Apparently (and I quote) the lifestyle evangelism methods (servant and friendship evangelism) form 'part of the pathway to hell' and by my sponsorship of them I am merely making people believe they are Christians and 'setting them on the path to hell!' The reasons for this thinking finds its roots in the belief that: 'The only true evangelism is that which tells people that they're sinners and bound for hell... It is this that brings people into the kingdom, for it is the righteous fear that the Bible speaks of!'
I have to be honest and say that whilst I understand the writer's concerns I do think that they are just a little misguided for I know of people who have become Christians because of relationships with Christians that caused them to stop and rethink their attitudes. They were in the company of people who spoke about Jesus, prayed in His name and sought to live in the way the Bible commanded.
The very best person to tell someone that they are caught up in sinful thoughts and acts is that person themselves. Prompted by the example of others and the move of the Holy Spirit, this is the self-discovery that leads to the discovery of a new self in Christ.
But this is, as my correspondent tells me, not the way to 'save souls'. What is needed is to, 'Get them so petrified at the thought of damnation and hellfire that they come running to Jesus and a place of safety.' Whilst I do believe that we need to warn people of the effects of their living outside of that which God calls them to be, I find the idea of getting people to come to Christ as a life raft rather unappealing. After all, I want them to come to Jesus as a Saviour and friend - not a means to a better end.
I have often struggled, as I have said before, at those who come to Christ because of the benefits that such a decision brings. There are places around the world where the profession of faith brings housing, jobs, schooling, health care and the like; bit there are places in the world where becoming a Christian spells the very opposite and invites oppression, persecution and death too!
I don't want people to come to Christ because of fear: Not fear of God - Not fear from God - Nor fear for eternity and hell.
Jesus brings a perfect love and this love, we are told (1 Jn 4.18) 'Casts out fear!'
I don't want to stand out there on the streets telling people that they are doomed and destined for hell (and why is it that the person who wrote to me, like those who often push this view, used the KJV?). I want to stand out there on the streets and tell people about how they are loved. Loved so much that they were considered worth dying for - what a thought, Jesus thinks that each of us (individually) is truly 'to die for!' - and this makes Him worth living for.
Evangelism is (in the words of Charlie Spurgeon) merely 'One beggar telling another beggar where there is bread!'. It takes the words of Galatians 6.1:
'Fellow Believers, suppose you find someone who is caught doing something wrong. You who have God's Spirit should set them right, but in a spirit of humility, keeping an eye on yourselves so that you won't be tempted to use righteous anger, condemnation or pride. For after all we all sins and can compound the sins around us by joining in and treating others wrongly'
Evangelism - it's done and dusted with that statement and the subsequent reading:
Evangelism = love, example, humility, acceptance (to them and from Him)
It really doesn't get any simpler than that does it?