The Evangelization of Calvinists

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by christianyouth, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. christianyouth

    christianyouth
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    Messages:
    588
    Likes Received:
    1
    Holding to the doctrine of Calvinism has been revolutionary for me. The more I look back at my life as an Arminian I see the shallowness and the Man-centered focus on everything; worship,ministry,worldview, and most notably evanglism.

    This thread, was brought about because I am appalled at the way that Calvinists with good theology evangelize like people with bad theology.

    So, this is for you Calvinists, how do you evangelize? What are your views on evangelization? Do you convince, coerce, and try to apply tactics to convince God's Holy Spirit to do a work? When you evangelize, are you concerned with God's glory or man's happiness? Do you really believe salvation is a super-natural work?

    If so, do you preach Christ in the hard form, actually telling sinners not to just say a prayer, but to give up all of their sin and to follow Christ for the rest of their life?

    I just want to see how some Calvinists share the Gospel, have fun.

    God's Blessings,
    Your little brother in Christ,
    Andy
     
  2. dan e.

    dan e.
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    1,468
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've got a question for you. Define "good theology" for me?

    Be careful not to draw a line between Calvinists and Arminians. For one thing, just because someone isn't a Calvinist doesn't mean they are Arminian in the strict sense. Don't separate the two as if one is right with God, and the other is not. I've seen/heard/known some Calvinists who have it dead wrong. I've also seen/heard/known "Arminians" who have completely missed the Bible's message too. If you separate yourself, declare all Arminians wrong, than you have missed it too. I'd rather serve with an "Arminian" who loves people, and is passionate about reaching people for the sake of Jesus than a Calvinist who can't get his head out of the TULIP. You sound like you're learning.....keep learning, but be careful. Surround yourself with brothers/sisters from both streams. It'd be good for you.
     
  3. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    First up is to convince people that they are sinners, law-breakers, and as a result stand under the condemnation of God--that they are in deep doo-doo God-wise. Next up is to convince them of their need to repent and trust the Saviour for their salvation.

    There's no point in coercing because the repentance must be genuine.

    I'm not sure what you're asking here. When I evangelize, I'm concerned that the person is under God's wrath, and that their fate, should they continue on as they are, is a very ugly one!

    Of course. That's what gives me boldness to speak. God will give the increase.
     
  4. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    I believe it is the Holy Spirit who convinces peopel they are a sinner in need of salvation, we have the responsability to tell the gospel to others, who gets saved and when is up to God not me.
     
  5. Jim1999

    Jim1999
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/Jim1999.jpg>

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2002
    Messages:
    15,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    As Mr. Spurgeon taught, we are to preach as if it all depends on us, and pray knowing it all depends on God.

    We would be remiss if we did not make ever effort possible to reach the unsaved with the gospel. We would also be remiss if we did not acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is the One who brings about repentance and faith to believe that gospel.

    Cheers, knowing that sound theology will never steer you in a wrong direction,

    Jim
     
  6. El_Guero

    El_Guero
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Messages:
    7,714
    Likes Received:
    0
    Andy,

    Moving from one man's theology to another man's theology is problematic at best and dangerous at worst. I pray that you begin to focus upon God and His theology rather than the theology of individuals.

    Having said that - some great evangelists were (& are) calvinistic. And I am appalled at the lack of evangelism among all Christians.

    Be all things to all people so that God might save some through His ministry through you . . .

    Wayne


     
  7. StraightAndNarrow

    StraightAndNarrow
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2003
    Messages:
    2,508
    Likes Received:
    3

    I think too many Calvinists agree with your statement "Never underestimate the value of doing nothing." Unfortunately, Jesus would never have agreed with you.
     
  8. russell55

    russell55
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    What? Where did Donna say we should do nothing? To quote her, she says that
    That is a call to do something: tell the gospel!
     
  9. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hello Andy - when I "converted" (I've been told this is not the correct word but I don't know how else to say it) to calvinism, I continued using the method I was taught to present the Gospel - the Romans Road.

