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Creation evangelism in Japan


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#1
shiloh357

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Creation evangelism in Japan

 

Great encouragement, 11 years on.

http://creation.com/...vangelism-japan

 

by Don Batten

Published: 13 February 2014 (GMT+10)

 

11 years on, the positive impact of the creation message is obvious. But sadly, western theology, often brought in by ‘conservative evangelical’ missionary organisations, undermines the spread of the Gospel.

 
 
A recent ministry opportunity in Okinawa, Japan, was a tremendous encouragement, as well as a first hand demonstration of what happens when a church ‘picks up the ball and runs with it’ in using creation teaching in church life and outreach. But it also highlighted a huge problem coming from the West in the form of ‘help’ offered in theological education.

 

The Japanese ministry came at the end of an Asian tour which started with an all-day CMI conference in Singapore with three of my colleagues.1 It was attended by over 300 mainly young professionals, and there was tremendous enthusiasm and positive feedback. Then Dr John Hartnett and I held seminars in Hong Kong and ML China via interpreters. Following that, I went on alone to Japan. This was a return invitation from the Naha Baptist Church (NBC) in Okinawa, which I had visited some 11 years ago as part of a more extensive Japan tour (this was my third visit to Japan).

 

NBC is the lead church of the Okinawa Baptist Convention (OBC) of 40 churches. It was quite a bit smaller 11 years ago, but today typically has ~300 attending Sunday a.m. service, with a good proportion of men and young people, which is unusual for Japan. In fact, churches often really struggle in this country.

 

About 70 attended the five teaching sessions, with nearly all staying for all the sessions. Toru Yasui, of Bible and Creation, Japan, in addition to translating all my talks, presented one of the seminar sessions, as well as to high school youth of the church during the all-age Sunday School (on how their school textbooks get it wrong on evolution).

 

There were lots of people expressing a heart-felt appreciation for the teaching. At the end, a lady took my hand, with a beaming smile and in faltering English said how today had given her a completely new way of thinking about things; “new glasses”. She was absolutely delighted and her heart-felt sharing was very encouraging to me. It reminded me of the time in my own life when I realized that I could actually believe what the Bible said about the Creation, Fall and Flood; it was almost like being born again … again.

 

The following especially encouraged me. Apparently it was from my visit to this church 11 years ago that the senior pastor and others realized the importance of creation evangelism (as per Acts 17 with Paul in Athens) to reaching the Japanese people with the Gospel. (One of the leadership team back then had repented in front of others of his unbelief of that portion of the Bible, a very big thing to do in that culture.)

 

They have consciously applied and developed what I taught back then and NBC has grown significantly since; with new, larger buildings needed, and a substantial increase in pastoral staff. I remember the senior pastor, Rev. Mamoru Kuniyoshi, being excited at the time, but to see the application since is incredibly encouraging. The senior pastor is part of a small fellowship of Japanese pastors who promote creation evangelism in Japan (one member from a Presbyterian background on the main island of Honshu visited us in Brisbane on two occasions to follow up on ideas for creation evangelism and started a new church, by conversions, in a Shinto stronghold of Japan, using creation evangelism principles).

 

A church culture of creation evangelism

 

Although other factors have no doubt been important in contributing to NBC’s growth, congregations which doubt the truth and authority of the Word of God are much more likely to be ‘hobbled’ from the get-go. Creation apologetics has clearly become part of the church’s culture. During the all-age Sunday School, before the main worship service, the adult class (about 100 people) was addressed by a lady who had been to Grand Canyon recently and she was explaining, using her own photos in Powerpoint, how Grand Canyon was a monument to the biblical flood of Noah. This warmed my heart to see this.

.

Also, a medical doctor who is a member of the church translated Stones and Bones, Dr Wieland’s booklet-sized introduction to the creation/evolution controversy, into Japanese (CMI’s Creation Answers Book, Refuting Evolution, and Starlight, Time and the New Physics are also now available in Japanese, thanks to the efforts of Toru Yasui).

 

There is good cooperation among churches on Okinawa and the OBC is the largest Christian group, so it is quite influential, with other churches interested in what NBC and the other churches of the OBC are doing with creation evangelism. NBC had organized a seminar especially for pastors of other churches for the Monday morning, with Toru Yasui.

 

It is all extremely encouraging; even exciting, for the future witness to Christ in Okinawa and in the rest of Japan.

 

I also had a couple of hours teaching at a small church near Narita airport (fitted into an 8-hour layover between flights from Okinawa and to Australia). The pastor and his wife started this church in their lounge room a few years ago and they have now acquired the property next door to accommodate the growing congregation. On a Monday afternoon about 25 parents and children crowded in to take in the teaching, eagerly taking notes (my translator here was Minoru Usami, of Genesis Japan, who produced the beautiful Old Testament genealogy poster). Again, this pastor is growing a church using creation evangelism, as is Minoru Usami (in another part of Japan south of the tsunami disaster area).

 

The need to unpoison the well

 

All this (and more) is happening in a country where western missionaries tell us repeatedly that people are quite unreceptive to the Gospel!

People are receptive, however, when the Bible is taught from the beginning to establish God as the Creator of all first! How can people understand their need for forgiveness, and a saviour, if they have no concept that God created them, so that they are accountable to Him? Or who will judge them for their sin if there is no Creator-God to whom they will be held accountable? And how can they trust the Bible on salvation if they can’t trust its history in Genesis, so foundational to the Gospel, of how sin and death entered the world?

 

An American missionary in Okinawa attended the Saturday sessions of the seminar at NBC. He appreciated the biblical creation message being delivered. He shared how he uses Firm Foundations: Creation to Christ (New Tribes Mission) in church planting/evangelism, and that it is effective (it uses a creation evangelism approach). Firm Foundations is now available in Japanese, which is great. He also shared how he had read material from Dr Hugh Ross (a well-known ‘old-earth’ or ‘progressive’ creationist) and it had confused him. However, he could not accept Dr Ross’s idea that Noah’s Flood was local (which is essential for all who try to marry the ‘geological ages’ of millions of years with Genesis), and so he was glad to know of Dr Sarfati’s Refuting Compromise. This deals comprehensively with Dr Ross’s false teaching about the Flood and the age of the earth, all the while claiming to be ‘conservative’ on Genesis. Sadly, Ross’s books are available in Japanese. This sort of confusion is quite destructive of Gospel witness, as the following experience underlines.

