Truthful Evangelism

Loren Seibold has a good post at Spectrum on some apparently unethical practices of an Adventist evangelist in ND. Some nastiness gets into the comment boxes, however, from folks who seem unable to separate the medium from the message.

We need to do public evangelism, but we need to be upfront from the start. And that holds true for any denomination. If we believe what we’re saying, we won’t play any games. We aren’t selling used cars or brushes or home cleaning supplies–we’re sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, and the truth of his word.

Now, does this mean we put the most controversial teachings up front? No. We start where we have common ground. With other Christians, our witness is going to start with Jesus Christ, and our common hope. With non-Christians, the human longing for relationships that last, for meaning, for spirituality.

Context is everything, as Catholic evangelist Isaac Hecker came to realize in the 19th century, when he tried for the first time to present Catholic teachings to a general American audience. See my article, The History of the Parish Mission.

Update: Some good discussion of this at SDA2RC.