The Way of the Master moment episode use the Law

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by evangelist6589, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589
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    Many people look to results on the best way to share their faith. They want to know about conversions which is always measured in how many came forward during a service, or how many said the sinners prayer. They key is not to look to results but to look to scripture. There is a book available called "What did Jesus do?" which looks at not only Jesus but James, Stephen, Paul, Peter and others and their approach. If you want to know the best way to share your faith do not look to results but look at the scripture.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0974930032/?tag=baptis04-20

    There goes another moment gone forever; go share your faith while you still have time.
     
  2. JonC

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    You make a good point, brother, that personal evangelism is obedience and not necessarily result oriented. While I cannot in good conscience advocate that book as it strays often from Scripture, we are called to be salt and light. IMHO much too often we fail.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. InTheLight

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    Like this?

    Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

    Acts 5: 14 Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.
    15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.
    16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

    Acts 6:1(a) In those days when the number of disciples was increasing,

    14:1 At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.

    Acts 14:21 They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples.

    Acts 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

    Acts 17:4 Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.
     
  4. evangelist6589

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    The book is not perfect but it is pretty good.
     
  5. JonC

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    I like his enthusiasm and his heart for reaching the lost. And God has used him for his glory. But his premise is wrong. It's not biblical. While I understand we are men and make errors, this book departs to a degree I simply unpalatable. I can't recommend it for its theology. The author simply exceeded his talents on this book.

    You had a thread awhile back listing many of his errors.
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    Where is it he departs?
     
  7. JonC

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    Just off memory, in placing the world under Torah, concluding Acts 17 is an example of Paul preaching the Law of Moses to convict, and insisting that Jesus, Peter, John, and Paul used the Law to evangelize and therefore WOTM is the biblical approach to share the gospel.

    Here is a link: https://goshareyourfaith.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/what_did_jesus_do2.pdf

    The problem is Ray Comfort is far out of his element. He takes many passages out of context and makes many blind assertions. Do many churches really reject the Ten Commandments? Did God really place the world under the Mosaic Law? Was the Law of Moses really given to convict the World of sin? Is it true that the gospel must be connected to the Law of Moses for it to "become the power of God to salvation"? Is it true that the "law written" in the hearts of the gentiles is the Law of Moses? It is true that evangelism that builds relationships with people is unbiblical and more difficult because it is easier to do as Jesus did and deal with strangers? Is it true that Paul plainly preached the Law of Moses in ever sermon or he did not preach at all? Is it true that Acts 17 highlights Paul convicting the people of Athens under the Law of Moses?

    The answer to all of that is "of course not." The question is, then why did he say it? Comfort has started with WOM and looked to Scripture to build a defense of his preferred method (he worked backwards). So, it is not WOM but this book that should be discarded. I appreciate Ray Comfort but he never should have written this book. It is heretical in its view of Scripture and of the Law.
     
    #7 JonC, Dec 23, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2015
  8. Revmitchell

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    I think I remember our having this conversation before. I am very familiar with the WOM and it does not nor does it intend to place anyone under OT law. It does take the Ten Commandments and uses them as a spring board to show people God's standard verses our own. That is far far different than what you have just said.
     
  9. JonC

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    Sorry, I may not have worded my reply clearly. I was speaking of the book, not WOM. I think using the Ten Commandments is a very good idea. I think placing people under the Law of Moses is a very bad idea. WOM does the former, the book does the latter. I just have a problem recommending the book due to bad theology.
     
  10. Martin Marprelate

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    A quick glance at the link you supplied tells me that when Comfort speaks of the 'Law' he means the Moral Law, which is, of course, summarized in the Ten Commandments. I don't believe that either Comfort of Evangelist would try to convict people of the sin of eating shrimp sandwiches (Lev. 11:10).
     
  11. JonC

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    This still leaves an issue (some believe we are under the moral part of the Law of Moses, others - i.e. me - believes that God's moral law points to his nature and is reflected in the Law....we were never under the Law per se, but are under God's law), but Comfort does specify he is speaking of the moral part of Torah.

    That one disagreement is not as much a problem as is the handling of Scripture. It is written on a popular level, but I think that most here would object to his exegesis if nothing else.
     
  12. JonC

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    I have arrived home and have my copy of the book and will expound a little.

    Comfort does well to use the Ten Commandments, I am not denying that. But he overemphasizes the Ten Commandments and ends up diminishing God’s moral law in so doing. He uses the Law, God’s moral law, and the Ten Commandments interchangeably when none of them are the other. The Law is the Law of Moses, granted Comfort informs us he means the Ten Commandments by “the Law.” BUT the Ten Commandments should not be confused with God’s moral law (which is eternal and reflected in the Ten Commandments). Granted, however, Comfort is not a theologian….I don’t really know his educational background, but Theologian School isn’t one of ‘em.

