Kerala Chief Secretary Jiji Thomson has said that there is a need for “self introspection with regard to the mission of the church”, and that people must “spread the gospel across the world”.
Delivering the keynote address during the bicentenary celebrations of the old theological seminary of Malankara Orthodox Church in Kottayam Thursday, Thomson said the biggest legacy of the Church is to preach the gospel.
Thomson, who belongs to the Malankara Orthodox Church — a prominent non-Catholic church in Kerala — spoke in the presence of Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, the chief guest.
Thomson started his speech by saying: “I am standing before you not as the chief secretary of Kerala, but as a proud son of Malankara Orthodox Church.”
“You and I should take the duty to preach the gospel across the world. The biggest mission of the church is to spread the gospel. The Bible clearly talks about that… This is an occasion for self introspection with regard to the mission of the Church,” he said.
Referring to the Bible, he said, “It is a Biblical imperative to bring others to Christ. Today, the biggest mission of the church is to spread the gospel.” Three ways to do this, he said, are personal evangelism, church evangelism and mass evangelism.
“In the next two months, you will witness in Kerala a series of incidents of mass evangelism during Bible conventions,” he said. “You and I can do personal evangelism, which does not require the help of clergy.”
Narrating the story of a paralysed boy who spread the gospel from his apartment, he said, “Why can’t we…go for personal evangelisation like that boy.”
“When that mission (of spreading the gospel) is accomplished… Only at that moment, I can say I am a Christian,” said Thomson.
On Saturday, Thomson said his speech was misunderstood by some. “I was not advocating proselytisation. What I told the meeting was that the church’s mission is to preach the gospel. What I wanted to communicate is that a Christian has to take care of his fellow beings as part of personal evangelisation,” he said. He added that he was speaking as a member of the church. “I am constitutionally entitled to speak in that manner,” he said.