Is Christian Evangelism Presumptuous?

Evangelism, proselytizing, seeking to convert people to our faith – these are things which are inherent to Christianity if one is to take the words of Jesus as true and relevant.

However, some – even some Christians – feel that this is presumptuous; that Christians should just do their thing and let other people be drawn to it if they will – but not actively attempt to convert others to their faith.

I found this quote to give a helpful perspective:

A major aspect of the Great Commission is the emphasis that Jesus places upon his authority. This is vitally important, because unless Jesus has such authority how can he give such a command? This is a kingly command which assumes that he is Lord over all peoples. If Jesus is not the King, his Commission is presumptuous and without foundation. If he is King, then the whole of life ought to be subject to his royal authority. The fact that God is King is the heart of the Gospel message.

The authority of the missionary lies therefore in the very person of Christ. If Jesus is the King of God’s Kingdom then the missionary has the right, even the duty, to go to all people. If he is not King, then the missionary has no right to seek to take his religious ideas to others. Is Jesus Lord? This is the vital question.

– D. Burnett, “God's Mission: Healing the Nations”


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