You don’t just approach people about religion in a parking lot and expect some miraculous transitional commitment based on your own evangelical state of mind. This is how cults began.
Charismatic spiritual advocates soliciting their brand of faith had a “hay day” from the 50s through the 70s. Spirituality crossed over into counter culture and got twisted to the point the top movie and song “Jesus Christ Superstar” was heralded by hippies and conservatives alike. There was a whole genre of rock music with a Christian slant that flew of the shelves.
We all are probably familiar with the “Manson Crew”, the Jones “Koolaide” fiasco, and the “Davidian” destruction. These are just a few of the worst occurrences. There were thousands of charismatic Christians across those decades who twisted Jesus to fit their narcissistic new age religious rants.
The promise of Salvation does not come from man. Man cannot determine an individuals salvation, not even their own. This part time evangelical approach leaves folks sitting in vehicles with the air conditioning thinking “If that man/woman only knew.”You never know who your talking to. You probably don’t have the time to listen to someone’s fears and hopes so you probably end up asking them if they have a church and give them the information for yours, this is the “Blind Handoff”.
This approach validates the 40s and 50s sales approach that guys with names like Zeigler or Caffee used. “Get them in the door” and the rest is history. The hand off!!!
Evangelizing is tough. Folks take your enthusiasm and twist it around. They complain about hypocrisy, judgement, or tithing as a defense for not being what you think a Christian should be. But remember, other people are the devil to strangers and you put yourself in that situation when you approach someone you don’t know. No matter how friendly your smile or how engaging your hook, as they walk or drive away your pitch dissolves and suspicion creeps in from the back of their brain like a scrim being lowered on a stage.
The “Great Commission”, (Mathew 28: 18-20) gives us our charge. Just remember that those disciples left what they knew and developed followings. I’m certain that the man who approached me with all the vigor of a 1st century evangelist didn’t want me to go get my wife and 3 very hyper kids and follow him home.
So, if we’ve compromised, (or modified) the definition of evangelism due to society and the multitude of examples that went horribly wrong it’s ok, God knows our heart. That was the one thought I had as I drove away and prayed you really understood what you were doing. Even though you thought I was lost I honestly drive that road everyday.