Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The response of fear

My last post garnered this anonymous response (as well as many other good ones):

Since God is love He must hate that which is evil,
and since He is all holy and just He must punish evil.
All humans are born evil sinners.
But being rich in mercy, God sent His only Son,
Jesus,
to die on the cross for sinners
and He rose from the dead on the third day.
Repent (turn from sin) and trust in Jesus Christ alone
and God will grant you eternal life.
If not God in His wrath will punish you forever in hell.

I notice that this person has stated from his/her comment that we are born evil. I know we are born sinners (separated from God). But I am having trouble with that part about evil. I have great sorrow for anyone who has gotten boxed into that kind of thinking. I know that God created everything. And everything He creates is good. If there is a failure to be good, it does fall on me. But that isn't the point.

How sad it is to focus only upon the things of evil and dread. Phillipians 4:8 tells us to do something. And if anon comes back, I would ask if there is any good thing, why do you disobey scriptures and not focus on those.
Instead of finding faults, remove the plank from your eye and help out those who are in trouble.
Of course you could insist on doing just what you are doing and never think about whether or not God might be forced to judge you as you judge others.
That is scary.

I try so hard not to be judging and condemning.
Why?
Because, I would deserve exactly the same thing.
And I still would if I continued to walk down that path.

A plea to Anonymous:
Repent now, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, yea verily, right at the door.
Jesus is here to forgive you for all the things you've done.
And if you have accepted Him,
you are free, and a saint, and worth enough to die for, and clean, and...(the list goes on and on)
And you don't have to do anything for this.
Just accept it.
And if you do that, your heart will overflow and you will share it with others because you will not be able to contain it inside.

God bless you all.
Actually, He already does.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are all born evil, Jesus himself called his disciples evil in Luke 11:13 when he is teaching his disciples about prayer "If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Timm said...

I preached a sermon last week about the depravity of man. I warned the congregation that it was going to sound terrible for the first three quaters of the sermon, but to give me time. One might even say that I focused on evil. (They'd be wrong) =) But I thought it was important to drive home the fact that we have a sinful nature. Realizing that we are not good people, (evil?) gives us a reason to focus on the goodness of Jesus Christ.

I think there is a common ground between what you are saying and what Anon is saying. Yes we are all evil. No one does good, no not one. There is none that seeks after God. Al have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and all of us deserve Hell, BUT God loved the world so much that he provided a way for us to be seen as good and worthy of comunion with Him. That is the wonderful news. God does love us, despite our "evil" nature.

Roland said...

Tim - Very good. I like your thoughts.

Anon - Hahaha! You slay me!

Yes, you're right. Even we 'evil' people know how to give good gifts. Reading the context does even more to show why God is involved in our creation.
Why can you not see the good?
Even Jesus focused on good things 'evil' people did.
And if you follow Christ, what should you do?
Point out the evil all the time?
Or forgive?
What would Jesus say to you about your own thoughts and actions?
I get the feeling you think He would approve of you, just not 'that guy'.
Anon, are you a Christian?
Do you still sin?
Why do you beat yourself up over it?

John said...

As a Christian who is unapologetically a monergistic imputationist (just look up monergy and imputation), I am for the legitimacy of ALL Scripture and that it must balance-as ALL is profitable for doctrine and reproof.

I just used Romans 9 this week to explain a situation where I felt a gent was missing a precept. However, the debate between Supralapsarians and infrasupralapsarians has even the reformed school of thought divided into who is reformed enough and who is not. Machens Wars has divided presbyterianism and had some effect on other historic protestant churches causing division.

What is ironic is that forms of calvinism and arminianism are both humanistic, and before you can say no way, look at the arguments about someone could not be saved because they believe ___ or ____.

It is important that we study and understand the ordo if we are teachers, but if we used biblical models, when healed some went out immediately testifying to God and His love and His saving power.

Historic Protestantism in the late 20th and early 21st century has had too much focus on the past and what God did and not enough on why He saved us, imputed His Spirit into us and what our Kingdom purpose is today. I think many have confused it with being TR and Theologically Correct in the halls of debate, rather than being the city on the hill, a testimony of a changed life that is making a difference in their home, familiy, community, church, so full of God's love and so yielding to His Spirit that people would be asking you how they can have what you have.

