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What is Evangelism?

 
 
Reply Sat 30 Dec, 2017 07:49 am
These terms evangelism and evangelist are thrown around a lot in religious circles, they have deeper and often sinister meanings depending on who and how one interprets them.

I figured I would allow others to pipe in on this discussion before I give my long winded explanation as to why this term evangelism is often representative of a determent to society.

You may be surprised...
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 23,335 • Replies: 555

 
hightor
 
  4  
Reply Sat 30 Dec, 2017 08:03 am
@TheCobbler,
I always thought it meant actively preaching and proselytizing, spreading the message of Jesus Christ as Paul exhorted the early Christians to do. The fact that self-identified evangelicals are locked arm and arm with the conservative Republican Party in the USA is just an historical accident.
TheCobbler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Dec, 2017 08:14 am
@hightor,
I assume your definition is what most people think also.

Evangelism actually has a much more narrow definition.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  4  
Reply Sat 30 Dec, 2017 08:29 am
I mostly would have guessed at sometime similar to Hightor's definition. But I also sometimes use it in the broader sense of pushing almost any idea in a fervent and/or relentless manner.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  3  
Reply Sat 30 Dec, 2017 09:02 am
We use that term here in Germany since now 500 years (first done by Luther) for what (later) elsewhere was and is called "Protestantism".

The term "Protestant" in the religious meaning was first use (in German) after the Protestation at Speyer (1529).

The league of Protestant imperial states within the Holy Roman Empire was called "Corpus Evangelicorum" (existed until 1806)

The Evangelical Church in Germany ("Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland" {EKD]) is a federation of twenty Lutheran, Reformed and Protestant regional churches in Germany (25.5% of Germans belong to the Evangelical Churches [28.5% are Roman Catholics])
0 Replies
 
TheCobbler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Dec, 2017 09:59 am
I will toss out a few bones from the New Testament for you to consider before my response. Smile

Ephesians 4:11+12 (KJV)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

1 Timothy 2:4 (KJV)
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

I will comment on these two verses after you have had a chance to digest their implications on your own.
0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  4  
Reply Sat 30 Dec, 2017 01:40 pm
What is Evangelism?

I often wondered that myself and for the most part had a negative opinion. But then there's Jimmy Carter, who calls himself an evangelist. But he's's not pushy, he's tolerant, he's open-minded, and he's not a conservative. He's a moderate Southern Baptist and during his presidency was hated by the conservative Southern Baptists like he was the devil incarnate because he refused to pursue a Conservative Christian agenda.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  4  
Reply Sat 30 Dec, 2017 03:10 pm
It tends for me to sound like a person or group of persons who are about to go out witnessing. Proclaiming the glory of God and Jesus Christ to all who are around and speaking further with those who express interest or contempt or doubt. Their purpose seemingly to be to bring more folks towards their beliefs.


I have a friend who does this sort of thing regularly. He knows my beliefs and doesn't try to change them and I don't try to change him.
0 Replies
 
TheCobbler
 
  2  
Reply Sat 30 Dec, 2017 07:48 pm
I am going to define "evangelism" according to the Bible and not according to any encyclopedia or Google search.

I will use logic to define it based upon these two scriptures.

Ephesians 4:11+12 (KJV)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

1 Timothy 2:4 (KJV)
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

I will teach this from memory, so it may be a bit spotty, but I will do my best to be accurate and thorough.

The five things above, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are what is referred to in the church as “gift ministries”.

I will define each for you as I have been taught.

Apostles = bring new light to a generation, (it may be old light that has been lost).

Prophets = foretell or forth tell (forth tell means not all things a prophet says is “future”.)

Evangelists = lead people into the new birth

Pastors = shepherd the people and gently bring them back into the flock when they wander astray from the word.

Teachers = teach the great mysteries of the word

Okay, that seems harmless enough, right?

Well, one thing that should stand out is that evangelists are not teachers, apostles pastors or prophets.

The same could be argued respectively for the other gift ministries.

The problem arises in how you interpret this verse.

How are these ministries obtained? Do you just wake up one day and decide to be an evangelist? Or does one declare I will be a teacher of the mysteries?
I am a prophet, or I am a pastor?

