Right or Wrong?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Don, Oct 5, 2001.

  1. Don

    Don
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    Here's a scenario: 2 people get together and devise a plan. They enter a public internet chat room, under the pretense of one of them being an atheist. They have their discussion, including everyone else in the chat room in the discussion, and when they've given their viewpoint on the topic, they leave.

    Is this right or wrong?

    I'm exploring viewpoints on this sort of tactic.
     
  2. Barnabas H.

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    It could lead up to the saving grace of the Lord. But if they are just there to ridicule each other then there is no point in it. It has to be done in a way that at the end the name of the Lord may be magnified. [​IMG]
     
  3. Lorelei

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    Personally I would not look too kindly on that sort of "set-up". You used the words "under the pretense" and I think that is where the fault lies. I think it would be a lie to "pretend" to be providing an honest point of view, when indeed you had "another agenda" planned.

    Now, if one were really and atheist and one were really a Christian and wanted to to go to a message board so they could hear what others had to say, then I think that would be alright. I just think they should be forward in the way they are handling things.

    We are supposed to honest, truth is something we as Christians should cling to. We should be cautious of misleading anyone. If the idea is handled in a manner that is not honest, then I think it would be wrong.

    ~Lorelei
     
  4. Helen

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    ... on the other hand, role-playing has been a common strategy to help people see different points of view...

    Maybe best you pray about this?
     
  5. Joy

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    I agree with Lorelei. It is never right to be dishonest for any reason. If you want to play "devil's advocate," or role play, you should be straight forward with your intentions.
     
  6. Larry

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    Paul said something to the effect of "being subtle, I caught you with guile"
    Jesus said something along the lines of "I send you forth as sheep in the mist of wolves. Be therefor wise as surpents and harmless as doves"


    I have several fake porn pages. When people slink in to my page, they are hit over the head with the Gospel :eek:


    As for your question, I would rather error on the side of doing something.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Larry:
    I have several fake porn pages. When people slink in to my page, they are hit over the head with the Gospel.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Is this really compatible with the glorious gospel we preach? Is God not powerful enough to save people without trickery?

    I suggest you study 2 Cor 4:1-6 about "things hidden because of shame -- walking in craftiness and adulterating the Word of God."
     
  8. Chet

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    1 Cor 2:1-5
    When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
    NIV

    2 Peter 1:16
    We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
    NIV

    I don't think any tricks are needed to win people to Christ, or should we find the need to spruce up the gospel to make it appealing.

    Just a thought.

    Chet
     
  9. Don

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    Wow. I didn't really expect this much response this soon. Can't wait to see/evaluate more....

    Larry, could you provide scripture for that "being subtle" reference?

    Thanks!
     
  10. John Wells

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    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. (Rom 1:16 KJV)

    Sugar coating and window dressing the gospel is to admit shame in its straightforward power! :eek:
     
  11. Mike McK

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    I don't think it's dishonest, necessarily, but it does seem like a long way to go to prove a point.

    Why not just say, "I'm a Christian and I was wondering if any atheists would share with me how their atheism informs their worldview", or somethingto that effect?

    People usually know when they're being set up but if you're up front with them, I think you'd get much better results.

    [ October 05, 2001: Message edited by: Smoke_Eater ]

    [ October 05, 2001: Message edited by: Smoke_Eater ]
     
  12. Larry

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    Ok, it’s not the exact thing but I did say “something to the effect” 2 Corinthians 12:16
    But be it so, I did not burden you: nevertheless, being crafty, I caught you with guile.

    “Is this really compatible with the glorious gospel we preach? Is God not powerful enough to save people without trickery?”

    Light shines best in darkness. The Gospel was designed for proclamation before sinners.

    1 Timothy 1:8-11
    But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

    On my web pages, I use the law lawfully. The visitors are confronted with what God says about lust, righteousness, justice judgment mercy and faith.

    Its not tricks that save, I’m very mush against tricking people into praying, it’s the Gospel.

