Do the Megachurches have Evangelism right – and do we?

It has to be acknowledged that the megachurches in particular focus on bringing people to Christ, in the manner that they feel is most effective. Whether their methods or gospel are truly effective, is another debate. But surely all Christians, whatever form of church they participate in, desire others to also be saved through faith in Jesus Christ.

Here is a quote regarding personal evangelism – a popular term 20 years ago. Is personal evangelism a dying art? Is it even necessary? Is it effective?

It seems as if personal evangelism is a dying art. Fewer of us are taking our faith beyond familiar circles of friends and family. Witnessing has become intrusive in a culture that demands tolerance and diversity. Knocking on doors is illegal in most neighborhoods. “Soul-winning” is an outdated term. Polls show that few Christians today have ever led a person to faith in Christ.

As our society has become more secular, our faith has become more timid. It is no longer cool to declare Jesus is the only way. So we don’t say it—we just hope people will figure out our message by listening to our music or by wandering into our churches at an odd hour on Sunday mornings.

I am especially disturbed that personal evangelism has lost its importance among those of us who call ourselves Pentecostal or charismatic. Many of our best evangelists have also passed into glory or are getting feeble. Yet when I look at the younger generation, it seems many leaders are focused on the inside of the church rather than the harvest fields.

Please don’t misunderstand me. I know we need prophecies, visions, dreams and spiritual experiences. We also need solid Bible teaching, powerful exhortation and the inspiration that comes from praise and worship. But it seems today our focus has turned totally inward. The church is ministering to the church. The pastor is preaching to the choir. And our message isn’t reaching beyond the vestibule.

When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He read from the book of Isaiah about the promise of the Holy Spirit. The passage in Isaiah 61:1 says: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted …” (NASB emphasis added).

This verse, which so dramatically captures the essence of Jesus’ ministry and ours, clearly lists evangelism as His priority. The Holy Spirit’s anointing does a lot of things—but we are told here that He clothes us with divine power so we can announce good news. In other words, we are not anointed simply to prophesy, receive revelations, experience spiritual goose bumps, shake, quake, rattle, roll, shout, raise hands, take offerings, receive offerings or obtain blessings and breakthroughs. All those things are great, but if we have them without evangelism then our faith becomes inverted and self-absorbed.

I’ve been in some great charismatic meetings where everyone falls on the floor at the altar. Some get up and go back for more anointing. In fact, we are known to pray: “More! Lord, give them more fire!” Then the people swoon again, roll around and act drunk. And they come back three more nights to have hands laid on them again.

We’ve become like actors in a perpetual dress rehearsal in which we repeat our lines over and over but never actually perform for an audience.What good is the anointing if we just wallow and splash in it like hungry hogs at a slop trough? I love the anointing as much as the next person. But when will we actually open our mouths and use it to preach to unbelievers? I want to stand up and scream, “Get off the floor and do something with this power!”

By J Lee Grady, Author of ‘Charisma’ magazine, and republished here.

Are we all to reach our friends and family, and beyond to strangers? It can seem offensive, but is it something we are all called to do? If so, what is the best way to go about it?

Do you know people who have come to Christ as a result of personal evangelism – or have people come mostly as a result of their own search and enquiry when the Lord prompts their heart?

29 thoughts on “Do the Megachurches have Evangelism right – and do we?

  1. I invited a lutheran friend of mine to a baptist church, worship youth event. I knew all the youth and which certain denominations they came from. This is what I said:

    “So Yeah! Let me inform you who everyone is… At the very front of the pulpit, to the left, we have the baptist. Towards the back where you see all those observers, the majority are anglican. Where we are seated now are where people like us church hop. My friends from the uniting church are kinda scattered around every and… *motions with hands* the pentecostals are on the floor.”

    A girl in front of me burst out laughing.

