Archive for June, 2008

Originally posted here. Written by William MacDonald.

Street Evangelism (ca 1961) There is a curious problem today in the evangelical [and fundamental] world — one that poses sobering questions for the church and for the individual believer. The problem in brief is this: a great army of personal soul-winners has been mobilized to reach the populace for Christ. They are earnest, zealous, enthusiastic, and persuasive. To their credit it must be said that they are on the job. And it is one of the phenomena of our times that they rack up an astounding number of conversions. Everything so far seems to be on the plus side.

But the problem is this: The conversions do not stick. The fruit does not remain. Six months later there is nothing to be seen for all the aggressive evangelism. The capsule technique of soul winning has produced stillbirths.

What lies at the back of all this malpractice in bringing souls to the birth?

Strangely enough it begins with the valid determination to preach the pure gospel of the grace of God. We want to keep the message simple — uncluttered by any suggestion that man can ever earn or deserve eternal life. Justification is by faith alone, apart from the deeds of the law. Therefore, the message is “only believe.”

From there the message is reduced to a concise formula. For instance, the evangelistic process is cut down to a few basic questions and answers, as follows:

“Do you believe you are a sinner?”
“Yes.”
“Do you believe Christ died for sinners?”
“Yes.”
“Will you receive Him as your Savior?”
“Yes.”
“Then you are saved!”
“I am?”
“Yes, the Bible says you are saved.”

At first blush the method and the message might seem above criticism. But on closer study we are forced to have second thoughts and to conclude that the gospel has been over-simplified.

The first fatal flaw is the missing emphasis on repentance. There can be no true conversion without conviction of sin. It is one thing to agree that I am a sinner: it is quite another thing to experience the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit in my life. Unless I have a Spirit-wrought consciousness of my utterly lost condition, I can never exercise saving faith. It is useless to tell unconvicted sinners to believe on Jesus — that message is only for those who know they are lost. We sugar-coat the gospel when we de-emphasize man’s fallen condition. With that kind of watered-down message, people receive the Word with joy instead of with deep contrition. They do not have deep roots, and though they might endure for a while, they soon give up all profession when persecution or trouble comes (Matt. 13:21). Many have forgotten that the message is repentance toward God as well as faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

A second serious omission is a missing emphasis on the Lordship of Christ. A light, jovial mental assent that Jesus is Savior misses the point. Jesus is first Lord, then Savior. The New Testament always places His Lordship before His Saviorhood. Do we present the full implication of His Lordship to people? He always did.

A third defect in the message is the tendency to keep the terms of discipleship hidden until a decision has been made for Jesus. Our Lord never did this. The message He preached included the cross as well as the crown. “He never hid His scars to win disciples.” He revealed the worst along with the best, then told His listeners to count the cost. We popularize the message and promise fun.

The result of all this is that we have people believing without knowing what they believe. In many cases they have no doctrinal basis for their decision. They do not know the implication of commitment to Christ. They have never experienced the mysterious, miraculous work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration.

And of course there are others who are talked into a profession because of the slick salesmanship techniques of the soul winner. Or some who want to please the affable, personable young man with the winning smile. And some who only want to get rid of this religious interloper who has intruded into their privacy. Satan laughs when these conversions are triumphantly announced on earth.

I would like to raise several questions that might lead to some changes in the strategy of evangelism.

First of all, can we generally expect people to make an intelligent commitment to Christ the first time they hear the Gospel? Certainly, there is the exceptional case where a person has already been prepared by the Holy Spirit.

But generally speaking, the process involves sowing the seed, watering it, then sometime later reaping the harvest. In our mania for instant conversion, we have forgotten that conception, gestation, and birth do not occur on the same day.

A second question — can a capsule presentation of the gospel really do justice to so great a message? As one who has written several gospel tracts, I confess to a certain sense of misgivings in even attempting to condense the good news into four small pages. Would we not be wise to give people the full presentation as it is found in the Gospels, or in the New Testament?

Thirdly, is all this pressure for decisions really Scriptural? Where in the New Testament were people ever pressured into making a profession? The practice is justified by saying that if only one out of ten is genuine, it is worth it. But what about the other nine disillusioned, bitter, perhaps deceived; en route to hell by a false profession?

And I must add this: Is all this boasting about conversions really accurate? You’ve met the man who solemnly tells you of ten people he contacted that day and all of them were saved. A young doctor testified that every time he goes to a new city, he looks in the phone book for people with his last name. Then he calls them one by one and leads them through the four steps of salvation. Amazing enough, every one of them opens the door of his heart to Jesus. I don’t want to doubt the honesty of people like this, but am I wrong in thinking that they are extremely naive? Where are all those people who are saved? They cannot be found.

What it all means is that we should seriously re-examine our streamlined capsule evangelism. We should be willing to spend time teaching the gospel, laying a solid doctrinal foundation for faith to rest on. We should stress the necessity for repentance — a complete about face with regard to sin. We should stress the full implication of the Lordship of Christ and the conditions of discipleship. We should explain what belief really involves. We should be willing to wait for the Holy Spirit to produce genuine conviction of sin.

