What is so great about being an evangelical?
A particularly strong argument for the traditional evangelical cause is that it would be impossible to attend an evangelical church or parachurch event and not be confronted with the Gospel.
Nobody ever visited my Dad’s church without getting a chance to be born again.
If you get that right, you really have a lot of latitude to get things wrong!
A confrontation with Jesus Christ and our desperate need for His atoning work is at the heart of the evangelical message. Having visited dozens of evangelical churches (of many denominations) I can easily say that a passion for folks to develop a real relationship with Jesus motivated all of them.
It is easy to grow sophisticated and sneer at certain “soul winning” techniques, but I know lives that have been transformed by the Gospel through ministries that deployed them. The man who quits doing drugs due to a two color leaflet may not have seen great art, but he found a Savior.
I once stood outside a movie theater with my “cool Christian” friends (my actually cool friends can mock me now) listening to a street preacher. He was hammering away at a Second Coming message and though there was nothing wrong with his theology he seemed to me a stereotype best avoided with his strident shouting. Surely the late night movie audience was being turned off?
I felt guilty (rightly) about my condescending attitude fairly quickly, but my doom was sealed when I heard a young couple ahead of us saying, “I wonder if that man was right about the end of the world? I will have to think about it.”
God bless that evangelical. He was putting the Gospel at the center of his life. It reminded me that I must share my faith with someone and not just defend it or talk about sharing it!
Every church community could learn something from giants like R.A. Torrey who would confront men with the claims of Christ at every opportunity. If I die with a better liturgy and do not have the Gospel, I am damned. If I die with a more sophisticated philosophy and do not have the Gospel, I am a fool. If a die with a better culture and political power and do not have the Gospel, I have lost my soul for nothing.
God make me a Gospel man . . . an evangelical in the old sense ready to preach the Word boldly at every opportunity that is presented to me and by every means available.