    I have to hand it to the youth and young adults in our local area. They want to be used by God but don’t know how to go about it. They want to break free. Some kids and young adults have converted their bible studies to outreaching around the local pubs, malls, big bus stop and other popular places. They are not loud, but are hoping to speak into peoples lives and share Jesus.

    I’m apart of these groups. I’m part of a group that have a mix from every denomination that hopes to win people to Christ and to see people heal and delivered from their circumstances. Because of previous various church attacks on who controls the group (apparently to say ‘God is not enough), we found some elders who are keen to defend and equip us to see salvation come to those in the street.

    It’s like God is warming up all the youth up. God seems to use me prophetically and as a informer (teacher) to non-Christians. My mate who I go evangelising with had just had that gift birthed him a few months ago. He’s now got a fire and burden in his belly that he can’t explain. Another friend who evangelises with us is my lutheran mate who is solid in the word and knows when to speak truth into circumstances. Other friends who help evangelism are developing their healing giftings from God as they try to evangelise too. It’s a real privilege to hear and share testimonies.

    In terms of looking at the stereo-typical pentecostal way, it seems to be failing. However, the enthusiasm that the youth bring in just wanting to do community work in a way to outreach seems to work. Unfortunately they tie their church name with God’s name and dilute their message and aim. When a youth decided to clean up the local high school, the church name was tied to the work. The school newsletter said the ‘church youth group’ cleaned the school got diluted.

    I conclude that if you are open with you intentions when you solely wanting to see people saved, you want to be clear in who you serve alone… God.
    Forgive me for blowing my own trumpet, but when I was in a conversation, it came up that I dealt with homeless youth in a local suburb, I was continually asked ‘under who’s local authority are you doing these things?’. This reminded me of the pharisees who asked Jesus exactly the same question. When I answered them in a rather confused way, ‘God’, they simply asked again (they were 7DA’s). I said the same thing and they asked again more firmly but confused. They thought I was being a smart arse.

    It’s only when you choose to be bold for God and not get man’s glory involved, do I think God makes himself more present. If I wore a shirt advertising my local church while evangelising, will people’s mind boggle because I represent the church? Or will their minds boggle when I say I’m only doing this for God- no strings attatched?

    Are we prepared to drop our fancy names, stop our advertising and just be doing things to represent God?

  2. At CCCOF they do get conversions (people down the front) at an amazing rate in my opinon. Assuming 20 people saved per weekend (conservative guess) , thats 52*20=1040 converts per year or over 5000 extra converts in 5 years (at least).

    Now it seems to me that in the 5 or more years I’ve been there church attendance (at least at 6pm) has remained pretty much constant, maybe 1200+/-200 at 6pm.

    That tells me that not only do they have an amazing conversion rate but an amazing loss out the back door rate too. Bottom line is I don’t think CCCOF has a problem getting converts, just keeping them.

    I worry that the impresion that CCC just want your money (what ever the reality) is a major part of that and I further worry that in the long run we are getting a whole lot of people inoculated against Christianity, “I used to got to CCC but then I woke up and realised they just wanted my money” – to quote an ex-member (not me).

  3. “…we are getting a whole lot of people inoculated against Christianity,”

    This possibility concerns me too. I’ve seen it happen also as a result of Christian schooling. If you’ve been part of the ultimate church and ‘woke up’, or educated in it for all your school years, interested or not, then you would think you knew all there was to know. Still, God can still work in people’s hearts, despite what they think they know. But it does show a need for a variety of ‘church’ expressions in my view. People need to know that knowing a church does not mean knowing Christ.

    S&P – that’s very interesting about the youth in your area. When I was ‘youth’, we had our local Anglican church try to shut down our ‘non-denominational’ bible study group made up of young Christians from a variety of church backgrounds. They were pretty worried about what doctrine we might be studying, even though they sent someone along and found nothing to be concerned about. Seems that youth don’t see the need for divisions as automatically as some of those who lead them.