 

Back in 2002 a young missionary with one of the largest missionary societies working in Japan contacted CMI-Australia in Brisbane to ask about the possibility of having a speaker come to train the missionaries in creation evangelism, the approach now making such a difference. This missionary had recognized that, under the influence of Shinto/Buddhist religion, reinforced by the secular education system that teaches cosmic evolution, Japanese people had little concept of a Creator-God. Originally, the Shinto religion had a concept of a supreme Creator, but this has been lost.2 In Shinto-ism today there are millions of ‘gods’ (kami), but these are really ancestral spirits that have nothing to do with the origin of the universe or humans, and certainly won’t be judging anyone for their sins. And of course Buddhism in its purest form is really a type of atheism, compatible with evolution.3 However, when the hierarchy of the missionary organization got wind of the plans, the young missionary was told that it would not happen and he had to cancel the planned training.

 

Unfortunately, many missionaries are trained in institutions that depreciate the early chapters of Genesis as non-historical, or not important, and they then carry that baggage with them to the mission field. And here is a serious problem for the church in countries where the Gospel witness is beginning to grow in a serious manner; the evil influence of western theology that has been evolution-compromised. Often our brothers and sisters in Christ in Africa, South America, and the Orient look to ‘western’ seminaries for theological education. Sadly, many western theological institutions do not honour the word of God from the beginning. They advocate all manner of views except those of Jesus and the Apostles, that Genesis was written as straightforward history; the historical basis of the Gospel—the real man Adam brought death and suffering into God’s very good creation and the “last Adam” Jesus Christ brought life through his suffering and death on behalf of the lost descendants of Adam.

 

The unbelief regarding the historicity of Genesis promoted by even supposedly conservative missionary groups (some of the best known ‘big name’ organisations) could destroy the work of the Gospel in these countries as surely as it has done it in the once-Christian ‘West’. There are undoubtedly well-meaning people within the institutions that are causing this damage—they have often sacrificed a lot to be on the mission field—but they lack an understanding of what damage they are doing.

 

Our brothers and sisters in the newly Christian countries should look at the growing decadence of the West and realize where it has come from; it has come from the pathetic weakness of the church. And this, in turn, has come from the church’s desire to accommodate the secular creation myth (evolutionism with its mythical billions of years). As Josef Ton, a Romanian Baptist pastor imprisoned for his faith, said: “I came to the conclusion that there are two factors which destroyed Christianity in Western Europe. One was the theory of evolution, the other, liberal theology …. Liberal theology is just evolution applied to the Bible and our faith.” And a secular commentator said something similar: “I myself have little doubt that in England it was [uniformitarian, long-ages] geology and the theory of evolution that changed us from a Christian to a pagan nation.”

 

I’m sure we all know of young people with a ‘fire in their belly’ to share the Gospel who have gone off to seminary to get trained for Gospel ministry, but when they come out the fire has been well and truly quenched. Confidence in God’s Word is necessary for that zeal for the Lord that drives evangelism. Without it, the fire will go out.

 

Please stand with us in strengthening the arm of our brothers and sisters in these other countries to stand firm on the authority of God’s Word from the beginning, and thus continue to be effective in sharing the Gospel with those who are perishing.

 

Please pray for Japan, that God will multiply the work of Christians like Rev. Kuniyoshi, Toru Yasui, and Minoru Usami (and there are many others), and that more Christian leaders will come to understand the approach needed. This ‘back-to-foundations’ approach is also increasingly needed in the once-Christian countries of ‘The West’ too, where godless ideas of cosmic evolution extinguish belief in a hands-on Creator. Without such a Creator, there is simply no need for the Saviour.



#2
Sheniy

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NBC is the lead church of the Okinawa Baptist Convention (OBC) of 40 churches. It was quite a bit smaller 11 years ago, but today typically has ~300 attending Sunday a.m. service, with a good proportion of men and young people, which is unusual for Japan.

Okay, I just have to say that this is awesome. :D



#3
Enoch2021

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Creation evangelism in Japan

 

Great encouragement, 11 years on.

http://creation.com/...vangelism-japan

 

by Don Batten

Published: 13 February 2014 (GMT+10)

 

11 years on, the positive impact of the creation message is obvious. But sadly, western theology, often brought in by ‘conservative evangelical’ missionary organisations, undermines the spread of the Gospel.

 
 
A recent ministry opportunity in Okinawa, Japan, was a tremendous encouragement, as well as a first hand demonstration of what happens when a church ‘picks up the ball and runs with it’ in using creation teaching in church life and outreach. But it also highlighted a huge problem coming from the West in the form of ‘help’ offered in theological education.

 

The Japanese ministry came at the end of an Asian tour which started with an all-day CMI conference in Singapore with three of my colleagues.1 It was attended by over 300 mainly young professionals, and there was tremendous enthusiasm and positive feedback. Then Dr John Hartnett and I held seminars in Hong Kong and ML China via interpreters. Following that, I went on alone to Japan. This was a return invitation from the Naha Baptist Church (NBC) in Okinawa, which I had visited some 11 years ago as part of a more extensive Japan tour (this was my third visit to Japan).

 

NBC is the lead church of the Okinawa Baptist Convention (OBC) of 40 churches. It was quite a bit smaller 11 years ago, but today typically has ~300 attending Sunday a.m. service, with a good proportion of men and young people, which is unusual for Japan. In fact, churches often really struggle in this country.

 

About 70 attended the five teaching sessions, with nearly all staying for all the sessions. Toru Yasui, of Bible and Creation, Japan, in addition to translating all my talks, presented one of the seminar sessions, as well as to high school youth of the church during the all-age Sunday School (on how their school textbooks get it wrong on evolution).

 

There were lots of people expressing a heart-felt appreciation for the teaching. At the end, a lady took my hand, with a beaming smile and in faltering English said how today had given her a completely new way of thinking about things; “new glasses”. She was absolutely delighted and her heart-felt sharing was very encouraging to me. It reminded me of the time in my own life when I realized that I could actually believe what the Bible said about the Creation, Fall and Flood; it was almost like being born again … again.

