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Is This Effective Evangelism?
Is This Effective Evangelize?
Protecting God's Reputation
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.
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
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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