    For the record, all of that group that I still know of are still Christians more than 20 years later, in a variety of churches.

    I did the ‘personal evangelism’ thing when I was young, including door knocking to advertise church (ick!), generally talking with people, and street witnessing in a church plant. We didn’t know what on earth we were doing, but we had a go. The only success I’ve personally seen has been when I’ve been in relationship with people – and have been praying for those people a lot – but I’d never say its the only way to evangelise. Now its just friends and family – or if God gives me the occasional opportunity elsewhere. I hope to be led by God to speak to people at the right time and place, in the right way, but I think it takes a lot of prayer as well. However, I know a lot of people who seemed to find Christ almost on their own, with speaking to a Christian being one of the last steps in that process, if at all. I know some people who got saved just reading the Bible.

    A friend I know who has a pattern of regularly leading people to the Lord is always in relationship with the people. Over the years she has led many people in her workplaces to Christ in a gentle and non-confrontational manner, as they get to know her. Those people go to a variety of churches now, as she would help them choose a place that suited them, rather than just join her at her church – which could have been geographically or stylistically not suited to them.

  4. I don’t know what more there is to do in the Western world except preach the uncorrupted true gospel and NOT that of “another Jesus” and “another spirit” and “another gospel” that Paul speaks of in 2 Corinthians 11:4

    Facelift is waxing on about the “great commission” as though CCC is propogating the truth of scripture but when you have people like Steve Munsey, Benny Hinn and others selling their trickery and con-job from the pulpit, it really is hard to take anything he says as serious in that regard. All that is being sold is the great “falling away” spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and a dumbing down of truth.

    The facts are that even if we like Paul traverse entire continents and plant 7 churches in Asia, what can then occur is that “… this thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia (the 7 churches in Revelation) be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes…” 2 Timothy 1:15

    Even if we do manage to plant a church based on truth, it will not necessarily stay that way: “…For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them…” Acts 20:29

    People are not naturally drawn to the true gospel where you “take up your cross (not your credit-card/check boook)” and you “lose your life to find it”

    The bible is the best selling book in the Western world and regularly outsells any other publication year in and year out without fail. It is in my opinion, the most widely read but least understood book of all time.

  5. Good point Bill. People can carry on about the great commision, but if they aren’t careful to teach/preach truth, it can become worthless. When people like Steve Munsey are lifted up as teachers, who distorts the scriptures to suit their theme that day, how can they claim to be teaching the gospel that Paul taught?

    As you say, there’s no guarantee that any church, whatever the size, will stay true either. The more they overlook behaviour and teachings that aren’t scripturally justified in their teachers and leaders, the more likely they are to veer off Paul’s gospel. Including if they start to reintroduce the law in various ways.

  6. So what are you saying, then? It’s not worth preaching the gospel because someone might stuff up?

    “Sorry, Lord, I had to disobey the Great Commission because I heard someone might in the future spoil the people who were saved, so I didn’t bother!” “I don’t know you!”

    Where does it say in proverbs that the slothful man looks out at the fields in ploughing time and decides the weather is too unfavourable for ploughing. There’s always too much something. There’s always some reason the fearful man gives for not working with the season. We only have one season to bring in the harvest in our generation. It’s not our problem what happens to people after we’re gone. What matters is being obedient to Christ’s call now.

    “The slothful man says, “There is a lion outside, I will be slain in the streets!” Pr 22:13

    “The slothful man says,”There is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets!” Pr 26:13

    What did Jesus say about the servants who were given talents? Two were effective and took what the master gave them and doubled their value. One found a foolish reason to do nothing with his talent and buried in the sand, where it gathered no value for his master. The master wasn’t too pleased with the servant’s attitude and fear, was he?

    I we don’t obey God’s will we are none of his!

  7. RP,
    ‘People can carry on about the great commision…’

    Jesu carried on about the Great Commission – alot! What does that make him?