I am not condemning you anonymous, but as an elder, I can tell you if this debate generally causes more division in the body of Christ than anything, and without being a direct overseer of the person you are discussing this with could cause confusion and harm to that person. Of course, there are schools of Calvinism that would refute that, and if that is the case, why even debate it since whoever has the correct theology will have it anyway. In many ways it is a circular argument.
God bless.

Anonymous said...

Your post about we are so "loveable" was not in line with the Bible. You may say or insinuate that I am being judgemental, but I am just pointing out truth from the Word of God.
Read this excerpt from "For Your Joy" by John Piper:
The measure of his love for us increases still more when we consider our unworthiness. "Perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die -but God shows his love for us in while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:7-8). We deserve divine punishment, not divine sacrifice. I have heard it said, "God did'nt die for frogs." So he was responding to our value as humans." This turns grace on its head. We are worse off than frogs. They have not sinned. They have not rebelled and treated God with contempt of being inconsequential in our lives. God did not have to die for frogs. They aren't bad enough. We are. Our debt is so great only divine sacrifice can pay it.

You cheapen the sacrifice of God's only Son when you say humans are "loveable" and "worthy" of God's love.

By God's amazing grace I was saved from God's deserving wrath and the power of sin about 2 1/2 years ago.

In Christ,
Linda

WayneDawg said...

I want to relate something I heard Paul Washer say once.......

Take a 7-9 month old baby in your arms and hold him/her. The baby starts to grab at your gold chain that your cross hangs on. You pull the baby away and say "no". But the baby tries now even harder to get at that chain. You pull the baby away again and this time the baby is getting angry because he cannot get at that chain. Soon you have arms reaching and grabbing for that chain with screams of anger.

If this baby were 6' tall and 225 pounds, he would kill you for that gold chain. The baby does'nt care about you. He knows only one thing; he must have that gold chain.

Evil? Not good? Born a sinner?

All the above.

Nator said...

What? A baby reaching for a gold chain is evil? You are really reaching (pun intended) with your analogies.

Anon,
I have heard that verse before. Oh yeah, I believe I used it on Rolands last post. So, that leads me to this question: where are you getting your talking points? Evidently they aren't coming from you.

Craig said...

In Genesis 1:26 God created man in His image and His likeness. Unlike frogs or any other animal God did not create them the same way. Man has intellect, reason, and a moral sense.

Yes man is now born sinners and does deserve God's wrath, but as everyone has stated God's grace has redeemed us. Should we forget about sin after salvation, no. As we try to live like Christ we need to be aware of sin and not take advantage of God's grace.

WayneDawg said...

Nator - You totally missed the point.

A baby reaching for a chain is not evil; that's fascination.

If that baby wasn't allowed to get the chain he would become very upset. If that baby were the size of a full grown man, he would kill for the chain.

That is evil.

Nator said...

No, it is either evil or it is not. A baby wanting a chain isn't evil. An adult wanting a chain isn't evil. Killing someone is evil! It is a big stretch to say that because a big adult wants a chain that they are going to kill for it! I want a new car, but I'm not heading to the dealership with a gun. Your analogy isn't very useful.

Nator said...

Hey Roland,

Good post. Reminds me of another site that uses other people's posts to make a point, except you do it fair! :")

Anonymous said...

To nator - Jesus said "You have heard that it was said to those of old 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgement.' But I say to you "Whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement. Matthew 5:21-22. What do you think of Jesus analogy?

In Christ,
Linda

Nator said...

Linda,
That analogy has nothing to do with the conversation that has taken place. I was commenting on a specific analogy that was meant to make a point, but it didn't do a good job of that. I am not going to comment on Jesus' analogy as it doesn't fit.

Anonymous said...

God's love is unconditional, which means His love is not based on the condition of a human being "loveable" or "worthy". It is out of His own goodness that he loves any human.

In Christ,
Linda

WayneDawg said...

Nator -

You made my point; thanks.

Washer's analogy makes a fantastic point, but I'm afraid you don't understand depravity and thus will never understand that point.

Linda understands it well by bringing up what Jesus had to say on the matter.

MikeT said...

What do you think it means to be born sinful, Roland? Evil is generally banal, totally commonplace. Here's a sort of rorschach test for you on sin and evil. Read this and tell me whether you think the metermaid is misguided or has the sort of dark heart that is attributed to sinful people in the Bible.

Nator said...

