Evangelism as a subject has always had some controversy. Christians trying to share the gospel have been accused of everything from bigotry to cultural appropriation. But more recently, the very concept of evangelism has become unpopular. Have you ever had someone tell you that it’s wrong to try to change someone’s view? Is it wrong to evangelize? How can Christians respond to this?
Christians Must Evangelize
From a Christian perspective, this is a pretty easy question to answer. The bottom line is that we as Christians are commanded to evangelize. Straight from the man himself, Jesus told his followers to go and make disciples of all nations. We may argue about the best way to do that, but the question should never be if it is okay to preach the gospel. Once you have that foundation established, the remaining questions are why do people believe that evangelism is wrong, and how do we answer that challenge?
What You Believe Matters
Our culture has adopted the view that it doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you don’t hurt anyone. Often this statement is made because it assumes that either no religion is true, or all of them are true in a vague sense. If every religion is true and all roads lead to God, why would you bother trying to change someone’s view? If Christianity is true, two things are true along with it. The other religions are not true, and Christians are supposed to evangelize. Christianity does not teach that there are many roads to Heaven, and that everyone is simply walking a different path to the same destination. As such, if we truly care about people, we will evangelize to them in the hope that they will be saved. What you believe absolutely matters, if the beliefs are true.
We Evangelize in Every Other Area
The strangest part about this question, is it wrong to evangelize, is that it seems to only be applied to religion. People will try and persuade people to new positions all the time, from political party, to sports teams, to favorite superhero. We are constantly persuading and evangelizing, often without even realizing it. As soon as we bring up the topic of religion, that’s somehow a step too far and it becomes wrong to try to change someone.
I think a lot of this relativism also stems from a misunderstanding about religion. They see the ideal faith as this internal experience that helps you find meaning. It’s supposed to help you, but it isn’t something that should inform your actions or views outside of church. Hence why people find religion as perfectly acceptable until they find out that religious people also have the ability to vote and wage wars. Ideas have consequences. If you have the truth, why would you try to evangelize about politics instead of religion?
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