Or does "God" grant these gifts regardless of our own wishes and desires?
Can one be an evangelist for one part of their life then
“God” switch them to be a prophet?

Fundamental evangelical Christians declare what they are without caring whether it is God’s will that they be that or not.

They do not consider that God may require that they may sometimes be several at once.

Fundamental Christianity has taken evangelism and totally isolated it from the rest of the gift ministries.

I said that evangelism = lead people to the new birth.

So, the modern fundamentalist evangelist travels around the country fathering new believers into the church and then leaves them high and dry and moves on to the next “crusade” town or city fathering more children leaving the world to raise them… (let that sink in for a moment.)

And yes, “collecting tithes and monetary sharings”.

Fathering “bastard” believers and leaving the world to “teach” them and raise and nurture them to pastor them and give them light and understanding of the times.

This is how many false doctrines evolve out of this vacuum.

Evangelists “frequently” quote the first part of this verse:
1 Timothy 2:4 (KJV)
4a Who will have all men to be saved! They stop there.

As if that is all that matters, being born again or baptized.
But they neglect to mention the rest of the verse…
1 Timothy 2:4 (KJV)
4b …AND come unto a knowledge of the truth.

1 Timothy 2:4 (KJV)
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

According to this scripture, God wants us all to be born again AND come into the marvelous light of the gospel, not to be dumped off as baggage and left as a spiritual orphan.

Fundamentalist evangelists are worried only about the fetus and have no worry about the years it will take to feed, clothe, teach and pastor the new believer.

Thus, we have this GOP mentality that the only necessary thing is birth as they feel they have the right to control a woman’s right to choose. They have self-appointed themselves the evangelists of God without a thought that all of the ministries function together as the fully realized body of Christ on earth today.

So, it is like a body with no eyes or arms and legs only a mouth spouting unceasingly that, “one must be born again”, but they are silent when it comes to morality and truth. The evangelist has a mouth but no heart.

Fundamentalist evangelists may seem like the are teaching but they teach in hypocrisy and illusion.

They have the outer appearance of being religious and pious, but their deeds show that that Jesus’ love is not in them.

They have usurped power that has not been given to them by God.
It is God who is the giver of these ministries and they cannot be self-imposed. If they taught the truth, it would reveal them as liars.

This is the meaning of evangelism...

We have the “great” fundamentalist evangelists of the past to thank for cementing this unholy idea of Christianity into our society, because they were, in truth, unworthy of the vocation…

Greed and popularity blinded them from completing the task set before them.

To nurture and love God’s people to the maturity of the spirit.

Focusing on the sex act in child birth and neglecting to love and nurture the child.

Being a father in birth but not a father in life. Their claim of being pro-life is no more than a lie.

Consider Jesus’ words while hanging on the cross in his darkest hour…

Matthew 27:46 (KJV)
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Comment:
This is an error in translation, but the fundamentalist evangelist says if God forsook Jesus his son while on the cross then it is being, “in the image of God” that they forsake their flock in teaching, pastoring, apostolic and prophetic practice…

Did God abandon Jesus on the cross?
That is something for another discussion. 😊

You may need to read this over and over again until it clicks and sticks in your head. I had to spend years studying this to be able to express it like this, my teacher was both like an evangelist and a faithful father and pastor.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sun 31 Dec, 2017 06:52 am
@TheCobbler,
This is a very interesting analysis. I often wondered at the questionable "pedigree" of evangelical preachers. How are members of the audience supposed to distinguish between someone "chosen by god" and a complete fraud?

Marjoe
TheCobbler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Dec, 2017 09:58 am
@hightor,
Matthew 7:16-20 (KJV)
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
hightor
 
  3  
Reply Sun 31 Dec, 2017 10:57 am
@TheCobbler,
Quote:
Ye shall know them by their fruits.

From the number of dishonest, money-grubbing, shysters posing as wholesome produce I think god might want to develop a better field identification guide for the faithful. People are incredibly gullible and susceptible to spiritual fraud.
TheCobbler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Dec, 2017 11:11 am
@hightor,
Those gullible people you speak of are their fruits...