 

The following especially encouraged me. Apparently it was from my visit to this church 11 years ago that the senior pastor and others realized the importance of creation evangelism (as per Acts 17 with Paul in Athens) to reaching the Japanese people with the Gospel. (One of the leadership team back then had repented in front of others of his unbelief of that portion of the Bible, a very big thing to do in that culture.)

 

They have consciously applied and developed what I taught back then and NBC has grown significantly since; with new, larger buildings needed, and a substantial increase in pastoral staff. I remember the senior pastor, Rev. Mamoru Kuniyoshi, being excited at the time, but to see the application since is incredibly encouraging. The senior pastor is part of a small fellowship of Japanese pastors who promote creation evangelism in Japan (one member from a Presbyterian background on the main island of Honshu visited us in Brisbane on two occasions to follow up on ideas for creation evangelism and started a new church, by conversions, in a Shinto stronghold of Japan, using creation evangelism principles).

 

A church culture of creation evangelism

 

Although other factors have no doubt been important in contributing to NBC’s growth, congregations which doubt the truth and authority of the Word of God are much more likely to be ‘hobbled’ from the get-go. Creation apologetics has clearly become part of the church’s culture. During the all-age Sunday School, before the main worship service, the adult class (about 100 people) was addressed by a lady who had been to Grand Canyon recently and she was explaining, using her own photos in Powerpoint, how Grand Canyon was a monument to the biblical flood of Noah. This warmed my heart to see this.

.

Also, a medical doctor who is a member of the church translated Stones and Bones, Dr Wieland’s booklet-sized introduction to the creation/evolution controversy, into Japanese (CMI’s Creation Answers Book, Refuting Evolution, and Starlight, Time and the New Physics are also now available in Japanese, thanks to the efforts of Toru Yasui).

 

There is good cooperation among churches on Okinawa and the OBC is the largest Christian group, so it is quite influential, with other churches interested in what NBC and the other churches of the OBC are doing with creation evangelism. NBC had organized a seminar especially for pastors of other churches for the Monday morning, with Toru Yasui.

 

It is all extremely encouraging; even exciting, for the future witness to Christ in Okinawa and in the rest of Japan.

 

I also had a couple of hours teaching at a small church near Narita airport (fitted into an 8-hour layover between flights from Okinawa and to Australia). The pastor and his wife started this church in their lounge room a few years ago and they have now acquired the property next door to accommodate the growing congregation. On a Monday afternoon about 25 parents and children crowded in to take in the teaching, eagerly taking notes (my translator here was Minoru Usami, of Genesis Japan, who produced the beautiful Old Testament genealogy poster). Again, this pastor is growing a church using creation evangelism, as is Minoru Usami (in another part of Japan south of the tsunami disaster area).

 

The need to unpoison the well

 

All this (and more) is happening in a country where western missionaries tell us repeatedly that people are quite unreceptive to the Gospel!

People are receptive, however, when the Bible is taught from the beginning to establish God as the Creator of all first! How can people understand their need for forgiveness, and a saviour, if they have no concept that God created them, so that they are accountable to Him? Or who will judge them for their sin if there is no Creator-God to whom they will be held accountable? And how can they trust the Bible on salvation if they can’t trust its history in Genesis, so foundational to the Gospel, of how sin and death entered the world?

 

An American missionary in Okinawa attended the Saturday sessions of the seminar at NBC. He appreciated the biblical creation message being delivered. He shared how he uses Firm Foundations: Creation to Christ (New Tribes Mission) in church planting/evangelism, and that it is effective (it uses a creation evangelism approach). Firm Foundations is now available in Japanese, which is great. He also shared how he had read material from Dr Hugh Ross (a well-known ‘old-earth’ or ‘progressive’ creationist) and it had confused him. However, he could not accept Dr Ross’s idea that Noah’s Flood was local (which is essential for all who try to marry the ‘geological ages’ of millions of years with Genesis), and so he was glad to know of Dr Sarfati’s Refuting Compromise. This deals comprehensively with Dr Ross’s false teaching about the Flood and the age of the earth, all the while claiming to be ‘conservative’ on Genesis. Sadly, Ross’s books are available in Japanese. This sort of confusion is quite destructive of Gospel witness, as the following experience underlines.

 

Back in 2002 a young missionary with one of the largest missionary societies working in Japan contacted CMI-Australia in Brisbane to ask about the possibility of having a speaker come to train the missionaries in creation evangelism, the approach now making such a difference. This missionary had recognized that, under the influence of Shinto/Buddhist religion, reinforced by the secular education system that teaches cosmic evolution, Japanese people had little concept of a Creator-God. Originally, the Shinto religion had a concept of a supreme Creator, but this has been lost.2 In Shinto-ism today there are millions of ‘gods’ (kami), but these are really ancestral spirits that have nothing to do with the origin of the universe or humans, and certainly won’t be judging anyone for their sins. And of course Buddhism in its purest form is really a type of atheism, compatible with evolution.3 However, when the hierarchy of the missionary organization got wind of the plans, the young missionary was told that it would not happen and he had to cancel the planned training.

 

Unfortunately, many missionaries are trained in institutions that depreciate the early chapters of Genesis as non-historical, or not important, and they then carry that baggage with them to the mission field. And here is a serious problem for the church in countries where the Gospel witness is beginning to grow in a serious manner; the evil influence of western theology that has been evolution-compromised. Often our brothers and sisters in Christ in Africa, South America, and the Orient look to ‘western’ seminaries for theological education. Sadly, many western theological institutions do not honour the word of God from the beginning. They advocate all manner of views except those of Jesus and the Apostles, that Genesis was written as straightforward history; the historical basis of the Gospel—the real man Adam brought death and suffering into God’s very good creation and the “last Adam” Jesus Christ brought life through his suffering and death on behalf of the lost descendants of Adam.

 

The unbelief regarding the historicity of Genesis promoted by even supposedly conservative missionary groups (some of the best known ‘big name’ organisations) could destroy the work of the Gospel in these countries as surely as it has done it in the once-Christian ‘West’. There are undoubtedly well-meaning people within the institutions that are causing this damage—they have often sacrificed a lot to be on the mission field—but they lack an understanding of what damage they are doing.

