Resurrecting the 'E' Word

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By Greg Stier, Christian Post Guest Columnist
April 18, 2010|7:38 pm

When I use the word “evangelism” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? A big haired TV evangelist in a $3,000 suit? A bullhorn wielding crazy man on the corner with a “repent” sign? A pointy finger of judgment?

Those are some bad stereotypes. But at least they are somewhat exciting. Way more exciting than the standard definition of evangelism.

According to Wikipedia evangelism refers to “…the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs. The term is often used in reference to Christianity, where the scriptures often describe “evangelism” as “spreading the Gospel.”

Sorry, Wiki, but your definition is icky. It is way more than the clinical practice of “relaying information” to somebody of a different religious persuasion.

Instead, the word evangelism means “the bold declaration of good news.” Think: “I just won the lotto” not “I’m about to have my teeth pulled!”

If you discovered the cure to cancer and your best friend had cancer you would “evangelize” them. You would proclaim the good news to them with an irrepressible smile on your face and unimaginable joy in your heart! Why? Because you would be so happy that your friend could be saved once and for all from this horrible disease through the cure that you were offering them!

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That is the same caliber of joy that should go hand in hand with evangelism of the Christian kind. It should be joyful, smiling and breathlessly excited to share the best news on the planet.

So go away Christians who have been baptized in lemon juice. We don’t need your big hair, angry glares and judgmental stares. We don’t want your screeching voices full of hell fire and brimstone.

Instead we embrace the Biblical kind of evangelism - Jesus offering the women at the well living water that will quench her thirst forever, offering the gift of eternal life to all those who would believe in Him.

What is this eternal life? It is a personal, permanent relationship with the God of the Universe through faith in Jesus and his finished work on the cross. Through his death, we are saved - not from cancer cells but from the cancer of sin and hell. Through his resurrection, we have the hope of new life now and always.

Now that’s good news! So put on a happy face that flows from a happy heart and share it!


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