    If people don’t carry on about and with the Great Commission they are being foolish and unwise. Oh, and I left out disobedient to God.

    So, stay at home and ignore the harvest. Complain about the harvesters. Sit in your high towers and look down on the ploughmen and the reapers with high power lenses and analyse their performance, critique their style. Write papers about their systems and methodology. Join groups of critics who specialise in looking down on harvesters and reapers. Form a harvest sceptics club.


  8. Bill, when you say FaceLift is ‘waxing on’ about the Great Commission as if it is anathema, you are sidestepping the issues I raised with you about how, through obedience to the commission, a small group would potentially develop ino a larger group with all the responsibilities and leadership issues whihc would come with this. You may be uncomfortable with what I am saying, biut it is not actually ‘waxing on’, it is reiterating the words of our Chief Shepherd.

    I said nothing to you about CCC methodology. That is your pet hate.

    I challenged you personally, not them.

    You and RP seem to be in denial about this. There is no way around the fact that God sent us all, including you, if you genuinely are believers, to engage in the commission, and, if we are obedient to follow his instructions, and people, over tome are saved, the issues I raised of responsibilities and leadership needs will inevitably arise.

    Yes, and we are called to engage in the commission together, not separate form one another.

    So where you make ancient and modern schisms and divisions an obstacle to your obedience, you actually separate yourself further from the commission.

    Where you ay we are actually one Body and not divided, not denominationalised, and not separate from one another, you eliminate any excuse or reason you might have for working on the Great Commission together with me or any other Christian from any named or unnamed Christian group, large, small or in between.

    But in the end, regardless of how small any of us begins with this project, it will, eventually grow, and require some kind of organisational structure whereby it can function effectively.

    So far you have avoided any response to this except to come up with reasons why we should actually b disobedient to the commission.

  9. RP,
    ‘People can carry on about the great commision, but if they aren’t careful to teach/preach truth, it can become worthless…’

    But the Great Commission is a central truth. It is the main reason we were left in the earth when we were saved. It is one of the most denied truths in the Body. People seem to want to make every excse fr ignoring one of the central commands for all believers.

    In this I agree with J Lee Grady, who is often a thoughtful writer. It is the responsibility of every believer to preach the gospel and win souls. It is the responsibility of every believer to preach the truth of the gospel, not just people in pulpits.

    The majority of salvations take place, still, through one on one personal friendship evangelism, not mass crusades, altar calls and TV evangelism, although, of course, they can be effective also, and are Biblical, as on the Day of Pentecost, and when Philip went down to Samaria. but most salvations are through the efforts of friends with friends.

    It is the responsibility of church leaders to teach and train congregation members how to be effective soul winners and disciple makers.

    That is my point. It takes training and leadership to accomplish the Great Commission, which is why Jesus chose and trained the Apostles to start it off. He has never changed his methodology. He has never stopped the commission, or revised it, or upgraded or updated it. It is every believer’s responsibility, but we’re not supposed to be alone.

    Sorry to take up so much space on this, but I have a lot to say, so I divied it up.

  10. FL, you take me to such an extreme, as usual.

    I didn’t criticise ‘the Great Commission’. I even suggested that the megachurches might have their focus right on this one. But if we are serious about it, we will ask ourselves whether the gospel being preached is truth, and will be concerned if we see truth being mishandled, as per Bill’s post.

    Paul set us a fine example here, and he followed Christ’s example. We will be concerned about the actions of the leaders towards those under them, as the leaders are to be examples of Christ, and if they are not, the Great Commission is harmed. To ignore and overlook this is risky, and can lead to the downfall of good works.

    You might have missed the heading of this article, where I wrote “and do we?”. We can’t criticise methodology or false doctrines of others without taking a good look at ourselves as well.