 

Our brothers and sisters in the newly Christian countries should look at the growing decadence of the West and realize where it has come from; it has come from the pathetic weakness of the church. And this, in turn, has come from the church’s desire to accommodate the secular creation myth (evolutionism with its mythical billions of years). As Josef Ton, a Romanian Baptist pastor imprisoned for his faith, said: “I came to the conclusion that there are two factors which destroyed Christianity in Western Europe. One was the theory of evolution, the other, liberal theology …. Liberal theology is just evolution applied to the Bible and our faith.” And a secular commentator said something similar: “I myself have little doubt that in England it was [uniformitarian, long-ages] geology and the theory of evolution that changed us from a Christian to a pagan nation.”

 

I’m sure we all know of young people with a ‘fire in their belly’ to share the Gospel who have gone off to seminary to get trained for Gospel ministry, but when they come out the fire has been well and truly quenched. Confidence in God’s Word is necessary for that zeal for the Lord that drives evangelism. Without it, the fire will go out.

 

Please stand with us in strengthening the arm of our brothers and sisters in these other countries to stand firm on the authority of God’s Word from the beginning, and thus continue to be effective in sharing the Gospel with those who are perishing.

 

Please pray for Japan, that God will multiply the work of Christians like Rev. Kuniyoshi, Toru Yasui, and Minoru Usami (and there are many others), and that more Christian leaders will come to understand the approach needed. This ‘back-to-foundations’ approach is also increasingly needed in the once-Christian countries of ‘The West’ too, where godless ideas of cosmic evolution extinguish belief in a hands-on Creator. Without such a Creator, there is simply no need for the Saviour.

 

 

He also shared how he had read material from Dr Hugh Ross (a well-known ‘old-earth’ or ‘progressive’ creationist) and it had confused him.

 

You mean the "Fossils on the MOON" were confusing? 

 

 

This deals comprehensively with Dr Ross’s false teaching about the Flood and the age of the earth,

 

The "Universal/Global"...."Local Flood" ??

 

The "age of the earth" where Death/Disease/Thorns (Fossils) were unrelenting for Millions and Millions of Years before Before GOD created Adam (who brought SIN, whereby; Death/Disease/Thorns Fossils into the World)??  The Obvious Paradox revealed then BY PROXY; questions the Absolute Foundation of the WHOLE of SCRIPTURE.......

 

The need for a KINSMEN REDEEMER.  Is that what he was referring too?

 

 

.....pathetic weakness of the church. And this, in turn, has come from the church’s desire to accommodate the secular creation myth (evolutionism with its mythical billions of years).

 

 

Where have I heard and read of this Apostasy before...., oh, right here......

 

(2 Timothy 4:3-4)  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

 

 

As Josef Ton, a Romanian Baptist pastor imprisoned for his faith, said: “I came to the conclusion that there are two factors which destroyed Christianity in Western Europe. One was the theory of evolution, the other, liberal theology …. Liberal theology is just evolution applied to the Bible and our faith.” And a secular commentator said something similar: “I myself have little doubt that in England it was [uniformitarian, long-ages] geology and the theory of evolution that changed us from a Christian to a pagan nation.”

 

 

Interesting.  I've been told "What's the Big Deal?" and to "let these go because they aren't all that Important...These are peoples "Interpretation" of Scripture"

 

But then GOD SAYS.....

 

(2 Timothy 4:2-4) "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  {3} For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  {4} And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."

 

Rebuke--To criticize sharply: Reprimand. http://www.merriam-w...ctionary/rebuke

 

Reprove-- To scold or correct usually gently or with kindly intent. http://www.merriam-w...tionary/reprove

 

Exhort--   To incite by argument or advice: urge strongly.  http://www.merriam-w...ctionary/exhort

 

 

I Choose GOD'S WORD in a Mega-Tsunamic Landslide in a PLANCK TIME!!

 

 

I’m sure we all know of young people with a ‘fire in their belly’ to share the Gospel who have gone off to seminary to get trained for Gospel ministry, but when they come out the fire has been well and truly quenched.

 

 

 

So they embark on a Quest with an Un-Quenching Thirst to Study GOD'S WORD, via Bible Colleges, and they come out drier than the Sahara??   :mgdetective:

 

"Ahhh, Houston...do you think we have a problem?"   Who would be behind such a Blasphemous Atrocity?? :noidea:



#4
alphaparticle

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Pining evangelizing the gospel of Jesus on the technical details of creation is an enormous mistake. The central message of the gospel is loss.



#5
Qnts2

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So they embark on a Quest with an Un-Quenching Thirst to Study GOD'S WORD, via Bible Colleges, and they come out drier than the Sahara??   :mgdetective:

 

"Ahhh, Houston...do you think we have a problem?"   Who would be behind such a Blasphemous Atrocity?? :noidea:

 

 

I took seminary classes. They did not leave me drier than the Sahara. What they did do was to give me ammunition against false doctrines and heresies. Most of the seminary classes are geared towards teachers and pastors who work with people who say they are Christians. Since the first century, all kinds people have tried to bring in false doctrines and heresies, and so it is important for pastors and teachers to be armed to deal with these.  

 

One of the greatest weaknesses of most Christians, and evangelists, is the assumption of some knowledge about God and Jesus. When speaking to people who have no knowledge of Jesus or no knowledge of God, the starting place is quite different.

 

If a person knows nothing about Jesus, telling them that Jesus died for sin doesn't mean much. What offered proof is there that Jesus comes from God?

 

If a person was raised in an environment  where they know nothing about the God of the bible? How to prove that the bible is truth and Who the God of the bible is? This is not typically what Christians learn as evangelism usually starts from an assumption of more knowledge concerning God, the bible, and Jesus. More people live today who know nothing about any of this so the starting point of evangelism goes back to a more basic knowledge. The best example I know of in scripture was Paul, using the un-named god, to point out the God of the bible, and from there Jesus.

 

Seminary provides valuable knowledge, but in missions, a knowledge of the people and culture is needed and seminary does not have classes on the various people groups, what they know, or where to start to help them understand. Generally speaking, there is something in the bible which will assist each and every culture, to an understanding of God, Jesus, salvation etc. If the idea of God the creator is the starting point, then the bible provides that information which will assist that culture to an understanding.        



