I have an issue with evangelism. That probably says more about me than anyone else.
Let me be clear that when I say “evangelism,” I don’t necessarily mean in a religious way – I mean about almost anything. I think what bothers me about it is the intensity level. I seek to eliminate drama in my life. I don’t have people who are high-drama as friends, I try to live in a way that limits unpleasantness, I avoid confrontation, etc. etc. etc. Evangelism seems like drama to me.
It also limits people to the one issue they’re evangelical about. I do not believe humans are so one-dimensional. I think we’re far too complex to be boiled down to one thing. When I see people who are completely devoted to one topic, issue or cause, I think they’re not being honest with me. There must be more to them, but they’re keeping it hidden. The evangelism becomes a smokescreen to detract me from who that person truly is. It’s like a magician redirecting my attention. I don’t like that feeling of having the wool pulled over my eyes.
At the same time, I admire people who are so clear about anything. Until we have defined what we want, what we are about and who we are, with complete clarity, it’s difficult to accomplish much. For me evangelism feels like an easy way out in that regard – a position arrived at not by consideration, but by finding comfort with others who share the point of view. This, again, presumes people are too complex to be centered on only one thing.
I think most of us have experienced that “group think.” I know I have. It’s easy. It’s nice. It’s simple.
Evangelism also allows no room for differing points of view. And evangelists try to convince you of their point of view with emotion and by putting down others. What people don’t understand is that if I don’t share your viewpoint, you can’t convince me with that as a basis. A common foundation is necessary to have any hope of having someone see your view point.
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