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I need help on evangelism

Discussion in 'Evangelism, Missions & Witnessing' started by Steven Yeadon, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Steven Yeadon

    Steven Yeadon Well-Known Member
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    I was doing evangelism to people I sat next to or near for long periods of time (~30 minutes). However, I have stopped as I grapple with one question on reaching the lost: what happens when I meet a Christian living in sin in my conversations or even Christians who I consider flatly unbiblical? When we discover that each other is a believer, this usually resulted in congratulating each other on finding Christ and going on with our lives. However, I have serious qualms about that, as it seems to enable sin. I believe I need to be harsh with such Christians in my conversation, but, I just can't bring myself to do so, yet that reveals I may well be sinning.

    I also wonder if I can do much more given my strengths such as host a town hall with me as the Christian Apologist fielding questions. Answering hard questions is my stock and trade it seems, and I want to be useful to as many people as possible using my talents the best way I can.
     
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Just pray for them. Unless you are an authority in their life or a really close friend you words of correction will have little to no meaning.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    I don’t know if it is just your casual choice of words or an indicator of how you see evangelism, but I don’t think we should be “doing evangelism to people.” Evangelism happens with people as we share our lives together. In evangelism we tell (as a witness) what God is doing in the world and in our lives. In that telling, we share the good news that they can also engage their lives with God through Jesus and find the secret and eternal life of the Kingdom of God alive in them.

    Talk with them about it, if they are willing, and hear their story. There are many Christians whom I think are unbiblical and many Christians who are convinced I am unbiblical, so it is easy to shut down dialogue and judge the other harshly. Of course, that does not one any good. Learn from your brother or sister in Christ and at least seek understanding. A simple observation about their position, humbly stated, may win your brother or sister back to where you think they should be.

    Regarding those who are "living in sin" – I don’t know if you are using that as a euphemism for sexually-active cohabitation or, in a broader sense, someone who has indulged themselves in “repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; [and] ugly parodies of community.” (Galatians 5:19-21 – The Message paraphrase)

    When Christians are caught in the works of the flesh, it is often because they have not been taught how to be a disciple of Jesus and pursue His kingdom in a way that transforms lives. When I run into someone like that, I try to engage them in a discussion of how their life in going and how it does not currently line up with the call of Jesus. If they are willing to recognize that, I proceed to tell them how all of that can change in discipleship. There are simple and powerful ways to engage with Jesus in training in life that anyone can do.

    There’s nothing to congratulate ourselves about. We are simply recipients of grace.

    I don’t know why we need to be harsh. I realize that lots of so-called Christian role models think that harshness (often portrayed as “boldness”) is the default way to show the world the “love” of Jesus, but I disagree. There may come a time for strong words, but it should not be our default position.

    I have, on occasion, been on a panel to answer questions about the Christian faith. While there is some benefit to it, in the right circumstances, we need to realize that no one really cares about that sort of thing except within the community of faith UNLESS one’s life and practice is uncommon and extraordinary in its manner. Otherwise, what you will get are the resident atheists and hecklers looking to derail you or present the Christian faith in the most negative terms.

    Frankly, I can’t defend Christianity – at least the history of much of Christendom and the popular Christianity as practiced in the Western world. Much of it is simply indefensible from a biblical position. I can be an advocate for Jesus all day long and I can demonstrate the validity of the scriptures for encountering God at the drop of a hat, but that’s not really of interest when an outsider is trying to win an argument.

    Apologetics used to be a big passion of mine because I thought it would make me more effective for the Kingdom. While it has helped, and I still engage in apologetics with those inside and outside the faith, apologetics does not bring anyone to faith in Christ. The unspoken assumption of much of apologetic work is that if one can present a rational case for Christ, then everyone would come to faith. That’s simply not reality nor does it take into account the biblical issue of sin. The problem is not a lack of information, if is that humankind is in rebellion against God and the intellect is merely a tool that can be used for or against the knowledge of God.

    Instead of focusing on being an answer man for God, focus on being a man of God who can answer for his faith. True evangelism occurs as one is engaged with God’s Spirit and in a lifestyle of discipleship to Jesus. God is at work and will prepare the opportunities to evangelize. He will work with our character, our abilities, our interest, and the needs of the moment to put us into situations where successful evangelism will occur.
     
    #3 Baptist Believer, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  4. saved41199

    saved41199 Active Member
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    Being "harsh" with anyone isn't going to win you anything. If you're not my pastor, and you're "harsh" to me, I will probably just walk away from you. The only ones who have earned the right to be "harsh" to another Christian would be someone who is in authority over that Christian, not some random evangelist and even then, like the old saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. Also, doing evangelism "to" people sounds really wrong. When we go out soulwinning, we like to engage the person in conversation, not lecture. I find that talking to people about what I believe and why rather than telling someone else they're wrong, or in sin, tends to go a whole lot further in being heard. If I can talk about my beliefs and why I believe that way from the bible, I usually have a much better, deeper conversation. I usually don't ask the questions, I let the other person ask...I just pray to be ready with answers for my hope.
     
  5. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Good answer, as jesus seems to be implied in his teaching to us on correction and rebuking, that one has a personal relationship with the sinning party.
     
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