#6
alphaparticle

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So they embark on a Quest with an Un-Quenching Thirst to Study GOD'S WORD, via Bible Colleges, and they come out drier than the Sahara??   :mgdetective:

 

"Ahhh, Houston...do you think we have a problem?"   Who would be behind such a Blasphemous Atrocity?? :noidea:

 

 

I took seminary classes. They did not leave me drier than the Sahara. What they did do was to give me ammunition against false doctrines and heresies. Most of the seminary classes are geared towards teachers and pastors who work with people who say they are Christians. Since the first century, all kinds people have tried to bring in false doctrines and heresies, and so it is important for pastors and teachers to be armed to deal with these.  

 

One of the greatest weaknesses of most Christians, and evangelists, is the assumption of some knowledge about God and Jesus. When speaking to people who have no knowledge of Jesus or no knowledge of God, the starting place is quite different.

 

If a person knows nothing about Jesus, telling them that Jesus died for sin doesn't mean much. What offered proof is there that Jesus comes from God?

 

If a person was raised in an environment  where they know nothing about the God of the bible? How to prove that the bible is truth and Who the God of the bible is? This is not typically what Christians learn as evangelism usually starts from an assumption of more knowledge concerning God, the bible, and Jesus. More people live today who know nothing about any of this so the starting point of evangelism goes back to a more basic knowledge. The best example I know of in scripture was Paul, using the un-named god, to point out the God of the bible, and from there Jesus.

 

Seminary provides valuable knowledge, but in missions, a knowledge of the people and culture is needed and seminary does not have classes on the various people groups, what they know, or where to start to help them understand. Generally speaking, there is something in the bible which will assist each and every culture, to an understanding of God, Jesus, salvation etc. If the idea of God the creator is the starting point, then the bible provides that information which will assist that culture to an understanding.        

 

I agree with a lot of this here. I think it's easy to lose sight of how difficult it can be to really understand the very basic notions behind the gospel. If someone doesn't think the concept of God makes sense, doesn't get it, how much stranger to think about God and sin (and what IS sin really), let alone that Jesus sacrificed Himself for it. Saying to someone who truly does not believe in God, who may have only vague notions of what Christians think, if any in this situation, "Jesus died for you" isn't going to register or really communicate anything at all. It may make more sense when they gather more information, but not at that moment. At least for me, I had to work through a lot of the caricatured notions I had of Christian theology before any of this vocabulary that Christians take for granted made sense enough to grasp what the gospel was.



#7
Enoch2021

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So they embark on a Quest with an Un-Quenching Thirst to Study GOD'S WORD, via Bible Colleges, and they come out drier than the Sahara??   :mgdetective:

 

"Ahhh, Houston...do you think we have a problem?"   Who would be behind such a Blasphemous Atrocity?? :noidea:

 

 

I took seminary classes. They did not leave me drier than the Sahara. What they did do was to give me ammunition against false doctrines and heresies. Most of the seminary classes are geared towards teachers and pastors who work with people who say they are Christians. Since the first century, all kinds people have tried to bring in false doctrines and heresies, and so it is important for pastors and teachers to be armed to deal with these.  

 

One of the greatest weaknesses of most Christians, and evangelists, is the assumption of some knowledge about God and Jesus. When speaking to people who have no knowledge of Jesus or no knowledge of God, the starting place is quite different.

 

If a person knows nothing about Jesus, telling them that Jesus died for sin doesn't mean much. What offered proof is there that Jesus comes from God?

 

If a person was raised in an environment  where they know nothing about the God of the bible? How to prove that the bible is truth and Who the God of the bible is? This is not typically what Christians learn as evangelism usually starts from an assumption of more knowledge concerning God, the bible, and Jesus. More people live today who know nothing about any of this so the starting point of evangelism goes back to a more basic knowledge. The best example I know of in scripture was Paul, using the un-named god, to point out the God of the bible, and from there Jesus.

 

Seminary provides valuable knowledge, but in missions, a knowledge of the people and culture is needed and seminary does not have classes on the various people groups, what they know, or where to start to help them understand. Generally speaking, there is something in the bible which will assist each and every culture, to an understanding of God, Jesus, salvation etc. If the idea of God the creator is the starting point, then the bible provides that information which will assist that culture to an understanding.        

 

 

 

I took seminary classes. They did not leave me drier than the Sahara.

 

 

Praise The LORD!!!  However, my comment was directly linked to the specific quote in the OP article.  Obviously not ALL Seminaries/Bible Colleges have been compromised.... but I'm sure we can agree that some have/are.

 

 

What they did do was to give me ammunition against false doctrines and heresies.

 

Praise The LORD!!!

 

 

When speaking to people who have no knowledge of Jesus or no knowledge of God, the starting place is quite different.

 

Agreed.  And Agreed with the rest of your post



#8
shiloh357

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Pining evangelizing the gospel of Jesus on the technical details of creation is an enormous mistake. The central message of the gospel is loss.

The OP shows that this is not necessarily the case.



#9
LookingForAnswers

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I believe the pinnig of the gospels with the technical aspect of creation is used by some as a filter. I have found more than a few Christians that like what they see as the exclusive nature of Christianity and while they would never openly admit it, they work to keep it as exclusive as possible. They don't want those people that don't look like them or think like them or act like them in the fold.

#10
alphaparticle

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Pining evangelizing the gospel of Jesus on the technical details of creation is an enormous mistake. The central message of the gospel is loss.

The OP shows that this is not necessarily the case.

 

Okay but it sounded like the 'creationism evangelism' was a secondary effort. I suppose I understand people wanting to talk about this and spread this among believers insofar as they think it is true and the best way to understand Genesis, but I'd be concerned if this was balled up as part of a general approach to presenting the bare gospel to unbelievers. When I hear the term evangelism I naively think about spreading the saving message of the gospel.



#11
Enoch2021

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Pining evangelizing the gospel of Jesus on the technical details of creation is an enormous mistake. The central message of the gospel is loss.

