From: John Neal (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Aug 26 1997 - 22:35:38 EDT
here's my reply:
> it has been my experience that one must earn the right to explain the > gospel to someone.
I know your reasoning here, but Christ already earned the right to
"command all men to repent". You've got to be realistic.
> I've tried it both ways, and the wham-bam approach has been without
> discoverable fruit. But whenever I've taken the time to get to know
> where a person is...
This is a false dichotomy Jim. You don't have to sacrifice the
confrontational power of the gospel for the sake of anything. You just
have to tell the truth - which, I must add, is the most profound
substance perceivable. It's the way, the truth, and the life...the
gentle waters of shiloah...not some brazen frying pan beaten upon your
head. Yet, it is absolutely confrontational.
> Many have been innoculated against the genuine article by such
> superficial and boorish presentations.
That's true. Many have been innoculated. Not from the faith, but from
heresies. Revelation pierces any wall. (Don't miss my point here. You
reject that which offends you. If someone is pelted with heretical
doctrine and rejects it, yet at the same time rejects all of Christ,
there isn't a formidable innoculation against faith, for faith isn't
what caused the irritation. It was just included in the "ballpark"
rejection, which was borne of confusion.) Revelation pierces any wall.
> Do you think that just any presentation of the gospel is ok?
Yes, absolutely. Philippians 1:18.
> Let me tell you this: A Christian must find ways to proclaim the
> gospel that are not offensive, because the gospel itself is offensive.
I know, Jim. I agree wholeheartedly. But you must consider that it is
not the preacher's disposition that saves the soul, but the word of God.
And therefore Paul states emphatically "whether in pretence or in
truth". It's not the teller that is the important element in the
transaction. It's the currency.
> Let me just ask you: Do you think this verse justifies any and every
> presentation of the gospel? Does it even justify the Crusades? I'm
> just curious how far you think this verse can go.
This falls prey to the false dichotomy that truth is either destructive
or pandering. It is neither. I certainly can't see anyone killing for
Jesus in my limited understand of the Crusades. But judgement does
impose death in some circumstances.
> If you are proclaiming the gospel out of pretense, then where is your
Those who pretensively preach Christ aren't concerned with any reward, I
would think. At least not a benevolent one from Jesus Christ.
> And if you are proclaiming it in truth, then you must proclaim
> it in accordance with the truth, and be subject to the local governing
> authorities wherever you go. It just so happens that Carl Conrad is a
> governing authority on b-greek.
You're attempting to trap me here, Jim. My authority is God himself,
and from him I understand what authorities to submit to - only in the
will of the Lord. Faith is not blind. I am not to bow to any arbitrary
form of government other that God's. If I should do so, I should no
longer be a servant of God, but a servant of the devil. You sound like
the Sanhedrin here, Jim.
> He maintains order on the list in a kind and gentle way. He is not a > bitter old man. He is our Christian brother, and, in my opinion, one > whose forgiveness you ought to seek!
Sorry, Jim, but Carl has made some caustic comments. He may be somewhat
of a moderator on this list, but it's in the form of control from one
who sits at the top of the heap, and not that of a servant of the Lord.
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