I have long had this gnawing sense in me that evangelism among Fundamentalists has something inherently wrong in terms of methodology. Many "evangelicals,", some even in the Southern Baptist Convention, will yell and scream the Word of God to lost people -- acting as if the quoting the Bible will bring about a change in the hearer. There are even some commentors on this blog who are in the habit of telling others they are "going to hell" or have "never been saved" or are "in need of Jesus" and glibly quote a Bible verse as if making some kind of shocking statement and backing it up with words from Scripture will lead someone to be converted. It reminds me of street preachers who yell "REPENT" to passerbys and then shout "JESUS IS THE WAY THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE" as if somehow, almost magically, those words will bring salvation.
In the interview between Richard Land and Eric Metaxas (who by the way, is the author of the new fantastic biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer), Land asks Metaxas how he would share Christ with Woody Allen were he to sit beside him on a plane. The first paragraph of Metaxas' answer is worthy of your close examination.
I have to somehow figure out how to connect with him. . . . If you come across as morally superior, that’s unbiblical, that’s wrong, it’s a lie, so you’re confused. But also you’ll push the person away. You’ve got to find a point of connection, otherwise they won’t hear you. If you walk around New York you might see someone, semi-homeless, almost always from out of town, with a hat and a Bible “preaching the word” on the street. Nine times out of 10 they are not preaching the Word any more than Satan was when he was quoting the Bible to Jesus in the wilderness. The words are not magic. Some people will respond, “The word of God will not return void,” and yes, the capital-w Word of God, the Logos, will not return void—but the words of the Bible can certainly return void unless they’re anointed by the Holy Spirit. Many people think that if they just spew out Scripture or something that people are hearing them, but it’s not true. Jesus never did that. He always connected with everyone around him.Well stated, Eric. Would to God we worked on our connections with people instead of coming across as morally superior.
In His Grace,