Why Does Evangelism Exist?

The Merriam Webster dictionary describes evangelism as:

“The winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ” and also militant or crusading zeal.

Dictionary.com describes evangelism this way:

“The preaching or promulgation of the gospel.”

My question in the title of the post is a very simple one and should be easy to answer. Why does evangelism exist? I understand that people who believe in the Bible as I once did feel compelled to follow it (or at least the parts they feel comfortable with) and spread the good news of God. Why is that necessary if we are told that “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)?

If God’s qualities, powers and divine nature are “CLEARLY SEEN” then why does evangelism exist? The sun is clearly seen and needs no one standing up to speak for it. The moon as well. Even wind, which is not seen, is something we can all feel and understand. We, as humans, can see each other and need no one’s help to convince anyone that we exist. If God is clearly seen, so clearly that we are without excuse, why is there a debate about the existence of God and why does anyone need to speak on his behalf?

If you are unconvinced of the existence of God, as I now am, what does that say about you? What does that say about God? Are you just being defiant? Rebellious? Are you just loving your sin so much that you can’t see God? Are you so mesmerized by the lies of the devil that you can’t see what’s right in front of your face? Or is there more to it? I wasn’t trying to hide from or ignore God. I was seeking him. I wasn’t wanting to live in sin but rather leave it behind me. I lost sight of God the moment I realized I never saw him in the first place. I was following the guidebook known as the Bible. I prayed and prayed, but God was only visible as words, nothing more. Why?

There is a common belief amongst Christians that they need to do the work of an all-powerful being who knows all and sees all. I know that the Bible says to go out and preach the Gospel…and here’s why: The authors of the Bible knew that without word of mouth, their god would cease to exist. That’s not to say some god couldn’t or doesn’t exist, but the one that they created that lives in the Bible most certainly would fade away without their help.

The evangelists who knock on your door, stop to talk in the street or write their blogs all in the name of God have one thing in common: they don’t believe God will reach out others without their help. It’s their Christian duty, if you will. If they thought God would speak for himself, reach the lost or save another soul on his own, they would stop doing what they are doing. That doesn’t mean they would stop praising a god they believed in, but they wouldn’t feel that the world was lost without their missionary work. A personal God who listens to (and answers) prayers, wouldn’t need anyone speaking for him. He’d be able to handle it himself. Which leads me to my next question:

Why continue to follow a book that is consistently wrong? The Bible tells us that anything we ask for in Jesus’s name will be given (John 14:13-14) and it is wrong. The Bible says that if we seek, we will find (Matthew 7:7) but as a seeker myself, I know that to be wrong. The Bible said Jesus would return in the time of the disciples (Matthew 16:28) but he still hasn’t returned after nearly 2000 years. The Bible says many things, but if you try to verify facts or prophecies or pray and check for results, you will find the words promised to us don’t line up with reality. Why not? The Bible fails because it is a flawed book written by flawed men. A perfect God who wants a perfect world governed by his perfect word wouldn’t have allowed errors and misinformation to be spread in his name.

Don’t fall for the lies fed to you that say some “secret sin” is keeping you from believing in God, having prayers answered or from feeling his presence. That is a man-made (church-approved) intentional tactic of deceit to cover the fact that the Bible’s promises fall flat time and time again. I believed once, for a very long time. I took positive answers to prayer (coincidences) as proof of providence and I took the disappointment of unanswered prayers as God’s disapproval of something in my life. Why did I believe in these things? Because of evangelism. The words of people influenced my thoughts and beliefs.

Try this: Remove evangelism and rely solely on the Bible for your guidance. Don’t check outside sources or ask a pastor for help. Don’t take into account what your parents taught you or what your friends are convinced of. Just use the Bible. Try that and see what happens. If you only have “God’s word” to go on, will you still believe? Not very likely. The reason is that if you only have that book to go on and you try to practice what it teaches and test your results, you will be sorely disappointed. You need a positive spin on it in order to continue going forward with it. You need someone who is a proper wordsmith to rearrange or redefine the words over and over again to get you to say, “Oh, okay. I guess that makes sense.” If you rely only on the material presented, you will probably be wondering why you are even bothering with it. It doesn’t add up. None of it.

