The Gospel a hate crime?
Welcome to the 21st Century. How is it possible that the good news of the Gospel can be considered a hate crime?
Breaking Down The Barriers: Transforming Our Relationships With Seekers
In our zeal to provide biblical answers to alternative spiritualities and hammer out a defense of the faith to non-Christians, we may pound our listeners to pieces in the process. By focusing only on answers, responses, and explanations, its easy to start treating non-Christians as if they were mere things or objects that is, projects we are working on. People pick up on this. Its depersonalizing and offensive, and they get turned off to us, not to mention to our message.
The Relevance of Christianity
One of the duties of Christian apologetics is that of making a case for the faith. We can prepare ourselves for such opportunities by memorizing many facts about our faith, such as evidences for the reliability of the Bible and the truth of the resurrection, the existence of God or the logical consistency of Christian doctrines. While these are important components, such things can seem very remote from people today. They will not do much good in our apologetics if people are not listening. The age-old questions continue to haunt us: Where did I come from? Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing? Where am I going? Am I significant in a universe that sees me as just one more piece of cosmic dust? Is there any intrinsic meaning to my existence? Or must I determine for myself what my place and role will be?
What Christianity Is About
Christians have to be able to communicate to the rest of the world. We've got to be able to make coherent sense of our message, even before we demonstrate that our message is actually true..
Is The Sinner’s Prayer Effective?
The “Sinner’s Prayer” is not found anywhere among the cases of conversion in the book of Acts in the New Testament, nor is there a single instance of any sinner instructed to pray for their salvation. On the contrary sinners were admonished to ‘repent and be baptized’. So please bear this in mind when you read some of the following articles.
Who Are ‘Missionaries’?
Foremost is the idea that there are only a few select, spiritually elite, individuals who are called to be “missionaries.” These, we are told, fulfill a very special role in the body of Christ and often at great peril to themselves. To bolster this idea, we hear some saying, “Not everyone can go, but most can give, and certainly all can pray.” At first, this appears to be just another way of saying that there is room for everyone to be involved in the kingdom of God, albeit in different ways. Consequently, it sounds quite biblical. It’s not.
Secrets Of Evangelism
Perhaps the most overlooked fact by those who strive to fulfill the Great Commission is that God is the greatest evangelist of all, and we are supposed to be working with Him, not for Him
Breaking The Silence
Why is it so hard to say those first few words about the most important Person in my life? Why do I hesitate to pass along the best news I have ever heard? Is there anything that will help me to do the very thing I want so much to do—to tell others that I have found a way of surviving death, living forever, being forgiven of my sins, and exploring the goodness of God forever?
Practical Advice for Sharing Your Faith
Some short but practical pointers.
Avoiding Christian Clichés
I'm not sure if it is a blessing or a curse that the great truths of Scripture can fit onto a T-shirt, badge or car sticker. Or more commonly, on a notice-board outside a church. Clichés often presume to be clever, and they claim to communicate, but they usually have no substance. They're like the white-washed tombs Jesus spoke about: they look beautiful on the outside, but inside there's nothing of value.
While the following articles are not a comprehensive How-To on sharing your faith with people from various belief systems, It is hoped that they will perhaps give you a nudge in the right direction, providing some help and guidelines.
Sharing the Messiah With Your Jewish Friends
The Old Testament (Tenach) and the feasts of Israel are so essential to our faith and plainly teach about Yeshua (Jesus). Unfortunately, many Jewish people have missed the fulfillment of the Jewish customs and traditions by their Messiah Yeshua.
How to Talk to a Theological Liberal (If You Must)
What do I mean by theologic liberal? Unfortunately, what they believe will vary greatly depending one what axe each individual has to grind. In fact, the term "theological" is misleading, since many I have conversed with are essentially naturalists. The best way to describe them is that they associate themselves to Jesus or Paul or the Bible, but in a way that distorts the essential message. They use Bible passages for their purposes which conveniently look like they may support the liberal's axe grinding, yet they dismiss anything which they don't like as myth.
Sharing the Bible With New Agers
New Agers, on the other hand, not only disregard the Bible's claim to be uniquely inspired by God -- they don't even show it the respect any piece of literature deserves: to be understood objectively, on its own terms. This is because they approach it with biases derived from the authorities they do respect: intuition and experience. Because they have drunk from the well of mystical and psychic experience, and because they have become immersed in the occult teachings drawn from that well, New Agers usually accept only those ideas that seem to confirm their own intuitions.