If we do this, we’ll have less astronomical figures of so-called conversions, but more genuine cases of spiritual rebirth.

Recommended further reading: “St. Francis… A Sissy?” by Ray Comfort.

Photo Credit: Photograph “Street Evangelism (ca. 1961)” by Sherlock77 (James).

HT: WordnVerse

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Everytime I try and forget about Todd Bentley, I see more disturbing videos which makes me want to continue to warn the flock

This one is worse and you can actually view him kneeing this man with colon cancer in the stomach. One of the techniques that I see Todd (and others like him) display is that they always seem to put words in the peoples mouth so that they can agree with him. See what I mean in the video below

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Coming out of deception

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 1 – A Form of godliness

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 7 – Signs and Wonders

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 9 – Giving False Hope

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers – The Conclusion

Ingrid Schuelter looked at Todd Bentley in the light of scripture and discussed it on her radio program Crosstalk America.

You can listen to the discussion here.

Related Posts:

Revival Shown on God TV…or is it?

What does the bible say about Benny Hinn?

Judge Not?

Its not all about Jesus’ according to Todd Bentley

How much more evidence do you need? – The ministry of assault and battery

Coming out of deception

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 1 – A Form of godliness

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 7 – Signs and Wonders

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers Part 9 – Giving False Hope

The marks of false ‘christian’ teaching and teachers – The Conclusion

In my last post, I asked the question ‘So if….God is communicative, how does he communicate with us? Is it through the Bible, the Qur’an, Bhagavad Gita or the Vedas or does he not communicate with us at all?’. Well before I try and answer this question, I though I would give you some facts about some of the holy books. I have taken this information from the BBC’s Religion website

Islam

The Qu’ran

Page of a handwritten Qur'an in Arabic

The Qur’an is the holy book for Muslims, revealed in stages to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) over 23 years.

Qur’anic revelations are regarded by Muslims as the sacred word of God, intended to correct any errors in previous holy books such as the Old and New Testaments.

Origin

The Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad by God in Arabic.

Some Qur’anic fragments have been dated as far back as the eighth, and possibly even the seventh, century. The oldest existing copy of the full text is from the ninth century.

Although early variants of the Qur’an are known to have existed, Muslims believe that the text we have today was established shortly after the death of the Prophet by the Caliph Uthman.

Contents

There are 114 chapters in the Qur’an, which is written in the old Arabic dialect.

All the chapters except one begin with the sentence Bismillahir rahmanir raheem, ‘In the name of Allah the most merciful and the most kind’. This is the thought with which Muslims should start every action.

The longest chapter of the Qur’an is Surah Baqarah (The Cow) with 286 verses and the shortest is Surah Al-Kawther (abundance) which has 3 verses.

The arrangement of surahs does not correspond to the chronological order in which they were revealed.

The Qur’an is sometimes divided into 30 roughly equal parts, known as juz’. These divisions make it easier for Muslims to read the Qur’an during the course of a month and many will read one juz’ each day, particularly during the month of Ramadan.

For more info, click here

Hinduism

The Vedas

These are the most ancient religious texts which define truth for Hindus.

They got their present form between 1200-200 BCE and were introduced to India by the Aryans.

Hindus believe that the texts were received by scholars direct from God and passed on to the next generations by word of mouth.

Vedic texts are sometimes called shruti, which means hearing. For hundreds, maybe even thousands of years, the texts were passed on orally.

Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita, or “Song of the Lord” is part of the sixth book of the Mahabharata, the world’s longest poem.

The Bhagavad Gita

Composed between 500 BCE and 100 CE, the Mahabharata is an account of the wars of the house of Bharata.

It is one of the most popular Hindu texts and is known as a smriti text (the remembered tradition). This is considered by some to be of less importance than shruti (the heard text, such as the Vedas). It has, nevertheless, an important place within the Hindu tradition.

The Bhagavad Gita takes the form of a dialogue between prince Arjuna and Krishna, his charioteer.

Arjuna is a warrior, about to join his brothers in a war between two branches of a royal family which would involve killing many of his friends and relatives.

He wants to withdraw from the battle but Krishna teaches him that he, Arjuna, must do his duty in accordance with his class and he argues that death does not destroy the soul.

Krishna points out that knowledge, work and devotion are all paths to salvation and that the central value in life is that of loyalty to God.

For more info, click here

From What i understand, Buddhists do not have a text as such (someone please correct me if I am wrong

Buddhism

The Teachings

These are the basic teachings and concepts in Buddhism.

Karma

Actions have consequences; so our lives are conditioned by our past actions.

Tibetan monks use a prayer wheelThere is no belief in a personal God. It is not centred on the relationship between humanity and God

Rebirth

Consciousness continues after death, and finds expression in a future life.

Liberation from karma

By following the Buddha’s path one escapes the cycle of craving and suffering.

The Four Noble Truths

These are the essentials of Buddhism.

