restoring our biblical and constitutional foundations


Rhino Evangelism?

 David Alan Black  

It seems that confrontational evangelism is making headlines in the news these days. What do you think? Does it work? Can the lost ever be burned by our evangelistic efforts?

For what it's worth, I've found that people tend to be wary of impersonal approaches to the Gospel. In my experience, you can't go wrong by loving them. In fact, if we love them, we will evangelize them. I say that because the most loving thing we can do for the lost is tell them the Good News.

One thing is certain: Religion can never satisfy the deepest longings of the human heart. Only Jesus can. Many people have never rejected Christ; they have rejected an ugly caricature of Him.

Someone has said that a Christian needs the mind of a scholar, the heart of a child, and the hide of a rhinoceros. The greatest danger of confrontational evangelism is that along with toughening our hides we harden our hearts. I urge all of us who share Jesus' love with others to let our Christ-like actions speak as loud as our words. You lose nothing by protecting the dignity of non-believers. In fact, you may even gain a friend -- and ultimately a brother or sister in Christ.

As we evangelize, then, we should:

  • anticipate conflict

  • expect opposition

  • accept people in their lostness

  • not expect intellectual arguments to win the day

  • affirm people as valuable in God's sight

  • cultivate the hungry soil of their hearts

  • plan on listening as much as talking

  • be accepting and gracious

  • look for opportunities to serve

  • model Christ's humility

  • love, love, love!

What a tragedy that some Christians, while having a commendable zeal for evangelism, also display the sweet approachability of a rhinoceros!

June 23, 2010

David Alan Black is the editor of

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