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Unfruitful letter writing campaign?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by evangelist6589, Nov 19, 2017.

  1. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    So you are admitting to fruitless ministry?

    And how can you not remember? Sapper posted the quote when you said it. Don't you remember that?
     
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  2. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    He's not going to "admit" it because that is a lie. Moreover, I think the person he is attempting to defame is me.

    Yeah, that sounds HORRIBLE. Why would we want to Spirit to bless us and our ministry to bear fruit?

    In a recent post where we were asked to share stories of our evangelistic ministries, I wrote of my individual evangelism method (as opposed to corporate efforts with my church that were mentioned immediately prior to this paragraph):

    God has blessed my efforts since I stopped doing the door-to-door evangelism, tract distribution work, and Evangelism Explosion type of presentations. I didn't have much success doing things that way. I realized (after I became a commission salesperson to put myself through seminary), that those methods were simply sales methods used by mainstream society. By placing the gospel message in the wrappings of a sales pitch, I diminished the power of the gospel by putting it into a context that our society has trained itself to ignore because of the constant barrage of advertising messages. Instead, I went back to biblical methods that work in our culture. I gave up trusting a method and instead trusted the Spirit to make the appointments and provide the words, power and authority.

    Apparently John could not handle it or comprehend it, and came up with the following defamatory distortion and assumption:

    If you've actually paid attention to anything I've ever written on the subject of evangelism, you will know that I understand that conversation is usually a long process and that I understand that my role is often NOT at the moment of confession of faith. The majority of the people who come to faith through my personal ministry (often atheists, cultists, or unconverted former church members who have lost faith in the false gospel that they have been taught), take months or years to move to faith in Christ.

    For instance, the most recent atheist convert was a teenage girl that I met when she came to the youth group class I was teaching on Wednesday night to challenge me in front of her friends. I think she was somewhere around 15 at the time. She was polite enough to let me know what she was going to do and I welcomed her to do it as long as she was respectful to me and to everyone else. I told her that she was unlikely to ask any question that had not be thought of before by people in the room and that I would be happy to respond to her respectfully. I also told her that she was welcome to all of our events and she did not have to "be" anything but an honest person working through the issues. So she asked some good hard questions in front of the group and I answered them humbly, without debating or demanding anything. I was also careful not to embarrass her in front of others to "win" the argument. She kept coming back - nearly every week - and I would talk with her personally from time to time if she had a specific question. I moved out of youth ministry to a different ministry of the church, but her senior year in high school (about three years after the journey began) she came to faith one day and told the youth minister. She was baptized and has gone off to college, a strong believer because she was given time and space to work things out without people pushing her for "the commitment."

    That's rather typical with the kind of people I typically minister to, so your blatantly false claim that I want "instant results" would be laughable if it were not so pathetic.

    The results of all kinds of evangelism will be seen at the last judgment, and there will be many on that day who will think they are in good shape because they have read a tract, prayed a prayer, and someone told them that they are going to heaven, but Jesus will say to them, depart from Me for I never know you.

    I don't have any fundamental objections to tract distribution, but very few tracts are any good. And too many of them trivialize and distort the gospel. Moreover, the theology of Evangelism Explosion (and the clones) that pulls scripture out of context to do a 1, 2, 3 kind of sales pitch, focuses on a certain theory of atonement and tends to ignore the calling of Jesus to true discipleship. The focus is on going to Heaven when you die and sealing the transaction with prayer - a pitch that is completely foreign to scripture. So I think we do a grave disservice to our hearers when we set aside the biblical gospel and provide a sales pitch alleging that one can get the benefits of the atonement by mental/theoretical assent, sealed with a prayer, instead of true discipleship.
     
    #22 Baptist Believer, Nov 19, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2017
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  3. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    Then I partly misunderstood you I stand corrected. However you are wrong about your view on gospel tracts. Personally I do not use nor care for EE bye the way and have never used their tracts. Below are some good solid tracts, probably the best written in my view. Perhaps you are not aware of them.

    Quest for Joy by John Piper

    Quest for Joy (ESV), Pack of 25 Tracts

    10 Reasons Jesus came to Die by John Piper

    10 Reasons Jesus Came to Die (ESV), Pack of 25 Tracts

    Who do you think I am by John MacArthur

    https://www.gty.org/library/articles/A335/who-do-you-think-that-i-am

    What is the Gospel? by Greg Gilbert

    What Is the Gospel? Tract (Pack of 25)

    The Greatest News Ever Told by Mike Gendron

    Welcome to Proclaiming the Gospel - Store

    You have been given 5 theologically solid tracts so can no longer argue that most tracts distort the gospel because this is not true.
     
  4. Reynolds

    Reynolds Well-Known Member
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    Do you need some of us to mail you a letter about divorce?
     
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  5. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    DIVORCE is not an essential of the faith. Unless in your works based mind it is.
     
  6. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    Which commands of God are non-essential?
     
  7. annsni

    annsni Well-Known Member
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    It is definitely breaking one of the Ten Commandments though.
     
  8. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    The past is the past and cannot be changed.
     
  9. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I agree. We cannot change the past - BUT we have to change our own sinfulness which produced the sins of the past. We must repent and "kill" the sin in us. And God is faithful to forgive.

    Since you like books, here's one you may find interesting (you can probably find it free as well) - The Mortification of Sin by John Owen.
     
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  10. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    Which version do I buy? iBooks has like 5 of the same name and author.
     
  11. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    Not free but for $2.00
     
  12. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Definitely worth the purchase.
     
  13. evangelist6589

    evangelist6589 Well-Known Member
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    I have always struggled to understand Puritan writers.
     
  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    They can be difficult. Try reading slowly, a section at a time. Take the time to understand each section before moving on. It's always a good idea to keep a note pad and jot down any assumptions the author may have made.

    Good luck. :)
     
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  15. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    Your story about the atheist teenager was really moving. You seem to have a calling to minister to a similar demographic as I come from and am called to - the "churched lost"

    Those who were raised in church with this "sales pitch" of going to heaven, and the purchase price is one "Prayer of Attrition"
     
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  16. Katarina Von Bora

    Katarina Von Bora Active Member

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    Are you trying to sow discord here? I don't know who you're speaking about, but it doesn't matter, because what you have done is an attempt at character association.

    Show some charity.

    Ephesians 4:29 ESV

    29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.



    James 1:26 ESV

    26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless.
     
  17. Katarina Von Bora

    Katarina Von Bora Active Member

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    Your willingness to name-call is a not a sign of good fruit.

    22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
     
  18. Katarina Von Bora

    Katarina Von Bora Active Member

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    Unless your wife is dead things CAN be changed.

    I don't know a thing about your marriage but Jesus did condemn divorce.
     
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  19. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    Good thing Noah did not divorce his wife before the flood.:Cautious:Thumbsup:Cautious
     
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  20. agedman

    agedman Well-Known Member
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    There is that worldly sorrow, it looks good, but it has no long-term life altering characteristics.

    Then there is that Godly repentance, that only the work of the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit give.

    "Letter writing" in itself is not bad, for a great hymn came from a man who wrote a condolence letter to his mother. (What a Friend We have in Jesus)

    However, without BOTH the Scripture and the work of the Holy Spirit, ANY communication is not going to result in believers.
     
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