Tag Archives: Evangelism

MODERN EVANGELISM IS SKEWED EVANGELISM


Author - William Andrew Dillard

Parson To Person
God is so wonderful! He has done everything necessary for sinful men to be eternally saved spiritually, and to achieve salvation of the mind-life (proper maturity in understanding and employing biblical instructions) as His will is so plainly expressed in I Timothy 2:4, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”
Somewhere along the long line of history evangelism has taken on a new, but manmade, reduced meaning. Still, the true meaning of the term must be understood from the biblical presentation of it in action, and there is no shortage of that.
A few select instances are herewith cited. New Testament work is built upon repentance from sins in obedience to God, followed by receiving heaven’s authorized baptism. This was begun by John the Baptist, and placed in His church by Jesus Himself. All the disciples of Jesus received it, including our Lord Himself. From that point forward one may note the baptism of Cornelius (Acts 10); the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8); Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9); the Philippian jailer (Acts 16); the group improperly baptized (Acts 19), et., etc.
Deep water immersion of each professed believer was administered as the consistent biblical pattern for that time, and throughout the age. It is still God’s approved method of evangelism.
However, what is now largely assigned to the term “evangelism” is simply leading one to profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. At that point, the person is dropped to join whatever may exist under the broad banner of “Christianity.” whether such movement is scriptural or not or even if they do not practice baptism. This is the injection of man into the Word of God, and that is iniquity. It will not stand in the Day of Judgment. Some will be shocked to learn that they have been led astray, and others will be shocked that their “good” intentions were the source of leading others astray.
Folks, it should be known that “evangelism” is a Greek term that has been transliterated into English rather than translated. The translation of the term is “good news” or “good announcement” Contrary to what many want to believe, the good news or announcement is not simply that men can now be saved. That has been going on since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Rather it is that lost men may continue to be saved, but now be added to the Lord’s church, the executor of the kingdom of heaven, and achieve a high degree of spiritual maturity under the tutorial leadership of the Holy Spirit given to it. Such will enable those so exercised to rule and to reign with Christ in the upcoming millennial reign. To short-change true, biblical evangelism is to cheat men out of this grand opportunity.

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22 – January – 22 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


 

 

Smith, Hezekiah

Brigade Chaplain for Gen. Washington

1805 – HEZEKIAH SMITH – BRIGADE-CHAPLAIN FOR GENERAL WASHINGTON AND ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF BROWN U. Pg. 29 – Hezekiah Smith died on January 22, 1805. He was born in April 1737 at Long Island, N.Y.  He graduated from Princeton in 1762. He went into the field of evangelism and went into the South where he traveled over 4,000 miles and preached 173 sermons in 15 months. He helped establish Rhode Island College which later became Brown University. In 1765 he established a Baptist church in Haverhill, Mass. and was publicly recognized Nov. 12, 1766 and served faithfully for forty years. He was one of six Baptist chaplains that served in the Revolutionary War and was brigade-chaplain for Gen. Washington. After his tour of duty he returned to the Haverhill church. He founded the Mass. Baptist Missionary Society, the first Missions Society in America and the deciding factor in the founding of the Warren Association also.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon; adapted from:  Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson

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A Letter From Hell


Once again, I find myself taking the the wisdom of Joseph Harris and putting on my blog because his article is so pertinent at this time!

 

Joseph Harris   

http://www.josephharrismagic.net/rnd/id3.html

I realize among conservative Bible believers and most fundamentalists, Clive Staples Lewis is not a staple in their literary diet. I certainly do not agree with or endorse everything from his pen, however, “The Screwtape Letters” stand alone as genius. This work is an account of an experienced demon instructing his novice demon nephew in the ways of sabotage and subterfuge against Christianity. Below is my version of a Screwtape letter.

My Dear Wormwater,

This is just a note of encouragement for you in your ministry. I have been hearing good reports of your evangelism for our master. Your massive, intense campaign undertaken over the past 40 years has been fruitful. It is evident that lives have been changed, families transformed, churches altered, and society affected as a whole. I notice as you have used phrases such as “reaching this generation” and “discovering felt needs”, people have been encouraged to “make a decision” for our lord. Cunning is your prestidigitation indeed.

Changes in your converts are manifested in lifestyles, churlish attitudes, dress, and worship. As a demon in training, you have excelled in converting the church in your outreach program. In bringing the unconverted to our master’s ways, many churches now look, act, talk, think and dress like the world. Instead of the church reaching the world, we have successfully reached the church with the world. The majority of churches today feel the pressure to conform to new and modern standards, with only a few still holding on to “the old paths”, as they like to say. How thorough is your work. I commend you for focusing on burning the forest, not just cutting down a couple of trees.