    One of the main points of what people have written here is that they are unhappy with schisms and divisions, caused by ‘patriotism’ of individual churches, rather than all acknowledging our various roles in the body of Christ. So I really can’t see that we are making these things an obstacle to our obedience – rather others do when they are ‘patriotic’ at the expense of those who aren’t part of their movement but are nevertheless serving Christ.

    It is often the megachurches who refuse to work with others in their areas. If they can’t put a program under their own brand, they won’t support it. Smaller churches often work together on the other hand, including with groups of people outside a more conventional church structure.

    You call me vain, but what is someone like yourself who denigrates those outside organised churches, and puts down the evangelistic efforts of small groups of Christians outside the main systems – making fun of them (at best) for sending their converts to local churches when they recognise their current limitations. It is ridiculous to suggest that when they do that, they don’t stay in relationship with those people as well. They don’t abandon them as you previously suggested. You yourself thoughtlessly denigrate part of the body of Christ, by not recognising their connection within His body.

    Eyes are not big, but they do see. It doesn’t help if what they see is ignored.

    I do not hate CCC – I do not ‘hate’ their methodology. I do criticise its shortfalls, and hope that if enough people raise issues, maybe someone might be in a position one day to address them well. Can you not find it in you to understand that criticism can be a response to pain and grief, at seeing things of God distorted?

    Are you angry because I said I am no longer involved in street preaching, and at the moment just talk to friends and family as the opportunity arises? That’s one of the points of the post above – its so easy to lapse into a more comfortable zone in this area especially when we are older – should we? Some would say yes, as where we are is where God called us to be, and He will bring people to us. Others would say no, we should go out there looking for and making opportunities.

    Raising that question is hardly denying the importance of the Great Commission! What I am asking is – do the megachurches have it right, and for those of us who criticise them – do we? Are we being hypocritical by criticising them and doing nothing ourselves? Now a lot of people here probably are doing whatever they feel God calling them to do in this area, and so are not being hypocritical, but the question is worth raising.

    The megachurch churn rate is a grave concern and calls their practices into question, though they may be fine. Whatever the answer, the question of whether people are being innoculated against Christianity is a valid one.

    I have actually heard people say, however, that Jesus only called his disciples to the Great Commission, rather than all of us, so I left that one open to see if anyone would also like to comment on it. I am not preaching doctrine to anyone, but hoping to stimulate discussion – even on views that I may not personally share. It makes us stronger.

  11. FL, I’m glad you addressed the point of the post in your last reply! I’d like to see more thoughts about this issue.

    When I say ‘carry on’ – its because I had it rammed into me over and over for some years when I was young. I have been through numerous training programmes with all sorts of completely different church groups at that time. ‘Personal evangelism’ was a big term, and I haven’t heard it at church for years – it was kind of the trendy phrase back then.

    Then of course, John Wimber came along with ‘Power evangelism’ – even more challenging.

  12. See, I’ve taken up more space than you did.

    I would suggest that in so far as training goes, it can be just as effective in a smaller group as in a bigger church. Group size is less relevant than a good example.

  13. While I’m on the subject, I knew Dean Sweetman many years ago. Not well, but it was interesting given that he is such an evangelist and now runs CCC in North America I think. He was undoubtedly a gifted evangelist. He had such an evangelistic call that he seemed to live it, eat, drink and breathe it. Nothing else had that priority in his life. He must have had other interests, but I can’t remember him talking about them. It was somewhat awesome and somewhat intimidating to me at the time.

  14. Once again FL, you have missed the entire point of my post and instead thrown up your straw-man argument. There really is little point debating with you. It is as though I am speaking in an “unknown tongue” and you need an interpretation.

    Did I disagree with the Great Commission? No, I did not. I simply pointed out that the Western World is essentially “christianized” but that does not really mean a single thing does it? The bible tops the best seller list every year and will no doubt continue to do so.
    Bush apparrently is a Christian but he still thinks it’s ok to blow your fellow man away with a pre-emptive strike if they threaten your national interests. Can I get an amen brother?