 

Not following here.  How would you start evangelizing the The Doctrine of Salvation without starting with Genesis 1:1?  Genesis is "The central message of the Gospel".  If you don't start there, I predict you will get there awful quick....you have No Foundation!!  The Gospel and the OT are ONE BOOK....Jesus Christ starts with "In The Beginning" and Ends with the Last WORD in Revelation and.... is in Every single WORD in-between.

 

(John 1:1) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

 

Who's The WORD?......Jesus Christ.

 

I heard someone say that the New Testament is in the Old Testament Concealed and the Old Testament is in the New Testament Revealed.

 

 

I'm not a Missionary but IMHO, you better get here awful quick too.....(James 4:4) "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."

 

The World says......the Earth and Universe is Billions of Years Old

The World says......we evolved from Monkeys

The World says......success success success....Ambition, Pride, the Quest for #1 (are Honored and Respected Character Traits)

The World says......Scientists are our Priests

The World says......Embrace all Religions

The World says......"Do what thou Whilt"

The World says......It's OK to be Gay, Abortions, Reductions in Population to Save the Trees

The World says......(just today) BIBLE IN ERROR., Camel Bones and Radiometric Dating!!

The World says..............................................................................................................................There is No GOD!!

 

 

The Largest Escrow Closing in the History of the Universe is @ the Door.

 

 

What say you?



#12
alphaparticle

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Pining evangelizing the gospel of Jesus on the technical details of creation is an enormous mistake. The central message of the gospel is loss.

 

Not following here.  How would you start evangelizing the The Doctrine of Salvation without starting with Genesis 1:1?  Genesis is "The central message of the Gospel".  If you don't start there, I predict you will get there awful quick....you have No Foundation!!  The Gospel and the OT are ONE BOOK....Jesus Christ starts with "In The Beginning" and Ends with the Last WORD in Revelation and.... is in Every single WORD in-between.

 

(John 1:1) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

 

Who's The WORD?......Jesus Christ.

 

I heard someone say that the New Testament is in the Old Testament Concealed and the Old Testament is in the New Testament Revealed.

 

 

I'm not a Missionary but IMHO, you better get here awful quick too.....(James 4:4) "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."

 

The World says......the Earth and Universe is Billions of Years Old

The World says......we evolved from Monkeys

The World says......success success success....Ambition, Pride, the Quest for #1 (are Honored and Respected Character Traits)

The World says......Scientists are our Priests

The World says......Embrace all Religions

The World says......"Do what thou Whilt"

The World says......It's OK to be Gay, Abortions, Reductions in Population to Save the Trees

The World says......(just today) BIBLE IN ERROR., Camel Bones and Radiometric Dating!!

The World says..............................................................................................................................There is No GOD!!

 

 

The Largest Escrow Closing in the History of the Universe is @ the Door.

 

 

What say you?

 

No, is what I say. I'm not sure what the argument here is. Think of all of the people who come to Christ without considering the intricate details of the manner of God's creation (including myself, my wife, and many many other people I have spoken to, some of whom are now YEC, some OEC etc). It's fairly clear that we can be fuzzy on some details but still know Jesus as Savior.

 

That is why this is my signature:

 

1 Cr 15:3,4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures



#13
shiloh357

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Pining evangelizing the gospel of Jesus on the technical details of creation is an enormous mistake. The central message of the gospel is loss.

The OP shows that this is not necessarily the case.

 

Okay but it sounded like the 'creationism evangelism' was a secondary effort. I suppose I understand people wanting to talk about this and spread this among believers insofar as they think it is true and the best way to understand Genesis, but I'd be concerned if this was balled up as part of a general approach to presenting the bare gospel to unbelievers. When I hear the term evangelism I naively think about spreading the saving message of the gospel.

 

The point is that contrary to the silly canard that others on this board have  been promoting, YEC doesn't impede people from accepting the Gospel message.  This is just one piece of evidence that pretty much puts that argument to bed.

 

I remember when people used to claim that the old hymns we sang in church were keeping people away from Jesus because modern young people couldn't relate to that style of music.  The case was made that the traditional style of church music was and would continue to impede evangelism.

 

That was back in the 80s when Contemporary Chrisitan music and Christian heaven metal were still in their infancy.   Their claim was that if the Church simply became more relevant in its music style that we would see more people coming to the Lord.

 

Never happened.  Christian music has changed over the years and more and more churches over the years shed the old hymns and church robes in exchange for a bunch of twenty-somethings  with, flip-flops, wrinkled shirts and messy hair banging on loud guitars and the promised revivals that were supposed to come never happened.

 

Turned out it was never the music at all. Music and all of the external trappings that were supposed to make the church more attractional had exactly zero postive  impact on evangelism.  

 

What we have learned is that the opposite is true.   More and more young people are falling out of church shortly after highschool. It is not because they learned YEC in Church.   It is because they don't have the critical thinking skills, nor the information to combat the onslaught of atheistic and agnostic influences that are so strong on college campuses all over America today.  

 

No one has ever had their faith wrecked by staying faithful to God's word.  The people who are having problems understanding how it all works and how to put the pieces togeher are the ones trying to hold on the world and to the Kingdom of God.   It simply doesn't work that way.  It's what's at the heart of the confusion.



#14
shiloh357

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I believe the pinnig of the gospels with the technical aspect of creation is used by some as a filter. I have found more than a few Christians that like what they see as the exclusive nature of Christianity and while they would never openly admit it, they work to keep it as exclusive as possible. They don't want those people that don't look like them or think like them or act like them in the fold.

All of that is a pile of garbage having no intellectual or substantive merit, much less a basis in reality.



#15
alphaparticle

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The point is that contrary to the silly canard that others on this board have  been promoting, YEC doesn't impede people from accepting the Gospel message.  This is just one piece of evidence that pretty much puts that argument to bed.

Depends on the person. It won't for every person. Maybe this helps one person while being a stumbling block to another. I have concerns about the way the message of the gospel ends up being focused though.

 

 

 

 

No one has ever had their faith wrecked by staying faithful to God's word.  The people who are having problems understanding how it all works and how to put the pieces togeher are the ones trying to hold on the world and to the Kingdom of God.   It simply doesn't work that way.  It's what's at the heart of the confusion.