Your “methods change, but the message remains the same” mantra was a stroke of genius. It has beguiled many unsuspecting churchmen into introducing worldly devices into their ministries and worship services they might not otherwise have tolerated. Your perfidy is unmatched. Our father below may even take note of your progress, if your perseverance is relentless.

Man has an insatiable desire to worship. Your mission is to always encourage worship, but incorporate small changes that steer incrementally away from their “worship in spirit and truth”, with the appearance of focusing on the enemy (and always cloaked in stained glass language), yet creating a god for them to worship who is strikingly similar to their divine, yet unmistakably different.

Patience, my dear Wormwater, patience. One cannot eat a whole elephant in one meal, but even the largest pachyderm can be ultimately consumed one bite at a time. Resist the temptation to change the enemy overnight, but continue with small bites.

Your affectionate Uncle and Demon mentor,

Slewtape (Joseph Harris)

http://www.josephharrismagic.net/rnd/id3.html

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190 – July, 09 – This Day in Baptist History Past


 

His heart remained in Burma

 

When the need became apparent, because of the successful evangelism of the Karen people in Burma, for a training school for native ministers, The Triennial Convention turned to J.G. Binney as the man to head up such an effort. To Dr. Binney this was a dream come true. He and his wife Juliette sailed in Nov. 1843. A school was opened in Maulmain with thirteen adult students, all converts from heathenism. After five grueling years, Mrs. Binney’s health broke and they were forced to return to the States, where Dr. Binney pastored for a brief period, and then became President of Columbian College, but his heart was still in Burma. They sailed again for Burma in 1859. The school was now moved to Rangoon and opened with 80 students. Dr. Binney carried the full load as he preached, translated, and published. Strength weakening, he was again compelled to leave Burma. On furlough his health improved and he began to pastor a church in Savannah, Georgia. Joseph Getchell Binney was the third child in a rather affluent family in Boston, having been born in Dec. 1807. He contracted whooping cough at the end of his first year that affected him the rest of his life. His father, through a foolish business move lost his modest wealth and left the family, not to return until the death of Joseph’s mother when he was ten, when his grandmother moved in to take his mother’s place. He was saved at twenty, united with the Congregational church, entered Yale to prepare for missionary service, and became a Baptist upon examining the subject of “baptism” in studying for a debate. He was baptized in 1830. On July 9, 1877, he resigned his church that he might return to his first love. However, he never made it back, and he died on Nov. 26, and was buried in the Indian Ocean.

 

Dr. Greg J. Dixon: adapted From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 281-82.

 

 

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29 – Jan. 29 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


Evangelism was foremost on her mind.
 
Jan. 29, 1896 – A newly erected building was dedicated in Sendai, Japan through the efforts of a lady missionary by the name of Lavina Mead of New Lisbon, Wisconsin. Lavina had originally gone to Ingole, India but found the field to severe. At the outset, the school housed fifteen girls, a Bible woman, and two helpers. As time went on, the enrollment increased, and the impact of the gospel was felt throughout the area until four hundred children were enrolled in seven Sunday schools. These schools were conducted by personnel trained by Miss Mead at the school. Education was only a means to the end for Miss Mead, for evangelism was foremost on her mind. “Winning” of souls to her Lord Jesus Christ was ever her first aim in life,” as was reported in the Thirty-first Annual Report of the Women’s Missionary Society of 1902. For eleven years she directed the work in Sendai, and then before her furlough, she was assigned to Chofu-Shimonoseki, where her ministry resulted in house meetings, community Bible classes, women’s and children’s meetings, and the establishment of Sunday schools. A well deserved furlough ended that phase of her life. In 1908 she returned to Japan’s second largest city, Osaka, and founded the Women’s Bible Training School, where she served.  for the remaining eighteen years of her overseas ministry. With, unending energy she labored, and within five years, fourteen young women had graduated from the training school she had established, as teachers in women’s evangelism or as pastors’ wives. Other buildings were built and dedicated, and not wanting to be a burden she resigned.
[This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press. pp. 55-56. Tai Shigaki, American Baptist Quarterly (BarreVt.: Northlight Studio Pres, Inc., 1993), 12:261.] Prepared by Dr. Greg Dixon

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21 – Jan. 21 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


