Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Joseph_Botwinick, May 20, 2006.
I thought this was a great article. Click here to read more.
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
There are two problems here. First, this assumes that "results" depend on the cleverness and work of men. Second, it assumes that the evangelist actually knows the results. It's one thing to get lots of people to pray the sinner's prayer or join your church. What fraction of them are actually saved is quite another thing altogether. So "look at the results" usually doesn't mean diddly.
Ah but that's the American way...Unfortunately
I do not know of a single person who advocates "anything goes" in evangelism. The gist of the article is misguided.
I don't know of anyone who vocally advocates an "anything goes" attitude. Like obvious examples of being a prostitute to win a prostitute.
However, there are plenty of people that, by their actions, take an anything goes attitude. For example, there was the church that rented a nascar car driven by Earnhardt Sr. Gave away tickets for pictures etc, and boosted their attendance to 3000 people on that day. Is that the best way to get people to church? By saying "we're nascar friendly"? Or better yet, is it the best way to help people see their sinfulness?
Ascol & the Founders boys are known critics of anyone who does not fall in line with their line of thinking regarding theology and now methodology. A brief survey of the Founders blog in recent months will see their nagging criticism of Rick Warren, Johnny Hunt, Ronnie Floyd, Andy Stanley, the Caner brothers, and anyone else who does not toe their line. It is sad to watch a group who claims to believe so strongly in a sovereign God limit their view of theology and methodology to their own finite perspective. Most of the people I know who are not a part of the Founders boys consider them extremists (why do you think a Calvinist like Mohler distanced himself from them in recent years). They represent the negatives most people have about Calvinism.
Everything you describe above regarding the NASCAR incident has nothing to do with whether the gospel was presented clearly or not. If 3000 people showed up to see a race car and heard the gospel, so be it. How many people do you think came for no other reason than to see Jesus perform miracles? Did He compromise the gospel when gathering large crowds through miracle working? Most of the arguments against attractional forms of evangelism are normally weak and built on a faulty foundation and are usually employed by those who are a part of churches that are extremely inward focused and rarely see people come to faith in Christ.
Later I will tell you how I really feel
Perhaps this thread is also relating to Rick Warren and his ever popular "Purpose Driven Church" theology? Having attended a church that espoused his teachings, I can say that although the church was "Purpose Driven" it was not "Spirit Led" in any sense of the meaning.
I am speaking strictly as a lay person, and the pastor at the PD church never preached a gospel message the whole time I was there - he believed that it was his job to make people "feel good" about themselves, and did very little to guide or direct them and help them grow as Christians. I left that church because I never felt as if my soul had been fed, and I left before I starved to death spiritually.
I have now found a new church home, where they preach the gospel, and use the KJV Bible and every Service is like going to a big banquet - there is plenty of spiritual food and you can get your fill of it and your soul feels satisfied.
I heard a wonderful gospel song called "The Church of the Frigid Air" that beautifully explained this.
I found a good article about this phenomenon too
God uses so many types of approaches: look at the Prophets: There was the loving prophecies of Hosea, and the jugdement prophecies of Amos.
Look at the disciples: there was the fiery temper of Peter, and the relational style of Andrew.
God is a God of both judgement and mercy. He uses "prophets" and "merciful" people. I think the danger lies in our thinking that God can only use folks just like us--discounting God using folks with different approaches to evangelism, spiritual giftedness, and personalities.
As long as the Gospel of Christ is being preached, and not compromised through active rebellion (i.e., the "prostitute" example), I'm for it.
rbell expressed my views on this!
Although I don't approve of (and will speak out against) the anything-goes evangelism, the Lord works through whatever he chooses. People can read the gospel and be saved, even if it's in "The Message" or the NWT, and he can even work through theologically questionable lyrics in songs.
But, I want to repeat before you pile on, I do not condone the practice of anything-goes evangelism.
Perhaps two things are being confused here? Yes, the Lord will use all manner of things to bring people to Him. Personally, I was brought to the Bible by wanting to check if what Edgar Cayce had said was true! (My mother was into psychics and reincarnation, etc.). That was over thirty years ago.
