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Should we bring unbelievers to Church?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by IfbReformer, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. Molly

    Molly New Member

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    I think our church is doing just that.
     
  2. Daniel David

    Daniel David New Member

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    Evangelism is the most central command? That is a new one.
     
  3. Baptist in Richmond

    Baptist in Richmond Active Member

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    I realize this subject could bleed into a Calvinism vs. Arminianism discussion, but I think we are all big enough to keep that from happening.

    If you want to argue Calvinism vs Arminianism go to that forum.

    This discussion is really about evangelistic techniques and what assembly of believers together each week is for.

    So, is it wrong to bring unbelievers to church so they can here the Gospel?

    Should people first be won outside our assembly and then brought in?

    If you believe it is not wrong to bring unbelievers to church, where do you draw the line at incentives(some would call them bribes or gimmicks) to get unbelievers in?

    Maybe the church as corporate body should not be trying to draw unbelievers with its sign and public ads, maybe it should be only individuals in the church bringing their family friends and coworkers?

    Please provide scriptures with your answers.

    I look forward to hearing what you all have to say - then I will chime in with my take. Please do not hijack this forum into a Calvinism - Arminianism debate. I hope the moderator will help with this.


    IFBReformer </font>[/QUOTE]This is a little disturbing. Isn't our primary focus to spread the word about the Saving Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ? Why should this stop at the doors of our sanctuaries?
     
  4. All about Grace

    All about Grace New Member

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    In my haste I typed command instead of commission.
     
  5. abeata

    abeata New Member

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    Palestinian Christians: persecuted, tormented, abandoned and ethnically cleansed -

    The Palestinian Christian is an endangered species. When the modern state of Israel was established there were about 400000 of us. Two years ago the number was down to 80000. Now it’s down to 60000. At that rate, in a few years there will be none of us left.
    Palestinian Christians within Israel fare little better. On the face of it, their number has grown by 20000 since 1991. But this is misleading, for the census classification ‘Christian’ includes some 20000 recent non-Arab migrants from the former Soviet Union.
    So why are Palestinian Christians abandoning their homeland?
    We have lost hope, that’s why. We are treated as non-people. Few outside the Middle East even know we exist, and those who do, conveniently forget.
    I refer, of course, to the American Religious Right. They see the modern Israel as a harbinger of the Second Coming, at which time Christians will go to Paradise, and all others (presumably including Jews) to Hell. To this end they lend military and moral support to Israel.
    Even by the double-dealing standards of international diplomacy this is a breathtakingly cynical bargain. It is hard to know who is using whom more: the Christian Right for offering secular power in the expectation that the Jewish state will be destroyed by a greater spiritual one; or the Israeli Right for accepting their offer. What we do know is that both sides are abusing the Palestinians. Apparently we don’t enter into anyone’s calculations.
    The views of the Israeli Right are well known: they want us gone.
    Less well known are the views of the American Religious Right. Strangely, they find the liberation Iraqis from a vile dictator just, but do not find it unjust for us to be under military occupation for 38 long years. Said Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma): ‘God Appeared to Abraham and said: “I am giving you this land,”the West Bank. This is not a political battle at all. It is a contest over whether or not the word of God is true.’
    House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) was even more forthright: ’I'm content to have Israel grab the entire West Bank… I happen to believe that the Palestinians should leave.’
    There is a phrase for this. Ethnic cleansing.
    So why do American Christians stand by while their leaders advocate the expulsion of fellow Christians? Could it be that they do not know that the Holy Land has been a home to Christians since, well… since Christ?
    Do not think I am asking for special treatment for Christians. Ethnic cleansing is evil whoever does it and to whomever it is done. Palestinian Christians: Anglican, Maronite Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, Armenians, Baptists, Copts and Assyrians have been rubbing shoulders with each other and with other religions: Muslims, Jews, Druze and (most recently) Baha’is for centuries. We want to do so for centuries more. But we can’t if we are driven out by despair.
    What we seek is support: material, moral, political and spiritual. As Palestinians we grieve for what we have lost, and few people (the Ashkenazi Jews are one) have lost more than us. But grief can be assuaged by the fellowship of friends.

    (Signed Prof. Abe W. Ata is a 9th generation Christian Palestinian academic born in Bethlehem.
     
  6. USN2Pulpit

    USN2Pulpit New Member

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    Interesting point of view, but what does it have to do with bringing lost friends to church?
     
  7. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick <img src=/532.jpg>Banned

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    Won't speak to everything that was written as it really has nothing to do with the topic at hand (My guess is that because this person is new, they don't understand what is appropriate to post where). But I will speak to the quote above:

    1. I consider myself part of that religious right.
    2. I am not a pre-miller.
    3. I support Israel not for eschatological reasons, but rather for political and moral reasons (They are our allies and they are fighting a just war against terrorists for their very existence).

    Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  8. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    Two things evident on the last 3 pages - the utter confusion of Rick Warren (Saddleback) with the "seeker" style of churches like Willow Creek. This is night and day, totally unrelated to each other.

    Saddleback is a solid SBC church that has strong doctrinal preaching and discipleship. Evangelism is there (they gear some of their entire services to it and I'm not a big fan of that) like a revival meeting in your church.

