Where do we draw the line to keep our evangelistic activities from being counterproductive?

Hello Mr. McAllister, as someone who’s been imprisoned for evangelism where would you say the line needs to be drawn when evangelising? Is there a point when your approach for spreading the gospel becomes counter productive, if so how do we bring ourselves back to a proper place of balance?

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Hi Luna, nice to hear from you. I think it is hard to draw a line in general terms, the question I think is rooting ourselves in our calling, in studying the way of Christ and the Apostles, and in truly weighing the costs and consequences of being a true Disciple in a fallen world. God has told us to pursue wisdom, so we do use reason, evaluation and consideration in our deliberations, but we also need to walk in faith and obedience and that takes us to people and places where we do not have control and where things unexpected can, and often do, happen.

There are times and contexts where more prudence, caution, or care is needed. I think this is why we seek wisdom, we consult scripture, we pray, and we ask for grace. I have been in situations, as many of us have, where I sensed a rising degree of heat and animosity from the person I was talking to. At that point, I dialed back my responses and asked them were they feeling offended, angry or upset, and if I was able to clarify, I did so, if not, I would suggest we hold or stop until such times as we could interact civilly.

Colossians 4:2-6 has become a very important duding text for me. We are instructed by the Apostle, to devote ourselves to prayer. We pray for open doors, for boldness to share. I think verse 5-6 are key. Wisdom is our control factor, and we walk in it while “making the most of the opportunity”. We use words carefully and deliberately, as our how (the way we respond and act) is as vital as out what (the clarity of the message we share).

So, I guess the final point is one of discernment. As we walk with the Lord, as we grow in grace, as we learn from life and experience, we grow in our awareness of situations and in how we can respond. However, there are costs and consequences, and the time comes, when we have to choose against our own wellbeing and comfort, and decide to stand, no matter what the outcome. for that, the lives of the early Christians, ,missionary stories and the lives of people like Richard Wurmbrand, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Solzhenitsyn are worthy reads and provide many instructive lessons.

I hope this is of some help and pray that God will grant you wisdom, grace and courage as you live faithfully for Him. Grace and peace, Stuart.

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