But that is a far cry from the outreach of a Christian to the world. We are to be followers of Christ and the world must see Christ in us through the working of the Holy Spirit in our characters and lives or we are, truly, taking the name of the Lord in vain.
What the Lord is ABLE to do and what we are REQUIRED to do as His followers are two entirely different things.
One of my favorite questions for those who claim to believe so strongly in God's sovereignty and yet denounce any method other than their own is whether they believe God is sovereign enough to use the Rick Warrens and Ed Youngs of the evangelical world to see thousands come to Christ. It is fun to watch the extremists avoid admitting God is sovereign enough to use those whose practice is the opposite of the inward-focused.
Of course he can. That does not amount, however, to an endorsement or mean what they are doing is right. A good Biblical example of this kind of thing where people do what is wrong, but God uses it for good can be seen below:
You should get out more often.
We have record of God using Moses and Pharoah and Israel and the Chaldeans and a donkey and frogs and flies and hundreds of other people and things to bring people to Himself. Of course God can and does use people like Warren and Young and you and me. Whether thousands are coming to Christ as a result of Warren and Young, or the Founders, or anyone else will be determined in eternity.
Sorry for spoiling your fun.
You miss one very important fact - Jesus didn't commend them for coming to see His miracles. He condemned them.
John 6:25-27 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" 26 Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."
I think first of all we have to separate worship from evangelism. Then, in evangelism, I can see God using attractive means to draw some to the gospel, but never in a way that is dishonoring to his holiness.
And where do we draw the line between the appropriate and inappropriate? I don't know, all I can do is protest when my nose tells me something stinks. The problem is that Warrenites REFUSE correction from those of us that might have exercised our senses to discern good and evil longer than they have.
Also, we would get a lot of this controversy cleared away from our churches if we tried to practice the regulative principle, which says that NOTHING is permitted unless it is specifically established by the bible. It's challenger, the normative principle, says that ANYTHING that the bible does not specifically prohibit is permitted. Under the this philosophy, there is no argument against the outlandishness that goes on. Just put "christian" in front of anything, then it is "christian" - "christian" rock, "christian" mosh pits, "christian" tatoos, ad infinitum.
Also, it's important to remember that the emergent church, seeker-sensitive and such like, began as a sub-culture within the wider christian population. "All things to all people" has to do with relating within a culture, and has nothing to do with developing a sub-culture which features an open rebellion against the norms of the established culture.
Imagine if you will a missionary going into a foreign country, and there he adopts the ways of some subculture rather than relating the gospel to the wider audience. Would this be "all things to all people"? No, because it would be joining the force of a driving wedge between people. It would be "some things to some people". The very opposite of what it alleges itself to be.
That God uses the foolishness of man for his own purposes can not be denied. But this does not make man any less foolish, and any less accountable for his foolishness.
Thanks for proving my point exactly. The whole "it will be proven in eternity" sentiment is always the qualifier when you talk to an extremist about guys like Warren. You are not busting out the robot or spinning on your head like some extremists do, but you definitely started a little jig.
In a few instances he condemned them. Definitely not in all. Either way, it has nothing to do with the primary point, which is the fact Jesus attracted large crowds a) through a means other than expository preaching (did Jesus not believe in the sufficiency of Scripture?) & b) Jesus did so without compromising the truth.
In a few instances he condemned them. Definitely not in all. Either way, it has nothing to do with the primary point, which is the fact Jesus attracted large crowds a) through a means other than expository preaching (did Jesus not believe in the sufficiency of Scripture?) & b) Jesus did so without compromising the truth. </font>[/QUOTE]When Jesus performed miracles was he doing it to attract a crowd? Or did He do it to testify of Himself - i.e., that he was Deity? Are there any instances where Jesus attracted a crowd without (a) performing a miracle (testifying of Himself) or (b) through his teaching? Do we have any examples of Him or the disciples using gimmicks to attract a crowd?