The New Cross

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Revmitchell, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    “From this new cross has sprung a new philosophy of the Christian life; and from that new philosophy has come a new evangelical technique—a new type of meeting and new type of preaching. This new evangelism employs the same language as of the old, but its content is not the same, and the emphasis not as before.

    “The new cross encourages a new and entirely different evangelistic approach. The evangelist does not demand abnegation of the old life before a new life can be received. He preaches not contrasts but similarities. He seeks to key into the public view the same thing the world does, only a higher level. Whatever the sin-mad world happens to be clamoring after at the moment is cleverly shown to be the very thing the gospel offers, only the religious product is better.

    “The new cross does not slay the sinner; it re-directs him. It gears him to a cleaner and jollier way of living, and saves his self-respect...The Christian message is slanted in the direction of the current vogue in order to make it acceptable to the public.

    “The philosophy back of this kind of thing may be sincere, but its sincerity does not save it from being false. It is false because it is blind. It misses completely the whole meaning of the cross.

    The old cross is a symbol of DEATH. It stands for the abrupt, violent end of a human being. The man in Roman times who took the cross and started down the road has already said goodbye to his friends. He was not coming back. He was not going out to have his life re-directed; he was going out to have it ended. The cross made no compromise; modified nothing; spared nothing. It slew all of the man completely, and for good. It did not try to keep on good terms with the victim. It struck cruel and hard, and when it had finished its work, the man was no more.

    “The race of Adam is under the death sentence. There is no commutation and no escape. God cannot approve any fruits of sin, however innocent they may appear, or beautiful to the eyes of men. God salvages the individual by liquidating him, and then raising him again to newness of life.

    “That evangelism which draws friendly parallels between the ways of God and the ways of men is false to the Bible and cruel to the souls of its hearers. The faith of Christ does not parallel the world; it intersects it. In coming to Christ we do not bring our old life to a higher plane; we leave it at the cross....

    “We, who preach the gospel, must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, or the world of sports, or modern entertainment. We are not diplomats, but prophets; and our message is not a compromise, but an ultimatum.”

    The Biblical Evangelist, November 1, 1991, p. 11
    _________________________________________________

    What say you?
     
  2. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
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    Can we say Joel Osteen?
     
  3. skypair

    skypair
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    Rev...

    Yes! In the reverse order, we are crucified with Christ in salvation and then walk His path to the cross throughout our new lives.

    And I won't "wonder" if some do not see the cross of death first.

    skypair
     
  4. Trotter

    Trotter
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    The Gospel is for the lost, in whatever condition they happen to be in. God did not call us to clean them up before they could be saved... He saves them where they are and then He will do the cleaning.

    Once a person is saved, sin will be known as sin to them through the power and prompting of the Holy Spirit. We can't expect someone who is spiritually dead to have any descernment in these things. Sin reigns in the unsaved, whether we want to acknowledge that or not. In order to bring them the message of salvation, we have to be willing to meet them where they are.

    Contrary to the spirit of the article, salvation can and does happen to filthy sinners, and it can happen outside of our ivory towers.
     
  5. ReformedBaptist

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    Amen and Amen!:thumbs:
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I believe that the author of the article would agree with you, and be disappointed that you felt such a spirit in his article. The editor of the "Biblical Evangelist" is Dr. Bob Sumner, an old time Baptist evangelist who I have heard preach many times. I assume he wrote the article, too--it sounds like his style of writing.

    Here is what he says in his textbook on evangelism: "There are altogether too many 'smart' Christians in our churches today who are not 'wise' in the sense of Proverbs 11:30. They can name all the dispensations, tell you the distinctive features to look for in the coming Antichrist, recite in perfect chronological order the events of the end times and define correctly such theological terms as justification, sanctification, propitiation, and ecclesiology. They are even able to explain the difference between sublapsarianism, infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism but — and herein lies the rub—they have never won a single soul to Jesus Christ!" (Bob Sumner, Biblical Evangelism in Action, p. 15).
     
  7. mparkerfd20

    mparkerfd20
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    You know JoJ that is so true and yet so sad at the same time. :tear: I sometimes think many Christians become so obsessive with gaining knowledge that they forget the biblical mandate of "Go". Knowledge is NOTHING without action!
     
  8. skypair

    skypair
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    I resemble that remark! Except I HAVE won souls for Christ -- though that is NOT necessarily my "gift."

    There are certainly people that belong in the mission field, even the local one. There are some who "win" them indirectly (though that is not my case). Some are gifted, as 1Cor 12:8 says, with the "the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;..." That is, by studying the word, they are capable of teaching/discipling and these ought not be denigrated as not part of the body and not doing what the Spirit leads them to do.

    skypair
     
  9. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Amen. Well said!
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    True, the ability to teach is a gift from God, and good Bible teachers are worthy of double honor. But I have no use for a teacher who doesn't seek to get the Gospel out, because they are then disobedient to the Great Commission. One of my treasured seminary memories is being paired on Thursday night visitation with my Hebrew teacher, a well-known scholar and Bible teacher. That is one scholar/Bible teacher I highly respect!
     
  11. skypair

    skypair
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    I'm with you on that! I worked CC's Here's Life America phones back in 1978 with a man who couldn't read -- so he brought his grade school daughter to read the script for him sharing Christ by phone (those were the initial contacts). What a blessing that he didn't make excuses and set such an humbling example for all of us.

    skypair
     
  12. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Amen. Well said!
     

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