    After a while, I changed my presentation to eliminate leading in the sinner's prayer. I would ask them to pray in their own words.

    Later, I avoided the sinner's prayer all together and would simply encourage them to continue in faith and to begin preparing themselves to follow the Lord in Believer's Baptism.

    But now I have readjusted my position on the sinner's prayer to neutral. I think there are times that it is helpful.

    I thought as a Calvinist the Gospel presentatin should be radically different, but when I looked at D James Kennedy's (a Calvinist) program, Evangelism Explosion, I saw very little in that program that was different from what I was already using.

    Having thought about it for some time now, I'm convinced that the "Roman's Road" presentation of the Gospel is thorough and sound. I can find no fault in it.

    However, I am also convinced that the real error the non-cal makes is what happens after the sinner's prayer. "Give them assurance of their salvation" was what I was trained to do after they prayed. This is a big mistake. Just as God can only save, only God can give assurance. The weight of sin will never be brought to bear on the conscience of sinners that have been taught that their assurance of salvation lies in their profession of faith.

    It is a tough discipline that former non-cals soul winners must develop - waiting for God to do the saving, the changing, the assuring in time.

    I heard a calvinist pastor say "We'll see" when a convert professed salvation. At first, I thought this odd and perhaps unscriptual. Was he doubting the man's profession, and if so, who was he to do such a thing? But now I see the wisdom of such a statement. "We'll see" is right. Only in time can assurance come through continuing faith through testing and doctrinal growth.

    One of the greatest benefits of witnessing as a calvinist is knowing that God will call His elect through the Gospel. I don't have to worry over whether I said enough, or too much, etc. Don't get me wrong - I pray and pray hard that God will give me the right words. But on the back side of that praying is confidence that God will give me those words that fit His purpose.

    I've dealt here with the method by which we witness. Hopefully that speaks to the OP.
     
  10. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    Also, what's missing in today's witnessing and preaching is waiting for God to bring about true repentance. The Puritans put a big emphasis on sin, and it's accompanying offence toward God, being brought fully to bear on a sinner's conscience. In today's decisionism, people are pushed in to making a profession before they have been thoroughly convicted of their sin. Oh, they may be sorry they lied to their mother, but they have yet to understand the depth to which they have offended the Righteous Father, God.

    Edward and Whitefield alike brought the need of conversion (not decision) to the minds of the sinners. Under their preaching, men cried out in agony as the reality of their lostness sank in. Men sought conversion, for they knew that without it, they would know God's wrath. This is the true Gospel. They turned to God, not their own hearts, in seeking relief from their condemnation. And when conversion finally came, they knew it, and had not need that any man should teach them!
     
  11. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am in agreement Jim, we should not ever be slack in telling others about Jesus, even though we know it is all God, and not us who gets the job done.
     
  12. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    What you need to do is learn the difference between a statement and comical cartoon signature line.
     
  13. donnA

    donnA
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    23,354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thansk you Rusell55!
     
  14. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    JD, you are spot on.

    I, too, used the Roman Road and the Sinner's Prayer in soulwinning. But about nine years ago, an incident during a mission trip to Romania caused me to re-examine everything we do and say in presenting the gospel.

    Romanian Baptist churches did not give invitations. When I asked why, a pastor replied, "we believe that when the Spirit of God stirs someone's heart, it is not necessary to create an atmosphere in which the Spirit can work. He is sovereign."

    The pastor also noted, "we have found that when the Spirit stirs someone's heart, we do not have to beg them. We cannot keep them away. They will come to us."

    I also noticed that their Sunday attendance was about twice their membership.

    As you can imagine, it got me to thinking. So I resolved to measure all our evangelism and soul-winning methods against the Word of God.

    As a result, I was more careful in my use of the Roman Road. I have now dropped the Sinner's Prayer altogether.

