12 November 2012

Please Stop Trying to Convert Me with an Incomplete Gospel

An interesting article at the Huffington Post blog entitled, "Please Stop Trying to Convert Me," written by Penn State University student Remy M. Maisel, offered insight into what may be coursing through the minds of those who are stopped on the street by well-meaning Christians seeking to fulfill the Great Commission. Unfortunately, what may strike the reader as intriguing is not only the hypocrisy of those lost souls who find themselves a target for street evangelism, but also the apparent misdirected endeavors of some of these eager believers. Continue reading →

Further Reading
Doctrine Matters
Muslim Woman Concludes "Islam Is all about Living a Purpose-Driven Life" After Hearing Rick Warren on 'Lifeclass'
If God Does Not Watch Over Our Heart and Tongue

4 comments:

  1. There is no formula for presenting the Gospel (and believe me, I've reviewed and tried them!). The Gospel as proclaimed (1 Cor 15) IS simple, both to proclaim, and to understand, but at no point are we told to impersonally tell people they are sinners and get them to believe in Jesus Christ or else suffer eternity in hell while manipulating them into praying a prayer. While technically true (sinners not reconciled through Christ will suffer eternally), Jesus did not use this approach, nor did he ever tell us to use it. He healed the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead, and told us to do the same things. He said, "freely you received, now freely give." Matthew 10.

    The Body of Christ is given the commission to proclaim the Good News to all creation (not Bad News/Good News as a formula) while healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. Mark 16.

    This is not meant to be impersonally done, either. We see how this plays out, both in the life of Jesus, and also in how Jesus commissions his disciples in Matthew 10 and Luke 10. Go two by two, carrying nothing (don't bring your cultural baggage), find the person of peace, eat what is set before you, heal the sick therein, and proclaim the Kingdom of God to be at hand. (Kind of hard if you can't prove it). Do you think anyone is going to invite you to their house to eat with them if you're using a religious formula and a "turn or burn" approach?

    The man-made, formulaic approaches are religion, and the average person can spot it a mile awhile. We are not Jehovah's witnesses or Mormons or Roman Catholics. We let our light so shine before men! We proclaim the good news while destroying the works of the devil as proof of the message we carry.

    See 2 Corinthians 5 for an overview of OUR ministry, which is that of Christ's ambassadors -- The Ministry of Reconciliation (not Condemnation aka the Law). What an awesome honor and privilege. We need to stop using formulas and re-present Jesus to the world.

    "From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling[b] the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

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    Replies
    1. Brad B.,

      Paul brings all men in the first chapter of Romans into Condemnation-(Bad News). WE also know that Paul didn't teach on his own initiative but He taught (T)he Gospel according to what he received directly from Jesus Christ himself-Galatians 1:11 & Galatians 1:12. Contrary to what you've said-according to (God's word) part of the Gospel IS letting people know their true abject condition.

      As one commentator put it-"The book of Romans is the presentation of the gospel. The word "gospel" means good news. That always needs to be kept in mind. Yet the good news doesn't make too much sense without an understanding of the bad news"

      This is an egregious error on the part of many who think we should just tell the good news and that's it. People are being witnessed to with only part of the Gospel and don't even know what they are being saved FROM. In fact they don't even see their NEED to be saved much less. So, many are being taught a "man-made formula" to just pray the "sinners prayer". Most people are still lost and bound for hell simply because they are not given the bad news. The Good news is not truly Good news unless one knows the bad news first.

      The Condemnation IS part of the Gospel. It is not one's Final purpose or end-- it is a means to bring salvation to his readers. Men must be brought to a knowledge of SELF to be conscience-stricken. Brought to the Truth of who they really are before they surrender SELF over to God.

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  2. Oy vey.

    I always feel so inadequate in such a great task as sharing the Gospel. I'm always wondering if I shared it properly.


    But these "Christians" are NOT sharing the gospel at all. This is another Gospel. We MUST share the bad ugly news FIRST just like Paul did in Romans 1 before we can share the good news.

    Who wouldn't give up dirt for diamonds if one only knew their (true scatological condition)-- that the backdrop of our blackened hearts (must) be exposed and our unworthiness before the Sinless Son of God before we can see the beauty of Christ and our NEED for Him.

    Share with grace and mercy. Let people get angry, mad, hateful. We are not responsible for how people react.. SHARE the Whole unadulterated Gospel - for their eternal destiny is at stake

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