The title of this post may seem strange for a blog which promotes the spread of Christianity, but I feel that the explosion of servant evangelism has produced an unintended consequence. I fear that in today’s post modern world with its culture of subjective truth that many Christians present the Gospel as a beneficial practice rather than what it is… namely the TRUTH!
While it is certainly a reality that Christianity has done much good. For example, it was Christians who were in the forefront of providing education to the masses. It was Christianity who built hospitals for the poor. In America, it was Christian’s who were the driving force behind the racial equality movements of the sixties.
However, it is also an equal reality, that Christianity is the impetus of much evil in the world as well. Christianity was behind the crusades. Christianity has been the defense of terrible prejudices towards the LGBT community. Christianity was the used by the K.K.K. to justify lynchings.
As a result, the western Church has responded (and correctly so) by shifting its focus away from forced conversions towards battling the social evils of our day of homelessness, sickness, and hunger. It has, for the betterment, used servant evangelism as way to present Christianity less as a selective club and more a open arms community. However such a shift in focus, in my opinion, has produced a very undesirable effect.
It seems to me as I listen to other Christians present the Gospel the emphasis has shifted from the Gospel being TRUE to its benefits. The Gospel cannot and should not be presented as something that is merely beneficial. It must be presented as something that is a true reality. Christians have become timid in announcing the FACTS of the Gospel.
The facts of Christianity are these:
- God created his temple in the form of Heaven and the physical universe
- People were created in God’s image to reflect God’s sovereign reign into the temple and the praises of the temple back to God.
- People rejected their purpose and worshiped the creation rather than the creator.
- Jesus came as God-in-flesh to redeem his creation
- Jesus died to bring such redemption
- Jesus demonstrated his divinity and right to rule through his resurrection and ascension.
- The Church was created to announce that Jesus is Lord.
These facts should produce the servant evangelism, for Jesus’ lordship is for the sole purpose of setting things right. The Gospel is not that Jesus loves you or that Jesus saved you. The Gospel is not that God will see you through your present troubles. While these are all true, they are the consequences of the Gospel. They are not the Gospel, itself. The Gospel is that God is in control and ruling having broken the power of death and instituted justice by inaugurating his Government through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.
As C.S Lewis once wrote,
One of the great difficulties [in sharing the Gospel] is to keep before your audience mind the question of truth. They are always thinking you are recommending Christianity not because it is true, but because it is good.