Many can see their gullibility very clearly.

They have not produced people with sound minds and principles but they have produced racists, haters with narrow scoped ideologies en masse.

Their followers are the "bad fruit" even their own children have been infected with this depravity of spirit.

I guess you have to see something contrasting to know the difference.

Jesus was a contrasting voice, and look what history says the world did to him.
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Dec, 2017 11:37 am
@TheCobbler,
Quote:
Those gullible people you speak of are their fruits...

Brilliant!
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coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Dec, 2017 11:44 am


RELIGION DISPATCHES
BY RANDALL BALMER OCTOBER 8, 2014
HIS OWN RECEIVED HIM NOT: JIMMY CARTER, FIRST EVANGELICAL PRESIDENT

What inspired you to write Redeemer?

I was an undergraduate at Trinity College, Deerfield, when Jimmy Carter emerged onto the national stage. Like many evangelicals, especially those reared within the evangelical subculture, I was astonished to hear a politician speak unapologetically about being a “born again” Christian. It was a bracing moment, especially for someone who was considering a bid for elective office someday (I actually ran for a seat in the Connecticut legislature in 2004). Mark Hatfield was a hero of mine, of course, especially because of his advocacy for progressive evangelicalism, and I served as an intern for John B. Anderson and the House Republican Conference in 1975. But Carter’s boldness about his faith made a deep impression on me.

It’s axiomatic among historians that history is written by victors, but I’ve always been drawn to the underside of those triumphalist narratives. My first book was an account of the Dutch Reformed Church in the decades following the English Conquest of New Netherland in 1664, and when I first started writing about evangelicalism, evangelicals were hardly culturally ascendant, although they were beginning to make a bid for cultural and political power. Jimmy Carter, following his bruising political defeat in 1980, is not generally seen as a victor, although his activities since leaving the White House have burnished his reputation considerably.

But I’ve always been drawn to his story, replete as it is with the evangelical tropes of striving, success, failure, and redemption. In purely historical terms, the narrative is quite remarkable—coming out of political obscurity to win the Democratic nomination and then the presidency in 1976 with his grassroots campaign. In doing so, by the way, he rid his party—and the nation—of its most notorious segregationist, George C. Wallace of Alabama, by beating Wallace in the Florida Democratic primary. I don’t think that Carter has ever received sufficient credit for that.

I’d been batting about the idea for a biography of Carter for several decades, but I always found reasons to delay, in part because I didn’t have an angle on the project. I did research at the Carter Center and the presidential libraries of Reagan and Ford. I also did archival work at Liberty University and Bob Jones University, but the most important work I did was in Paul Weyrich’s papers, which (improbably enough) are held at the University of Wyoming, Laramie. My findings there allowed me, finally, to demonstrate beyond all doubt that the genesis of the Religious Right had nothing to do with the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973. The Religious Right, in fact, emerged to defend racial segregation, although Jerry Falwell and others were savvy enough to camouflage that fact.

Even with all of this research, the book itself remained elusive. I remember that I sat down at Thanksgiving 2012 and considered seriously the possibility of abandoning the project altogether. After a bit more dithering, I simply started writing; an entire draft emerged about six weeks later. Writing is how I think.

What’s the most important take-home message for readers?

This is the first biography of the thirty-ninth president to take seriously Jimmy Carter’s faith as a motivation for his actions. Carter ascended to the presidency in part on the resurgence of progressive evangelicalism, an understanding of the Christian faith that takes seriously the words of Jesus to care for “the least of these.” One of the many paradoxes surrounding Carter and his presidency is that evangelicalism itself shifted seismically beneath him during his time in office. The progressive evangelicalism embodied by Carter (albeit imperfectly) gave way to the Religious Right.

Is there anything you had to leave out?

Nothing of substance. The challenge of writing a biography is to keep the narrative flow, so there are some details that ended up on the cutting-room floor. But I also happen to like details; they enhance the narrative.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about your topic?