Waynedawg,

Once again,your analogy is just... well it just doesn't make any sense. Have you ever held a baby? Do you have one of your own? Have you ever told an adult they couldn't do something? You are still here, so your analogy must not work. Oh, and assuming I don't know something? You know what assuming does right?

Linda,
You are absolutely right. God's love is unconditional, which means we can't do anything to earn it, or to lose it.

Wonder Woman said...

We don't spell lovable with an e in it, here in Canada :)

And now my deux cents: "There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" -Shakespeare

La, la, la...

Joseph Albrecht said...

Nator-

Regarding Waynedawg's analogy, he's not saying if the baby had the mental capacity, say, you or I had at this very moment, but he's saying that if that infant, with the same mind were an adult size, that he would most likely do anything necessary in order to get what he wanted. I'm not sure what you're saying based on what Wayne said, so I think you really might have missed the point slightly.

Selfishness of any kind is sin, and I think that was also another point within the analogy.

Nator said...

Joseph,

Ok, I get that, but that is the beauty of God's creation. We will not have the mind of an infant when we are grown. Just because an infant would do something doesn't mean that it carries through into an adult. Yes, selfishness is a sin, but unless you are saying that a baby (an infant) can sin, then I still don't think it is a good analogy.

Nator said...

Roland,
It is amazing that you start by talking about love and it devolves into we are sinners from birth. I guess you just can't talk about love and let it be. It has to turn to judgement.

Anonymous said...

Wonder Woman - you are correct it is spelled "lovable" even here in the USA.

Nator - if you had some spiritual insight you would see that waynedawgs analogy from Paul Washer does indeed relate to what Jesus said Matthew 5:21-22. Also, since you agree that God's love is unconditional why did you leave a favorable comment on Roland's "Jesus is my Lover" post, since he said in the post "You are worthy of that love." He also said "Enjoy the fact that you are loved and lovable."

roland - You told me I need to repent, what do I need to repent of? For speaking up and telling you Biblical truth?

In Christ,
Linda

Morris said...

Perhaps I could weigh in here.

What we see with the baby snatching for the chain is self, or what the Bible calls 'the flesh' which is the natural nature of man in a fallen world - the sin nature.
So when we are operating from our 'flesh' we are not pleasing God, but if we are abiding in Christ we are are abiding in the Spirit which is pleasing to Him, and it's good to keep our eyes on that. We are told to constantly on gaurd against our flesh, however, so there is a balance.
Romans 8:8: So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Galatians 5:17: For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

So our natural bent is to tend towards sin (or the flesh) and as has been pointed out it can be seen so easily in tots in their "I want it and I want it *NOW*" nature.
Without God's saving grace we are no better.
In the end, we can only please God by faith - no other way.
Abiding in Christ brings much joy.

Timm said...

That was a bit of a cheap shot Nate. Roland brought up love in response to Linda's comment about evil. Considering that, we are still in context with the original discussion.

Timm said...

Good thoughts Morris. That's exactly what I'm talking about when I say there is a middle ground. We can rejoice in the fact that God loves us. Not because we are lovable, but rather despite our "evil" nature.

Nator said...

Timm,
Sorry it wasn't meant to be a cheap shot, just a statement that it seems like anytime you start talking about the love of God it turns into the wrath of God.

Linda,
Just because I don't agree with the analogy doesn't mean I don't have spiritual insight. I believe this is what we are discussing over at my blog. Judging. You don't know me or my background and have only been talking to me for a few hours and a few sentences at a time, yet I am being judged by your standard.

Acacia said...

This is kinda off topic, but I sure am glad that this Washer person wasn't MY parent. If infants are so evil, why did Jesus make the comment about "unless you become like a little child you can't see the kingdom of heaven?" Yes, we are all born with a "sin nature" but how can one sin if they don't know it is sin? And are infants really capable of that sophisticated a thought?

John said...

Roland,
I left you a ton of links on xanga on this topic

John

layneh said...

We are all held accountable for our sin, no matter what. I think we can all agree on this.

My question is then that of an "age of accountability". In the baby example, no matter adult size or not, we must consider an age of accountability. These things are not of wisdom in this world, we cannot understand such things.

I might also suggest that we are not "born evil", but born into evil. I have seen no scripture posted to prove we are "born evil".

As fas as Christ speaking in Luke 11:13, we are evil because of our sin, and the disciples obviously reached such an age of accountability.

