Puritan Gems

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Let the Dead Bury the Dead

There are two opposing schools of thought concerning evangelism. The modern pragmatist holds that it is the duty of the church to change it methods (as well as it's message) in order to meet the "felt needs" of the unsaved. There are even churches who send out questionaires asking unbelievers what it would take to get them into church. Such methods may be good for growing large churches, but that's all that they are good for. Dead people (Ephesians 2:1) are a poor judge of their own needs.

According to the Scriptures, it is the unbeliever who needs to be changed, it is the gospel that effects such change, and it is the "foolishness of preaching" that God has ordained as the means by which this gospel is spread. Try as we might, we cannot improve upon God's methods or His message.

Concern for the lost does not mean that we should capitulate to their excuses. They should serve Christ, and there is no excuse for them not to serve Christ (Romans 1:20). Every unbeliever has a self-justified reason why they don't serve Christ. For some, the church doesn't entertain them enough. For others, there are too many "hypocrites" in the church. Still others may justify their unbelief through science or philosophy. Whatever the reason, we must approach the sinner with the idea that he needs to be born of the Spirit of God, not the idea that we need to satisfy his excuses. Our Lord's response to excuses was sharp and pointed. "Let the dead bury the dead" (Matthew 8:22).


jazzycat said...

Very good! It is amazing the things you hear from professing Christians on this subject. It makes you wonder if any Biblical teaching is getting through.

Puritan Lad said...

Exactly. When I constantly hear "we're not changing the message, just the methods", I just have to shake my head and wonder if we have the same Bibles. We've changed both, and have no business changing either.

Anonymous said...

I agree the method IS the message.

The medium can change, ie, we type things more then we write them ,but that is not intrinsic of being a witness.

Our lives and our mouths have been the same for the last thousands of years and they will remain that way until the Lord comes back.

Paul tried to be "relevant" to the group in athens, it didnt go over well. The spirit guides us into situations, its our responsibility to have the same consistent message.

Puritan Lad said...

Thanks for the comment Dave. Don't mean to ignore you, but shoveling snow and atheist Albert have been keeping me busy.