WHAT SAVES? - THE POWER OF GOD OR THE SENSITIVE WAY?
By Paul Proctor
January 10, 2007
Christian Post reporter, Lillian Kwon, poses a dialectic question for our consideration in her January 4th article, "Is Christianity Insensitive to Other Religions?"
Now I ask you - Does the question sound like something that advances a biblical principle or a U.N initiative? Unfortunately, this is the direction of the dialectic church and many of its missionaries today - steering Christians and their proselytes toward that one-world religion of tolerance, diversity and unity you've read so much about in this column.
A dialectic question, usually offered by change agents and facilitators in a group setting, is designed to present a false and distracting premise in order to encourage dialog between opposing positions with a predetermined outcome in mind - which, more often than not, involves the compromise of absolutes and the advancing of an alternative agenda. Whether or not Christianity is insensitive to other religions is beside the point - and frankly, it is an absurd and dangerously deceitful question that puts the bold and courageous presentation of the Gospel under a dark cloud of doubt - suggesting Christians should be more broadminded and less critical of that which contradicts the Word of God.
The Post article begins this way:
Christian missionaries travel across the world to preach Jesus Christ as the way, the truth and the life. Indigenous people of foreign lands, however, question the bold Christian approach with some calling it "insensitive."
Let's just stop right here. Where does scripture say that the preaching the Gospel should be carried out in a "sensitive" manner? The word "sensitive" doesn't even appear in the Bible - at least not in any version I searched. The words "bold" and "boldly" do appear though, numerous times in the New Testament and almost always refer to the preaching of God's Word. The Gospel only becomes sensitive when it is leavened with liberal tolerance and global values.
"People asked 'Are you really going all the way across the world to ask people to change from their Buddhist way and become Christian?'" Steve Bailey, associate professor at Alliance Theological Seminary in metro New York, recalled during a seminar last week at Urbana 2006.
That's precisely what preaching repentance does! It calls on idolaters to, among other things, forsake their false gods! Real evangelism doesn't encourage the mere adding of Jesus Christ to one's Buddhist beliefs; it literally turns people from rebellious religions and foolish philosophies to the only begotten Son of God! I'm sure there would be a lot fewer martyrs if the Gospel of Christ was not exclusive and idolatry was tolerated by missionaries as just another acceptable lifestyle or cultural preference. How many do you think have suffered persecution, imprisonment and death for simply saying, "Jesus loves you" to a Buddhist, Hindu or Muslim? Very few, I'm sure. But, how about those who have dared to call for their repentance, proclaiming Jesus Christ as the only way to eternal life? And, which of these two vastly different approaches did Jesus, John the Baptist and the leaders of the early church practice?
Bailey, who served as a missionary in Southeast Asia for 17 years, had asked a native what they thought about Christians.
Whoa! Hold it right there! That's another dialectic diversion. It doesn't matter what Southeast Asians think about Christians - it's irrelevant! We're not called to be loved but rather to love; and as I've written many times before, telling someone the truth is the most loving thing you can do for them. Jesus already warned us that we would be hated by the world because of Him. If we concern ourselves with what the world thinks of us, we'll never preach the Gospel, will we?
Such questions only redirect everyone's attention away from the uncompromising Word of God and Jesus' demand for obedience, toward the cordial and cooperative establishing and maintaining of harmony and better human relationships among diverse beliefs and cultures from around the world. In other words, it shifts the emphasis away from the vertical, Heavenly and eternal to the horizontal, earthly and temporal, implying the latter is more important than the former - and to the new world order crowd, it is.
"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." - James 4:4
Missionaries are typically told to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth, but many times, that Christian mandate impedes on the other people group's culture and religion.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is designed to impede on the world's sinful cultures and rebellious religions. In fact, I'd call such intrusions a victory, wouldn't you?
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - Matthew 10:34
You see, the false premise being subtly suggested here by Mr. Bailey is that the "Christian mandate" may not be proper for missionaries. But those who accept this satanic counsel are, for all practical purposes, being silenced into submission and rendered useless to the cause of Christ, becoming pleasers of men rather than pleasers of God.
"But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts." - 1st Thessalonians 2:4
Hussam Fakhoury of International Fellowship of Evangelical Students is an Arab Christian from Jordan. When Christians preach that Jesus died on the cross or about the triune God to the Muslim world, he says that's being "insensitive."
No, Hussam, that's being obedient...
"Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine." - 2nd Timothy 4:2
"Many times we don't model Christ," Fakhoury told a room full of mainly North American students aspiring to serve as missionaries.
True - but that doesn't mean we are to set aside the Word of God and just act like Christians, hoping the lost will somehow get the message and heed the call to repentance and faith in Christ. Furthermore, I'd love to know what Fakhoury thinks the "model" of Christ looks like - a quiet, submissive, compliant and effeminate Jesus maybe? Something tells me, his Jesus is vastly different from the Bible's - something of a new age savior who loves and accepts everyone and everything unconditionally. Suffice it to say, stifling the presentation of the Gospel in the interest of global unity is certainly not the model of Christ.
"Being tolerant and sensitive doesn't mean to compromise the truth," Fakhoury clarified.
In light of his other remarks, I'd also love to hear what his definition of "truth" is. Even if it is consistent with that of scripture, there is no Divine call to withhold it in order to spare someone's feelings or traditions. What would be the eternal value of that? I would much rather offend someone with the truth to help clarify the way to Heaven than coddle and comfort them with the corrupt quietness of conciliation and compromise on their way to Hell.
"The power of a Christian life," said Bailey, "is always a sensitive way to communicate the gospel."
It is not the "sensitive way" of a Christian's life that saves the lost, but rather the Power of God through the foolishness of preaching - the very thing Hussam Fakhoury, in all his worldly wisdom, is suggesting should be avoided.
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God�For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." - 1st Corinthians 1:18,21
Shame on you Christian Post for publishing such perilous poppycock!
You deserve the same response Jesus gave Peter who rebuked the Lord for saying He must "suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day:"
"�Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men." - Matthew 16:23
� 2007 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print.
E-Mail: [email protected]�
dialectic question, usually offered by change agents and facilitators
in a group setting, is designed to present a false and distracting premise
in order to encourage dialog between opposing positions with a predetermined