Parish News : November 2021


There is a word which is almost taboo in some Christian circles, even though it is a biblical word.  It occurs over 70 times in the Bible, in Old Testament and New Testament, especially in the Gospels.  Often translated ‘good news’ or ‘gospel’, the original Greek word is ‘euangelion’.  This is the basis of the word ‘evangelical’ or ‘evangelist’.  How strange it is that such a central word from our scripture has become so poisonous in certain church circles.  

Say that word, and some people recoil, make a face, assume you are going to be cringe-worthy and embarrassing.  Or worse still, they fear you are going to force people to use a tambourine during worship.  This is because I think some Evangelical Churches gained a reputation some years ago (especially in the 1970s and 1980s) of having a particular approach to worship, applying a certain attitude to church on all those who adhere to it. 

But that is definitely not what the word is referring to in the bible, and it is quite definitely not how Christians ought to approach the ‘E’ word.  If we truly seek to follow Jesus in accordance to God’s will, then every Christian needs to find a way to express the good news of Jesus in our daily lives.  That is what it really means to be evangelical.  It does not mean we have to adopt a particular form of worship, nor do we have to force ‘Jesus’ into every sentence we utter, nor does it mean we have to perpetually go around with a big grin on our faces, pretending life is not as troublesome as it really is.

When members of churches ‘evangelise’ this can happen in all kinds of different ways:  during worship in church; when out and about; when helping people through our community café, or food support, or Playtots or gardening group; chatting with friends or family; helping someone in need; over the internet when on social media or on email; or in our private prayers.   Every Christian is to be evangelical wherever they find themselves day to day, from Sunday to Saturday, every week.  This could be in your own home, praying for friends and family.  This could be in the workplace, or in the post office queue, or while out on a walk along the Greenway.

So let us not be embarrassed about using the traditional biblical word ‘evangelical’ about ourselves; and let us seek to draw close to God every day, and to be his hands and eyes and mouth and feet in all the different contexts of our lives.  So that as his body here in Blacon we can be as effective as he wants us to be.

Tina Upton

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