The Spotlight section of The March 2012 issue of Christianity Today reports that 46% of Americans never wonder about their eternal destinies.
I’m not sure how to respond to this info. We’ve all seen, at least on TV, the people who call down God’s judgment on everybody who walks past them on city streets. So, it’s easy to see how this happened. People who don’t know Jesus are introduced to him by those whose intention, at best, is to scare people into faith. That approach hasn’t appealed to people in this country for many years now. Yet, the bull horns continue to sound off even after it has become clear that people don’t respond positively. It seems that the louder it gets, the more people shut it out.
But, it has its place in the Bible. John the Baptist, Peter, and Jesus warned the masses about the terrors of an afterlife without saving grace attained through faith in Jesus Christ. How do we follow their lead? The book of John is filled with Jesus’ interactions with individuals, leading many of them into faith without the bullhorn approach, like the Samaritan woman at the well in Chapter 4. Both approaches are biblical so their legitimacy can’t be ignored.
My evangelism M.O. has been – since the bullhorns of yesterday have deafened the spiritual ears of those who need to consider their eternal destinations – to befriend people and live my life in a way that they’ll see my Christian integrity and care for them so that when they have questions they’ll come to me to direct them to the Answer. In our church plant we regularly did the random acts of kindness things like giving out pop at traffic lights and mowing lawns for neighbors. We had great results.
Maybe those things are the new bullhorns? We could be in an age of catching more flies with honey than with vinegar. If that’s the case, the question hasn’t died – it’s just being massaged out of the evangelizee (just coined that word, I think) instead of being jackhammered out by the evangelizer. Apparently, it’s not doing the job as well if only 46% of people are asking the question.
So, here’s my question for you: Should we do away with the bullhorn altogether – at least for now? Do you have a successful, current bullhorn story? It is biblical, after all. I’d love to hear from you on this.