    The truth of the gospel is the issue FL, not the preaching of the false one. Who says I am not involved in getting this “truth” out there? Why, because I have distanced myself physically/spiritually from the pox-ridden pentecostal system? The simple fact of the matter is that “…no man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him…” (John 6:44) and so it remains that it is “…it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy…” (Romans 9:16)

    Knock yourself out Facelift and see how many converts you can win, after all the person with the most bums on seats is the winner right?

  15. Some of these groups may have started out well. But when distorted by prosperity doctrine and subordination of the congregation – the truth of the original can be obscured or in the worst case, lost completely.

    Since no-one does everything right, and love covers a multitude of sins, learning to live in and treat one another in our Father’s love must cover a lot. Emphasising that in our community cultures will surely make evangelism more effective, and truly show the intended nature of the Body of Christ. That’s why it must not be neglected for the sake of pragmatism.

  16. So we don;t have to preach after all, Bill? When did Jesus change this?

    And I suppose the unsaved will find their won way home. Are you a Calvinist predestinist thinker?

  17. RP – I appreciate what you are saying but loving God is defined scripturally as thus: “…For this is the love of God (what is?), that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous…”

    I don’t equate love with tolerance RP, they are not the same thing and I apologise in advance is that is offensive to you.
    Those who appear before Christ in the last day attempt to justify themselves through their many good works – prophesy, casting out demons and other (Gk) “dunamis” works (from where we get the English word “dynamic”) but the issue is “…I knew you not… you that work iniquity…”

    When a church group “goes above that which is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6) there is little point tolerating it. Get yourself out of there post haste and keep the temple free from idols.

  18. Oh dear… We’re done FL, there is no point discussing things with you. Make your own conclusions… whatever…

  19. No it’s not offensive to me Bill, to differentiate between love and tolerance. We have to, I think. Still, I don’t believe its right to hate the people or leaders – God loves them, and so should I, even if I utterly reject what they teach. For all I know, He may bring enormous change to them one day, and they are my brothers and sisters.

    I can totally understand the arguments for leaving organised church altogether, and have considered it myself, because of my different understanding of truth. I may yet do so at some point, however, I don’t feel God has called me out of there at this stage.

    I don’t feel that I am ‘tolerating’ it – rather, staying where I am to be for the moment. I am cautious – you see, I don’t want to be ‘religious’ about leaving either. It would be easy to say ‘house church’ is the only way to do things because it’s closest to the NT example, or some other approach, but I think we can get religious about any approach. So I’m waiting to see where God will lead my family, in His timing.

    When I first reached the point of utter disillusionment with so much of what was taught, it was tempting to just leave, but for me would have been a knee jerk reaction. I sought God regarding my attitude, since I felt bitter and angry, and knew He didn’t want me to hold onto that.

    I’m no longer bitter or angry, although I regularly hear things I find outrageous – things I regard as lies and false, harmful doctrine – preached as if they were true. They grieve me, and have brought me to tears for the harm and suffering they cause. Sometimes I feel as if I can’t stay – but I am waiting until I have a sense of God’s direction.

    There seems to be two churches, to me, in the same place. One is measurable, the other is not. I can only speak with respect to where I currently fellowship. I love many of the people there. I even genuinely like the pastors, and feel compassion towards them, because to me they are the ones who in some ways are most likely to be hurt by the system they are part of. I made my differences known to them, rather than live with the hypocrisy of appearing to support everything, but kept going.

    God is still there. He uses people there in all sorts of ways. There are many relationships within the community there which I can see Christ in, and I can also see some of his gifts to the church operating there. To me, those relational things are the immaterial church that can’t be measured outwardly, and it is there along with the things I hate – as well as beyond their walls in other communities and gatherings.

