Friday, February 6, 2015

Making Our Gospel Relevant

Mark 1:32-34 That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34  And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. 

This week, the theme has been on God’s POWER—in Creation, over nature and nations, and in the preaching of the gospel. Isaiah 40:31 tells us that God gives power to those who wait upon Him, while Mark 1:35 reminds us that Jesus' source of power is derived from His time alone with God. So, He proclaimed the gospel not only with authoritative words but also with powerful works viz., healing and casting out demons.

1 Cor. 9:21 reminds us to make our gospel relevant the contexts of our target audience. Unfortunately, many of our evangelism methods are derived from West, which is adapted largely to Western societies. Western societies have become largely secular and sceptical of anything supernatural. Even Western Christianity has become uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed by the Gospels' focus on Jesus’ power to heal the sick and cast out demons. The secularization of Western societies has resulted in the Western churches adapting evangelism to the speak to secular mindsets of the West.

In contrast, Asian societies are generally religious and supernaturally-charged. If the gospel is to be relevant to our Asian contexts, we would have to emphasize the gospel’s supernatural ministry. Our neighbors' worldviews are populated by gods, goddesses and ghosts living side-by-side with humans. Their worldviews are not secular. And so in evangelism, we have to present our God as far greater than their gods & goddesses, not just philosophically nor academically but practically.

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