Evangelizing New Agers
Christians are called to proclaim the true gospel of Jesus Christ to New Agers by developing appropriate evangelistic strategies. This article will make some suggestions along these lines. But first it will be helpful to summarize the New Age world view. (Biblical references which are helpful in refuting these ideas also follow).
Dialoguing with Atheists
No one is born an atheist. People choose to become atheists as much as they choose to become Christians. And no matter how strenuously some may try to deny it, atheism is a belief system. It requires faith that God does not exist.
Sharing Your Faith with Mormons
Remember that they view you as the one with the defective belief system. You have only the Bible (which accounts for your "limited" understanding) while they have additional light from their other scriptures, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. Beyond this, they also have the teachings of their prophets.
Reaching Catholics for Christ
The better you understand Roman Catholicism, the better you will be able to effectively communicate the gospel to Catholics.
Reaching the Catholic with the Gospel
The greatest obstacle to the Gospel is silence. By remaining silent and hoping that our Christian life will testify for itself we fail to keep the Lord’s commandment. The commandment, “go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” means to go and speak the Word to the Catholic! The majority of Nuns and Priests and former Catholics that I know who have been saved out of Catholicism all testify to the fact that no Bible believer ever approached them about their salvation. Christ’s commandment to give the good news is a commandment, not a request
Sharing Your Faith With Muslims
Muslims form the largest bloc of unreached people in our world today. Missiologists estimate that one out of every five people on earth—more than 1.2 billion—now ascribe to the Islamic faith. Therefore they conclude that the premier task of the Church today is to give an effective witness for Jesus Christ to these lost souls.
Witnessing to Muslims
If we exhibit any form of cultural superiority, religious triumphalism, or selective amnesia concerning the sins of the West, perceived as Christian, we only make matters worse. More to the point, the denigration of Islam as a religion or slurs against its founder, Muhammad, will not be tolerated. Working with Muslims calls for an especially sensitive approach. Thus, although I will address apologetic issues later in this series, it is first of all important for Christians to know something about how to approach Muslims.
Evangelism To Muslims
It is on Jesus that our efforts to win Muslims must focus. Jesus Christ lies inevitably at the heart of the Christian-Muslim encounter. He is the bridge between the two faiths. But it is not by argumentation that Muslims will be won to Christ. Conversions through sheer reasoning are rare. The key to this seeming paradox is given by Samuel Zwemer (1867-1952), the great Christian missionary to Islam. Based on a lifetime of labor and reflection, Zwemer concluded, "After forty years’ experience, I am convinced that the nearest way to the Muslim heart is the way of God’s love."
Witnessing To Hindus
American Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore Hinduism. Not only are one million of its roughly eight million adherents living in the United States, but the beliefs and practices of Hinduism (e.g., pantheism, reincarnation, and yoga) have deeply penetrated Western culture. Background information for understanding Hindus and six specific suggestions that will help facilitate meaningful dialogue with them.
Breaking The Bah’ai Code
Many Baha'is have embraced the Baha'i system in large part because of the claim that the Baha'i Faith is a religion composed of the teachings that are common to all the major world religions. This is a compelling reason, indeed, if true. The Baha'i Faith sees itself as a kind of collection of common teachings from all the major world religions. More importantly, many Baha'is see this alleged unity as strong evidence for the authenticity of the Baha'i Faith. If this evidence can be effectively challenged, then perhaps some Baha'is will rethink their commitment to the Baha'i Faith.
Witnessing To Rastafarians
The word “Rastafarianism” often calls to mind the stereotypical images of dreadlocks (long braids or natural locks of hair), ganja (marijuana), the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, and the reggae rhythms of Bob Markley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer. But all or none of these elements may apply to the religious reality of individual Rastafarians, as Rastas may also shave their heads, eschew marijuana, and live in a locale far removed from Jamaica.
Reaching the World That Has Come to Us
Every year approximately half a million students from virtually every nation on earth are enrolled in the colleges and universities of the U.S., more than in any other country! The presence of these future world leaders constitutes one of the most strategic missions opportunities for the church today.