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There was such great discussion in the last article, My Twitter Conversation with a Pastor about Doctrine and Truth. Thanks to all who participated. The comments continue to come in. In the comments of that post, I mentioned how those who evangelize (ie, door-to-door or street evangelism) sometimes say the reason they experience conflict with others when witnessing is because the Bible says that the cross is foolish to those who are perishing. I then commented that this verse often encourages them that they are doing it right when people are disturbed by their message. In my former church, I can picture the pastor smiling about this as if it was a victory. He was a fool for Christ. Yet, in my mind, I didn’t see love. Another related post is False Teachers: The Hard Gospel and Grace.
I also mentioned the “free” car washes our church had. This comes from the website:
During the summers, on designated Saturdays, we wash cars for free, no donations accepted. While the cars get washed, the gospel is proclaimed to the drivers and passengers! (Source)
Cars lined up and were actually hemmed in as the car owners and passengers became a captive audience to listen to an evangelistic message whether they liked it or not. They could not leave until the car in front of them left. Church members were all on board with this ministry effort. It never sat right with me. My husband and kids participated in these car wash “outreaches” by holding signs at street corners, washing cars, etc. If the sign said, “Free Car Wash and Evangelistic Spiel,” then my feelings would be different on the subject.
I really appreciated Gary’s comment:
Yes, the Bible says “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing. . . .” (1 Corinthians 1:18a, ESV). However, Jesus says “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13, ESV). Jesus laid down his life on the cross. The word/message of the cross IS love.
I wish to be careful here, but it may well be that some (many?) of those who use the Corinthians 1:18 passage as a pretext for acting in unloving ways are, in fact, perishing. That they would redefine the meaning of love is simply a red flag warning of their great danger. A good tree does not produce bad fruit. Matthew 12:33. Hateful conduct is NEVER the fruit of love. Unfortunately, if my assessment is correct, it is likely also correct that those who are so perishing will be among the most difficult to evangelize.
Ok, going out on a limb here. I am surely to ruffle some feathers with this post and will most likely get to add more names to my running list of negative names people call me here: Negative Responses. But this is something that I just cannot get settled in my mind. The video which follows came highly recommended on my Twitter feed. I watched it. I read the comments. They did not match up with what I was feeling. I just did not feel the love.
Many of you know that I am trying to sift through the rubble of what certain pastors spoon-fed me. I’m trying to see if these actions/ideas/beliefs are of God or not. This is part of that rubble. Help a girl out. Take a look at this. I couldn’t watch the whole thing. I skimmed ahead and it was the same stuff. I skimmed further – still same stuff.
The same ol’ stuff went on for more than 40 minutes. F.O.R.T.Y freakin’ minutes. It made me have a lot of questions: What fruit did it produce? Did it produce love? What message did it send? Were people changed by this exchange? Did it cause anyone to seriously take a look at what they were doing? Did it save lives? Did it connect with anyone on an emotional level? Furthermore, it was recorded. Why was it recorded? Did they get permission to record these strangers? Who did this benefit? Was God honored and glorified?
My main question is this: is this love?
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On the flip side, if that video does not look like love to you, what does love look like when dealing with moms and dads who are facing an unwanted pregnancy?
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