They had no other ambition but the glory of God.
 On Jan. 21, 1788, one of the most, humble, yet historically significant events took place in the study of the College Lane Baptist Church in Northamptonshire, England that this old world ever know.  Four Baptist ministers met together for a day of prayer and fasting.  Neither of these four men knew that each, in years to come, would be memorialized in the history of the Christian world as well as the Baptists.  They simply met as four friends who shared a longing for greater personal godliness, holiness in their churches, and the evangelism of the world.  They had no other ambition but the glory of God.  They were none other than John Ryland, Jr. John Sutcliff, Andrew Fuller, and William Carey.  In that room were the founders of the modern missionary movement.  Ryland recorded the holy event.  “… read the Epistles to Timothy and Titus; Abraham Booth’s charge to Thomas Hopkins; Richard Blackerby’s Life, in John Gillies; and John Rogers of Dedham’s sixty memorials for a Godly life: and each prayed twice.  Carey [prayed], with singular enlargement and pungency.  Our chief design was to implore a revival of godlinesss in our souls, in our churches, and in the churches at large.”  God surpassed their expectation when He used them to start a missionary movement that continues to this very day.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins, pp. 43-44.

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11 – Jan. 11 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


He was… a “strangely gifted orator.”
 Thomas Jefferson Fisher came to his untimely end when an unnamed assailant shot him in the head at Louisville, KY on Jan. 11, 1866, he was just 54 years old.  He lived for three days, his murderer was never identified.  He was one of the most powerful early Baptist evangelists in America.  He was born on April 9, 1812, in Mt. Sterling, KY.  His father was of German extraction and had moved there from Penn.  Young Fisher received Christ when he was 16 and united with the Presbyterians at Paris, KY.  A year later he was immersed by Jeremiah Vardeman and united with the Baptist church in Davids Fork, Fayette County.  Being in a family of 13 children, educational opportunities were limited, so Fisher became a tailor and paid for his own schooling.  Finally he studied with a Baptist pastor in Pittsburgh, PA.  In 1834 at 22 he was ordained by the same church and became pastor of the Mill Creek Baptist Church near Bardstown, KY.  But it became clear that God had called him to evangelism.  He was described as a “strangely gifted orator.”  He held most of his protracted meetings in the South.  Vast crowds attended his meetings and it is estimated that approximately 12,000 were converted to Christ.  For thirty-four years he was mightily used of God.  Who knows how many would have been reached if he had lived out his life.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. IIII: Cummins /, pp. 22-24.

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308 – Nov. 04 – THIS DAY IN BAPTIST HISTORY PAST


“He lost his position… when he… was immersed”

November 04, 1870 – Henry Novotny entered seminary in Switzerland, and in 1875 he married Anna Kastomlatska. In 1881 he went with his wife and two children to Edinburgh, Scotland, to study in the Free College. For some time he served in evangelism, but he lost his position as an evangelist when he embraced the Baptist position and was immersed on Feb. 12, 1885, in the largest Baptist church on the continent by Pastor Charles Ondra in Lodz, Russian-Poland. Returning to Prague, Bohemia, Novotny organized a Baptist church with 16 members near Prague. Mrs. Novotny was a hearty soul as well. She was immersed in the icy Vltava River when the ice had to be broken. Henry was called before the court numerous times. During one period he had to report to the local authorities every Monday morning to narrate his activities. He was happy to relate to them the sermon that he preached the Lord’s Day before. When the officials refused to allow them to meet in their building they moved to the pastor’s home. As the church grew they rented a building, then the officials said that they had to meet in a “dwelling place,” so he had one of his son’s sleep in the rented hall. Henry conducted seven services each Sunday. He also played the organ and conducted Sunday school. The work of the Baptists grew under such direction, and Novotny’s pen proved as strong as his pulpit ministry. His “literary work” was done under the pre-war [First World War] Austrian government, which strictly censored printed material…religious or otherwise. Hence Henry’s writings were often confiscated, and several times he had to pay heavy fines. By the time of his death his son Joseph followed him in the pastorate, and the work had so grown that there were Baptist churches in thirty Bohemian towns.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 458-59.

PERSONAL NOTE: My father was a missionary pastor in St. Louis, MO. His experience was this! – How important is “SCRIPTURAL” baptism? Important enough for Jesus to walk 60 miles to be baptized by the only one that had authority to baptize because John the Baptist had authority from heaven. Jesus would not settle for a substitute. As missionary pastor, my father experienced the reality of some that felt their baptism was not any good and asked for scripural baptism NOW. The mission did not have a baptistry so my father said Alton Lake was available. These people said yes and January we cut ice that was 9 inches thick to baptise. What a witness!

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THE ELEPHANT IN THE FRONT ROOM


Editorial
The Elephant in the Front Room
By H. L. Wilkinson

A good brother & preacher, I’m sure, recently hit the nail on the
head when he said NOT using the name “Baptist” to describe our churches
is a “tough, divisive issue that really is an elephant sitting in the room of our
Association.” True, many don’t want to talk about this subject. But we must
if we care to maintain any unity whatsoever in our fellowship. The elephant
has been sitting there awhile & he is not going away on his own, if at all
before more damage is done to our fellowship..

