My past post could have caused a little upset stomachs amongst those that know me. Has Matt gone off the deep end? Is he smelling the tulips in left field? What’s the deal, is evangelism something the once-aflame evangelist has shelved?
The answer to these questions and more are: Probably. Sometimes. No. In that order (though they’re up for amendments).
What I am trying to do is question the mass model of evangelism that has seemed to gain the Christian public’s eye. I fear that we have opted for the market-style evangelism and left the New Testament model out to dry. The open-air style of preaching in Whitfield’s day has become a stripped down version – where Jesus is a slogan and grace is cheap.
The Gospel has been relegated to another step in the personalized version of the 12-step program to the newer, better you. You can believe in Jesus and live like hell the rest of the week…but as long as you believe in Jesus. We’ve forgotten that he is King of kings and Lord of lords. What does a king do? Rule. What does a lord do? Lord. The call to follow Christ is not just a “fix my problems” acceptation. Rather, it is a call to pick up the cross and follow.
More than this…the Great Commission is a command to go and make disciples of all nations, not merely converts. The Gospel has been morphed into a get your bills paid, get your illnesses healed, get your life in order. Instead, it must be explained that it is call to follow where the Master leads.
I will write a little more on this later, but many of our ills that we find in commercialized evangelicalism is due to this stripped down Gospel. We take up the Gospel and dress it in the regal and beauty of who Jesus is. Any religious person can add Christianity to his bag of goodies…it is the Christ of the Bible that will have no other gods before him. This is the Christ that we must preach!