Carter is widely perceived as a failed president, but I think that judgment is too harsh, and historians are now coming around to a new appreciation of his presidency. My purpose in writing this book was not to rehabilitate Carter’s reputation, but I think it’s worth noting some of his accomplishments: shifting U.S. Foreign policy away from the reflexive dualism of the Cold War toward an emphasis on human rights, renegotiating the Panama Canal treaties as a move away from colonialism, the Camp David accords, which advanced the cause of peace far beyond anything done by his predecessors (or successors).

Carter’s domestic initiatives were frustrated by stubbornly high inflation and a sour economy, but he advocated health-care reform, equal rights for women, and tried very hard to move the nation toward energy independence; if we had pursued his initiatives on energy in the late 1970s, we would be in a far different place today. Carter also appointed more women and minorities to office than any president before him.

Unfortunately, however, his accomplishments as president were eclipsed by economic woes, the Soviet Union’s imperial ambitions in Afghanistan, and finally by his inability to secure the release of the American hostages in Iran. Politically, Carter suffered from a pincer action in 1980: a challenge from the left in Edward Kennedy’s run for the Democratic nomination and from the right in the form of Reagan himself and various powerful interests, including the Religious Right.

Did you have a specific audience in mind when writing?

The challenge I have taken on throughout my career is to present ideas and events that are sometimes complex in language that is accessible to the general reader. I believe that scholars have a responsibility beyond the academy, and one of the reasons that we as a society find ourselves in such difficulty today—climate change deniers, the tea party nonsense, many of the decisions coming from the Supreme Court—is that scholars have effectively bracketed themselves from the arena of public discourse.

I acknowledge that it is far easier—and certainly much safer professionally—for academics to communicate solely among themselves and very often in specialized jargon, but that seems to me irresponsible. When I started graduate school three-plus decades ago, I vowed that I would never allow my scholarship to become so recondite that I could not communicate with a popular audience.

Are you hoping to just inform readers? Entertain them? Piss them off?

I am a teacher, so I hope to inform and to educate. I don’t expect all readers to agree with me—and I certainly don’t deny that I have biases and perspectives—but if I can participate in, and contribute to, a larger conversation, that satisfies me.

What alternative title would you give the book?

I wanted to call it Redeemer President, but the publisher wanted to shorten it to Redeemer. I also considered His Own Received Him Not, a reference to the dramatic reversal of evangelical sentiment toward Carter between 1976 to 1980.

How do you feel about the cover?

I love the cover. Basic Books did a wonderful job—and I have the best editor in the world!

Is there a book out there you wish you had written? Which one? Why?

I admire novelists because fiction, in the hands of a master, carries a power far greater than nonfiction. So I would probably point to the works of some of my favorite novelists: William Styron, David James Duncan, Kent Haruf, Marilynne Robinson, A. B. Guthrie—those are some of the names that come immediately to mind.

What’s your next book?

Twenty-five years ago, I published a book entitled Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America. This summer (2014), Oxford University Press released the fifth edition of that book, with a new chapter (Latino evangelicals) and an afterword that provides an update on many of the people and the places I wrote about in the previous editions.

Beyond that, I plan to do a film project on Russian Orthodoxy in Alaska, a collaboration with my son, who just completed his M.F.A. at Columbia University. I’m also collaborating on a biography with my wife, Catharine Randall, of a fascinating woman who lived in Ontario at the turn of the twentieth century.



0 Replies
 
TheCobbler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Jan, 2018 06:39 am
I will be back to comment when this thread is voted back up from zero.

I am not dealing with this ungrateful crap.
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Jan, 2018 08:21 am
@TheCobbler,
(I'm asking you to reconsider your decision. I don't blame you for being disappointed with the faceless anonymous miscreant who thumbed the thread down but look at it this way; by shutting down the conversation the miscreant can now say "mission accomplished!")
TheCobbler
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Jan, 2018 08:35 am
@hightor,
It is not the miscreants it is the goons standing by doing nothing to vote it back up.
hightor
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Jan, 2018 08:54 am
@TheCobbler,
(I did my part.)
TheCobbler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Jan, 2018 09:22 am
@hightor,
It is the forum itself that is corrupt.
0 Replies
 
 

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