A new meaning to the word "Evangelism"
Isaiah 42:6-8 6 I will be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, 7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon
those who sit in darkness.
We hear it all the time in Christan circles. It's in our bulletins, encouraged in our churches, and is even considered a 'spiritual gift.' A mere utterance of the word in non-christian circles evokes eye rolling and images of holy rollers and television preachers. I'm talking about the word "Evangelism." If you haven't noticed by now, this blog is dedicated to helping people rethink not only what true Godly beauty is, but what the words freedom, healing, and restoration have to do with the Christian life. It's a part of a much larger movement that is redefining what it is to have a relationship with Jesus.
Lately I've been aching for those that are unreached. No, I'm not just talking about those in the heart of Afghanistan or India. I'm talking about anyone who may have been told they needed to have a "relationship with Jesus" but are still very much in bondage and dead. Those people are not just in third world countries...they are everywhere. They are the people sitting in front of the computer night after night, trying to get life from an empty screen and an x rated website. They are the people who spend their nights in front of the tv because their marriage is in shambles and it's just easier to ignore it. They are the people who are destroying their relationships today because of those that have gone wrong in the past. They are the people who truly need to hear "good news."And many are not hearing it in their churches. They are hearing phrases like "Try harder!" "Do more!" "Suffer for Christ, He died for you." No offense, but none of those phrases sound like "good news" to me. No wonder the church is seeing a mass exodus of followers! Instead of feeding His sheep life, we've been preaching death.
Evangelism needs to be redefined. The greek word for evangelism literally means to spread the "good news" or gospel, but much of what we have spread is exactly the opposite. We need to tell people about Jesus, but we need to scrap the salesmen pitches and up the Life factor. Jesus wasn't just a man who died for our sins a couple of thousand years ago. Jesus IS a person who is intent on bringing healing, restoration, freedom and LIFE. He's intent on fixing marriages, reconciling families, restoring relationships, minds, bodies, dreams, and lives.
"What if I told you the God I know isn't so concerned with the rules! He'd much rather connect with you!" I said that to a young girl today and her eyes lit up! A God who wasn't intent on making her feel guilty and shameful? Now that was news to her.....GOOD news!
We are limiting God if we think that all He's concerned with is how many "sinners prayers" we can get, instead of how many people have had their lifes radically changed, restored, healed, and freed! We need to redefine what the "good news" is, and how God wants us to spread it. I suspect as we do that, we'll not only see more lives changed for Christ, we'll see a world that's changed. That's the really GREAT news!