A student’s view on evangelism on campus

Rachael Jaeger
Staff Writer

The on-campus evangelism is one of the things that has bothered me more in the last few years I have attended this university. 

After coming across Monday’s article about how Christian speakers brought discomfort to the campus and the students, I became even more infuriated and to a point, saddened. 

Your personal faith is just that—personal. If somebody would like to discuss it with you, that’s great. 

But otherwise, the main reason I don’t talk about my own faith is because I know I mess up in my life, sometimes when I am not even aware of that I’ve done. 

This year I nearly lost a couple of close relationships because I wasn’t conscious of how my actions and what I said, affected them. But the experiences taught me to exercise more care in my daily life.

I have seen the LGBT community, atheists or others who hold different religious beliefs, more re-spectful than the evangelists on-campus. 

In a way it pains me to say that, especially because I am a Christian. But how evangelism is done on-campus, isn’t the way the Jesus I believe in, would be doing it. 

He associated with all kinds of people and while he spoke with both love and conviction, he let people draw to their own conclusions. 

In my opinion, every person desires a connection, not to be shouted at. 

When an evangelist at-tempts to evoke guilt in his audience, that is far from what the true gospel message is. 

Gospel is supposed to heal and shape you and the redemption aspect is a process. 

Each person is constantly changing and hopefully gain more perspectives about the human condition, its brokenness, and the human themselves. 

You cannot understand someone and where they come from until you listen, and you listen well and thoroughly.

Overall, I was brought up a fundamentalist Baptist, but my parents hopped from church to church since I was a toddler while they searched for their perfect church. Just before I left for college the first time, they returned to their Lutheran roots they were raised in. 

Eventually, Lutheran churches also drew me because of their emphasis on grace and their acknowledgement that human under-standing and action falls short. 

Decision theology is detrimental since it places the emphasis on what you do, instead of what Jesus has done for you. 

Otherwise you are placing yourself on a pedestal and your actions and claiming that you are God. 

Placing yourself in the judgment is a scary place to be. When someone is busy criticizing or shout-ing at others, they don’t look at what their own actions are doing. When someone points a finger, three are pointed right back at that person. 

I have friends from many walks of life and about every person has helped me grow in ways I wouldn’t have if I hadn’t been open to their company. 

As I have listened and engaged with them, I have learned more about my ugly nature, as sometimes we have faced similar struggles and obsta-cles in life. 

When several “sins” are also focused on, others which are just as damaging are over-looked. 

Rob Bell, a former popular pastor who I have called spiritual coach for the last decade, wrote a book called “LOVE WINS!” in which he questions what good it does when Christians stay in their boxes. 

He also questions how they know what they believe is true about the afterlife when no one knows what it is until death. 

In his podcasts, he has said a couple times in different ways about whether or not god exists, isn’t interesting to him. 

It is because the Christian faith’s basis should be love, and unless love is reflected, no one will listen to what you have to say. 

Something a film professor I had, not at this college, but at a private Christian rigorous school I attended a decade ago told me something I never forgot. 

He said, “Being human is why Jesus came and died for you.” 

It is all about being human. It is about connection. It is about love.

Header photo by Maria Ly | MSU Reporter.

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