Before I delve in to my subject, I would like to explain the context. I’m giving a speech at a Lutheran retreat in two weeks. My speech stresses the importance of the lay person in the church. I’m working off an outline that was provided to me to write the speech. One of the points they want me to stress is about evangelizing.
I’m not a religious person. I was brought up Catholic. The Catholic priests talked briefly of evangelizing, but not much. As an adult, I chose atheism, especially with regards to considering a god that lives up in the clouds. Anyhow, I’m trying to be open-minded and learn more about my wife’s faith. In my adventures, I went to a past retreat weekend and enjoy some elements of it enough to try again. I’m trying to understand some of the doctrine of Christianity and see if it makes any sense to me.
I’m writing in hopes that someone can explain the following statement:
The core mission of the Christian Church is to evangelize the world.
I understand that Christians want to share their faith (Good News) with others. As a result, maybe they can fill up their pews and bring the joy that they feel with their faith to someone who could use the lift. What I don’t understand is why this would be the core mission of the faith?
Here’s my shot at an analogy. I have progressive beliefs regarding politics and social issues. I spent a lot of time researching my ideas and talking with other people who have similar beliefs. I would go as far as to say that some of my ideas are more worthwhile and meaningful than the alternatives. The question then becomes, how do I act on my beliefs? My preferred method is to live my life in accordance to my views. I may talk with others and share my beliefs if I think they are open to them. I do not want to disrespect someone who sincerely disagrees or has alternative ideas. My point is that I think it’s more important to live by my values than to evangelize to others. Yes, my values may make a bigger difference if more people follow them. I just don’t see where see where converting other to my progressive ideas is the most important aspect of living my beliefs. (One could alter this analogy to include, conservative beliefs, religious beliefs, etc.)
How are spreading one’s beliefs more important than living by one’s beliefs?