With the ingredients of relative truth, harsh opinions, easy and quick access to any and all information, and a global, social platform you can easily end up in a hypercritical environment. Then when Christians add their particular religious belief we can easily be headed to conveying a hypercritical gospel and using hypercriticism in order to evangelize and bring others to Christ. For me it seems to be an odd approach, but one I have seen happening way too often.
Here is what I mean: Instead of sharing with others what God has given us or the way that a life in Him blesses us and how God restores lives, we tend to share all the ways the world is bad for us and how it is destroying our Christian standards. So instead of speaking about love and grace we spout about rules, what God denounces in scripture, and how if you cannot follow what God has laid out in scripture you will go to Hell. I believe in cause and effect. I believe that when we live with God's kingdom in mind that we can find the blessings of life and that when we live for the world that we will find how empty that goal is for our lives. I don't necessarily believe in a continuum. That the better we live, the more we are blessed or receive or the richer we become. Or that the more we give into the world the more we will find disease in our lives, our wealth tanks, and we live awful lives. I mean logic and observance would point us differently than that. We all know people who live incredibly God-filled lives who are stricken with Cancer, lose their jobs, or have sudden deaths occur around them. And we all know people who live in protest to God who are wealthy, seemingly happy, and nothing bad ever seems to happen to them. However, the choices we make in life will result in consequences good and bad. That is just the way it is.
But evangelical Christianity is being known more for what it is against rather than what is for. What God despises is on display without a message of what God loves. It seems that if we can scare non-Christians into fearing for their soul that they will turn to God. I find nothing in scripture that suggest that God would choose fear for people to come to Him. That would make God their last resort and God delights in the fact that people can choose him and choose him first. No one sells a home by sharing all the ways the other houses on the market are falling apart. They don't show pictures of shacks and then say, but you could live here in this beautiful home. No, they sell homes by pointing out every good feature a home has and why it would be a good purchase for you to make. So, why would we want to use fear as our main tactic for bringing people to Jesus. Why would we choose to point out the errors and sins of people in order to scare people back to God. If God is love, then He loves ALL people, even when they choose to do things opposed to Him.
I want to use a short series of blogs to scratch the surface of our Hypercritical nature currently among evangelical Christians and maybe together we can offer some perspective and solutions to all of this. I won't be vying that we allow for sin, but for open-mindedness and how we can speak a different way to encourage, teach, and invite people to know Jesus.
What other ingredients would you offer to what has led to our hypercritical nature in our world?
What do you see as the challenges for evangelism with this methodology?
What push back would you give to this idea of criticevangelism? (my made up word, maybe you have a better made up word)
What are some of the things that evangelical Christians need to think more deeply in regards to sharing Jesus?