 

I'm fairly certain had you forced this dilemma down my throat at the outset my faith would have been shipwrecked before it was ever getting anywhere. That is true for others I have spoken to also. God may have changed that, sure, but if a person can believe he is a sinner in need of help from his Creator, and that help is in the form of Jesus, I cannot  imagine why the specifics of the method of creation would be pushed on that person at the beginning.

 

I don't think this is analogous to people liking or disliking old timey music. There may be a point though to saying, look, there is only one way to be a Christian here with style of worship, and if you don't like it, go away. That I could absolutely see becoming an unnecessary stumbling block to people.



#16
Enoch2021

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Pining evangelizing the gospel of Jesus on the technical details of creation is an enormous mistake. The central message of the gospel is loss.

 

Not following here.  How would you start evangelizing the The Doctrine of Salvation without starting with Genesis 1:1?  Genesis is "The central message of the Gospel".  If you don't start there, I predict you will get there awful quick....you have No Foundation!!  The Gospel and the OT are ONE BOOK....Jesus Christ starts with "In The Beginning" and Ends with the Last WORD in Revelation and.... is in Every single WORD in-between.

 

(John 1:1) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

 

Who's The WORD?......Jesus Christ.

 

I heard someone say that the New Testament is in the Old Testament Concealed and the Old Testament is in the New Testament Revealed.

 

 

I'm not a Missionary but IMHO, you better get here awful quick too.....(James 4:4) "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."

 

The World says......the Earth and Universe is Billions of Years Old

The World says......we evolved from Monkeys

The World says......success success success....Ambition, Pride, the Quest for #1 (are Honored and Respected Character Traits)

The World says......Scientists are our Priests

The World says......Embrace all Religions

The World says......"Do what thou Whilt"

The World says......It's OK to be Gay, Abortions, Reductions in Population to Save the Trees

The World says......(just today) BIBLE IN ERROR., Camel Bones and Radiometric Dating!!

The World says..............................................................................................................................There is No GOD!!

 

 

The Largest Escrow Closing in the History of the Universe is @ the Door.

 

 

What say you?

 

No, is what I say. I'm not sure what the argument here is. Think of all of the people who come to Christ without considering the intricate details of the manner of God's creation (including myself, my wife, and many many other people I have spoken to, some of whom are now YEC, some OEC etc). It's fairly clear that we can be fuzzy on some details but still know Jesus as Savior.

 

That is why this is my signature:

 

1 Cr 15:3,4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures

 

 

Are you saying I should steer clear of the Missionary Field?

 

:)



#17
alphaparticle

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Pining evangelizing the gospel of Jesus on the technical details of creation is an enormous mistake. The central message of the gospel is loss.

 

Not following here.  How would you start evangelizing the The Doctrine of Salvation without starting with Genesis 1:1?  Genesis is "The central message of the Gospel".  If you don't start there, I predict you will get there awful quick....you have No Foundation!!  The Gospel and the OT are ONE BOOK....Jesus Christ starts with "In The Beginning" and Ends with the Last WORD in Revelation and.... is in Every single WORD in-between.

 

(John 1:1) "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

 

Who's The WORD?......Jesus Christ.

 

I heard someone say that the New Testament is in the Old Testament Concealed and the Old Testament is in the New Testament Revealed.

 

 

I'm not a Missionary but IMHO, you better get here awful quick too.....(James 4:4) "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."

 

The World says......the Earth and Universe is Billions of Years Old

The World says......we evolved from Monkeys

The World says......success success success....Ambition, Pride, the Quest for #1 (are Honored and Respected Character Traits)

The World says......Scientists are our Priests

The World says......Embrace all Religions

The World says......"Do what thou Whilt"

The World says......It's OK to be Gay, Abortions, Reductions in Population to Save the Trees

The World says......(just today) BIBLE IN ERROR., Camel Bones and Radiometric Dating!!

The World says..............................................................................................................................There is No GOD!!

 

 

The Largest Escrow Closing in the History of the Universe is @ the Door.

 

 

What say you?

 

No, is what I say. I'm not sure what the argument here is. Think of all of the people who come to Christ without considering the intricate details of the manner of God's creation (including myself, my wife, and many many other people I have spoken to, some of whom are now YEC, some OEC etc). It's fairly clear that we can be fuzzy on some details but still know Jesus as Savior.

 

That is why this is my signature:

 

1 Cr 15:3,4 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures

 

 

Are you saying I should steer clear of the Missionary Field?

 

:)

 

I don't know man lol. Whatever the Spirit says I suppose. Maybe this is an opening for some people. I can really only speak to my experience and the experiences of those I've heard from.



#18
shiloh357

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Depends on the person. It won't for every person. Maybe this helps one person while being a stumbling block to another. I have concerns about the way the message of the gospel ends up being focused though.

 

The logic there assumes that it is the message that is stumbling block.   The message isn't what causes people to stumble.

 

I'm fairly certain had you forced this dilemma down my throat at the outset my faith would have been shipwrecked before it was ever getting anywhere.

 

Jesus Himself is called the rock of offense.   Jesus said things that caused his own disciples to turn from Him and follow Him no longer.   Jesus used "the cross" as a filter to find who was really interested in following and who was not.

 

Jesus didn't make Himself look attractional.  He was truthful from the outset as to the cost of following Him.  He required that people be prepared to give up everything they held dear and that included respect.   When Jesus called on people to take up their cross, it meant the loss of all things.  It meant being a societal outcast, because that was the cross represented shame.

 

YEC may turn nonbelievers away from the Gospel.  But that is not the fault of the YEC model.  It is the fault of hardened hearts.  People don't reject God on an intellectual level.  They reject Him on a spirtual level.

 

The notion that we have to tailor our faith to accomodate what unbelievers will or will not like, when we  have to be palatable to the world, it defeats the entire biblical concept of being a peculiar (unique) people.  

 

God may have changed that, sure, but if a person can believe he is a sinner in need of help from his Creator, and that help is in the form of Jesus, I cannot  imagine why the specifics of the method of creation would be pushed on that person at the beginning.

 

Who said they should be???

I don't think this is analogous to people liking or disliking old timey music. There may be a point though to saying, look, there is only one way to be a Christian here with style of worship, and if you don't like it, go away. That I could absolutely see becoming an unnecessary stumbling block to people.

