Is This Effective Evangelism?

Is This Effective Evangelize?

Protecting God's Reputation


Matthew 28:18-20
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

I had conversation with a pastor friend. He was considering a potentially dangerous ministry that dealt with Christian demon possession. I do not believe Christians can be possessed, so I advised caution. In the course of our discussion, I made the comment that we must protect God’s reputation. I was surprised and saddened by his response to me. He rebuked me and said I didn’t need to worry; God would protect his own reputation.

Hmmm?

Indeed, God can and does protect his own reputation. However, I believe God instructs us to do so as well. The Old Testament does not use the word reputation, instead, it uses the term “The name of the Lord” We are admonished in several places to honor His name. Chief among these commands is the fourth commandment.

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.Exodus 20:7

If we love our Heavenly Father, it follows that we would want to honor his reputation. We protect His name by conducting ourselves according to His Word. Keeping in mind that our actions reflect on Him. Sadly, my pastor friend ended up closing the doors to his church not long after he started pursuing his questionable ministry. He was right; God knows how to protect his reputation.

There is an old saying that goes “If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” When it comes to evangelism, it is essential we do it right. When we go into all the world to preach the gospel, Christ’s name is on the line. How we conduct ourselves must bring Him glory. A part of "doing it right" means protecting God’s reputation.

In light of this, some videos have appeared on YouTube that I would like to bring to your attention. If you are a follower of Christ, I would love to hear your thoughts.

In the following video you see a well meaning Christian woman doing her best to address a crowd. But something goes terribly wrong.

You Aint Got No Pancake Mix

Pancakes Anyone?.


While I believe the woman preaching had the very best of intentions, and that the young man was rude beyond all reason, I think his point is pretty clear. The gospel presented in such a manner makes about as much sense as shouting “You aint got no pancake mix.” In fact, from the world’s perspective, pancakes are more desirable.

Here is the problem the Christian group’s message and method was irrelevant and outdated. Most young people today do not have a concept of sin and are not sure if God even exists. Standing up, in an open air setting, where we have not been invited, shouting repent and read the bible, means nothing. We would get farther serving pancakes. In my opinion, this group wasted their time and failed in bringing glory to God’s reputation. There has to be a better way.

Man Arrested For Reading The Bible In Public


Now in this case, I was glad they removed this obnoxious pastor. I think he was rude, not righteous. This sort of evangelism is intrusive. Had I been in line at the DMV, I would not have been able to support this pastor. In my opinion, he made a bad impression. The audience was waiting in a line. I suppose they could have left if they wanted to, but then they would have lost their place. Like video #1, this event was ineffective and did not bring Glory to God.

That said, I was shocked that they were arrested. I expected the officer to come up and ask them to leave or give a warning. That did not happen. I suspect this group had been a thorn in the official’s sides. Even so they should not have been arrested.

We must never forget Paul's admonition to us

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

The men in the next video should get some major kudos for their effort; their hearts appeared to be in the right place. However, they made some major mistakes. Given that they knew they were going into a dangerous situation before hand, they showed poor planning. In many ways they brought the violence that ensued upon themselves. Let’s take a look.

American Muslims Stone Christians in Dearborn, MI


The first thing I noticed while viewing this is they get sucked into a political debate. Forgetting that they were there to represent Christ, not the USA. Then I noticed that they gave off a tough presence, bikers for Jesus came to mind, very imposing. Perhaps they should have dressed in more cheerful colors, anything other than black. Also, I did not see any ladies in the group. This might have helped them to appear less intimidating.

Lastly, shouting with or without a megaphone is always the wrong approach when dealing with Muslims. Perhaps a mobile Christian band or a walking, all female Christian quartet, would have been more effective. Sadly, As it was, this group got beat up and wasted their time. This would have been true, even if it hadn’t gotten violent,

I feel for these Christian guys, they were in the right place to present Christ. But here again, the open air preaching method of evangelism is simply ineffective. I hope they remember next year that that Muslims always respond with violence when provoked and that the police are always going to take the path of least resistance. It was much easier to remove the small group of Christians than to weed out every juvenile in the crowd that had thrown something.

It seemed to me that this group over looked the fact that Islam has been fighting Christianity for a long time. Dearborn is a reminder that American Muslims are prepared to continue the fight. The fact that the adults allowed their children to do the harassing showed that they knew how to manipulate the police and were ready for this group. Even so, I strongly believe that open air preaching is an ineffective means to evangelize unbelievers. It leaves a negative impression no matter where it is used. Had this Christian group used that same approach anywhere else they would have simply been ignored by the unbelievers. I am not excusing what happened there. The police were, indeed, teaching that community that it is OK to behave violently. Yet, given what we know about Muslims, What did they expect?

