I have always admired Evangelicals’ passion for evangelization (you must have passion for something if it’s part of your name). I wish all Catholics would desire to share their Faith with their neighbor as much as most Evangelicals do. Evangelicals are also on the forefront when it comes to using modern technology to spread the Gospel. They have pioneered outreaches via television, radio and now the Internet. But it is important to remember that Evangelicals do have a number of errors in their theology, especially when it comes to how one obtains salvation, and these errors can creep into their evangelization work.
Case in point: an iPhone app which “evangelizes” people who don’t speak English. An answer to that whole tower of Babel problem, the GM2:8 app will walk a person through the Gospel in a few short steps in their language, so you can bring someone to Christ just by the touch of a button! Here’s what evangelist Ray Comfort (and Kirk Cameron!) say about it:
The problem, of course, is that just walking a person through a few questions and getting them to make the right responses is not evangelization. It’s quiz-taking. Evangelicals like Comfort and Cameron believe that one is saved simply by making a prayer and that once saved, they are always saved. But that is not biblical Christianity. Christ, in the “Great Commission” told his apostles (and all of us):
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20, emphasis added)
Becoming a Christian, therefore, involves three things:
1) Discipleship: The Christian does not just give an affirmative answer to the question, “Is Jesus Lord?”, he becomes a disciple of Christ, which means that his entire life must revolve around Christ.
2) Baptism: Baptism is the entrance into Christ’s Body, the Church; it is how one becomes a Christian. When the crowds asked Peter how they were to be saved, he didn’t respond “say this prayer and it’s a done deal!” No, he stated, “Repent and be baptized” (Acts 2:38). Baptism has always been the normal way in which one becomes a Christian.
3) Obedience: Once a person becomes a disciple of Christ and is baptized, he must live a life of obedience (cf. Romans 1:5). This means following the commandments and living a moral life. It also means obeying those Christ have put in charge of the Church, i.e. the bishops. Obviously, this cannot be done as a one-time activity, but instead involves a re-ordering of one’s entire life.
Kudos to Evangelicals like Comfort and Cameron for wanting to tell people about Jesus and using modern technology to help their efforts. But unfortunately they are hamstrung by bad theology, which ends up leading to really dumb iPhone apps like GM2:8.