Lastly, Acacia: Christ is talking about the Faith like a child, not their human/sinful nature, it was all about their faith. (Luke 18:16-17)

Roland said...

So much to respond to and so many things to learn.
I'll do it randomly. Unless of course, God is making me do it this way. ;)

roland - You told me I need to repent, what do I need to repent of? For speaking up and telling you Biblical truth?

In Christ,
Linda

First, for hiding in shadows. At least you have a name. I so dislike anonymous people. So welcome.
And speaking the truth is fine. Just like using a flashlight to light a path is fine.
But when you wave the flashlight around and shine people in the face and annoy them, and are confused when they seem annoyed, it makes me wonder how well you use the flashlight.
(same analogy applies to using scriptures correctly)
So instead of making more "I'm right and you're wrong" comments (I include myself here) let's refocus.

You disagree about God believing us to be worthy.
You disagree that we are lovable.
I'm going to ask a difficult question, Linda. Difficult, because I want you to answer using your own words.
Why?

Nator - I like your style. It's too bad I had to work until late today. Thanks for saying I'm fair. A point of discussion cannot really be discussed if someone feels the need to moderate. I have yet seen a need to do that. I do get surprised all the time, though, so you never know.

WW - Great comment on the perspective causing us to call something good or evil. I wouldn't have thought of it myself.

John - I read up at least on monergism. I'm not quite sure where to go with that yet. My first instinct is that I don't like it, but I have been wrong before. Let me look into in more. And it could just be my perspective. :)

Craig - Thanks for the reminder. Sin is something we constantly battle with. Unfortunately, we think we can battle other peoples for them sometimes.

Timm - I don't think Nator was making a cheap shot. It was observant to notice the difference between seeing a glass as half full or half empty. Some people always seem to focus on the negative. Some focus on the positive more. I think Phillipians 4:8 says something about it. :)

Acacia - Good point about becoming like a little child. And maybe this Washer was beaten up by infants at one point and now holds a grudge? ;)

Layne - I like what you wrote, and want to study it more. But I still need some sleep. Thanks for something to help my thinking.

Just a couple of thoughts before bed.
1) What is sin?
I have always seen it as a separation of man and God.
It wasn't with us (race-wise)until we chose a path less travelled in the garden of Eden.

2) Is God selfish?

Roland said...

Nuts. I almost forgot Waynedawg.

Wayne. Are people lovable? And why are you so afraid of babies? ;) (humor man, lighten up)

MikeT said...

I am not sure that the baby's reaching for the gold jewelry can necessarily be called sinful. The baby may be just content to play with the jewelry while you're holding the baby.

Unfortunately for the baby, it's born a sinner, which means that by nature it is born evil. We forget that God also tells us, to paraphrase badly, that we wouldn't know true righteousness, like the sort that God has, unless it were shown to us in person.

WayneDawg said...

Roland -

I love babies; I was one myself once!

You said this in response to Joseph..

"Just because an infant would do something doesn't mean that it carries through into an adult."

I think we have prisons full of people who carried 'it' into adulthood.

The difference between us on the outside of prison and those on the inside is that we didn't break the law to the extent (or we were never caught)of going to prison.

What it all comes down to is this: have you broken God's Law? Just one of the Ten Commandments? That's enough to send you to an eternal hell. That's the wrath of God.

We can measure the depth of the love of God by looking at how He punishs sinful people. We all deserve death because all have sinned.

But God is rich in mercy and made a way for us to have our sins forgiven and spend eternity in Heaven with Him.

Repent and turn from your sins and put your trust in Christ to save you from God's wrath on the day of judgment.

WayneDawg said...

I meant Nator...not Roland.

Timm said...

"Timm - I don't think Nator was making a cheap shot. It was observant to notice the difference between seeing a glass as half full or half empty. Some people always seem to focus on the negative. Some focus on the positive more. I think Philippians 4:8 says something about it. :)"

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."--Phillipians 4:8

I hope that my contribution to this discussion is not remembered as the guy that said Nater took a cheap shot. I don't know if Nater meant it that way. Probably not, and I probably shouldn't even had said that.

The problem is that one camp sees the other as focused on negative. The fact that we are all sinners, (use the word "evil" if you want, it's the same thing,) is only a negative if you perceive it that way. I Don't. I can take that fact and turn it into a positive.

