Ray Comfort: Why I Avoid Using the Word ‘Evangelism’

I have learned that there is one word that shouldn’t be used in modern Christianity. If I use it now, I’m taking a risk that you won’t even finish reading this article. It’s a turnoff for so many Christians, even though it’s the very reason the Church exists.

It’s the word “evangelism.” That’s the “dirty” word. It’s because of its connotations that I don’t even call myself an evangelist.

There’s a reason much of Christendom doesn’t like it. It makes people feel guilty, and that’s a continual problem for us at Living Waters, because we are an evangelism ministry.

We produce tracts, books, and other “evangelism” material, but we don’t call them that (except for the School of Biblical Evangelism Textbook and the School of Biblical Evangelism itself).

If you could define the word, how would you describe it? What does the word “evangelism” mean to you? For me, it is the proclaiming of the good news that sinners need not be swallowed by death and end up in Hell. It is pulling them from the fire, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. It’s the preaching of Christ on the cross, suffering for the sin of the world—the incredibly good news that Jesus destroyed the power of death by rising from its grip, that it was not possible that death could hold Him.

With that as the case, every Christian should love evangelism. But they don’t. So, over the many years I’ve been speaking to Christians, I have had to resort to putting makeup on the pig, to make it more attractive.

But it’s not really evangelism that’s the problem. We recoil because of what comes with it: rejection. We are afraid of what people will think of us if we talk to them about sin and its promised consequences. We want the world’s approval. And so as a ministry that still has to address the subject, Living Waters uses words as “makeup”—words with more appeal, like “share the gospel” (or “good news”), “share your faith,” “apologetics,” or some other word that doesn’t have connotations of rejection.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Ray Comfort