The problem of removing unnecessary obstacles to evangelism is: “What constitutes unnecessary?” And, equally important, “Who decides what’s unnecessary?”
For example, people resent being called sinners before God. They don’t mind calling chocolate a “sinful pleasure.” They do deny greed, lust, ambition are sinful. Shall Christ-honoring, Spirit-filled Christians stop using the term as a means of reaching unsaved people—I believe one euphemism is “pre-Christian” people. Why don’t we use “not far from kingdom” people? Jesus did. That would be more accurate as a description of their state. “Pre-Christian” may mean a lot of things, as one interprets the word. But “not far from kingdom” means a continued removal from the kingdom that needs to be overcome.
But why would they see the need of being forgiven if they don’t think they’re sinners lost from God? What kind of church member would they make if they were baptized? Jesus said that those whose “many sins have been forgiven...love much” Luke 7:47. How much love will be devoted to Jesus if we don’t think we’re sinners saved by him? What kind of discipleship results if a person is baptized as a church tradition, not for the forgiveness of many sins?
In our rush to influence people for Jesus, don’t skip where he started to get to a subject less offensive to the very sinners he died to save. Let’s at least be faithful to what he demands, and take our chances with rejection. Better to offend the unrepentant sinner than the all-forgiving Lord whose claims are eternally true. –End Part III-