We are not lovable people Roland. Is that a negative statement for me to make? possibly. Here's why it's not:

We are not lovable, but God still loves us. We are evil, but God still loves us. we deserve nothing, but God still loves us. We rebel against him, But He still loves us. The positive belongs to God. He provided a way for us to commune with him, even though we are too filthy with sin to even stand in his presence.

The positive that we need to dwell on is a result of the negative. How can we truly appreciate the gift that God has given us if we never figure out that we don't deserve it?

I've got a feeling everyone on this comment thread agrees with me and we are just arguing semantics here.

Roland said...

Wayne,
I see you follow the way of the master stuff.
I like the way it starts, but it never seems to go further than that.
Okay, you've recognized you're a sinner.
Now what?

Timm,
I understand your point, but would beg to differ. Although we aren't necessarily deserving at all times in all ways of love, it doesn't make us unlovable.
Do you love your kids?
Completely setting aside whether or not they deserve it, are they ever lovable?
Don't you think God might look at us in the same way, at least a little?

Timm said...

A little yes, there has to be some level of lovable-ness to us, but I'm slow to try to attribute my lowly human emotions to God. That's opening up a whole can of worms that I don't want to get in to. The fact is that compared to his Perfectnes, we are dirt. We are dogs that rurn to their own vomit.

Point taken though.

Nator said...

Roland,

Sorry man, I just have to say this.

"We can measure the depth of the love of God by looking at how He punishs sinful people. We all deserve death because all have sinned."

What?

"For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it." John 3:16-17

That is how we measure the depth of His love.

Roland said...

Don't apologize to me Nator. Waynedawg is the one who wrote that. He was just aiming his response at something I said. Reread the comment and you'll see.
I'm almost hurt that you would think I'd say that. *sniff* ;)

I completely understand where you're coming from.

Joseph Albrecht said...

Roland-

The way of the master does not simply make people aware they're sinners and leave it at that. Their methods always rightly use God's moral law to make people first realize their sin, and then provide the Gospel thereafter. Your description of their methods is inaccurate. Ever wondered why they call it Way of the Master? Their use of the law is biblical.

Nator said...

Roland,

I didn't say that because I was directing the comment at you, but because I was keeping this whole thing going. I kind of felt guilty about that. But I am over it now. :")

Anonymous said...

nator - My favorite gospel is the gospel of John, but is has more than John 3:16-17. You forgot to mention John 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who soes not believe is condemned already, beacause he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." You never mention the full counsel of God, you pick what you like out of the Bible and ignore the parts you do not like.

In Christ,
Linda

WayneDawg said...

Nator - Oh, I so stand by what I said.....

"We can measure the depth of the love of God by looking at how He punishs sinful people. We all deserve death because all have sinned."

Linda proves this comment in John 3:18 by finishing the John 3:16 post you made.

Remember, context, context, context.

Roland said - "I see you follow the way of the master stuff.
I like the way it starts, but it never seems to go further than that.
Okay, you've recognized you're a sinner.
Now what?"

If that's all you got of of WOTM, then you didn't watch or hear enough.

The 'now what' is the whole point of having people admit their sinners. The 'now what' is the Gospel!! Which, by the way, is the whole reason they do what they do.

They are, as am I and I hope you are too, terrified that there are people, in mass numbers, dying and going to Hell every day. The reason their show exists is to tell people the 'now what'.

Dude........please listen more carefully or longer to their broadcasts; they live for the 'now what'.

Anonymous said...

nator - the depth of his love is shown or measured in the "He gave his ONLY son" part not in the "world" part. Have you ever thought of John 3:16 in that way?

In Christ,
Linda

Nator said...

Roland,

I am sorry again!

Linda,
Of course I have thought about he gave his only son. He did it because he LOVED us. I stand by the words I have written. If God's love is unconditional, then it is unconditional. As for context, you seem to forget that Jesus was speaking to the Pharasees in most of these passages. In this particular one, he is speaking to Nicodemus (a Pharasee) who is trying to figure out if Jesus is safe (according to himself and his fellow Pharasees). After this conversation he had to go back and tell the others that this Jesus is not safe. He wants to save everyone! Again, I look at the scripture in context.

Rachel said...

Wow, I have been missing out on a lot of interesting blog posts lately.

Roland, Hi. I have been missing in action lately, but I have been catching up on your blog. You posted something about following your heart. Here is a verse that someone pointed out to me a while back.

Jeremiah 17:9
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?