Enlightenment

The highest goal of life is to reach Enlightenment; a state of being that goes beyond suffering.

Dharma

The teachings and hence the way to nirvana.

The core of Buddhist teaching

At the heart of the Buddha’s teaching lie The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path which lead the Buddhist towards the path of Enlightenment.

Facing the truth

The Buddha taught that the human tendency is to avoid the difficult truths of life and this in turn leads to suffering. By enabling the mind to be at peace through meditation a human being can confront reality and overcome hatred and craving.

For more info, click here

Other Religions

Click here to see a list of other religions and their belief system

So what sets Christianity apart from the rest? You will see that all the other religions basically rely on man trying to reach out to God by various religious acts to obtain some kind of favor or salvation. Christianity says, you can do NOTHING and it relies on the act of God reaching out to man.

To be Continued……

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I’m feeling better now

Posted: June 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

So within the next few days I will try and get back into the swing of things with my blogs. Special thanks goes out to ‘I’m Speaking Truth’ for sending me Peter Popoff’s Miracle Manna. It did the world of good. Not only do I feel much better but I am now a millionaire and all my debts have been paid. I would appreciate if you could send me Paul Lewis’s miracle olive oil soap because I now want to become a billionaire

Silence of the sheep

Posted: June 17, 2008 in Uncategorized

Well I couldnt say Lamb could I since Christ is the Lamb. Apologies for my lack of blogging lately. I have been mega busy at work lately and on top of that I have been feeling a bit unwell so in the words of Arnie, ‘I’ll be back’.

Persecution.com
“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (1 Timothy 4:15-16)
Prayers for June 10th, 2008
From The Voice of the Martyrs
Persecution.com
Pray for INDIA
INDIA
Pastor Beaten; Churches Attacked – VOM Sources

On May 27, Pastor Rampal Kori was beaten by two Hindu militants in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, India. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, “The militants repeatedly struck the pastor, who was returning from prayer meetings, with an iron rod and accused him of forcibly converting villagers to Christianity. They also robbed him of 3000 Rupees (US $70). Pastor Kori sustained serious injuries that required stitches in his head.” Meanwhile on May 26, in an unrelated incident, militants demolished a thatched church in the district of Adilabad, Andhra Pradesh. On June 1, another group attacked the Masihi Mandir Church in the district of Oriya Para, Chhattisgarh state, during a morning church service. VOM sources added, “At approximately 11:00 a.m., the militants barged into the church building and destroyed the facility’s furniture. The attackers accused the believers present of forcibly converting people, and threatened them with dire consequences if they continued to worship Christ.” Pray for healing for Pastor Kori. Ask God to strengthen the believers whose churches were attacked as they continue to stand in His grace. Psalm 37: 3-6

Pray for ERITREA
ERITREA
Christians Arrested – Compass Direct News

On May 28, Eritrean police arrested 34 evangelical Christians in the city of Keren, Eritrea. According to Compass Direct News, “The Christians, who are members of the Berhane Hiwet (Light of Life) Church, were meeting in a private home for prayer and fellowship. All 24 men and 10 women present in the meeting were taken to prison, with their children left behind. The next day security officials transferred the women prisoners to the Adi-Abeyto Military Confinement facility on the outskirts of the capital city of Asmara.” Pray for the release of Eritrean Christians who are imprisoned for the sake of Christ. Ask God to strengthen and comfort their families, especially the children. Pray that the Eritrean government will respect the rights of Christians to freely worship their Lord. Ephesians 1: 19-23

Pray for IRAN
IRAN
UPDATE: Christian Converts Released from Prison – Compass Direct News

Praise God! Homayon Shokohie Gholamzadeh (48), an Iranian Christian convert arrested on May 11 by police in the city of Shiraz, was released from prison on May 22. According to Compass Direct News, Gholamzadeh was taken into custody with his wife and another couple before boarding a flight at Shiraz International Airport. On June 2, Mojtaba Hussein (21), another Iranian Christian convert from Islam arrested on May 11, was released from prison. According to Compass Direct, the authorities demanded valuable property deeds as bail collateral for the release of the two believers. Praise God for the release of these believers. Pray God encourages them as they live their lives for Him. Pray for other believers who face challenges for practicing their faith. Psalm 34: 1-10

Pray for CHINA
CHINA
Christians Detained for Helping Quake Victims – China Aid Association

On June 1, Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) police officers disrupted a house church meeting and forcefully detained seven believers during a Sunday service at Taikang county, Henan province. According to China Aid Association (CAA), “Approximately six PSB officials disrupted the house church meeting and forcefully detained seven of the participants. Police officials did not state the reason for the detention. During interrogation, police officials questioned the members as to who would be taking donations to the earthquake disaster area. One woman and her child were released; however the other six remain in detention under a charge of sending money to a disaster area in the name of a house church.” According to reports, PSB officials have said they will not release those detained until they paid a fine. Pray for believers in China who are facing difficulties practicing their faith. Ask God to give them boldness to serve Him and for Him to give them the ability to forgive their persecutors. Psalm 34: 17-22

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