    Sure, I’ll concede that my method could be wrong but as I said, if I’m going to error I would rather error on the side of doing something. People who thought they were about to get an eyeful and instead got preached to sure have told me off. Frankly, I don’t care what they call me because I’m satisfied that they have had the power of God unto salvation declared to them. Others have told me that they were Christians and wanted to thank me for turning them back to God. So I guess we will see.

    PS: sugar coating is probably the last thing those who visit would call it
     
  13. Jefferson

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    I lied to 5 million people in order to spread the gospel. Here's how and why I did it:

    About 4 years ago I was contemplating how powerful the gospel is to convert souls. It's especially amazing when you consider how many sinners "listen" (wink, wink) to the gospel with their "anti-conversion shields" up. Normally people will listen to new ideas with a healthy "screen" to filter out potential incoming garbage. But when it comes to the gospel, they care more about holding on to their lifestyles than learning about truth so they "listen" to the gospel in a way that makes sure that none of it has a chance of convincing them.

    In spite of their efforts to the contrary, the gospel still converts many of them. So I began thinking, "Just think how powerful the gospel could be if somehow we could get nonchristians to listen to or read the gospel . . .

    1.) Voluntarily

    and

    2.) With an open, objective mind; with the same attitude they have when they read the sports section of their local newspaper.

    Wow. Just think of how much higher the conversion rate would be!!!

    But how to accomplish this? Well, I figured you could pay them. That would take care of the "voluntary" part. But they would still read the gospel with a closed "don't you dare even THINK about changing my lifestyle" attitude.

    Weeks went by and I couldn't come up with a solution. Then months. Finally, just when I was about to give up on the whole idea, it hit me . . .

    LIE TO THEM!!!

    To make a long story short, I emailed (spammed) 5 million people with a survey called "The National Survey of Cultural Literacy" which I claimed was a secular research project from some secular university. I deceitfully said the purpose of the survey was designed to determine the general knowledge that people have of their own culture. Since cultures are primarily defined by politics and religion, I divided up my survey with questions on The Bill of Rights and The New Testament.

    I listed 10 sentences from the Bill of Rights and 10 verses from The New Testament.
    I referred to the verses as "sentences" After all, I was playing the role of a pagan.

    I first asked the respondents to indicate which one of the 10 sentences from The Bill of Rights they were most familiar with and then which of the 10 sentences they were least familiar with.

    Then they were to do the same thing with 10 verses from The New Testament. The first couple of verses were very non-evangelical (just in case they still might have been a little suspicious). But by the time they read the 10th verse, they had read The Roman's Road.

    I got 30,000 responses!!!

    30,000 people reading the gospel . . .

    1.) Voluntarily

    and

    2.) With their anti-conversion shields down; just reading it with the same non-critical attitude they have when they read their daily sports section.

    Mission accomplised.

    How many conversions were there? I couldn't ask. Why would a secular university give a rip whether or not someone got converted? Asking would have blown my cover.

    I'll just have to wait until I get to heaven to find out how many conversions resulted from this lie that I sent out to 5 million people.
     
  14. Don

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    You know, for some reason, your post sounded awfully familiar; did YOU actually do that?

    I'll be interested in that number of conversions, too, Jefferson...especially since, as you indicated, if no one ever told them they were reading scripture, how can you say any of them knew what they were reading? I seem to recall the Ethiopian eunuch was reading scripture, but told Phillip he needed someone to teach him...so if someone else was reading scripture, and didn't even know it was scripture, how much more do they need?....

    Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
    17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

    Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

    Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
    9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

    [ October 07, 2001: Message edited by: Don ]
     
  15. Larry

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    Jefferson,
    I thought about doing that, but I don’t have the Internet survey to pull something like that off.
    I was going to simply say that I was working on a research project and wanted them to quote as many of the Ten Commandments as they could.
    The "The National Survey of Cultural Literacy" is a tremendous idea and using the term “sentence” rather that verse (wish I had thought of that) man, that’s wisdom.
    I would most likely have just said that I’m working on a report for a “class assignment” and then reported it to my Sunday school class.
    I firmly believe that we need to introduce our witnesses to the law BEFORE we give them the good news and end the presentation with Gods’ command for repentance and faith.
    Years ago, our nation may have had enough of a basic concept of sin that the Roman Road would have been sufficient in most situations. Today however, the average Joe on the street hasn’t the slightest idea that they personally are sinners and stand guilty before a just and holy God.
    Anyway, do you think you will ever do another Spam?
     
  16. Jefferson

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Larry:
    I firmly believe that we need to introduce our witnesses to the law BEFORE we give them the good news and end the presentation with Gods’ command for repentance and faith.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is a very good point. In fact, I've been trying to come up with a way to incorporate the 10 commandments without raising their suspicions that someone is trying to convert them. So far I've been drawing a blank.

    But I did another spam of about 200,000 emails about 2 years ago that used your view on this. This page is still up and running and you can view it at http://www.nineveh2.com It's blatantly evangelisic and doesn't attempt to fool or trick anyone into reading the gospel. However, I did trick people into going to the site. Here's how I did it:

    The subject heading of the emails I sent out read "FUN CHARACTER TEST!" What nonchristian wouldn't want to take a "fun character test"? The "character test" is the 10 commandments. Naturally, everyone fails the test which provides for a perfect segway into their need for a Savior.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Anyway, do you think you will ever do another Spam?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I'm planning new projects right now. I'm learning about new software programs that protect spammers and loopholes in the law that spammers can work around, etc. I'm considering doing some kind of online tract about the terrorist attacks, maybe another "survey", or another "fun character test". There have been millions more people who have gotten connected to the net since the last time I spammed it. They need to be contacted.

    [ October 07, 2001: Message edited by: Jefferson ]
     
  17. Jefferson

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Don:
    You know, for some reason, your post sounded awfully familiar; did YOU actually do that?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Probably. Other people spam too though so you might be remembering someone else's spam instead of mine.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I'll be interested in that number of conversions, too, Jefferson...especially since, as you indicated, if no one ever told them they were reading scripture, how can you say any of them knew what they were reading?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I told them they were reading sentences from the New Testament.

    Regarding the verses you quoted against lying, you need to balance them against the verses where the Jews deceived their enemies in battle as well as the story of Rahab's lie.

    I think refraining from lying which refrain puts someone's life and/or soul in jeapordy is the equivalent to straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

    [ October 08, 2001: Message edited by: Jefferson ]
     
  18. Don

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    And I think you need to re-look at what swaimj posted about Rahab.

    And I also think you need to provide a biblical example of someone being led to the Lord through deceit.
     
  19. Lorelei

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    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Jefferson:
    I lied to 5 million people in order to spread the gospel. Here's how and why I did it:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    This is the problem with your reasoning. WE don't do anything. It is the Holy Spirit that draws people to the Lord, WE are just His instruments.

    Chet already pointed out this verse.

    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>1 Cor 2:1-5
    When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
    NIV<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    WE don't need to do anything deceiptful, or disobey any of God's Word to get people saved, because WE can not save anyone. Only God can save, and he doesn't need the works of the flesh to accomplish His goal! God said not to lie, and if you do lie then you are not reaching them for the Lord, you are setting a bad example and actually HURTING the gospel message! I can hear a lot of my non-Christian friends saying "Oh, it's ok for THEM to lie if it suits THIER purpose. Didn't I tell you they were all hypocrites??" Witnessing to non-believers is hard enough without having to explain things like this to them.

    ~Lorelei
     
  20. Jefferson

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    Lorelei:

    If you were a nonchristian who had no desire to read the Bible and you could die in the next 5 minutes and spend an eternity in Hell, wouldn't you want someone to trick you into reading the gospel?
     

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