Evangelism in a Syncretistic Culture: Introduction
About a year ago, I was taking an enrichment class in my home church in the US, on Apologetics. As we were going through the professor posed a critical question: “What is the essence of the Christian life?” “What does it mean to be a Christian?” I feel the answers and discussion that followed these questions revealed how critical it is that the church articulate with clarity what the gospel is, and what it means to be a Christian. The truth is had we walked methodically through several key gospel related passages, I am sure we would have come to unanimous consensus, however the answer should have been presented immediately, with the gospel and the new birth being the heart of being a Christian. Being a Christian is not about a moral code, a list of standards, emotional or mental ascent to an orthodox Christian Confession. It is not about being a member of local church or having religious slogans on your car or business advertisement. Being a Christian is about experiencing the new birth by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. It is about a repentant dependence on the person and work of Christ alone and His righteousness. Unfortunately, many genuine believers do not know how to clearly articulate their faith. It is not that they have failed to embrace the work of Christ, but that they have failed to think through the essential components that go into clearly articulating the gospel. When ill-equipped believers enter a “Christian” culture, the results can be disastrous. I fear that this is the current state of many passionate evangelicals, passionate to present Christ, yet ill-equipped to do it with careful accuracy. I do not claim to have all the answers. Truly, I take something new from every conversation I have with people from many various backgrounds, yet I hope that the points and questions that we discuss will be tools that God uses to help you become more equipped to passionately and accurately present Christ to the nations beginning in your own back yard.
Pastor Joel Porcher Anchor Baptist Church and Mission, Cape Coast, Ghana West Africa