Evangelism: When it Becomes a Social Disorder

By Adnan Mouhiddin

Evangelism has been identified as the teaching and spreading of the Christian gospel [1]. It is to convert, proselytize, redeem, save and preach to [2]. Among Christian dominations of missionary and evangelical character, evangelism is the duty of every Christian. However, I, as a Christian, find the way in which evangelism is carried out to be a manifestation of an automated action that serves self-interest ends.

800px-Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Wheatfield_with_crows_-_Google_Art_Project
Painting: Vincent van Gogh – Wheatfield with crows

Evangelism, its methods, tips, tactics and other relevant topics have become a learned and taught subject. Spontaneous, genuine interest, care and love are absent in the evangelism process. The shown love and kindness are to serve certain personal ends rather than spontaneous attributes. People have become mere tasks, projects and defects that need fixing, according to the evangelist conviction and agenda. Once the task of evangelism is achieved, the project (the individual) is abandoned in pursue of the next task and “soul to save.” The victim (project) is left confused as to identify the relationship that was established between them and the group or the person who shared the gospel to them. Having become an institutionalized and common pattern, this mechanism has produced a class of Christians who are incapable of forming genuine relationships. In establishing relationships with non-Christians, their interest is narrowly restricted to sharing the gospel with that non-Christian individual rather than shared interests and characteristics. This turned some Christians to be some of the most selfish and self-centered individuals you may come across. The one and only genuine friendship they can establish and maintain is the one with another Christian.

In stark contrast, the genuine personal and character interest of Christians manifests itself in the church. Christians chose to be genuinely friends with Christians whom they like, with those who fit in their ideological manmade bubble, and isolate those who may disturb their routine and comfort zone. Since they are incapable of forming genuine friendships and/or relationships, Christians have become increasingly out of touch with reality. Their love and interest in people is in the scope of fixing them. Just look at the hundreds of missionaries who travel to devastated regions. Those visits become an occasion of tourism and photos snapping in obvious confusion between what constitutes missionary and tourism trip. Christian organizations that advance the so-called “Christian Rights” provide us with another example. They panic and lead fierce campaigns for a group persecuted Christians (sometimes for one individual), yet disregard the slaughter machine harvesting the lives of hundreds of thousands of non-Christians in the region. Moreover, Middle Eastern Christians of “Peace & love” and “God bless you” preaching are the same ones who align behind brutal dictators and murders. You can find them in Syria, Egypt and previously in Iraq. 

In many cases, including my home country, Syria, I have conflicting feelings when I learn about missionaries operating there and in devastated regions. I would rather see God reaching out and speaking to my devastated nation spontaneously, genuinely, through the daily life of his faithful servants and compassionate churches, rather than through a western missionary playing the role of the white saviour.

Evangelism, where it stands today, is a system that is confused with itself. A beautiful notion that has been distanced from its first and ancient Teacher. it hurts and confuses its surrounding. Evangelism, the way it stands today, is a social and moral poison and disorder.

[1] Collins English Dictionary – 2008
[2] Oxford Thesaurus – 2001

 

 

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