The Name Baptist in Scripture. Baptist is more than a brand name
like Coke or Pepsi. It is a heritage received from God: “There was a man
sent from God, whose name was John” (John 1:6). The Holy Spirit chose to
use “Baptist” at least fourteen times in the New Testament with reference to
John. He was a giant, who is referred to more in the Old Testament than to
any figure who would later appear in the New Dispensation other than to
Christ himself (Isaiah 40:3-5; Malachi 4:5, 6). Jesus said: “Verily I say unto
you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater
than John the Baptist: notwithstanding He that is LEAST (microteros =
later) in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he,” (Matthew 11:11). Jesus
was born approximately six months after John the Baptist. So, Jesus Christ
was the only man in history, who was greater than the Baptist!

Many have forgotten about John. This Baptist preacher immersed
Jesus in the Jordan River. And he also baptized the first twelve disciples,
because when a successor to Judas Iscariot was chosen, it was required that
he be “from the baptism of John,” (Acts 1:21, 22). So, a preacher called “the
Baptist” baptized not only the Lord, but also he provided the core material
which the Lord Jesus Christ built the FIRST Baptist Church. So, the Holy
Spirit actually “painted” Baptist on its SIGN, which is any “mark or symbol
having a specific meaning.” (Webster’s New World Dictionary)

The Name Baptist in History. Dr. W. A. Criswell, pastor of First
Baptist Church in Dallas, TX, then the largest Baptist church in the world,
wrote me Aug. 23, 1995: “I am persuaded that the church Christ built & said
would endure to the end is the church to which you & I belong & to whom
we minister. There is no possibility that that church of the Baptist faith &
commitment ever died. It was alive yesterday; it is alive today; & it will be
alive to the end of the age.” (See especially Matthew 16:18. I also suggest you
read a scanned copy of this entire letter below. It may surprise you.)

Of course, Dr. Criswell was writing of the Anabaptists, a GENERIC
name, that the Roman Catholic Church applied to a variety of groups
(Paulicians, Waldenses, Albigenses, Donatists, etc) denominated “heretics”
since they refused to recognize Catholic baptisms. Later, these Anabaptists
became known as Baptists. But
we had been called this for many
centuries beforehand. And millions
of our forefathers shed their blood
in Europe, North Africa, Turkey,
Armenia, etc. And later they were
whipped & jailed in colonial America for “the faith once delivered
unto the saints,” (Jude 3).

A strong PARALLEL is
still seen today in the Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. A
man in Murfreesboro once told
me his elderly mother-in-law was
a Holocaust survivor. And she had
the infamous prison identification
numbers tattooed on her shoulder!
How much do you think it would
have taken to have bribed this Jew-
ish lady into having these numbers
removed?
Of course, I don’t really
know, but I doubt if all the banks in
Murfreesboro, TN, would have had
enough cash in them to get her to
do this! This was a bloody sign of
her Jewish heritage, identity. And
so is the name “Baptist” we have
inherited from our forefathers!

Our Name in this New
Millennium? It really seems things
started to change in our work &
elsewhere about twelve years ago.
Do you remember the Y2K scare?
All the computers were going to
lock up at midnight, Dec. 31, 1999.
No one was going to be able to get
water, because they used computers
to control the water supply. The
electricity was going to go off &
many bought generators. Then two
jets hit the Twin Towers in New
York, another the Pentagon & a
third crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. Alan Jackson wrote, sang:
“Where Were You When the World
Stopped Turning?”

By this time a new breed of
Baptist preacher had arisen who
knew Rick Warren but not J. R.
Graves. Soon Baptist signs started
to come down where they had been
standing proudly for decades in
places like Smyrna, Franklin, TN &
far beyond. And in the American
Baptist Association, the time proven ideas, methods of Ben Bogard, L.
D. Foreman, Paul Goodwin, Albert
Garner, Roy Reed, I. K. Cross, L. L.
Clover & A. J. Kirkland began to
be courteously, quickly “bowed to,“
but considered “old hat.” And, now
some in our fellowship started leaving the name Baptist off their signs
or more & more de-emphasizing it.
And why? To paraphrase one very
good brother: “We have about TEN
SECONDS to get people’s attention on the church sign or web site
before they go elsewhere.” And still
another: “The name ‘Baptist’ really
turns people off!”

