Christian evangelism

From RationalWiki
(Redirected from Evangelical Christian)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Christ died for
our articles about

Icon christianity.svg
Devil's in the details

Christian evangelism is what happens when Christians do evangelism — that is, when Christians attempt to tell others about their religion, with the goal of converting those people to the "good news" of their God and faith.[1]

Individual Christians who view this as an important part of their faith, may often not understand how to respect boundaries, and believe that schools, government, and the workplace are all appropriate settings to teach about their religion. While there is no set method for evangelism, people's attempts to share their "joy" can range from simply inviting people to their church and letting the listener decide on their own, to filling the convert with guilt or fear, to outright threats of loss of life or limb, in a "convert by the sword" method historically used on New World and African peoples.

Evangelical methods[edit]

Jesus said to his disciples, just before his death, to go out into the masses, two-by-two, to bring the good word of the Kingdom of Heaven; he also said that if someone doesn't want to listen, do not waste your time in their home.[2] Sadly, not all Christian evangelicals remember that last part.

Techniques for the lay person to evangelize are similar for the Christian religion as for a favorite sports-team or for a favorite TV show. Talk about it, all the time, to anyone willing to listen (or as Kirk Cameron describes it, "learn to circumvent, or go around, a person's intellect"[3]). Highlight the good stuff: "When you are sad, God's love will help you", and "God grants your wishes prayers", and skip over the less happy stuff: "God killed not only all evil humans, but all living things everywhere, when he was pissy" or "God told his worshiper to kill his own child, then at the very last second, said 'Oh, just kidding, dude!'" (This is like reminding people how cool it is for vampires to sparkle, but glossing over things like quality of writing.) In the modern world, more often than not, evangelism consists of a post on Facebook saying "God is great." By and large, most Christians who feel a need to evangelize are not overly intrusive or rude.

However, some evangelists have an arrogant approach summed up as: "Christianity, as understood by my personal denomination, is the only right and true path for any human; eternal hell awaits all sinners who do not follow my view." Out of this position of superiority often comes an emphasis on spiritual salvation rather than actually helping others. These people have no problem pushing their views on school children, or attaching a "salvation before food" condition at a community food bank. They have no problem driving through populous areas with trucks carrying images of dismembered fetuses saying "God hates abortion." Nor, apparently, do they have any problem picketing the funerals of sinners in order to convey their godly message.

Common assumptions[edit]

Evangelists may assume that:

  • The potential victimrecruitconvert has a life - some sort of vague individual personal existence.
  • The potential victimrecruitconvert has a soul - an even vaguer concept, but one that sounds grandiose. (Generally only one soul per person, though.)
  • The potential victimrecruitconvert has a potential afterlife. More and more abstruse... (Optional for consumer-goods marketing evangelism.)
  • The potential victimrecruitconvert has individual responsibility for the whole life/soul/afterlife complex.

Looking for offensive insults and disrespectfulosity? - you found it.

Evangelical Trumpism[edit]

Christianity has died in the hands of Evangelicals. Evangelicalism ceased being a religious faith tradition following Jesus’ teachings concerning justice for the betterment of humanity when it made a Faustian bargain for the sake of political influence.
—Miguel de la Torre[4]

In the United States, Christian evangelicals are closely identified as faithful supporters of the failed presidency of Donald Trump. According to polls, white evangelical voters voted 81% for Trump in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.[5] Evangelicals have fallen for all of the conspiracy theories promoted by right wing politicians and media personalities, and they have spread QAnon bullshit.[6] In the fallout of the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot, some evangelicals are bemoaning this deal with the devil and lamenting that when people are asked what an evangelical is, the answer is likely to be: "Oh, those are those people who are really super supportive of the president no matter what he does."[7] A 2021 survey by the conservative American Enterprise Institute showed that 60 percent of respondents dispute the results of the election and that 27 percent of white evangelicals believe in the widely debunked Qanon conspiracy theory.[8][9][10]

Evangelical Trumpism is supported by many so-called Christian televangelist organizations. On January 6, 2021, The Victory Channel, an American television station owned by televangelist Kenneth Copeland, broadcast an episode of a show called "Flashpoint" that featured a wide array of right wing kooks, nut jobs and liars all promoting the conspiracy theory that the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot was infiltrated by paid Antifa supporters dressed in MAGA gear. The program included statements advocating the conspiracy theory from a policeman's lineup of right wing douchebags, including Mike Lindell, Michele Bachmann, and Franklin Graham.[11]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Many Christian religious groups and sects teach that evangelism is a requirement of the religion, based in no small part on the way the New Testament suggests Jesus brought his views to the masses.
  2. Compare Mark 6:7-12: "And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits [...] And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. And they went out, and preached that men should repent."
  3. Kirk Cameron ridiculed Stephen Hawking for not believing in an afterlife. The quote is given in a reply to the article: [1]
  4. The death of Christianity in the U.S., 13 November 2017.
  5. Frank Newport, Religious Group Voting and the 2020 Election., 13 November 2020.
  6. How QAnon Conspiracy Is Spreading In Christian Communities Across The U.S. NPR, 21 August 2020.
  7. Rachel Martin, 'How Did We Get Here?' A Call For An Evangelical Reckoning On Trump. NPR, 13 January 2021.
  8. Daniel A. Cox, After the ballots are counted: Conspiracies, political violence, and American exceptionalism. American Survey Center, 11 February 2021.
  9. Dalia Mortada, Rachel Martin, and Bo Hamby, Disinformation Fuels A White Evangelical Movement. It Led 1 Virginia Pastor To Quit. NPR, 21 February 2021.
  10. Tom Gjelten, A 'Scary' Survey Finding: 4 In 10 Republicans Say Political Violence May Be Necessary. NPR, 11 February 2021.
  11. Peter Montgomery, Religious-Right Leaders and Media Foster White Evangelicals’ Adherence to Conspiracy Theories. Right Wing Watch, 11 February 2021.