As to us being born evil. I would have to say yes. Maybe I am putting too much into logic here, but... Sin is evil, we are born sinners, and therefore we are born evil. We are evil until we are made clean, and we are made clean, because of the sacrifice of Christ, through the acceptance of Christ. I am not sure if that made sense.

That is my take on this.

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Nator- what kind of Bible are you using with this "if Jesus is safe" business? Should not those passages were Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees also apply to modern day Pharisees? Those passages could apply to anybody and for anytime - right?

In Christ,
Linda

Nator said...

Linda,

I don't think I have ever said "Jesus is safe." He is the one who calls us to work with the poor, take care of widows, love our enemies, love everyone. That is not a safe doctrine. My point has been that Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, who were trying to use their "righteousness" as a judge for everyone else. I am sorry that doesn't compute, but we have too many Pharisees running around here today.

WayneDawg said...

"In this particular one, he is speaking to Nicodemus (a Pharasee) who is trying to figure out if Jesus is safe (according to himself and his fellow Pharasees). After this conversation he had to go back and tell the others that this Jesus is not safe."

What?

He had to go back and tell the others that his Jesus is not safe?

What version of the Bible are you reading?

Nicodemus came at night so that the other Pharisees would not know about his meeting with Jesus. Nicodemus was searching for truth......and he found it!

One could almost argue that Nicodemus became a follower of Christ because of his actions at the end of the Gospel of John.

Nator said...

Waynedawg,

I see Nicodemus on a searching mission, not only for himself, but for the others around him. If he could just go back and tell them that Jesus is ok. But he can't do that, because Jesus doesn't cooperate. And that I believe is the point, Jesus doesn't cooperate with the Pharisees. If he had, he would have just propagated the religiousness of the day.
I believe my Bible is the same as yours, except I can be for sure, since I can see yours.

If you can only 'almost' argue that Nicodemus was a Christian at the end of the book, then you need to look harder. Those are the actions of a believer.

Nator said...

In the immortal words of Austin Powers: I'm spent!

I think we have gone as far as we can with this one. We are starting to re-hash issues. So until next time Roland, Adieu.

I'm not French so I don't know if I spelled that right.

Nator said...

Hi Brian,

Fancy that you should show up here since you will not allow us to post on your site.

Roland said...

Joseph - Could you tell me how that occurs? I honestly am curious. As I said, I have seen how Way of the Master starts and think there are some good things about it. I just don't see where it goes from there. Whatever you could point me to would be helpful.

Linda - John 3:18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
What things show if someone believes in the Son?
Saying, "Lord, Lord" ?
Maybe actions? (book of James)
Either way, I see some who show belief in the Son of God by their actions far more than I do when I just talk about Him.
I wonder if in their hearts they might not be like the Roman centurion listed in Acts.
If so, God was implicating that man was clean before Peter ever got to tell him about Jesus.
But then again, you'll probably label me a heretic for saying it.
Oh well. :)

Wayne - Okay, you tell them about Jesus. I know that. Then what?
I'm not getting my point across.
What kind of discipleship do they provide? (You're bad! Bad! Very Bad! Go confess some more!)
Or do they actually provide some kind of edification? (If they do, I just don't see it)
If they do provide edification, how?

Rachel - Thanks. "Who can understand the heart?"
Very good point.
It seems that Wayne, Linda and Joseph, and even yourself and myself at times think we know it.
I say that God alone knows.
We can encourage people to follow Jesus, or...
we can scare the 'hell' out of them.
Both can be effective.
But only one produces true love.
Wouldn't you agree?

Linda and Wayne (again) - Okay, you don't understand the "why" of Nicodemus asking questions of Jesus.
I can't help much there.
I can only ask you whether or not you have ever doubted God?

Doorman-Priest said...

I've come to this one far too late, but part of the issue is where does evil come from in the first place? (See Augustine and Irenaeus). If God is the creator of all that is, where has evil come from if we accept the utter holiness of God?

Free will doesn't answer it. I can only be free to chose evil if it is already there to be chosen. That being the case where did it come from?

Roland said...

Or maybe we should even define evil, Doorman.
Evil is something that isn't helpful?
Evil is something that isn't in line with what God would do?

I'm sure I'm being too narrow in my focus sometimes. And too broad at other times.

