Modern evangelism has ignored the book of Acts

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, May 11, 2013.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Recently I witnessed to a in-law whom is a Mongolian using the Law. I went from the natural to the spiritual and tried to be as gentle and kind as I could. However she took it wrong and says I was "completely inappropriate" for using the 10 commandments as I went through the lie, stolen, murder, adultery, etc. commands. I guess in Mongolian culture a man can never ask a woman these things. I did not know this, and did apologize, however she holds a deep bitterness and dislike towards me and has tried to raise difficulty for me and has been super rude to me since then.

    I have heard Ray Comfort use the law with men and women so I am not sure what the problem is. Perhaps what has happened to me, is just a fulfillment of what the Bible has already said.

    Mk 13:13
    John 15:18ff

    Also in Acts the Apostle Paul was not treated very well in many cases. Its sad how modern evangelicalism has completely ignored the book. I men what do people do with the many verses where Paul was abused, thrown in prison, told he was not fit to live and to rid the earth of him, etc? You bring those up and people will ignore them. Sad.. I am troubled by the state of the church.





    John
     
  2. Oldtimer

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    John, you're married! Sorry, I must have missed your post where I could have offered congratulations.

    Sorry, too, that I don't understand the parallel you're trying to draw between "modern evangelism" and your witness to a woman of another belief system. Even as a laymen, we face rejection everyday. Within my own family, especially in the younger generations, some don't want to hear the Gospel. If I push the point far enough that they become angry, then I've defeated the purpose of being a witness to them. That has nothing to do with "modern evangelism". We can only offer, but we sure can't force them to take. We're only messengers. It's between them and the Holy Spirit with regards to what they do with the message.

    A little more background, if you don't mind. Is this woman a Christian? Did she bring up the subject of the 10 Commandments? Oh, and what do you mean by "using the Law"?

    Just trying to understand more of what happened in this situation. Is it possible that there's more than a cultural difference that has drawn her anger? Just pondering your question.
     
  3. evangelist6589

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    Content for the Faith

    The Bible says to "contend for the faith."(Jude 1:3) You will be amazed at what you can say to someone if your tone is in the spirit of gentleness. Study the New Testament to see how confrontational Jesus was when He spoke to people about their salvation. He wasn't afraid to call sin "sin," and Hell "Hell." Imitate Him. Never hesitate to use fear as a motivator for a sinner to flee to the Savior. The world will frown on this, and many within the Church may even discourage it. But any fear a person may have now because of your words of warning will be nothing compared to the fear he will have if he falls into the hands of the living God. The Lake of Fire should motivate us to cast aside our fears of rejection that come in the guise of not wanting to offend people. There goes another minute. Gone forever. Go share your faith while you still have time.

    Boy I grieve by all in the professing church that will face the Living God one day.
     
  4. Deacon

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    It appears to me that you actually enjoy rejection. There will be times when we have to suffer for our faith, just be sure you are not caught trying to make yourself suffer - there is no benefit for you or the person you witness to – it's not honorable.

    It appears to me as if you have a method of witnessing that is offensive to some people… this person in particular!

    Witnessing to other ethnic groups can be challenging – they have different culture experiences and protocols… it's almost like they speak a different language. :smilewinkgrin:

    What would I do? - - Learn from it and adapt a method that is more effective.
    Apologize, humble yourself and make amends… do something that shows her you care – you may have to do some research or you may risk offending her even more.

    Paul approached the pagan philosophers in Acts 17:16f in a way that was culturally acceptable and showed his appreciation to their devotion to truth. While they initially showed contempt for his strange new message, Paul persisted and he was able to win them over.

    Learn from Paul and adapt your methods to honor those that you want to listen to your message of good news – they will be more receptive .

    Rob
     
    #4 Deacon, May 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2013
  5. evangelist6589

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    I just said I would not witness to her directly anymore. Instead I have just tried to be nice despite her rudeness towards me. I had a short conversation with her this morning as I wished her back on her drive to her state. I tried to show that I cared and it worked..

    I am not WOTM only as I have read David Jeremiah's book God Loves You.
     
  6. Oldtimer

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    Providing that you have already established a sincere friendship/relationship with the other person. One in which you've already established trust. One in which the other person KNOWS that any criticism of them IS well intended and SINCERE. That you truely are looking out for their best interests and don't have any other motive for your "gentle" tone.

    How many parents take kindly to someone telling them how to raise their children? Especially from someone they've just met or know only on a very casual basis. It doesn't matter how "gently" the words are spoken. They don't hear the "gentle" they hear WHAT you said about them and their children.

