One of my favorite musicals is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific. The 1949 Broadway hit made its big screen debut in 1958, and it’s been a staple on TV and high school stages ever since.
One of the most memorable songs in South Pacific was “Happy Talk.”
“Happy talk, keep talkin’ happy talk
Talk about things you’d like to do.
You gotta have a dream
if you don’t have a dream
How you gonna have a dream come true?”
Many people approach presenting evangelism as “happy talk” by only focusing on the God’s love at the expense of God’s justice. Even modern day pastors, especially in the mainline denominations, employ this approach. They avoid any mention of sin and prefer to focus on building up a person’s self-esteem in the context of God’s love.
The founder of Evangelism Explosion, Dr. D. James Kennedy, used to say to me that a half-truth, presented as the whole-truth, is no truth at all. The same could be said of the gospel. If we only give half the gospel for example, talking only about the love of God without talking about His justice, then we’re sharing no gospel at all. And Jesus is our perfect example. He cared deeply for hurting and lost people. He listened to them intently and responded to their deepest need which included telling them, ‘Go and sin no more.’
It can be awkward to tell people that they are sinners and have broken God’s law in thought, word and deed. Yet if we don’t, presenting half the gospel is just ‘happy talk.’ If you want your listeners to learn how they can better present their faith to their unbelieving friends and family, consider airing Share Life Today on your station. Please drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org