Sunday, September 2, 2012

Acts 1&2 Andy Evangelism

Acts 1&2
Notes from today are here
Power Point from today is here

An Andy Rant:

Evangelism can be misunderstood and misapplied. When ones theology is off, one can expect to find frustration and be unfruitful in the why and how of what we do. Evangelism as a term has significant cultural connotations and we have reached a point where "sharing the Gospel" and communicating Truth have become two different things. Communicating the Truth is just that, getting someone to understand what is true about something. When I teach math I communicate in a way that people understand what I am saying and learn what I am trying to teach. When a student can work problems out for themselves, I have communicated effectively to them. However, when it comes to sharing the Gospel words like "program," "methodology," "tools" become somewhat taboo because we want to see authentic life transformation not simply conceding that an argument has been lost, or trying to close the deal by getting someone to repeat the sinners prayer, or make sure our spiritual conversation gets to the Gospel. So in our effort to steer clear of "methods" we steer clear of our responsibility to Evangelize. While at first method abstinence and authentic life transformations sound great are are pursued with good intentions, they are actually counter productive to the mission. The fact of the matter is Paul cared about methodology. He relates to the Jews completely differently than he relates to the Greeks. He uses the Bible when dealing with the Jews and Logic and philosophy when dealing with the Greeks. Why? Because like any good teacher, Paul always understood his audience. Consider Paul in his 1st letter to the Corinthians:

For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. 
And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; 
To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. 
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 

I Cor 9:20 - 22

When we communicate Truth we have to understand our audience. What has changed in our audience in the last 20 years? Our audience in our world today has some interesting trends. More young people are unchurched. More young people come from broken homes than whole homes. More people are open to Spirituality. More people like Jesus but reject the Church. More people know less about the Bible. More people believe in self and science over God. More people believe that Christianity is the problem, not the solution. More people believe that Truth and Religion cannot be the same.

With the above trends in place, the value of the personal relationship, the understanding and deliverance of apologetics becomes essential. But we are trying to witness to a lost world with a Christian base that does not know their Bible, do not know how history supports Christianity or how science supports the Bible. Therefore the world is left with every reason to reject our faith.

I would not have you ignorant brotheren...- Paul's favorite phrase

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