    Is it your goal to become a "fire and brimstone" preacher? That's what your posts seem to indicate. Not only here. There was another post about a co-worker, and with a 'singles' group where you had confrontations, if memory serves.

    A. How often in the Bible does the word "fear" mean respect and/or trust? As in "fear the Lord" = Trust the Lord or Respect the Lord, as the context of the scriptures may be. Yes, there are times when we, as sinners, should FEAR the WRATH of God. Trusting and respecting negate the fear, as we then have nothing to fear. A child who trusts and respects (thus, obeys) his or her parent has nothing to fear.

    B. Notice where Jesus was actually "confrontation" and compare to the times he was speaking to the lost about their personal salvation. Yes, we are to imitate Jesus to the extent possible in these fleshly bodies. In the temple was His wrath directed towards the lost who were coming to the temple? Or was it directed at those who corrupted the temple? Can you show me a passage of scripture where Jesus used "confrontation" when He was drawing individuals, themselves, to Him? When we imitate Jesus aren't we to follow His example of when and where to be "confrontational"?

    Yes, share our faith. To do so means to don the whole armour of God. Yet, it does not mean protraying the image of a SWAT team striking fear in a neighborhood in lock down. Fear has its place. Fear that goes away, when a lost person does "fall into the hands of the living God". Does sharing our faith mean that we protray our Saviour as being decked out in full riot gear? Does that draw the lost closer to Him or does it make them cower away in fear? Or does that make the lost bolster their own ego and sense of oppression to begin throwing rocks at the "enemy"?


    Your icon and your signature tell much about you. In essence you are telling me that in order to share my faith, I should be following WOTM. Your signature line can be read to imply that very thing.

    Our true witness is the way we live our lives. Often our words, themselves mean nothing. "Trying to be nice" often means nothing, if the person on the receiving end does not trust that you are sincere. That goes far beyond "a short conversation". We don't "try to show we care". We either truly care or we don't. Others can easily sense that in us. Therefore, you cannot be sure that it "worked". She simply may have been trying to avoid another "confrontation" before she left your presence. Can you say with absolute certainty that she did not give out a sigh of relief when she sat in her car?

    Part of the reason why I say that resides in your last sentence. And, it ties back to your signature line. You are expressing, yet again, another reliance on a book written by a human.

    Whether you believe it or not, you don't NEED any of them. If God has called you to be an open air preacher, He has given you all you need to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord. He is not the author of confusion, as so many earthly authors tend to bring about. Trying to surround yourself with so many earthly opinions may, indeed, be confusing your head, while the Holy Spirit is trying to speak from your heart. Listen to HIM first and foremost. Pray for HIS guidance alone, each and everyday.

    Pick up your tools (Bible) and go to work doing what God has called you to do. Preach the Gospel of Christ, within the same context that Jesus did when he was urging lost individuals to come to Him. Keeping both fear and confrontation within the same context that our Saviour used both of them.

    Only you can answer the question, within yourself, as to whether being a fire and brimstone preacher is what our Lord has called you to do.
     
  7. USN2Pulpit

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    Once again, I commend your zeal for spreading the gospel.

    Perhaps this is one of those things you simply need to learn from. Missionaries work hard to know the culture of the people they speak to - to avoid misunderstandings that are cultural in nature.

    Ask yourself: would the 10 commandments approach be effective even without the "lust question?" I believe it would be. Here's my reason: we know that the Word of God will not return void.

    Here's an example: I have used the FAITH method of evangelism. Once, in my enthusiasm to tell the story, I omitted the I and the H in my presentation, effectively spelling "FAT." Through the ministry and power of the Holy Spirit, the person was saved anyway. Praise God.

    I would just say to learn from this. Tuck it in your toolbox and use this knowledge, so you can be more effective when there's another opportunity with someone from an eastern culture.
     
  8. Revmitchell

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    The gospel is always offensive. People do not reject the gospel because one used the Ten Commandments. They reject it because it is in their heart to do so. Period.

    Joh 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
    Joh 3:20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.
     
  9. evangelist6589

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    The best sentences said in this thread. Praise the Lord for brothers like you.
     
  10. John of Japan

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    As a missionary, I agree. People from Asian cultures are not used to American bluntness. Tact is needed. The operative passage is in 1 Cor. ch. 9: "19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."

    The Mongolians are "without law," as are the Japanese, so to directly ask "Have you done these sins?" is a great affront. The witness must be tactful and gentle with Asians to avoid making them "lose face."

