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« Reaching the Post-Christian | Main | "Spiritual" Gifts »

February 17, 2005

Comments

betty davis

Eric, you said, 'As far as I know the commission from the Lord Jesus is still in effect, as his command ends with "to the very end of the age." '(Matthew 28.18-20)

You hit the nail on the head: not only is the commission of the Lord Jesus the same, God's word on a whole is still same, God is still the same. Those things can't and never will change. People change, times change, culture changes, but praise be that God and His commissions and promises will never change and we can hold onto that.

Eric Drake

To Matt Rasmussen:

Thanks for the comment on evangelism. I am a graduate of California Baptist University, self-billed as "The Great Commission University." I'm grateful for the many people who told me about Christ over the years before I finally believed. As far as I know the commission from the Lord Jesus is still in effect, as his command ends with "to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28.18-20).

I hope this comment has been helpful. It probably has not for those who consider making a case based on the authority of the scriptures to be passe.

betty davis

Right again! Most american christians do not know what the gospel really is or how to share it. So sad because saying a little prayer doesn't do much if you don't follow up with a relationship to unto the Lord. I think new christians get so short changed because 1), they don't get discipled after they come to the Lord, and 2), because a lot of times, people do not jsut drop all of their habits that are pre-christian once they say that prayer. There is little tolerance for that and I personally think it is a tragedy. How is someone supposed to know what is Godly and not if they are not taught? Some people walk around doing things in ignorance and then are condemned for doing it without it even being addressed with the opportunity to try to change those things. Then they get hurt and make an emotional decision to leave church and christianity. I can say they should be looking to the Lord and people are only human, but Baby Christians are fragile and need our help.
Now, if you are taught and you continue, that is another whole conversation.

You are so correct. Our whole Chistian walk should be who we are and not just what we do. That is such a dire problem in these days. Not allowing our walk to be who we are. In our ministry, I always say that what we do becomes who we are...it is a lifestyle. It is very difficult nowadays to stay only unto the Lord...a fierce battle it seems. It is a lot of being on your knees with God to just get through a day. But it is so very worth it.

I think that the 4 spiritual laws are extremely useful nowadays especially. They are simple, to the point, brutally honest and easy for anybody on any level to comprehend and reason.

I do see where you are coming from, though. Evangalism has, indeed, become a business. That is so sad. I wonder what Jesus thinks when he sees people compromising Him for thier own 'business' or gain.

Church has become so corporate in some arenas. Numbers of all kinds seem to matter more than an individuals walk. Status and positions of power seem to be more important than an individuals walk. Some leaders won't even take the time to listen to a sincere Christian who is leading a ministry because the leader might be in sin or in the wrong and it may compromise their position of power.

I just hope that people do not become so jaded that they completely turn off to Christians altogether because of the insincere churches. We are not all like that.

Now, it was nice talking to you, but I have to go get my ark up to par!

Benjy

Betty, it's my contention that most "american christians" don't have a clue as to what the gospel really is. What it's not is saying a prayer to just be ready for heaven. And I also don't know how to measure the results of the four spiritual laws. They were useful for a time and place but probably a tool that has long outlived it's usefulness and may now do more harm than good.

Benjy

The New Testament, if it reveals anything to us about the early Church, is that it was a community, not an institution. Today it seems the opposite. So evangelism has become a market driven tool to make sure we have enough customers. Thus the need for market tools depending on which demographic we are after.

It seems like the early Church, ecclesia, called out, was simply a group of people who had geninuely had a life changing experience and who joined together to continue living out together what had been started.

I don't think evangelism should be as much about something we do as it should be about who we are. Let's invite people into a community, a lifestyle, not just try to get them to understand a graph.

betty davis

I don't think there is anything to rethink regarding evangilism. As Christians, we are to evangilize. Not everybody is called to be Billy Graham, but spreading the gospel is who we are, really. Our purpose in this life is relationship with God and to do everything we can to introduce any unbeliever into a relationship with Him. Our approach should always be truth and love in whatever arena God places us into, in order that we might accomplish His will . His will is that none should perish and that all will come to repentance.

Our approach? Well, it will vary pertaining to what people group we are ministering to (teens? seniors? prisoners?, etc.)

I realize that 'doing church' is doing business on a certain level. People know us by our actions, though, and if what we say is true plays out in our day to day life, we don't really have to market Jesus. In fact, the Holy Spirit, if we pray, will lead us to whomever He wants to evangalize or will bring them to us directly.

No need to "tweak"...just follow the ones who did best (see Acts). One of those trying to reinvent the wheel things.

I realize the culture changes, but God never changes and neither does the depravity of the human heart. So, just talking to someone or showing them graphs and whatever floats your boat will not change them. However, talking to them in the Holy Spirit and allowing Jesus to do it through us , now that will change a person.

There is a great evangalism tool that Campus Crusade for Christ uses called the "Four Spiritual Laws" , and they have evangilized more people than any other ministry on the planet and have done it successfully.

Matt Rasmussen

Yes, the early church most certainly did evangelize. Read the book of acts, its an account of the world's greatest evangelist crusade. As far as our approach- 1 cor 13 says, "Love never fails." Also, on the subject of "selling Jesus," read acts 8:14-25. That should answer that for you.

Nelly

That is so true.

The Krow

I believe we need to completely rethink evangelism. We've reduced it in our modern ways to a sales pitch. Boiled down amazing mysteries into 4 logic steps, or a romans road, or what ever other formulae may be used. Frankly I also believe because of our individualistic nature of western culture, we've made it far to personal and forgot about salvation in corporate ways. Looking toward evangelism through building relationships instead of a smug presentation needs to be explored more. Evangelism needs to be fully rethought.

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