    I did leave CCCOF many years ago, and would be totally unable to stomach going back there now, particularly seeing the speakers they seem to endorse. However, where I am now has different roots and is not as extreme. Plus, I have friends at CCCOF – again, I know that my brothers and sisters are there, and so is the immeasurable church, where God is working, even if its a different church to that which is measured. So yes, I hate many of the doctrines and methods, but I don’t hate the church. It’s not really tolerance. Neither is it easy.

  20. BTW, I’m not even saying my approach is the right one, Bill. It’s kind of a work in progress.

  21. Yes I agree with that post RP (3.59am) and I certainly appreciate your p.o.v there. I have never told anyone personally or in an email to leave the organized church. I ask them to question it certainly but whether they stay or go has to be up to them. These are hard and momentous decisions we have to make (if we do make them) and in many ways are issues of conscience and between the individual and God. After all, we are all Christ’s workmanship, not our own.
    I am extremely grateful for my time in C.C.C because I feel it has made me what I am today. I wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything!

    Yes, I do believe God still works with people wherever they are at, whether they are in an institutionalized orthodox church or for that matter a mosque or at the local pub. He certainly is “…no respecter of persons…” and any good works we do don’t mean a thing or make us any better than anyone else in God’s eyes.

  22. Well, Bill, the Western world is surely not ‘christianised’, as you suggest. In fact it is secularised and democratised, and i many nations today, multiculturalised, which is why it has been so hard to minister in this environment.

    Most Westerners, including Christians, think that everything should be run on secular, democratic lines, but there is nothing either secular or democratic about the Kingdom of God.

    Another point, outside of this, is that there is more than the West to consider with the Great Commission, bearing in mind that we have been sent ‘unto the uttermost’, not just to our backyard. There are something like a billion Muslims, 200 million of them on our borders, millions of Hindus, and every other kind of false religion which need to be evangelised.

    Even if we had ‘christianised’ the entire West, which I dispute, we are sent to those who have not heard.

    A child is born every few seconds which needs to be reached. Someone dies who we failed to reach. We are in no way keeping up with the rate of birth with conversion rates. We are falling behind, in the secular, democratic West, let alone in the developing world.

    The whole point that Lee Grady is making is that we are not reaching our Western world.

    We are being entertained, caressed, soothed and appeased, flopping around the floor with the fire and ‘More!”, receiving so much of the ‘anointing’ that we must have more ‘anointing’ than the Holy Ghost by now, and yet the secular, democratically multicultural Western world is largely going to hell, despite the fact that we are all Bibled-up with so many different versions and online concordances and lexicons and Blackberry dictionaries, and all the stuff, including books, DVD’s podcasts, and the relevant paraphernalia, but not actually doing anything about the ‘”More!” fire we receive. It’s a scam.

    I’ll say thisw for CCC and Hillsong. The are not perfect. But tey reach young people, and I’ve seen their conferences where young people are calling otu to God. They have touched something vital. I am encouraged that the youth of our nation still has a part to play in Gd’s destiny, and that they are no so seculaised and democratised that they resist God, but rather are coming ot Jesus and surrendering ther lives.

    I agree that our responsibility to these young people is share the truth with them and not to water down the gospel, or pervert Christ’s doctrine. From what I see that is not happening with foundational doctrinal teaching in some of the churches you criticise, but mostly your aversion ios to peripheral preachers like Hinn, who are not part of the basic set up at any church, and who blow in and out and make a miniscule impact on the average church member, who is impacted more with foundational courses on he basic doctrines of Christ than in one day and out the next healing evangelists.

    I think you’re too hard on CCC and Hillsong, frankly.

    I think there are worse things happening in some more traditional churches, some of whiuch are secularly and democratically influenced and run, and never hve the courage to confrnt sin, or make a decision about issues which Pentecostals resolved eons ago, such as women preachers, sexuality, etc.