    I once made a very similar error with a Japanese. I was going through the Ten Commandments and offended the woman greatly by emphasizing the sin of ancestor worship too bluntly. She decided I was attacking her mother, and refused to have anything to do with us from then on. I'd certainly do it differently with that lady if I had the chance.
     
  11. salzer mtn

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    After reading all the good advise, a person still must remember, it is the Holy Spirit that opens their heart to recieve the truth.
     
  12. John of Japan

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    No offense, but making a Mongolian woman mad because you didn't understand her culture is not at all the same as the persecution the Apostle Paul received. You were not persecuted.
     
    #12 John of Japan, May 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2013
  13. evangelist6589

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    But God brings the converts!!! God opens their hearts to the gospel. My duty is to preach the word and let God do it all. Sure I will offend some, but God brings the converts. You know some asians have come to Christ by using the Way of the Master method of evangelism.

    But regardless I may have to have more tact when dealing with some types in the future. Perhaps get to know them better before I use the LAW.
     
  14. evangelist6589

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    Are you saying I need to learn the culture before I preach the word? Perhaps ideal in third world countries I am not sure. But such a philosophy has persuaded some Arminian evangelists to write books that are not Biblical saying that one cant just "preach the word" in american culture anymore because it "does not work." They argue that tracts, and open air preaching are "ineffective."

    I need to have discernment when people tell me I need to "learn the culture" to do evangelism.
     
  15. John of Japan

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    No, I am not telling you to learn the culture before you preach the Word. I am telling you be careful how you do things when trying to reach someone from another culture. God used me to save Japanese people before I ever went to Japan, so it is entirely possible for you to win the Mongolian woman to Christ.

    But according to the Scripture on cross-cultural evangelism I gave you in 1 Cor. 9 (which you seem to have ignored), we are to become "without law to those who are without law." Does the WOTM approach allow for this? (I don't know, I haven't studied it.) If not, there is a serious gap in the system, though I thank God that they are helping people to witness.

    What I am telling you is to learn discernment, and realize that you are trying to reach someone cross-culturally, and it is a different ball game than trying to reach an American like yourself. As you know, Jesus told the disciples to be "wise as serpents, and harmless as doves" (Matt. 10:16) before sending them out on an evangelistic trip. That is what I am saying to you. By your own testimony you were not as wise as a dove in your first approach to this woman, but are doing better now.
     
  16. Bluefalcon

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    I would suggest first asking a lot of question to see what she already believes or doesn't believe. Most likely she is either atheistic or animistic, perhaps Buddhistic believing in good works and controlling one's evil internal lust from which all evil derives, etc. In fact on a practical level, she may think she is more righteous than you even without your religion. If this is the case, then you may never win her until your fruit of the Spirit overcome her sense of self righteousness.
     
  17. John of Japan

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    Good information and advice. :thumbsup:
     
  18. John of Japan

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    I just noticed that I inadvertently answered your post to salzer mtn instead of this one. Sorry about that to both of you.

    I think I would have said much the same thing in reply to this one. However, I would add one thing. Yes God brings the converts. Yes our duty is to preach the Gospel and let the Holy Spirit do the work. However, God has elected to use humans to give the Gospel, and it is wrong to be haphazard about it. We should be thoughtful about how we give the Gospel.
     
  19. evangelist6589

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    The WOTM approach witnesses to everyone the same regardless of the culture. I emailed Todd this question about cultures and he did not respond, indication that they do not agree with those whom say to know different cultures. I got rejected, but I have heard podcasts of Comfort, Todd, and others being cussed out, chewed out, etc..
     
  20. John of Japan

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    Any aggressive form of evangelism will get you rejected, cussed out, chewed out. It has happened to me many times. As near as I can tell, there is nothing in the WOTM approach that is more objectionable than other approaches. As someone pointed out, there is a reproach to the Gospel itself. However, if you're going to be persecuted, make sure it is for the Gospel and not for a cultural misstep. As my father used to say, "I'd rather be persecuted for my position than my disposition."

    My particular point was about 1 Cor. 9, which definitely says you must adapt your approach (not the Gospel, which is eternal truth) depending on culture. "The Jews" and "the Greeks" are very different cultures. Just look how Paul witnessed on Mars Hill in Acts 17: a very different approach from how he witnessed to the Jews. In missiology we call this contextualization. I really believe that if you will meditate on 1 Cor. 9:19-23 and Acts 17:18-34 it will help you greatly in witnessing to immigrants like your Mongolian friend.
     

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