Evangelism and the American Dream

Following my post on Friday I have been asked what is so culture bound about the 4 Spiritual Laws. The first and last phrases give away this North American emphasis. The main aim in Evangelism seems to be to realise the “wonderful plan that God has for your life”.

Now, let me make very clear, I am not criticising America, American Christianity or the American Dream, but what I am saying is the “one-size-fits-all” evangelism of the 4 Spiritual Laws is a “Contextualised/Syncretistic” message. It may have been a perfect contextualisation for 1950s US campuses–I have no way of evaluating that–but for China, Africa, Europe, Latin America or Asia in the 21st Century, it is not appropriate.

Jesus did say, that he has come that “they [the sheep] may have life and life in all its fullness” (John 10:10). Jesus is contrasting the thief with the shepherd and all through that passage he is talking in the plural not the singular. The good shepherd is facilitating the life of the flock of sheep. There is not one time through that passage where Jesus speaks about the individual sheep; it is always the flock.

The removal of the barrier of sin does not mean the person will have a wonderful life but rather that they will be freed to serve Jesus Christ. This, for many, will mean suffering and death rather than life, as many of our sisters and brothers in the Middle East have discovered.