Evangelism…Out With the Old, In With the New: Let’s Bring Back the Old

In the book “Evangelism Is…” by Dave Earley and David Wheeler and the Holy Bible, more specifically in the book of Acts, we learn about evangelism in the early Church going out of its own boundaries and always being present in the daily lives of the common people. The Church seemed to have no fear of judgment or reprimand. Although the Disciples of Christ had a very real possibility of getting jail time, or even martyred as we would later see, this did not stop them from taking the good news of Jesus Christ to the masses.

Jesus himself had an evangelistic style that went beyond what was thought to be “normal” in those days.  Cultural boundaries meant nothing to Him.  He had a great way of being able to relate the gospel to any people group with any background and in any situation.  One example we see is the Samaritan woman at the well getting water (John 4).  In those days Jews would not speak to Samaritans at all due to cultural differences.  However, Jesus went beyond the preset cultural boundaries and related the water she needed from the well to the water of life that the gospel brings.  This would not be the only time we see him relating a physical reality to spiritual issues in scripture.  Jesus also related the birth of a child to a new born in the Christian body to Nicodemus (John 3).  Practical examples were one thing that Christ did best in order to relate his message to the public.

In today’s Church we have seen a rapid decline of taking the gospel outside the physical building of the Church.  Evangelizing within the
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Religion VS Relationship

I’m unsure if it’s just me, but lately I’ve seen the subject of “Religion” VS a concept of the pure “Relationship with Christ” debate.

Given that this has been a source of much interest for me lately I was happy to see this post appear today from churchleaders.com.

Shortly after seeing the post I shared a link to it with Facebook friends.  To my delight there was an opposing view to my personal take on the subject which I’d like to touch on today to get your input on.

First I would highly encourage you to check out Dictionary.com’s definitions of RELIGION and RELIGIOUS.  Keep those in mind as you read on.

It’s difficult to tell if people are referring to different denominations when the subject of religion is brought about or whether it’s slander against religion as a whole. It has become too normal to bash religion when, in fact, religion is sort of like a map that guides us to believe what we believe as we progress deeper into our respective faith groups. Denominationally speaking, yes some are focused on good versus bad, karma, multiple gods, etc., but without religion as a whole there is no guidance. One can’t simply say “Well I think this is what Jesus would do” if they have no reference of what He did. That, in turn, is where religion comes in. The religion of Jesus Christ and His teachings, in the Christian Church body, is our guidance for that. If anything I would have to argue that there is a “rule book” we do religiously follow…The Bible

I’ll be the first person to tell you I had no idea what God’s view on certain things in my life were, sin wise. I had no idea that some of the things I was doing that were so casual were actually sins in His eyes. There’s no way I would have found this out without going to some sort of organized religious worship center or doing research through the scripture. I think all of us have experienced that when we’ve come upon something and said “Wait…that’s a sin?!”  Believe it or not, we’ve all got a lot of learning to do on God’s word regardless of what level we may be at, new and seasoned believers alike.  If it comes to the point that you’re no longer growing then you may want to take an inward look on why that is. 

All that being said, I feel people are taking the term “Religion“, or even “Religious” far out of context and failing to see that following Christ, or any other deity for that matter in other applicable circumstances, is a religion in itself. I would, by both referencing the aforementioned definition of “religion” and “religious”, and through personal studies and exploration, go as far as to say without religion we would have had no foundation for what was soon to be our relationship with Christ after discovering it for the first time and that those are easily interchangeable meaning that one inevitably leads to the other.

I appreciated the challenge from my friend to make me to go deeper as it was a good way today to get me even more fired up for how thankful I am that Christ gave us this ability to love Him, His Church, AND His religious teachings.
Thanks Jesus!