Did Evangelism Take a Wrong Turn?

D L Henderson
6 min readJul 29, 2023

Did Evangelism Take a Wrong Turn?

July 28, 2023

Glossary:

  1. Church — “Ekklesia is a Greek word defined as “a called-out assembly or congregation…” “… often translated from Germanic origins as “church” in English Bible translations.” — GotQuestions.org.
  2. Evangel — glad tidings, good news — “the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up, and subsequently also of Jesus, the Messiah, the founder of this kingdom.” — Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
  3. Politics — “the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government” and also “political activities characterized by artful and often dishonest practices” — MerriamWebster.com

Biblical Evangelism is from the practice of the first century movement of Jewish Followers of Jesus, the so-called “Jesus Sect,” also called the “People of the Way,” and first called “Christians” at Antioch in ancient Syria. This practice came from Jesus saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:18–20, NIV. That is usually referred to as the”Great Commission.” The history of the living out of this command by the Ekklesia is found throughout the book of The Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament.

It looks to me that something went awry with some Evangelicals… something is askew… something just ain’t right… and they are certainly not alone.

What this delegated empowerment of the Great Commission is, is NOT a Political or Economic System. For example, whether you agree with the doctrine or not, “Trickle Down Economics” is not part of the message Jesus authorized. In fact, the only two Economic systems in the Bible were described in the Year of Jubilee, in the Old Testament, and “having everything in common” in the New! If you can find capitalism or any other system in the Bible, especially Evangelist’s Bibles, please let me know.

Neither are there Republican Christians or Democrat Christians, nor Independent Christians, neither Liberal or Conservative ones! Please tell me their names when you find such characters in the Bible.

Didn’t Jesus say in the discussion at His trial before Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.”? And further, “If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now, my kingdom is from another place.” — John 18:36, NIV. So, what or who are those Evangelicals fighting for?

Any political solutions for any problems have always fallen way short of actually fixing them. We see this played out over and over and over again. They inevitably produce new ones!

So, why are many Evangelicals working so hard for political power through victories by their handpicked individuals? Aren’t they choosing to follow ordinary human persons instead of Jesus, the Son of the Living God?!? What is their idea of the Great Commission? I haven’t found anything like what they are doing in the Bible during my 50 years of study. Maybe I missed something? After all, I learn something new every time I pick up the Bible and read.

Jesus did not direct Believers to join a Women’s Liberation Movement, a Right-to-Life or Right to Choose Movement. Yes, the Good News of Jesus touches on all of the concerns, all the social and political issues involved, but it transcends them all by a million miles. It leaps over all the barriers derived from Human problems and mismanagement.

Evangelism is not a Psychological Intervention Program either. Jesus untangles all the knots within a person. Yes, we may be tied up in knots, but often it is of our own doing. My Dad,when he was alive, used to help at a Childhood Cancer Summer Camp. When he came home, he was obviously moved by the experience. He said that it is a shame that so much pain exists with those innocent children while we complain so much about problems we have created for ourselves.

Well, I’m not ignorant: Yes. Sometimes difficulties are imposed on people not of their own doing. Jesus can rid people of those oppressing devils too. It is stupid not to ask for help, and a little bit of patience with ourselves doesn’t hurt.

All the harm we have created for ourselves or that has been imposed on us, and all the harmful deeds we have done, and all the rotting stench of all of it… Jesus is willing and able to remove it all, to free us from our chains, to untie the knots, to clear the air…

Then, there is something else Jesus said that might begin to freshen the air and clear the smoke…

Jesus lamented over Jerusalem, “How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me.” — Matthew 23:37, NLT.

Even today, Jesus laments over all the world, because yes, Jesus is willing, but people are not. We simply are choosing not to let Him gather us up into His arms, to gather us under His wings.

Too “proud” to admit our need?

Everyone can see that everything in the world, and, all too often, in our personal lives, is going sideways. If the world was flat, we’d all be sliding off into the great void of nothingness.

Yet, we do have a choice. We do have our free will. Why continue to lock Him out of our lives? Have we been listening to all the lies about God, Jesus, and the Bible? Are we looking at people’s faults and not looking to what Jesus actually said and did? Are the faults in others the focal point of our good judgment? What are other people but sinners like ourselves?

Do the false Evangelicals and other false teachers and politically involved leaders make you want to throw up? Please don’t let the false keep you from the true. Read the Bible for yourselves, and start talking to Jesus. Brandon Lake, Thomas Rhett — Talking To Jesus (Live from The Ryman)

God can make things right. Wouldn’t you like to start by getting your own self right — and not sideways — with God?

“When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” Romans 5:6–10, NLT. Isn’t this something to think about, something specifically to consider?

“[Keep on asking] and it will be given to you; [keep on seeking] and you will find; keep on knocking] and the door will be opened to you.” — Matthew 7:7, NIV. (Note: The bracketed phrases are the literal translation, using the correct Greek use of the present progressive tense.)

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D L Henderson

Born 1950; HS 1968; Born again 1972; Cornell ILR; Steward, Local President/Business Agent; Husband, father, grandfather; winner/loser/everything in between