Thursday, July 06, 2006

An Idol Called Evangelism

I have finished listening to a sermon on Evangelism by Pastor Roy Hargrave, An Idol Called Evangelism (link here). I have to agree. For some time now I have noticed within the sacred halls of the Southern Baptist denomination, a new fight is underway. Now that the Scriptures have been wrested from the theological liberals of the denomination and inerrancy has won the day, fundamentalist conservatives have begun to turn their guns on the Calvinists.

For some time now, Calvinists have been given a pass that as long as they are willing to evangelize, then unity will be granted. Since Calvinists are not seen as being able to evangelize and "win" people to Christ through Finneyite methods, they are seen as enemies of the faith. In other words, it is not truth and a doctrinally sound presentation of the Gospel that is needed for unity, it is just having the right motives and big numbers that gains favor within the denomination. If it is not a Billy Graham crusade bringing "mega" peoples to Christ, then it is not really evangelization.

There is a reason that Calvinistic theology is the front or the hill to die on for many Southern Baptist ministers. It is those who hold to a Biblically sound view of the Gospel that threatens to undo many of their methods. A Calvinist would certainly not use a Fire Engine in a baptistry to attract children. It is painfully obvious to the Calvinist that the modern Finneyite methods of evangelism are causing the biggest problems for the SBC. Numbers may look impressive on paper for the denomination, but as Jim Elliff points out in an article that having several baptisms per person to gain one convert is not real evangelism.

There are many within the SBC who want to see true Reformation come to their churches and denomination. Only Biblically sound preaching will be able to bring this about. Will the Falwell types continue on the road to self implosion all the while fooling themselves that their Mega-churches are successful? Shallow converts bring about shallow Christians who may not be true Christians at all. I suppose only time will tell.

My opinion is that those who are attempting to bring Reformation to their churches be patient and steadfast. History has shown that by remaining consistent in sound preaching will the Spirit bless His Word and our faithful work in proclaiming that same Word.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a great article.

Great. The messages you gave at Youth Week were very powerfull.

I am working with Youth fro Christ in Botswana.

Was looking for you on facebook.

God bless you.

George Steinbach