    Another huge problem is that Comfort determines that the lost will be judged by the Ten Commandment when they die. One point he ignores has already been stated – the Ten Commandments do not capture God’s moral law – they reflect his moral law insofar as included at that juncture in the Law (Paul clearly states that God’s moral law is revealed to the world apart from the Law). Also (and more importantly), sin is not simply a violation of the Ten Commandments.

    Then we have twists and turns in Scripture as Comfort bends Scripture to his thesis. Let’s just look at a point for illustration.

    On page 18 Comfort quotes James 4:6 “Law to the proud and grace to the humble” and concludes that “biblical evangelism therefore follows the principle of ‘Law to the proud, and grace to the humble’ In someone is proud and self-righteous – like the self-righteous man who ran to the Savior and asked how to be saved – we must do what Jesus did. We should give him the Law to show him the nature of sin. If he is humble of heart – already possessing the knowledge of sin – such as in the case of Nicodemus, then we should do what Jesus did and give him grace.”

    Here is James 4:6 in context:

    James 4:4-10 You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

    Does Comfort exegete this verse correctly, or does he eisegete the passage to suit his preconceived conclusion?

    If you are interested, the entire book is on that link. You can read other rebuttals as well. John MacArthur (a Calvinistic American pastor) has cautioned his church against Comforts theology, and Phil Johnson has written quite a bit criticizing the book and method.

    I hopes this helps. I didn’t just jump on the topic, but have read carefully the book and Scripture and I simply find Comfort at odds with the biblical text much too often to recommend this book.
     
  13. Revmitchell

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    When does WOM place people under the law and how? What theology is problematic in the book?
     
  14. JonC

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    As far as WOM, I don't know or care. I have no issue at all with WOM or using the Ten Commandments in evangelism (I think it is a good idea).

    Now, as far as my conversation goes (which is directed at the book, not WOM), are you asking me what theology is problematic other than what I have just listed? I take it that you do not find what I listed as problematic, and instead his position is reflective of your own theology. I didn't mean to, BTW, offend. I am surprised, but if I had known I was speaking of something you believed to be true I would have spoken with a bit more care.

    I disagree with Comforts handing of Scripture, which he bends to his theology. The example of James 4:6 is an excellent example. Another is his claim that Acts 17 is an account of Paul convicting the people of Athens under the Law.

    I disagree that sin means "breaking one of the Ten Commandments." I disagree that at the final judgment the lost will be judged upon the Ten Commandments. And I disagree that in Genesis God placed the world under the Law.

    Before continuing, how do you support Comforts interpretation of James 4:6 and Acts 17? How do you support those theological views I just mentioned?
     
    #14 JonC, Dec 24, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
  15. Revmitchell

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    No but I do think his position often gets taken farther than he actually takes it much like MacArthur on Lordship.

    This is still rather vague. What is it you object to specifically? The need to preach of sin to the unconverted?Do you see this as a necessary part of the gospel that needs to be preached to the lost?

    Sin is breaking God's standard. Is that not what the Ten Commandments presented?

    I do not use his method. I do believe the crux of what he has said is correct.
     
  16. JonC

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    This is where you and I disagree:

    First, sins are manifestations of our sinfulness. The Law does show this, and I agree that the Ten Commandments are useful. But we are not “under” the Ten Commandments as Israel was under the Law. The Ten Commandments reflect God’s eternal nature and his eternal moral law (but are not that law themselves). This, if we consider Paul’s words concerning Gentile guilt, is the issue. That said, this law is reflected at least in part in the Ten Commandments. But Comfort is wrong that God has placed the world under the Law. Based on a previous conversation, I am surprised that you advocate this position.

    To illustrate....do you tithe because it is in the Law, or does the Law reflect that principle of tithing which existed prior to the Law? It may be a little difference that does not affect your tithing, but it is a huge difference in understanding why you tithe.

    Second, sin is much more than breaking a commandment. As I said before, our sins are but manifestations of the problem. With the fall, we are not what we should be (ontological). We need a rebirth. It is not a matter of “you’ve broken this commandment so…..” I disagree with your interpretation that sin is “breaking one of the Ten Commandments,” although I certainly agree that breaking a commandment is a sin.

    Third, I disagree with your assessment that at the final judgment the world will be judged under the Ten Commandments. I do not think that Scripture bears this out, but that you (and Comfort) have come to this conclusion by reading into the text. It is through Christ that God is reconciling the world to Himself. I believe that you have mistakenly inflated the role of the Ten Commandments when you determine that it actually encompasses what sin is, that the Ten Commandments themselves are God’s moral law, and that men are judged in the end by the Ten Commandments.

    Fourth, I disagree with your interpretation that James 4:6 is a command to us that we are to place those who are prideful under the Law (the Ten Commandments), but we are to show grace to those who are humbled. It is a poor interpretation of that passage.

