Have some Christians misunderstood what “witnessing for Christ” means?

July 16, 2013

Excruciating evangelism: The day I decided that Methodists might go to heaven
Anyone who has spent some time in fundamentalist Christianity knows that one version of “witnessing” or spreading the Good News is to go up to strangers and start speaking to them about their spiritual well-being, specifically to ask them if they know where they will be when they die and then urge them to be saved from hell through faith in Jesus. Sometimes a gospel tract is handed to them as well. The words used are formulaic, Christianity is presented as being simply about the afterlife rather than the here and now, and the approach strikes most strangers as intrusive.  In today’s link, Carol Howard Merritt tells of a time when, as a student in an evangelism class at Moody Bible Institute, she was required to talk to ten strangers about their salvation, even though the assignment made her uncomfortable.  Read about what she learned as she tried to do the assignment and then what she began to realize when she met a Methodist.  Carol Howard Merritt wrote this for her Tribal Church blog, hosted by the Christian Century.

Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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