Ray Comfort, who became an international laughing stock a few years back for asserting that bananas were ‘proof’ of God’s existence, is lamenting the fact that the word ‘evangelism’ has become a major embarrassment for modern Christians.
Writing for The Christian Post, Comfort, of Living Waters, explains it’s become a “dirty biblical word” because people nowadays are shying away from their responsibility of making people feel guilty and fearful, and avoid using “evangelism” like “the plague.”
And guilt and fear, naturally, are what’s needed to bring people to Jesus.
How then do you get a complacent body of believers excited about evangelism? The answer isn’t a pleasant one. It’s one that at first doesn’t even sound right. It’s the use of guilt and fear.
If we ignore the obligation of evangelism, we are guilty of gross neglect. We should be fearful as to whether or not we are playing the hypocrite, by having a form of godliness but refusing to obey the command of Jesus to reach the lost. In such a case, guilt and fear are not my enemies; they are my friends.
He admits that even his own ministry decided that the other words that don’t have “connotations of rejection” , such as “make up”, “sharing the the gospel” (or “good news”) are less off-putting so:
Over the many years I’ve been speaking to Christians, I have had to resort to putting makeup on the pig, to make it more attractive.
He insists that “every Christian should love evangelism,” but they don’t”. And because of this he advises Christian groups to avoid using “evangelism”.
I explain that if they put that word in their promotion for people to attend [church], it will be like pitching to cats to come to a hungry pit bull convention. They will avoid it like the plague.
Like Paul, we should all be saying, ‘Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men’ (2 Corinthians 5:11). Can you see the task of evangelism hiding in that verse? It’s to persuade men. Yet we offer all sorts of excuses, from not knowing what to say, to not having the time, to not being gifted. The child is drowning and we offer excuses as to why we do nothing.
Let’s remind ourselves of how much of an idiot Comfort really is: