Sunday, December 03, 2006

Evangelism in the modern world

What it means to be an evangelist today

I would like to continue my opinion on evangelism in the modern world as contained in my last letter “What it means to be an evangelist today” ( Herald,3 December 2006).

If we continue to evangelize as we used to like our early Christians, traveling around persuading people to leave their faiths and become Christians, we will end up creating a lot of turmoil and violence in the world. History has indeed proven these through the Crusades and holy wars of the past. It has also been undoubtedly shown that those who succumb to conversion are the sick, poor, downtrodden, marginalized and suppressed, not the rich and powerful. Sometimes we even resort to overzealous evangelism by over publicized spiritual healing which defy all modern scientific principles.

Isn't it morally wrong for us to take advantage of the impoverished state of these under-privileged sections of society who are most susceptible to conversion?

In the context of the modern world, as Christians, what should be our stand on this important role of evangelism? Is our religion the only true one and all others false? Why has God allowed so many religions to flourish in the world today if all of them do not lead their followers to Him?

We may succeed in converting others to our faith, but do we realize that causes so much rift and subsequent break up of a once united happy family? Will Christ approve our actions to destroy the peace and harmony in a family by converting one of their members to our faith against the wishes of his loved ones?

Our faith is not in the rituals that we perform but rather it is God’s love deeply rooted in our hearts and lives and it can never be taken away by persuasion or force unless we willingly surrender it ourselves. It would be therefore futile to try and persuade someone to convert to some other faith; he may adopt the new rituals but not change the true faith in his heart.

In the final outcome, a modern evangelist is one who displays the love of Christ in his daily life.By seeing Christ alive in us, others should be converted to become better humans in their own religions.

Dr.Chris Anthony

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