John MacArthur, WOTM, and the Ten Commandments

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JonC δοῦλος, Jun 13, 2015.

  1. JonC

    JonC
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    I think that it is because of a fellow member of the BB, but for some reason I always thought that MacArthur was somehow linked to WOTM.

    I was listening to one of his sermons ("The Most Misunderstood Parable"), and he made the comment that there is a popular evangelism method which uses the Ten Commandments. He found nothing wrong with the practice, but did note that Jesus never did evangelism this way.

    "It’s a popular thing today to throw out some Ten Commandments and say, “Do you violate this commandment? And do you violate this and violate this?” I know there’s a lot of that. Jesus doesn’t do that. He has a far more devastating approach than just isolating commandments, although that is a legitimate way to do it. Jesus steps that up a great deal. How am I going to get this guy to realize he’s lost? Okay, that’s the point. That’s where you start in evangelism, isn’t it? How do I get him lost before I can get him saved?"
     
  2. InTheLight

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    Good post. Jesus would frequently use the technique of asking questions.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    Good post!

    I am happy to hear something that John MacArthur has said that I can wholeheartedly agree with.

    He's absolutely right. The so-called Way of the Master, was/is not the way of the Master, Jesus. Maybe Ray Comfort has a different master in mind?

    Jesus used all kinds of different ways to talk to people about their deepest spiritual needs. They were not canned methods, but honest and direct communication empowered by the Spirit.

    I have nothing against teaching people a few methods regarding talking about the basics of the good news of Jesus, but the focus always has to be on the personal life of the evangelist, who is living what he or she is proclaiming. Witnesses who are living and moving in the power of the Spirit are never at a loss for a way to communicate spiritual truth. Having some training may help if the training is not a technique of winning an argument/debate. An presumptive evangelist make make their point and/or win an argument, but they may not make a positive difference in the life of the one they are attempting to win to the gospel.

    Strangely enough, I've found the most effective "technique" in sharing the gospel is when I am talking to someone and they begin to have an hostile reaction, I tell them that I don't want to continue having the conversation because I don't want them to lose sight of the fact that I care more about their well-being than winning an argument or being right. In a world where people engage in screaming matches at each other in person and in the media, a statement like that is revolutionary. It immediately changes the tone of the conversation. Almost always, people are more open to me and their guard drops. We can now continue the conversation in a very respectful tone.

    THAT'S a technique I teach to people I disciple that honors the Spirit and therefore, the Spirit honors it. I have friends who are atheists, lesbian activists, gay married couples, etc., who always want to talk to me about the things of God. In every one of those relationships, I have had to use that technique at an early stage of discussion, and it is surprisingly effective.
     
  4. blessedwife318

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    I pointed this out to Evan in a thread he started about The Gospel According to Jesus

    Never got a response, which is not a surprise. Here is the quote I gave him for discussion:

    The reason why I think he links them together is that Wretched Radio, Formerly The Way of the Master Radio, likes to quote John MacArthur a lot. But they have a lot of other people they quote a lot, which surprisingly I don't see Evan quote as much, probably because not all of them are as prolific writers as MacArthur is and we all know how Evan venerates books and their authors.
     
  5. Baptist Believer

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    Yes! You can make amazing strides with people by just asking honest, logical and respectful questions. You take them on a journey of thought and analysis that they probably wouldn't take on their own.

    That's a technique I often use with cultists, especially Mormons. I simply ask them questions, based on what they have said and what I know about Mormon doctrine, and lead them to a place where they see the absolute contradiction of their message. Then I drop in the Christian answer to their dilemma.

    Simple dogmatic assertions are usually ineffective. You have to walk with them out of the intellectual/spiritual maze.
     
  6. InTheLight

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    Yep. This technique works well with most Catholics as well.
     
  7. Jordan Kurecki

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    Jesus actually did use the commandments with the Rich Young Ruler.
     
  8. Baptist Believer

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    The rich young ruler introduced the subject and Jesus followed up with a portion of the moral Law. When the man claimed that he had kept the Law, Jesus didn't start quizzing about whether or not his answers were accurate, but instead issued a call to follow Him. The man didn't want to leave his wealth, power, security and responsibilities, and so he walked away.

    You're correct that it is the closest Jesus gets to the so-called Way of the Master, but it is a very different situation than what we encounter on the streets in the Western world. And even then, Jesus doesn't try to convince the man of his sinfulness, instead He issues a genuine invitation to be part of what He is doing.

    Maybe Jesus would have been successful with the man if He had pressed him about whether or not he had broken the commandments like the so-called Way of the Master would have us do?
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    Simple methods in evangelism can be a very good tool for those who are not used to sharing the gospel and have some timidity about it. They give some people a place to start.


    With regard to what works, it is a fact that most any method works. None of the works on all the people all of the time but they all work on different people.

    For some people God has already worked on their heart and lives to the point that a simple presentation of the gospel drives them to the Lord.

    For others it takes an intimate relationship and quite a bit of time spent with them. They need to know that the person presenting it actually cares.

    For others it takes the presentation of the clear facts and reason.

    There are any number of other scenarios where different approaches are necessary.

    Anyone who thinks it is just one way all the time has little training and experience with soul winning and people.

    Paul said "....I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."

    Very wise words concerning soul winning.
     
  10. Jordan Kurecki

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    if he wasn't using the commandments to bring conviction to this man than what was he doing?
     
  11. JonC

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    :thumbs: I think that these methods can be useful as "training wheels." They help us learn to share the gospel, sometimes help break us out of our shell (for me, I often need crutches to get me out of my comfort zone), and maybe even provide a framework to begin witnessing. But I would hope that shortly the training wheels would come off and we could genuinely engage people as Jesus did.
    I agree with Baptist Believer here.

    I think that your answer is in Matthew 19. Verse 17 shows us what Jesus was doing - He was meeting the person where he was (verses 18 onward build upon verse 17). This is not to say that it is wrong to use the Ten Commandments, although I can think of many times they wouldn't be the best to facilitate an understanding of the gospel. In short, Jesus simply engaged the rich young ruler on his own turf.
     
  12. Baptist Believer

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    Jesus was teaching among a people who had a covenant relationship with God and had been given the Law.

    The man asked, "What must I do to inherit the kingdom of God?" (Please note that he DIDN'T ask, "What must I do to go to heaven?" or "What must I do to be saved?" which is the way many interpret that verse. It certainly involves salvation, but it is something bigger.)

    When Jesus points him back to the commandments regarding his relationships with others, the man affirms that he has kept the commandments from his youth. Most interpreters I know would say the man was either lying or deceived. While that might be true, Jesus gives no indication that the man gave a false or incorrect answer. Jesus does NOT address the sin question at all! Instead, He offers the man an opportunity to divest himself of his worldly encumbrances and join Jesus and his band of disciples!

    That's quite a bit different than the so-called Way of the Master.
     

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