    My approach is similar to JD's. I try to bring them face to face with their sin against God and its consequences. I press the command to repent and to trust Christ's finished work for salvation. A couple of questions for them: "Do you repent of your sin? Do you believe Christ rose from the dead, and died for sinners just like you? Do you confess him as your Lord?"

    If the answers are yes, more questions: "Will you publicly confess him before the congregation? Will you be baptized?" You know what the hardest thing to do at that moment? Just shut up.

    According to Romans 10:9-10, a prayer is not necessary. No more magic words to rely on.

    And JD, you are right. We should never offer assurance at that moment.
     
  15. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    There's the key point. Oh that God would stir the hearts!
     
  16. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    I will toss my nickle in here...

    I have used many differing 'approaches' to giving a gospel presentation but I to for some odd reason hold toward that old Roman Road with deviations as the Spriit leads toward other scriptures. But what I was going to address are two small points.

    The prayer and Faith:
    I usally ask them to pray but will also lead them in prayer if they are unsure how to approach God. But I only bring the prayer into the equation after I have spoken with then to know if they truely understand their lostness verse His righteousness. And that they of and or by themselves CAN NOT save themselves but that God alone brings forth salvation unto us who believe. BUT I always tell them that this prayer in no way saves you but it is the faith you set in the finished work of Christ that saves a person. I find in Rom 10:9 when it states "that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus...", that this is not specifically speaking of some public profession (though there is not against this per-say either) but the very prayer unto God for salvation as verse 10 finishes it with "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." but it is not the prayer that actually saves (we know but the faith therein) and yet it is the confession unto God which is nothing less than talking with God known only as prayer.

    Assurance:
    I ALWAYS share with the person whom has made a 'profession' in Christ about the assurance of the believer. I then show them 2 Cor 5:15 ...They live for Him who died for them... The evedence of a radically changed life in Christ.
    I share that a believer is one who is changed by God and lives out this changed life because of the work God has done in them and therefore that life being lived gives them that very assurance of salvation and eternal life.

    Yet the converse is true. That one who does not show the marks of a changed and maintained life of fellowship with God and His people are shown as those who were never really saved - at which point I show them I John 2:19.
    You doing works for God isn't what you do prove you are saved but the works you display are the craftmans mark of the work God did in you.

    I explain how they will be changed and desire God, His Word, fellowship with other believers, and conviction of sin like never before. Yes my version of witnessing is a little longer than the 2 minute deal but I would rather them truely understand (count the cost) than to make it quick cause they have a life to live. IMO, if they allow the opportunity to share Christ it is quite possible there is no life after our encounter so I will do all I can, for there is a judgment coming and who will stand?!!

    JD -
    I agree as well - Oh that God would stir the hearts and bring them to repentence.
     
    #16 Allan, Jan 3, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 3, 2007
  17. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oops...forgot to state (for those who don't yet know me) I'm not a Calvinist.
     
  18. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    Allan, I do appreciate the care you take in using the Roman Road and the prayer of faith. I can accept its use if done the way you describe it, with one minor concern:

    I say a minor concern, mainly with leading them in prayer. I'm not sure we need to be basically putting words in their mouths. If they can't ask God to save them on their own, maybe they need further teaching in this area.

    I understand that you may be dealing with someone who may never have been in church, or knows little about praying. I just don't want those words we tell them to say don't degenerate into "say these magic word."

    I don't for a minute think you do this. Your comments demonstrate that. I just wonder what would happen if we simply said, "if you desire to repent and trust Christ for salvation, ask Him." And then just shut up.
     
  19. Allan

    Allan
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2006
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is true and the reason I have seldom had to 'lead' in prayer. But I have had people so overcome with the holiness of God and their sin they just aren't sure how to proceed. Typically I will start them and continue to a point but they always seem to move on their own finish it with their hearts - I usually help them close with a thank you Father - Amen. Mostly cause they aren't sure how to close their prayer. -
     
  20. Aaron

    Aaron
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2000
    Messages:
    15,646
    Likes Received:
    223
    Ditto! :thumbs:
     

Share This Page

Loading...