    The other issue is the drift from the topic. Evangelism is always personal. Mass evangelism (ala Billy Graham or Jack Hyles) is a 1-2-3-pray-after-me SHAM of the true Gospel.

    Evangelism is NOT the duty of the church worship service. It is the responsibility of personal Christians. Let's keep that focus.
     
  9. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    What would you do if 35,000 people came through your doors in one weeekend who were not believers? I suspect the average church would consider them a burden rather than being prepared and rejoicing. Saddleback is prepared and rejoices. In Acts we see quite a large number come to Christ. Who would be prepared for those people who came to Christ?
     
  10. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K) Well-Known Member

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    No problem with your last paragraph at all Dr Bob.

    This does not preclude us from bringing the lost to church with us as a part of our evangelistic effort however.
     
  11. Molly

    Molly New Member

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    I agree with your philosophy Dr. Bob,BUT :eek: ....I see Rick Warren and his book(the PD Church) to be focused solely on evangelism and every decision they have made been based on the seeker. You do not believe this to be true? I have seen no evidence from his books or sermons that any in depth teaching is going on in a worship service...can you elaborate on this? His books lack biblical insight and what little there is,it is taken out of context at times...also,in the PDL he writes about the benfits of the church to a person(like it is all here to please man) instead of glorify God.

    I'm very suprised that you see a good thing here,knowing your thinking on other various topics concerning the church....

    Molly
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  12. Molly

    Molly New Member

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    Our church would be equipped to counsel these people who are seeking after God. There is a difference in being prepared to help others know about Christ and making everything in your church center around attracting others.

    I believe that after a clear presentation of the gospel from our pastor and what it means to repent and follow Christ,there would be many of the 35,000 that might possibly leave. There is much more to it than getting people in church!
     
  13. dcorbett

    dcorbett Active Member
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    Bring them in....
    Bring them in....
    Bring them in from the fields of sin....


    How could an evangelical church preaching the
    Plan of Salvation ever THINK that church is not
    meant to draw in the non-believers??? Why do you have an invitation every Sunday?? Or do you? We do...and we see lost souls won to Christ every week. Praise God!!!
     
  14. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator
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    Two things you should know, Molly.

    One, I know how Saddleback works and it is not the way I would pastor a church. But they push the "five purposes", only one of which would be evangelism. People think of any mega-church as a seeker type. PDL is pablum for new Christians. Understanding that will help one see how well it fulfills its intended purpose.

    Two, my son is the General Manager of Purpose Driven Youth Ministries (a separate corporation, but tied obviously to Saddleback and the SBC). So I get a little defensive when folks take swings at it and confuse issues.
     
  15. Molly

    Molly New Member

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    General manager of a corporation? I thought it was a church....
     
  16. LarryN

    LarryN New Member

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    Molly, just curious- how do you feel about a para-church organization such as The Sword of the Lord?

    The SOTL is not under the auspices of any local church, and Shelton Smith's title is "President & Editor".
     
  17. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Ifb, on the fourth page, I responded to your quote in this way, "A lot of people think this is JUST a Calvinism/Arminianism debate, but it's not...this can be just as much about our fundamental approach to interpreting the Bible." I know you don't won't this to be about Calvinism vs. Arminianism, but after this has been "cussed and discussed" for eleven pages, perhaps it won't hurt to inject some comments from the Calvinism vs. Arminianism slant.

    One thing that I see is this - if a person/church is very "free will" oriented, emphasizing "whosoever will" can be saved, and worrying that his/their ineffectiveness could be the cause of people going to hell, that person/church over a period of time will usually modify any opposition he/they have to programs, etc. which is based solely on eccesiology and methodology. In other words, it's a kind of soteriology trumps ecclesiology/methodology, whereas, those on the Calvinistic/Sovereign Grace end of the spectrum will not be threatened or moved because their soteriology and methodology will appear to be consistent and complimentary in that area. Hope this makes sense.
     
  18. All about Grace

    All about Grace New Member

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    Sorry rlvaughn. I do not fit your paradigm. I am more God-centered in my theology yet very flexible in my methodologies. There are many others who would fall into the same category.
     
  19. Molly

    Molly New Member

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    Molly, just curious- how do you feel about a para-church organization such as The Sword of the Lord?

    The SOTL is not under the auspices of any local church, and Shelton Smith's title is "President & Editor".
    </font>[/QUOTE]I'm not familiar with this....
     
  20. gb93433

    gb93433 Active Member
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    Who condemn a man who started a church on faith. That same church has started over 35 other churches. How many churches do you know that have done that kind of mission work? Obviously the people are doing something because about 75 percent of the people at Saddleback have come to Christ through the Saddleback ministry. Know of any churches that can make that claim of disciples who share their faith with others?

    As far as biblical depth: Sometime take a look at Jesus'sermons and compare. They were simple yet profound and hit the heart.

    What I have found is those who are rocking the boat are not those rowing it. Often the worst critics are those doing the least. I cannot criticize another who is doing God's work by faith.

    If you were to meet Rick Warren you would easily understand why he wins people. It is not so much what he says but who he is.
     
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