With today's modern media, we have at our disposal more effective means of getting God's Word into the community. I acknowledge that open air evangelism has been a method used since the time of Christ. Society tolerated it because there wasn't any other practical way to spread the Word. It was the method that everyone used, from politicians to newspaper boys. Today however, society has lost its patience for this rude and intrusive approach. Perhaps it is it time to retire the megaphone for a plate of pancakes. You will never go wrong showing kindness, friendship and the love of Christ.

Psalm 113:2 Blessed be the name of the Lord
From this time forth and forevermore!


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Comments 11 comments

cprice75 profile image

cprice75 4 years ago from USA

Voted up and useful. Evangelism is one of the church's main purposes, but the church needs to realize that methods of getting the message out must adapt to the society in which it lives. Paul said he was all things to all men. In other words, he adapted his approach, but not his message, depending upon his audience.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Well said cprice75. Adapt but do not compromise.

Personally I am more concerned about honoring the name of the Lord then I am about evangelizing.. Don't get me wrong, evangelism is extremely important. But it would be better to remain silent then to dishonor God's reputation.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I look forward to reading some of your stuff.

Peace

ABR


christinekv profile image

christinekv 4 years ago from Washington

Hi ABR - A very well done hub and an important topic! Many great points made. I agree with and appreciate Cprice's comments, and your response by saying "adapt but do not compromise."

Regarding evangelism, I think it is essential but it must be birthed through prayer and a leading of the Spirit. It takes wisdom and discernment regarding the approach to take. Have you heard of Ray Comfort? I think he is a great street evangelist and believe much fruit has been born of his ministry.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Christinekv:

I have indeed heard of Ray Comfort. He has a very effective ministry. I like his book God doesn't believe in Atheists. LOL

Thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts to this Hub.

Peace

ABR


lifegate profile image

lifegate 4 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

I get your point and it truly is a shame the way some Christians handle the name of God. It's not just street preaching. It's groups like Westboro Baptist Church and several others that destroy the true Christian's testimony.


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 4 years ago from USA- Florida Author

Lifegate,

I try to keep up on things but wow! I have really dropped the ball on this one. This is the first time I have heard of Westboro Baptist Church. I so see a Hub coming down the shoot! Jeepers.

Thanks for bringing them to my attention and as always, it is good to hear from you.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 4 years ago from upstate, NY

I agree, I've seen Christians use some obnoxious methods to preach and then feel spiritual when people don't respond well! They say there suffering for Christ but I wonder if there suffering from the lack of wisdom.


PlanksandNails profile image

PlanksandNails 4 years ago from among the called out of the ekklesia of Christ

Abrushing1968,

Many believe that imposing their will or beliefs on another person is evangelism. When we think that we are somehow an extension of the Gospel, we make ourselves the "saviour" instead of Jesus Christ. We don't do the Gospel, because that is what Jesus Christ has already done.

Evangelism is obedience done by the guiding of the Holy Spirit, which glorifies Jesus Christ instead of man. If we want strut around like peacocks, the above video clips you have provided are good examples.

If we want to see people ripe for the harvest, we need to go where Jesus Christ is drawn to; they are those who are in a humble state.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. - Matthew 11:28

The recipients of God's revelation from Him are the ones who initiate the Gospel because the Holy spirit has drawn them. Religion thinks it is man that does the drawing. It is not the cliché prodding pastor, the altar call, the aura of the evangelical setting, or the sinner's prayer that is the Gospel. These are simply religious rituals.

Those who come to Jesus Christ have come and confessed on their own accord.

Evangelism is planting seeds; it is not a fast food outlet. The parable of the sower describes the four types of soil.

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. - John 15:5

This hub reveals the pompous pedestal that religious Pharisees of our day stand on to get those to accept Jesus.

The true fruit of evangelism is not *accepting* what corporate religion is selling, but *receiving* the true gift of salvation.

The Bible reveals the results of evangelism by what the sinners have had to say.

“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ - Luke 18:13

And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” - Luke 23:42

Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” - Acts 2:37

It's good you have given the "hornet's nest" a whack of reality.


wba108@yahoo.com profile image

wba108@yahoo.com 4 years ago from upstate, NY

We're called to be fishers of men not hunters, this saying kind of sums up the difference between evangelism and just being pushy.


sradie profile image

sradie 19 months ago from Palm Coast FL

According to the work of the Holy Spirit, aggressive evangelism may actually reach one or two in a crowd but, we have to ask ourselves, 'How many have I turned away today and driven even farther from Christ than they may have already been' when we use a meat cleaver to drive the Gospel Message home. If people come to a place seeking a powerful message of repentence and God's grace then indeed, powerful speaking may be in order. But, how many more might be reached by a Christlike approach that does not discount the wages of sin but also points to the love and mercy of God toward the sinner as he accepts Christ's atonement for our sin on the cross and receives resurrection himself unto eternal life?


Abrushing1968 profile image

Abrushing1968 19 months ago from USA- Florida Author

Sradie, I wholeheartedly agree.

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