“It is not that Jesus Christ said, ‘Go,’ but that the heathen will not be saved if we do not go. It is a subtle change that is sagacious but not spiritual. … The insinuation of putting men’s needs first, success first, has entered into the very domain of evangelism and substituted the passion for souls for the passion for Christ …”
This quote is from Oswald Chambers, The Servant as his Lord, in the chapter titled, “The Saints in the Disaster of Worldliness.” I don’t have a bone to pick, as they say, with Chambers. There’s a lot that he wrote that is insightful and to the point, and I am not picking on Chambers for the other things in there. Goodness knows, people often say things they’ve heard, or rephrase things they’ve heard, without realising how it might not be what they mean. I’ve done so at least, I know, and even so … I’m not picking on someone for not getting everything right. None of us do, and even if someone did, it wouldn’t be a reason to pick on others.
But the quote exemplifies something that is absolutely wrong with almost everything called evangelism and Christianity, and it might not be what you think it is.
The problem isn’t that people put men’s needs first (though it may indeed be putting success first, for what is success and what is failure?). It is that people forgot the glory of the Lord.
And not in the way that Calvinists and any number of others say. What is the glory of the Lord? Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Look at the first sentence. ‘The heathen will not be saved if we do not go.’
What is that saying about Jesus? About the One who said that He came to seek and to save that which was lost?
If you just answered, ‘That’s calling Him a liar,’ you are absolutely right. It is. (Think about that).
It is exchanging the glory of the Lord for an idol made in the image of fallen man. Not of what is best in us, but of what is vindictive and callous and stained by the insecurity and wrath that is born of fear and shame.
No soul is going to be condemned to hell because of anything you or I didn’t do. The Good Shepherd is going to pursue His lost sheep, whether you or I want to be there with Him or not.
So stop calling the Incarnate Word a liar. Stop saying that Love is vindictive or callous.
Love never fails. Love never gives up.
Oswald Chambers is right about something very important. Passion for the Lord. To be His witnesses. To be so in love with Him that you want to share Him with everyone. That you want everyone to know Him. That you want to invite the world into your joy in Him.
Not passion for souls. And not because you don’t care about others – He is Love. He came to seek and to save the lost. You can’t care about others too much. But because you would never even consider the lie that He doesn’t care. That anything will stop Him from being the Salvation of the World.
Copyright 2022 © Raina Nightingale
One thought on “A Lot of ‘Evangelism’ Calls the Good News a Lie”
Interesting post. When I first was “saved” (a Protestant term for returning to the vows of my baptism) I sat under the “ministry” (if one could call guilt-inducing preaching a ministry) of a preacher who made us feel that if we were not constantly “winning souls to Jesus” we were wasting our time on earth and God would be disappointed at us at the Judgment Seat. I don’t know if I have ever completely gotten over this feeling, based on the idea that all those who don’t make that fabulous “Decision for Jaaaaaazuz” are going to wind up in eternal torment.
I guess in our pride we forget who we are and that the plan of salvation for mankind is God’s plan and not ours.
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