a bad season in my life and also remembering being scared to read the book. No wait I wasn’t scared to read it I was absolutely terrified, and my pre-concieved notions were correct. Once I picked up that book I was as good as dead. I began to weep and groan for weeks and weeks. The burning words in those pages completely consumed me and scathed me. I was skinned and hung up for death. Everything in my life was burnt up and left in an ash heap before my feet, so that I had to turn to God and say what now? He replied and said do what I have always wanted you to do, die! Everything changed for me, prayer life, ministry, preaching, relationships, church, conduct, and everything else. I walked away broken, battered, and bruised from this book and have never been the same. So with that read this book unless you want to live in your ‘normal’ Christian life, but if you have enough guts to actually do what the bible says, let Ravenhill expose your fakeness and start all over again from step one!“
It is interesting for me to watch people as they are praying for revival, for a wake up call, for a change that would come; That their city, country or nation would awake and see Gods glory on their own. But often when you ask them: “When was it the last time you told someone about Jesus?” only a very few respond with an answer covering last week or even less. The majority is excusing themselves by referring to their godly live style. That by living godly life they are showing the world Jesus’ love (the light and salt of the world) which when people will see, they will desire it and subsequently follow. Someone once told me “Preach the gospel; if necessary , use words.” at first I found it interesting, however after further examination I discovered that it is rather antagonistic. If we tried to use this in some other areas of our lives it could sound like this: “Tell me your phone number; if necessary, use digits.” or “Feed starving children, when necessary use food.” I hope you see absurdity of these statements. The thought here is to preach the gospel (verbally) and live lives that are not in contrary to what we are saying by our words. Some say that they are not evangelists and there are others that are called to go out and do the “evangelistic ministry”. In a sense that is true, but it is not an excuse. We are called to evangelize, preach the gospel, tell others about Jesus of Golgotha.
“And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
(ESV, Mark 16:15)
Yet it is true that it is not the main ministry for all of us, that there are people specially gifted, anointed to this ministry, who are above all focusing on unsaved people. But even though we are not all evangelists, we are all called to evangelize! It is much easier to tell God about people, than to tell people about God…
“Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself, be sure of that.”
Charles H. Spurgeon
As Christians we must seek and save the lost, we can not keep this truth for ourselves and expect them to somehow find out the way through our polite behavior and noble values! Besides that I met people far more “holy” than most Christians I know including me, who were not saved. If we do so we are nothing but ignorant and indifferent to our neighbors, which we are ought to love as ourselves (Mark 12:31). When we love somebody, we do not want them to end in a such a terrible place as hell and we will do everything we can to make sure they will not.
Now, in case you want to start telling people about your savior, but you do not really know how, here is a video that could help you start. On the other hand, if you do not believe in God, in his existence I would still like to encourage you to take these 15 minutes and maybe afterwards reassess what you actually believe in.
And if you are looking for more information please view this website:
Written by Peter Makovíni