Sunday, April 5, 2009

Evangelism Weekend

I'm uneasy about "evangelism."

I've been doing some homework lately in the area of evangelism and, for my discussion, when I say "evangelism," I think of verbally telling a person about salvation and Jesus. Note, I am not making statments about this word's meaning, but rather what it makes me think. You don't have to think the same thing.

I've had a few opportunities to 'evanglize' this weekend. When you're a divinity student taking a class called "Missions & Evangelization," it isn't like you never have an opportunity to talk about Jesus. Yesterday someone asked me what that class entailed and I was taken aback. I wasn't sure how exactly to define the class material, especially since I only met the guy an hour or so earlier.

I felt the need to be apologetic. I think I told him the class intended to get the students to create their own theory about "sharing the gospel," "other religions," and such. And without having a fully developed theory, I started to explain about different perceptions within the class. I actually said, "I'm OK, you're OK." What does that even mean? What did I mean by it? Did I evangelize?

I cussed in front of a good friend. In high school, I never cussed. I thought it was wrong. I cussed last time I was home, but not much. Today I said "the queen-mother of dirty words," as Ralphie called it. I had the opportunity to say I no longer thought cussing was morally wrong. Did I help deliver a new perception to what it means to be Christian? Did I evangelize?

I spoke a lot to various people about how culture determines our ideas of "norm" and "beauty." I mentioned long hair, gauged ear holes, colors, and finger-nail clipping is all culture. None of them are "natural" (if natural is opposed to civilized). I didn't talk about Jesus or Christianity in relation to any of these ideas. Did I evangelize?

At some point I will write a "journal" sort of response about what I think evangelism is. I don't know what I'll write. I don't even know what has happened this weekend in that regard.

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