And thanks for your input. Have you read Ezekiel 28? Could some of that apply to Lucifer? And if (in the King James English) iniquity was found in him, how did it get there?
Did it get there just because of his comparing himself with others?
Let me know what you think.

WayneDawg said...

Roland said - " Okay, you tell them about Jesus. I know that. Then what?
I'm not getting my point across.
What kind of discipleship do they provide? (You're bad! Bad! Very Bad! Go confess some more!)
Or do they actually provide some kind of edification? (If they do, I just don't see it)
If they do provide edification, how?"

Ok - I see where you're coming from now.

I think we need to define what the work of an evangelist is versus the work of the church in relation to discipleship.

The work of the evangelist is to spread the seed of the Gospel. The evangelist tells the good news to whoever will listen. Some respond, some don't (Parable of the sower).

When those respond with repentence and trust in Christ (Born-again), they are told to join a Bible believing church and to start reading their Bibles everyday without fail. The local church is two-fold in purpose: To grow disciples in order to spread more Gospel seed. And so on and so forth.....

The reason the Way of the Master folks don't disciple per say as you indicated, is because they are Gospel seed spreaders. They are not a church.

Paul said, "I plant, Apollos waters, but only God can give the increase."

Once a new believer becomes involved in his daily Bible reading, praying and Bible study and sound preaching at the local church, he grows into a mature Christian through the increase that God gives him.

Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

roland -
here is my definition of evil: Evil is not a thing created by God, but a deconstructing of what God already created which originally was very good.

God did not create evil, but he knew beforehand His creation would become evil. Maybe we will never know why he foreordained evil to happen, since His ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. But yeah I do not think anybody can but help wonder WHY??? I know I do.

In Christ,
Linda

Acacia said...

Why do all evangelists think that eveyone is supposed to be an evangelist? Well, maybe that's being too stereotypical, but all the evangelists I've meet seem to think that everyone should be out there doing things the way they do. God has proven me to be more of a "waterer." A gentler approach that some would say isn't "bang'em over the head" enough. Can't you see that we are all doing our Master's work in the way that HE would have us?

Sorry for putting in my 2 cents. I'm new at this blog thing and this obviously isn't my arena. Peace and blessings to you all!!

Roland said...

Wayne,
Thanks for the enlightenment. It helps me understand the area you focus on. And though I don't always like the methods, I do understand your desire for those who haven't heard the name of Jesus.
But like I keep noticing, there are some who don't seem to know His name and seem to have a far better walk with Him than I do.

Linda,
Thanks for yet another definition of what evil is. I know that fits very well.

Acacia,
Thanks for being honest. I think Wayne was trying answer that he was an evangelist and explain how he went about it. I understand your frustration with that type of method. I don't really use it myself, but it doesn't mean it can't be useful at times.
Unfortunately, when we come across as those who 'have made it' and are offering 'it' to someone else on our own terms, we sometimes end up seeming condescending.
I don't think that's Wayne's intention.
I have a friend like that.
He sees everything as black and white.
When we know that there are plenty of shades of gray as well.
Anyway, even though Wayne and Linda seem to dislike my methods at times, I don't mind so much.
I use to be very much like that.
Thanks for your 2 cents.
It actually makes me think of a song and a post I have been wanting to make.
Thanks.

WayneDawg said...

Acacia - I didn't say that everyone should be a evangelist, I'm sorry if I came off that way.

What I mean to say is that the role of the church is to raise up disciples of Christ who have the means and the ways of telling others about Christ. When a disciple of Christ does that, they are evanagelizing (Sharing the Gospel). I absolutely know that not all are called to be evangelists. Some are called to be teachers, etc. But, we should all be sharing the Gospel every chance we get. Christ commanded us to do so.

Roland - I never said I dislike your methods; heck, I don't even know what your methods are.

I think when we share the Gospel we all may have our own way of presenting it. I choose to use the method that Jesus, Peter and Paul used.

Doorman-Priest said...

I like Wayne's approach, but I'm with Acacia. The spirit gives us different gifts for the building up of the church and some are clearly called to be evangelists, but not all. I am called to be a pastor, but there will be occasions where evangelism is expected of me, but that will require extra grace.

Nevertheless, that is not a get out of jail free card: I am still expected to live out my daily witness in the critical gaze of others.

Evangelism/witness: two sides of the same coin. We are expected to live out a faith that attracts others.

P.S. I wish I could get a string of comments this long on my blog. OPEN INVITATION: come and visit.