However, a similar “argument” was undoubtedly made back
in the 1950’s by some budding TV
evangelists when Zenith Corporation invented the first remote control called “Lazy Bones.” Now, don’t
get me wrong. I’m not a Five Point
Calvinist, but it seems to me that
most of these “prospects” are just
plain lazy if they are willing only to
give God about “ten seconds.” They
surely can’t say: “I THOUGHT ON
MY WAYS & turned my feet unto
Thy testimonies,” (Psalm 119:67).
And especially one must question
if such “10-second seekers”
really have a divine appointment
with God anything like what the
Ethiopian Eunuch had when he was
saved (Acts 8:27-39). Moreover, we
need to ask ourselves: “Is someone
seeking the True Light or just
looking for Christianity-Lite in
a place that will reaffirm their ill
conclusions?” ( John 1:6-9; Luke
13:3, 5)

Conclusion: “There is
no new thing under the sun,”
(Ecclesiastes 1:9.) In every century
the essential issues of life & death
always remain the same. The world
is still turning even as it was when
Paul & Silas came to Athens &
some complained: “These that have
turned the world upside down are
come hither also,” (Acts 17:6).

The Lord’s churches are
already making an impact around
the world. And we can still turn this
world upside down! But the real
key to success in the fields white
unto the harvest is not so much
found in new technology as plain
old hard work, prayer, preaching
& teaching the Word of God. And
especially like Jesus, we must be
kind to all, show God’s love (1 Cor.
13:1-13)

Now,
just for the record, YES, I do pray
for those with whom I disagree
on this issue. I hope they succeed
in winning many souls to Jesus. I
“forbid [them] not” (Luke 9:49-50)
even as I also pray for my Methodist,
Nazarene, Pentecostal, Presbyterian
& all brethren in Christ to do the
same!

Again, YES the Internet &
other technology have tremendous potential! They should be used
to maximum advantage! But all
that twitters is not gold. And there
is absolutely NO EXCUSE for
throwing The Baptist Flag & much
else we hold dear into the ditch in
an attempt to reach those who have
less attention span than a mosquito.

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WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES ABOUT REPENTANCE AND FAITH


REPENTANCE AND FAITH
ACTS 20:21

The word for repentance means, to undergo a change in frame of mind and feeling – to repent; to make a change of principle and practice – to reform; a change of mode of thought and feeling – reversal of the past. These are the three senses in which it is used.

John preached no literary review or entertaining message. he did not attempt to appeal to the higher nature in man. Though an unpopular doctrine, repentance and faith are as old as man.

:Just confess Jesus” is the rule of modern evangelism, but such a confession must be the result of a changed mind and feeling toward God, must stem from the heart.

I.   NOTICE THE NECESSITY OF REPENTANCE.
     1. Repentance is taught in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 14:6).
     2. John the Baptist taught repentance (Matt. 3:1).
     3. Jesus taught repentance (Luke 13:3-5; Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:15; 2:17).
     4. The disciples were commanded to preach repentance (Luke 24:47).
     5. The disciples preached repentance (Mark 6:12).
     6. The Apostle Paul preached repentance (Acts 20:21).
     7. God commands all men, everywhere, to repent (Acts 17:30

II.  REPENTANCE AS IT IS FOUND IN THE BIBLE INVOLVES:
     1. A knowledge of what sin dies, and of personal guilt (I John 3:4; 5:17).
     2. Personal, self-examination.
         
a. Sees sin as committed against God (Psalm 51:4).
          b. Hatred for sin generated in the heart (Job 42:6).
          c. Sorrow for sin because it is against God (II Corinthians 7:10).
          d. A purpose or will to sin against God no longer, involves a sense of helplessness to accomplish this purpose by one’s own self.

III. FAITH TOWARD CHRIST.
Bible faith is: trusting, relying, entrusting or committing to the power of another.
     1. There is no merit in faith as such-the merit is in the object of faith.
       
Example” One might have faith in a ladder, but the ladder breaks. One might have faith in baptism, church membership, dedication in infancy, or in personal virtue, but such faith does not save because the object is wrong.
     2. One must have a belief in God before saving faith in Jesus Christ can come (Hebrews 11:6).
     3. The meaning of faith in Jesus:
         
a. A reliance upon Him (John 3:16).
          b. A faith from the heart (Romans 10:9,10).
          c. A faith which receives Jesus (John 1:11,12).
          d. A faith which commits to Jesus (II Timothy 1:12).
          e. A faith that will pray to God (Romans 10l:13).

IV. WHY IT MUST BE BY FAITH IN JESUS.
     1. Because none can come to God in any other way (John 14:6).
     2. Because the Gospel alone is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).
     3. Jesus is the heart of the Gospel. There is no gospel without Him (I Corinthians 15:1-3

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