Why evangelicals should stop evangelizing

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Puritan Board Sophomore
No, I don't think that. That's ridiculous. That's what the writer suggests here:

My Take: Why evangelicals should stop evangelizing – CNN Belief Blog - CNN.com Blogs

His point seems to be that we can make "a disciple of Jesus" without having them convert to Christianity. He obviously doesn't understand the exclusivity of Jesus' teachings about God, man, salvation, etc. A person doesn't become a disciple of Jesus without becoming a Christian. So many clear misunderstandings of the person and work of Jesus.

He says, "Even the Apostle Paul insisted that it’s faith in Jesus that matters, not converting to a new religion or a new socio-religious identity."

But faith in the true Jesus separates you from every religion except Christianity.

He says, "Jesus the uniter of humanity, not Jesus the divider. How might that change the way we look at others?"

Jesus did come to bring eternal peace through reconciliation with God and he did break the divide between Jew and Gentile. But Jesus himself says in Matthew 10:34-36, " 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn

“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’"
Jesus divides people based on what they believe about him.

He says, "I believe that doctrine is important, but it’s not more important than following Jesus."

Of course, without doctrine, how do you know whether you are following Jesus? Without doctrine, how do you even know what Jesus taught? His whole premise is that he does understand the doctrine of Jesus and that he is following Jesus by challenging what historic (i.e., true) Christianity teaches. The statement he made refutes his own argument! His argument commits suicide.

It makes me sad that the viewpoint of this author is represented as Christianity, because it certainly doesn't represent Christ.
The man might not be a liberal, but merely advocating faith in Christ versus conversion to a "religion" (i.e. he might be an anti-institution type of guy who merely overstates his case "we don't need religion, but Jesus"):

Even the Apostle Paul insisted that it’s faith in Jesus that matters, not converting to a new religion or a new socio-religious identity.

What if evangelicals today, instead of focusing on “evangelizing” and “converting” people, were to begin to think of Jesus not as starting a new religion, but as the central figure of a movement that transcends religious distinctions and identities?

Jesus the uniter of humanity, not Jesus the divider. How might that change the way we look at others?

and again,

Jesus met people where they were. Instead of trying to figure out who’s “in” and who’s “out,” why don’t we simply invite people to follow Jesus — and let Jesus run his kingdom?

Inviting people to love, trust, and follow Jesus is something the world can live with. And since evangelicals like to say that it’s not about religion, but rather a personal relationship with Jesus, perhaps we should practice what we preach.

He might merely be pushing back against a mission board or denomination that is trying to gauge missionary success by the number of decisions (conversions) or baptisms. Or he might be advocating some sort of "Insider Movement" approach that lets people remain within their ethnic boundaries and still believe in Jesus.
I have always had a problem with the saying, "Christianity isn't a religion, it's a relationship." It just sounds like hogwash and an empty headed cliche. If I were to say that to the kids and folks around here they would look at me as though I put my brains in park. After all Christianity is one of the world religions. And it is obviously about a right relationship with God or the term reconciliation would have no meaning along with the doctrines of the person and work of Christ.
It is helpful to contrast Christianity from all the other religions in the world and so a phrse such as "It's a relationship, not a religion" can be helpful in showing the uniqueness of our faith.
But Pergy, all religions supposedly have some kind of relationship with a deity if the deity is personal being. That goes without explanation. How they relate to that deity is a significant part of all religions. Relationship isn't anything unique in religion. And that is another reason why the cliche is such a misnomer. The uniqueness of ours is that God takes a personal interest in remedying the problem beyond all others. All religions depend upon their deity relating and delivering their adherents in some form or another. Religion is based upon relationship. To deny that is to deny religion. After all religion has to do with mans duty toward a deity. And that is most personal and relational. It just so happens that our Deity paid a price of personal significance and sacrifice to remedy the situation. Ours is eminent and transcendent.
This stuff has just become tired at this point. It's taxing to even answer because it's so clearly oxymoronic.
Pergamum - just a note from lot's of personal experience with modern liberal Evangelicalism, This is definitely their language. It has all the buzz words and catch phrases and it's something that I've personally been battling for over 10+ years in the PCUSA and also from deans and professors at Regent University.

Just having a personal relationship and experience with Jesus ( not Jesus Christ ) just "Jesus" = a Universalistic/Humanism/Social Community/inclusivist institution and personal faith. All that matters is for us to follow the "golden rule" the "one commandment" which is for us to love each other.

As we all know, for all of those who are perishing, the Gospel isn't "loving." So, it has to be done away with and "Jesus Christ" our Sovereign God, Lord and Savior has to become "Jesus" our friend and good moral example, "that met people where they were at."

To the OP - simple answer, as true disciples of Christ we are commanded to go and out and make disciples; baptizing them and to establish churches.

PuritanCovenanter - I personally like to make a distinction between the true Church of Christ to that of "religion" because of the Postmodern culture we find ourselves in today.

I define religion in light of it's mostly understood meaning as; man's effort and work to reconcile himself to God. I define true Christianity and belief as man's acceptance of the complete grace of God and His personal work to reconcile Himself to us. Or in other words, religion is "faith and works." Christianity is faith alone. I realize that this isn't the "classic orthodox" definition of religion, but based on the culture, I believe true disciples need to start making that distinction clearly in their heads; because Modern Evangelicalism has become very dangerous. The time is coming in the near future where true Christianity will be less and less tolerated and true Christians will be persecuted. Our culture just in the last 10 years has become more and more aggressive against the objective truth claims of the Holy Scriptures.
He has a good idea but took it too far. Often today churches do things like door to door and street preaching trying to get people to pray a prayer and send them on their way. I agree that Jesus transcends our religious barriers but that you can not come to the Father apart from faith in Jesus alone. Tim Keller actually addresses this really well in his book The Reason for God.
Here is a series of video's by Carl Medearis.

I've been in many discussion with seminary professors and other serious liberal humanists and they all are in the same vain as these video's.

I'm making an assumption here based on a little online research on Carl Medearis; through his own personal site, on his publications and a couple of other sites; but my assumption is that if you directed Carl to this website ( PuritanBoard ) he would identify us as right wing Christian fundamentalists.

We would be the "religious right" that Carl is speaking of in his video.

Reformed Christians are narrow-minded, exclusivists that are part of the problem rather then the solution of loving universalism.

This is where the modern Liberal movement is so dangerous because they use all of the right language and consider themselves Christians, but they reject the true Gospel for their false gospel of "the only thing that matters is love."
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