I always look at the jerks that protest on corners and yell at people to make them feel “convicted” and get sick to my stomach. I’ve always known that they aren’t approaching evangelism properly. I always looked at the Biblical mandate to love our neighbors and easily come up with reasons that I disagree with them. However, I just came across this passage in Colossians 4 that gave me even more reason to think that “You’re Going to Hell!” Evangelism isn’t the right thing to do:
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (ESV)
and since most people who would disagree with me here only read KJV, I’ve included that text as well:
5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. (KJV)
What a clear calling to civility! Let your speech be gracious! GRACIOUS! This is telling us to treat non-Christians with courtesy! I really like how Calvin puts this in his commentary on the passage:
For nothing is more ready to occur, than that unbelievers are driven from bad to worse through our imprudence, and their minds are wounded, so that they hold religion more and more in abhorrence.
We have a responsibility to be kind to non-Christians. The reputation of Christ depends on it.