So why does evangelism exist? It exists so that Christianity can continue to exist. It exists to keep the story going. It exists so there is always someone ready to step in and change the meaning of things to fit the times we live in and cover all of the shifts in our culture. It exists to insert some sort of plausibility into the preposterous and some hope where none is needed.

Evangelism exists as a crutch to support a hobbling religion that is on its last leg.

13 thoughts on “Why Does Evangelism Exist?

  1. Evangelism exists because God can’t be bothered to do it Himself. But really as a Christian I believed and taught that god could, but He wanted to include us in the plan and process of offering salvation. He didn’t need, but He wanted us to participate in His Plan.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There are only two reasons I can see for evangelism being necessary. One, God doesn’t exist or two, God (as you suggested) couldn’t be bothered to do it himself. Neither is a good reason spread the word.

      If God wanted us to be part of his plan and participate in the salvation of others, shouldn’t that come after he shows us all he is real? Not only do we have to spread his word and teach the rules to others, but we have to try to convince others he exists too. That’s a lot to ask considering there isn’t evidence that exists to do so.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Like an multi-level marketing plan or Big Con, being self-sustaining is important. So the people conned are required to pass it on to others. If they were silent on the matter, how much growth in Evangelical church membership do you think there would be?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A bit off topic but I suppose it is a bit related because it deals with the Bible and preaching etc. – The church was so afraid of people actually reading the bible themselves that it actually forbid ordinary people from owning one and forbid translating the bible into languages people could actually read. The church actually killed people who tried to distribute bibles to ordinary people or translate it into local languages.

    “Decree of the Council of Toulouse (1229 C.E.): “We prohibit also that the laity should be permitted to have the books of the Old or New Testament; but we most strictly forbid their having any translation of these books.””

    “Fate of William Tyndale in 1536 C.E.: William Tyndale was burned at the stake for translating the Bible into English. According to Tyndale, the Church forbid owning or reading the Bible to control and restrict the teachings and to enhance their own power and importance.”

    (Source Huffington Post article – https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-christians-were-denied-access-to-their-bible-for-1000-years_b_3303545 makes interesting reading)

    why was the church so afraid of people reading the bible themselves? Because without being “interpreted” by the clergy it is full of errors, self contradictory, contradicts known facts, etc. And it was afraid that people would figure out that what the church was teaching actually had little or nothing to do with the bible in the first place. In fact, much of what the church was (and is) teaching and doing directly contradicts what is actually in the bible.

    The article presents the claim that the church was terrified that people would figure out that Jesus wasn’t trying to start a new religion in the first place. Jesus was a devout Jew. He wasn’t trying to bring down Judaism, he was trying to support it and reform it. Judaism was at the core of the religious practices Jesus and his disciples followed. The development of Christianity was the process of the church trying to deny Jesus was Jewish, deny that he worshipped as a Jew, kept the Jewish holy days, and so did his disciples, and deny the fact that the early followers of Jesus were also Jews who also followed the Jewish faith.

    Personally I think that if Jesus did exist, he was just one of dozens of preachers who were wandering around the area at the time, trying to stop the abuses of the Jewish faith that were taking place. He gained a bit of notoriety and a following, and after his death someone took advantage of that notoriety to being transforming the dim memories of Jesus into what would become christianity. The gospels and acts of apostles were conjured up out of bits and pieces of old stories and myths, and made attempts to link Jesus to the prophets of old to try to give it more credibility.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Excellent points. This is why so many churches today don’t ask people to bring a Bible to church or even read one at home. The man in the front will teach all you need to know. It’s a system of control and deliberate deceit. It always has been. Controlling the narrative is all they can do when the source material is so flawed to begin with. There always needs to be someone there to “correctly” interpret the scriptures and “guide” the lost sheep. If we did it on our own, what would happen? Well, the ruse would be exposed, the flaws with the Bible would become clear to all and the lack of divinity in this world would be oh so apparent.