 

 

It is analgous in terms of the principle in play.   The things people think impede the Gospel are not the things that impede the Gospel.   Unbelievers can come up with any number of excuses for rejecting God.   They point to hypocrites in the church, they point to money-grubbing TV evangelists, they point to somebody they knew who was a Christian but committed some big sin, they point to the music, they point to the fact that we have so many denominations, they point to the fact that they don't like the idea that Jesus is the only way to God.

 

Unbelievers point to anything and YEC and even OEC are both additional excuses they will use.  Most who reject YEC reject creationism en toto, not just one version of it.  I used to be an OEC'er myself and I took as much heat for that from Evolutionists and Theistic Evolutionists as I take for YEC now.  It was no different.  OEC is just as ridiculed and just as denigrated among evolutionists as YEC.  



#19
alphaparticle

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Depends on the person. It won't for every person. Maybe this helps one person while being a stumbling block to another. I have concerns about the way the message of the gospel ends up being focused though.

 

The logic there assumes that it is the message that is stumbling block.   The message isn't what causes people to stumble.

 

I'm fairly certain had you forced this dilemma down my throat at the outset my faith would have been shipwrecked before it was ever getting anywhere.

 

Jesus Himself is called the rock of offense.   Jesus said things that caused his own disciples to turn from Him and follow Him no longer.   Jesus used "the cross" as a filter to find who was really interested in following and who was not.

 

Jesus didn't make Himself look attractional.  He was truthful from the outset as to the cost of following Him.  He required that people be prepared to give up everything they held dear and that included respect.   When Jesus called on people to take up their cross, it meant the loss of all things.  It meant being a societal outcast, because that was the cross represented shame.

 

YEC may turn nonbelievers away from the Gospel.  But that is not the fault of the YEC model.  It is the fault of hardened hearts.  People don't reject God on an intellectual level.  They reject Him on a spirtual level.

 

The notion that we have to tailor our faith to accomodate what unbelievers will or will not like, when we  have to be palatable to the world, it defeats the entire biblical concept of being a peculiar (unique) people.  

 

God may have changed that, sure, but if a person can believe he is a sinner in need of help from his Creator, and that help is in the form of Jesus, I cannot  imagine why the specifics of the method of creation would be pushed on that person at the beginning.

 

Who said they should be???

I don't think this is analogous to people liking or disliking old timey music. There may be a point though to saying, look, there is only one way to be a Christian here with style of worship, and if you don't like it, go away. That I could absolutely see becoming an unnecessary stumbling block to people.

 

 

It is analgous in terms of the principle in play.   The things people think impede the Gospel are not the things that impede the Gospel.   Unbelievers can come up with any number of excuses for rejecting God.   They point to hypocrites in the church, they point to money-grubbing TV evangelists, they point to somebody they knew who was a Christian but committed some big sin, they point to the music, they point to the fact that we have so many denominations, they point to the fact that they don't like the idea that Jesus is the only way to God.

 

Unbelievers point to anything and YEC and even OEC are both additional excuses they will use.  Most who reject YEC reject creationism en toto, not just one version of it.  I used to be an OEC'er myself and I took as much heat for that from Evolutionists and Theistic Evolutionists as I take for YEC now.  It was no different.  OEC is just as ridiculed and just as denigrated among evolutionists as YEC.  

 

But YEC is *not* the gospel that actually saves. Yes, Jesus is an offense. But why make the barrier even higher than it needs to be?? Why provide a convenient route of distraction from the core of the issue, our personal sin, the punishment of sin, and our need of help? And it IS convenient for a lot of people who can simplistically collapse Christianity into YEC, talk about how stupid it is without having to deal with the central issue, and move on.

 

I am not saying that talking about various creationisms might not help relate the gospel message to some, but to many, this just isn't going to be the case. Fixating on talking about radiometric dating (random example) rather than our sinful state could easily distract from God's simply existing, His sovereignty, and demand for justice. Maybe it is a part of it for some, but for others it's just a way they will divert attention off of it, and their own sinful nature.

 

That I find extremely unfortunate. There are a lot of *unnecessary* barriers being erected to the gospel, when, as you point out, the central gospel claims are offense enough.



#20
shiloh357

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But YEC is *not* the gospel that actually saves.

 

That's right, it isn't.  I didn't say it was.  The point is that it not a hindrance to the Gospel. 

 

 

Yes, Jesus is an offense. But why make the barrier even higher than it needs to be?? Why provide a convenient route of distraction from the core of the issue, our personal sin, the punishment of sin, and our need of help? And it IS convenient for a lot of people who can simplistically collapse Christianity into YEC, talk about how stupid it is without having to deal with the central issue, and move on.

 

But that means never talking about anything that might  rustle the feathers of some people.  What you're suggesting could be applied to just about anything isn't the "central" issue.   It means muting the church on any issue that might serve as a "distraction."   It would mean that the Church would have to tailor everything to suit what the hearer is willing to listen to, which pretty much excludes all of the Bible except from some benign passages out of Psalms.  

 

 

I am not saying that talking about various creationisms might not help relate the gospel message to some, but to many, this just isn't going to be the case. Fixating on talking about radiometric dating (random example) rather than our sinful state could easily distract from God's simply existing, His sovereignty, and demand for justice. Maybe it is a part of it for some, but for others it's just a way they will divert attention off of it, and their own sinful nature.

 

Except nobody's fixated on creationism.  It might appear that way because we are interacting in a series of threads dedicated to that issue, but creationists are not one issue people.  What I see coming from your side is an attempt to intimidating YEC'ers from talking about it because if someone hears us, they may run the other way and reject Christianity altogether and that is simply not true.  It is a  scare tactic and it won't work.

 

Peoplpe reject the Lord because of the hardness of their hearts, not because we are YEC'ers or whatever reason.  It is the hardness of their hearts that is at fault and when they stand before the Lord in eternity, they won't be able to use that excuse.  They will have made their decision and they are accountable to Him for it.   They will have no one to blame but themselves.

That I find extremely unfortunate. There are a lot of *unnecessary* barriers being erected to the gospel, when, as you point out, the central gospel claims are offense enough.

 






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