Atlantic Caribbean Union

Can We Approach Secular People?

Can We Approach Secular People?

It is a given for us “to approach and talk to people who think as we do,” worship and eat as we do.  Beach and Graz contend that, “it is easier to evangelize Bible-accepting and Christ-following people (though their ‘acceptance’ and ‘following’ may only be sporadic) than those who have another or no specific ideology.  That is why we often tend to orient our evangelistic endeavors toward our Christian ‘cousins’.”
Two Challenges
According to the book 101 Questions Adventists Ask, by Beach and Graz, there are two major obstacles in the way of preparing a people to meet the soon-coming Lord:

  1. Confusion about what the Bible teaches.

  2. A secularized mind-set (especially in Europe and the U.S.) that disavows the essence of Christianity and has relegated the churches to the rubbish heap of history.

Beach and Graz explain that “we have been less successful in dealing with the second hindrance that with false biblical teaching.”  It is no secret that “we have found it difficult to deal with secularization and win people who ask, in effect, ‘Why do we need the crutch of religion when we have gained spectacular control of our lives, the environment, and even outer space?’”
How Can We Approach the Secular Minded?
Given the aforementioned, “How can we approach secular people?”  Here are a few simple suggestions, which I have extracted from the book 101 Questions Adventists Ask, by Beach and Graz. I merely list them as time and space would not allow for a full elaboration.
  1. Provide very basic information about Christianity – many people are religiously illiterate.

  2. Help people find meaning, and this will give them identity and security.  The lives of many people make no sense.

  3. Be a communicator and engage people in dialogue.  Too many Adventists are great at monologue.

  4. Provide opportunities for secular people to meet credible loving people.  This kind of person (not a fanatical, self-opinionated legalist) should make the contact and deliver the impact.

  5. Provide opportunities to break out of insulation, overcome isolation, and conquer alienation.

  6. Provide opportunities to discover self-worth.  An effective convert must discover self-worth before being able to climb out of the secular, swampy lowlands.

  7. Finally, provide hope.  History and its individual protagonists need not be hopelessly out of control.

Secular People Need to Be Reached
Beach and Graz insist, “secular people ‘need to be needed.’ We must do more than repeat what we did 25 or 50 years ago.  We need to multiply the services of the Church.  It is nice and cozy to be far inside the Church, surrounded by like-minded people, but that is likely to be too far away from secular people.” They say that we should, “Try standing at the door (and risk a cold draft from time to time!) or, outside the door, near enough to God to hear Him, but not so far from secular people that you don’t hear and can’t answer their disguised cry for help.” Is it any wonder that the well-known passage of the Bible (John 3:16) says that God “so loved the world”? That certainly includes the secular minded, and we must reach them!