“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.
Confrontational Evangelism does not, nor ever will work, contrary to what some preacher or other suggests otherwise. The fact is, if the message is coated in aggression, hostility, anger, defamation or ridicule, that message has been tainted and is not of Christ, but is in fact another gospel which will serve no one but only the self righteous.
In yet another video of someone who is a street preacher, the young man (preacher) goes into an area that is well known to be home to violence and aggressive behavior, within 15 minutes of his name calling of the lost, a man slashes the young man’s hand, sending him to the hospital. Again, all in the name of Confrontational Evangelism.
When we examine the life of Christ, we see one common theme when it came to his outreach to the lost (not the religious) but the true broken, the weak, the poor, the sinner itself, his behavior toward the least was one of great compassion, not condemnation (John 3:17). Christ used words which revealed the disparity of the sinner, yet gave hope for their salvation. When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well, his was not one of confrontation, nor did he resort to name calling. His was one of compassion, of love, of hope to this particular woman who even his own disciples, when seeing him speaking to her, questioned his actions. The truth is, Christ drew people to him because his message was one which offered hope, it did not degrade, ridicule or reject the sinner. His was a message of grace, of hope in all sincerity.
Yet today that message of hope has been unfortunately been replaced by a message of fear, of judgment, of hate. If you degrade someone, you isolate them, you control them, you call them names, you demean them. That’s a horrible existence for people. Yet that is exactly what is happening with the method of Confrontational Evangelism. Let’s ask a fair question; Do we honestly believe that by going into a shopping mall at the height of Christmas and confronting children with a style of method which they would not be able to comprehend truly serves any productive purpose other than gratifying one man’s feeble attempt for 15 minutes of fame?
When a street preacher name calls, uses words or terms such as whore, slut, pansy, or confronts in an aggressive tone or demeanor, are they truly desiring a genuine response to the gospel? The answer is no, they aren’t. Here is the more shocking truth to what is happening in these situations, they have no true desire to see men repent, but reject God even further because they themselves have no genuine love for them to repent in the first place. Jesus said that we would know if we love God genuinely by when we loved one another. If we truly followed Christ, we would love people as he loved us when we were unlovable. The simple truth is, I’ve never known one person ever to come to Christ out of ridicule or public shaming – ever.
Is it wrong to warn the sinner of their fate if they don’t repent? Absolutely not. But how we go about it can be. We draw or push away people by how we treat people, that is simply how it works when we relate to people. We demonstrate the love of Christ to the lost by giving them hope, not fear, not demeaning them, and certainly not condemning them. The truth is, they stand condemned already! It’s the same idea of going onto death row and telling a man condemned to be executed in a few hours that he’s going to die, when the fact is he already knows that. What he is hoping for is not the call of death, that’s his reality, instead, he’s praying for a reprieve. Sinners act and behave like sinners because that’s what sinners do! So why not give them words of life instead of words of death?
Confrontational Evangelism will never work. Those who are dedicated to undermining the gospel do so at their own peril, for God keeps a record of all we do, and when we present the gospel in such a way that brings forth a spirit of hate and self destruction, then we have not the true gospel, but a false one, a lonely one, one whose sole intention is to distance others from the cross, that in itself is antichrist. Let us instead speak peace, love and give the sinner reason to hope, even if rejected, tell them the good news, even if it brings ridicule from those who do not know, for in the end, ours is to simply preach the good news of Jesus Christ, and let God determine who will receive when they hear such love from such a high price that was paid 2,000 years ago on Calvary.
From my desk in China,