    Fifth, I believe that you and Comfort have read into Acts 17:16-21 that Paul was indeed placing the people of Athens under the Law. What seems to come through to me is that Paul is speaking with the people of Athens and trying to relate the gospel to them where they are.

    I understand that Comfort (and perhaps you as well) adamantly rejects the idea of dialogue in terms of relational evangelism as it is much easier to witness to strangers. I simply do not find biblical support for your conclusions.

    I hope this helps clarify our disagreement thus far. There are many more points I could make about the book, and if you think it appropriate we can move forward once we dispense with these five points. But for now, I’d appreciate an explanation of how you justify those few observations.

    I will add that I also believe his use of the Ten Commandments to explain sin is a good idea. But it is not people like John MacArthur, and Phil Johnson (and me) who are taking Comforts words too far. He is talking WOM too far....and it is just bad theology. I know that some believe we can dismiss Scripture if the premise is correct, but I am simply not one of those people.
     
    #16 JonC, Dec 24, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2015
  17. Revmitchell

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  18. JonC

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    I do not know what Ray Comfort believes. If he teaches that we are not under the Law, but that the Ten Commandments do reflect God's nature and eternal law then I agree with Mr. Comfort on that point (but that is not what I get out of the book).

    You said “But we are not ‘under’ the Ten Commandments as Israel was under the Law. No one, including Ray Comfort, says or believes this.

    ”the Law is the righteous standard by which God will judge the world.” (pg. 129).

    “Another common argument is that repentance is required, not because of our guilt under the Law, but because of unbelief in the One whom God had sent, as stated in John 16:8-11…at face value, it seems Jesus is saying that the world will be judged for their sin “because they do not believe in Me.’ This would mean that sin is “a failure to believe in Jesus.’ Let’s say you are a missionary in the heart of Africa….” (pg. 68) He goes on to explain that those in Africa are like those in Athens. They are not guilty for rejecting Christ but because they are under the Law, they have transgressed the Ten Commandments (e.g., the idol worship of Athens). But Paul tells us that the “invisible attributes” even the Godhead is made known to the world and this is the basis for guilt. Not the Law, the Ten Commandments, or really even man breaking God’s moral law. It’s a bit more substantial than that.

    “These ‘many’ people that Jesus spoke of are those ‘who practice lawlesness’. That’s something we must come to understand. People who are not given the Law may profess faith in Christ, but because of their ignorance of sin they continue to violate the Law of God – they practice lawlessness. Jesus said there would be few genuine conversions and many false conversions.” (pg. 15)


    I had disagreed with the interpretation that James 4:6 authorizes us to place those who are prideful under the Law, but show grace to those who are humbled as being a poor interpretation of the passage. You said “No one says this.”

    “Scripture tells us that ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble’ (James 4:6)…Biblical evangelism therefore follows the principle of ‘Law to the proud, and grace to the humble.” (pg. 18)

    Regarding Acts 17:

    “Paul in Athens: Paul’s spirit was stirred when he saw the idolatry of the Athenians. Every Christian should be stirred to action by the sin of idolatry because it is an easy pathway to hell. A transgression of the Second Commandment, idolatry is a tantalizing and tasty morsel to feed the sinful human heart.” (pg. 79). Read the account in Scripture. Was Paul stirred against the idolatry of Athens, or was he stirred for the people of Athens and used their understanding to explain the gospel?


    I'll just stop there. This is not an important issue to me, but I will say that the book is linked if you don't have a copy. It is short, and perhaps you should look at it a bit closer before responding. And I apologize for assuming your belief on Acts 17. By your replies, I thought you may be a disciple of Ray Comfort. Sorry for my misunderstanding.

    Insofar as an outreach program, this book can help as as springboard. But as far as being Scripturally correct, it leaves much to be desired. If you feel otherwise that's fine, at least I understand more your belief and you mine.
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    I cannot follow what is going on in this post.
     
  20. JonC

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    My apologies. Your post came out as a "quote" so I tried to walk through your comments (I couldn't quote you).

    I gave the page number where Comfort interprets James 4:6 exactly as you have said no one does.

    I gave a quote showing where Comfort places the world under the Law. He states that the interpretation that the world is condemned for rejecting Jesus as the Light is a misunderstanding because there are people who have never heard of Jesus. This is why Paul convicted the people of Athens under the Law. I argued that Paul teaches Gentile guild by what is revealed of God and the Godhead in their own hearts.

    I mention (maybe earlier) that I disagree that dialogue in terms of building relationships is unbiblical, and I disagree that the biblical method is to evangelize as "strangers" because it is easier to talk to strangers about these things and that is how Jesus did it.

    I provided Comfort's reading into Acts 17 and apologized for assuming this was your belief as well. I thought you were a disciple of Ray Comfort by your defense of his belief when his words were actually provided. I acknowledged this as a mistake on my part.
     

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