    They are still confused over issues which are an offence to the gospel. The liberalisation of doctrine, and the compromise on sexuality, which leads to the deconstruction of marriage and family values is far more damaging than an overexcited Pentecostal preacher like Munsey, (whom I’d never heard of until he was raised on S2) who wins souls but misses some of the finer nuances of expository analysis, failing to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on some scriptures, which I do not in any way excuse, but is the Spirit and essence of the gospel preached to enquiring minds, and are they challenged to yield their lives to Christ, or do we prefer the seminarian stance which gives three different opinions on an obscure ceremonial event and leaves the confused listener to make up their own mind about it.

    Do we preach for salvation and press for a decision, or leave people to think things over on the way to being hit by a Mac Truck as they go home?

  23. Tell you what, RP. I won’t go to extremes with your thinking, but I’ll ask if you won’t go to extremes with mine. I came onto this thread when it was already off-post and some things were said that did not reflect my stance, so I responded.

  24. I will attempt to only quote what you say, FL, or iterate my understanding of it. Then you can correct me if I misinterpret you. 🙂

  25. This is where we differ Facelift.

    I do not believe, not do I accept that the “Hell” doctrine is a biblical concept. I believe in Judgement but not literal flame and literal fire for a literal eternity. The hell doctrine was born of Catholic heresy and remains a venomous thorn in the side of orthodox Christianity today. Many people are beginning to question the veracity of this doctrine and many translations are dropping the word “hell” from their bibles altogether seeing as it’s a gross mistranslation in the first place.

    I am a universalist (yes, throw your eggs and rotton tomatoes now if you choose) and believe that as the scriptures teach “God is the saviour of ALL men, specially they of the household of faith” (1 Timothy 4:10)

    2 Samuel 14:14 “…For we must die, and we are as water spilt on the ground which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him…”

    Whether people come to God now or in the age to come is inconsequential… God will eventually put all rule/power under his feet and eventually destroy death (1 Corinthians 15:26) and as in the scripture above says, he devises means that his banished be not expelled from him.

    In this present church age, “many are called but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14) and the example Christ gave at the time of his return was that of Noah (Matthew 24:37), not that of Moses or Solomon.

    Conservative estimates put world population at around 9 billion and out of that, a paltry 8 were saved. So many really means many and few really means few.

    God however, loves his enemies as he instructs us to (Matthew 5:44) and is not a hypocrite. He will overcome the evil of mankind with good, not with more and a greater evil as the hell doctrine suggests.

    I shall await the ridicule that will follow this post…

  26. I don’t mind going off post – I do it all the time – but it was nice this time to get back onto it. Since I think that if we rubbish the megachurches, we also have to look in our own backyards, and they do emphasise evangelism, which assuming they do preach the gospel (a disputed subject), is a thing in which they could do much good. When things are done that don’t follow Christs ways, though, they can do much harm. Hence the need for discussion.

  27. I think I will pick up this ‘hell’ subject for our next thread. Heavy, I know, but still…

  28. You see, Bill. No ridicule ensued, just concern and an open discussion.

    My main concern is that your frm o universalism negas the requirement to obey the great commission.

    I see no point in Chrst giving us this instruction if all will eventually have eternal life with God. Many other doctrines are superseded by your doctrine, because your doctrine must be the higher doctrine of it states that all will be saved regardless of what Christ says we must do in the earth during or lifetimes, especially if there is a higher plan for the wicked who die in their sin after all have died and been before the Judgement Seat of the Almighty.

    I cannot see any clear reference to this higher doctrine. The only reference is your understanding of the words ‘all, and ‘specially’ in 1 Tim. 4:10. ‘Specially’ – ‘maritos’ – ‘above all’, ‘chiefly’. On this interpretation hangs a higher doctrine than Christ’s doctrine of the Great Commission, the doctrine of the new birth, the doctrine of earnest of the holy Spirit, the doctrine of all being IN Christ, and others.

    God loves his enemies, and has provided a way of redemption. Through repentance.

    How does Christ’s command for ALL to repent work with your doctrine of universalism?

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