      I agree about Jesus. If he existed, he was a preacher, not a god or prophet. His teachings, if they differed than what was acceptable to those in power at the time, would have gotten him killed as the story says. The miracles, divinity, powers and the like are all found in only one source; the Bible. Outside of the Bible, the savior version of Jesus doesn’t not exist in recorded history. Strange that the version we’ve all heard about (and many pray to) would be left out. Only within the Bible does the miraculous Jesus live and thrive to this day. Odd, don’t you think?

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m thinking about this question on several levels.

    For a new religion, it makes sense. There’s a Darwinian competition for mindshare among religions, and if you don’t reproduce you die. New religions that don’t evangelize in some way don’t survive into future generations.

    From my old perspective from inside an established religion, such as christianity, evangelism never made sense to me. It was among the reasons I left. Why should I go out and tell everybody the “good news” when I’m living in a culture where everybody has already heard it?

    But I’m now looking at religion from the outside, so the question for me is “What function does evangelism serve for the organization?” and I can see that its real function is more to solidify the church’s hold on its existing members, and recruitment is secondary.

    I think this works in several ways. First, it reinforces an “us vs. them” mentality. The church sends their members out to go preach to “those unsaved people”. When they do that, they are met with rejection and even hostility when no-one wants to buy what they’re selling. Then the evangelists come back to their church, where they are comfortable and welcome, and have earned some social status for having preached, and even more for being “persecuted” for it.

    And also there’s the idea that people value things more when they have worked hard for them. (Clubs with super-high entrance fees are playing on this tendency.) So if the price of being accepted and respected in your church is a boatload of futile preaching (and also big pile of money) then once you have put in all that effort to earn it, you value that acceptance very highly and are less likely to risk losing it. This also brings in the “sunk cost” fallacy. I’ve heard church members say “If I leave the church, then all that time and energy and money I’ve put into it for all those years were all for nothing! I don’t want to have wasted all of that!”

    The Mormons are champions at this. If they can get a young person to go out and give two years of their life to a “mission” and then after that get them to give 10% of their income, then they have often locked that person into a lifetime of solid allegiance.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I agree with the idea that people need to feel validated in their faith and like to receive a pat on the back for their efforts in evangelizing. The “persecuted” especially, like to receive heaps of praise for their faithfulness. I see why religions, especially newer ones, would employ this tactic. It helps to ensure their religion’s survival. But, in a religion such as Christianity where the claim is that God is clearly observable in some way to all, this tactic fails. If God’s powers and qualities are claimed to be clearly seen by all and yet are not seen by all, there is a disconnect in the message.

      I think that beyond praise and status, evangelism serves no purpose. If you are trying to go out and actually convince someone that your god exists and has a plan for them, most often you’ll be met with resistance. “Why didn’t God contact me directly?” “Doesn’t God love me?” “Why can’t I see or detect him in any way?” “Why is your god so reliant upon flawed humans to spread the message and why can’t they keep their stories straight?”

      If God is real and wants to reach us, evangelism would be unnecessary. If a religion wants to continue to exist with any evidence supporting its claims, then evangelism is essential. The facts tend to speak for themselves and when the facts keep changing, they weren’t really facts to begin with.

      I definitely can relate to feeling like a lot of time, effort and money were wasted in my journey through religion. I wish I could have those years back and use them for something worthwhile. But I could never stay in something just to try to recoup some of what I put in. I’m a stickler for truth and if I was wrong then I was wrong. I have to call it all a loss…except for the experience and knowledge gained by living through it. My money isn’t coming back, my years in the church are gone and all those sleepless nights praying and reading the Bible are long gone. But, I do have a lot I can share with others going through it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your quote from Romans and the following paragraph sum things up perfectly. It’s unfortunate that so many are blind to these very obvious points of truth. But then again, as you pointed out,
    man-made and church approved tactics work wonders in covering up what is apparent to all but the believer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. I admit, I was blinded at first by the sweet talk and the promises of great things to come. But when my faith wavered a bit, I put blinders on and ear plugs in to block out the doubts and forced myself to believe against my better judgement.

      It’s clear now but it was foggy for quite a while. Everybody, regardless of beliefs, needs to examine the evidence and make educated decisions based on facts…not based on desires or peer-influenced doctrine.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s