Christians who believe Jesus Christ is Lord (fully God and fully man), that He must be your Lord in order to be your Savior, and that salvation is all God's doing and none of ours. Most of us are from the PMR group (Pretty Much Reformed)


    Are We Complicating the Gospel Message?

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    Are we complicating the Gospel message?

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    67% [67%] 
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    Total Votes: 3
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    KennyJS

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    Are We Complicating the Gospel Message?

    Post by KennyJS on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:08 am

    I don't think I've gone through a single day of browsing different websites regarding my religion without stumbling upon a heated debate. Sure, iron sharpens iron, but that's not what I'm seeing here. What I'm seeing are very bitter arguments, sometimes even including insults and sarcastic shots, often resulting in frustration rather than godly fruit.

    John 3:16, a verse that used to bring joy to God's people, is now a verse that causes strife, frustration, and heated debates on the issue of election. Undoubtedly, there are MANY false converts. We SHOULD focus on that for their sake. However, at this point we're not putting a focus on the right things regarding conversion.

    For example, what about the fruit of the spirit? Nobody EVER brings that up to measure the likelihood that somebody is saved. Is it okay to be bitter if you consider yourself a Calvinist?

    In a nutshell, I think we need to get back to preaching the Gospel and doing what the Bible tells us to do. What about feeding the poor? What about caring for the widows? What about charity? We have written those things off, lowered their importance, and replaced them with tons, and tons, and tons of debates on doctrine. Debating doctrine is kind of pointless unless you're going to follow it.

    I'm not attacking anyone here. I don't even know most of you. I just wanted your thoughts.
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    Scottish Lass

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    Age : 41
    Location : Louisville, KY

    Re: Are We Complicating the Gospel Message?

    Post by Scottish Lass on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:19 am

    I would offer that what you see on websites as far as debate and strife is not representative of the average church. I know few congregations that struggle with these issues (for lots of reasons), but they stock the local food pantry, fund missionaries, support the local crisis pregnancy centers, etc.
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    Adam
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    Re: Are We Complicating the Gospel Message?

    Post by Adam on Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:23 am

    I think you make some good points!

    I've lived on both sides of these tracks and I've created this forum in hopes of balancing it all out. For years I fed the poor, etc. As a house parent and a Christian I believed fully that I was "living the gospel" and telling those I worked with about Jesus and "accepting Him into your heart". My fruit was good but my doctrine was horrible. As a result few I worked with came to Christ and those who did we're obvious "false converts".

    Lately I've been all doctrine and little fruit. While not living my life in wanton sin and defiance of Christ and His Word, I wasn't out producing fruit in a clearly visible way. I've spent this past year out of childcare reading, debating, listening to sermons and lectures, etc. I've been "hashing stuff out" with fellow believers and trying to grow.

    Now I want to put my good doctrine into use! I've not completely figured out how to do that yet. Part of me thinks I may be called to preach,part of me doesn't. I have a strong passion for the lost and want so badly to witness and call to repentance all of God's people. However, I don't want "caught up" in all the extra's of a pastor's life like counseling, funerals, marriages, visiting, etc. Not because that stuff is "wrong" or shouldn't be done but because I feel it takes away time from the study of God's word, prayer, and learning more and more. As such, should I not be a preacher then? I'm not sure.

    In America we're at a point where "basic" doctrine simply has to be taught because it's not known by the vast majority. Yet I know for a fact that in our pursuit of it we often go too far too fast pushing away those who are eager to learn but maybe slower than we are at it.

    So I ask myself, what do I (or we) do? I want to start witnessing on the streets with a video camera and such like several other sites do (The ones Wretched Radio works with) not to become famous or get on TV or the radio but to post as lessons what I do, and I believe people in this generation would be more willing to listen and talk with you if they thought they we're going to be "internet stars" of some sort (though that's not my goal of course).

    That's why I like "Wretched Radio" so much. While they teach solid and sound theology and doctrine they also keep it fairly simple at the same time wanting mainly to see others "saved". That's where I am right now. I want to teach "rightly" concentrating on Christ and Him crucified.

    Any thoughts and ideas on this? Keeping the message sound but simple calling all men every where to repent and believe the gospel.


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    Vtwin

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    Age : 43
    Location : at my computer...it's an iMac

    Re: Are We Complicating the Gospel Message?

    Post by Vtwin on Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:25 am

    Adam wrote:

    Now I want to put my good doctrine into use! I've not completely figured out how to do that yet. Part of me thinks I may be called to preach,part of me doesn't. I have a strong passion for the lost and want so badly to witness and call to repentance all of God's people. However, I don't want "caught up" in all the extra's of a pastor's life like counseling, funerals, marriages, visiting, etc. Not because that stuff is "wrong" or shouldn't be done but because I feel it takes away time from the study of God's word, prayer, and learning more and more. As such, should I not be a preacher then? I'm not sure.

    I think in order to be a full time "EFFECTIVE" pastor, you have to have a heart for people, not just a heart for the Bible. That's the difference between a Pastor and a Monk. The pastor loves his flock so much he ministers to THEM with the gospel/scripture. A monk loves God, and the Scriptures so much he has no time/compassion to minister to the needs of people.



    Adam wrote:So I ask myself, what do I (or we) do? I want to start witnessing on the streets with a video camera and such like several other sites do (The ones Wretched Radio works with) not to become famous or get on TV or the radio but to post as lessons what I do, and I believe people in this generation would be more willing to listen and talk with you if they thought they we're going to be "internet stars" of some sort (though that's not my goal of course).

    I'd say start a little smaller. Work with who/what God gives you. God has given us the instruction to feed his sheep. The single most effective method is to find a local Church become aquatinted with the people, perhaps start working with in the youth or young adults teaching, and leading.
    I feel teaching young adults/parents is more important because they are the ones teaching their children. If we can reach THEM, THEY will reach their children, and then half the battle is won !

    Adam wrote: That's where I am right now. I want to teach "rightly" concentrating on Christ and Him crucified.

    There is a lost and dying world waiting. The Bible is so right when it says"The fields are white for the harvest, but the workers are few".

    Adam wrote:Any thoughts and ideas on this? Keeping the message sound but simple calling all men every where to repent and believe the gospel.

    Hope this isn't over reaching.
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    Adam
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    Re: Are We Complicating the Gospel Message?

    Post by Adam on Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:04 pm

    Ultimately, if a dream could come true, I'd love to sort of be a traveling evangelist, not preaching at just one church. I'd have a home Church of course and be willing to preach there when able. I absolutely love Paul Washer and what he does (though he started as a foreign missionary). He has a home Church that he occasionally preaches/teaches in but he's not the "pastor" of it. He has a full schedule (I checked it's literally full for all of 2009) going across the Country trying to call the Church back to true theology and the gospel message. I'd LOVE to do something like that.


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    Pilgrim

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    Re: Are We Complicating the Gospel Message?

    Post by Pilgrim on Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:26 pm

    I can't view the poll choices for some reason, but I'll contribute my opinion. I think that Calvinists do sometimes fail to preach the gospel clearly enough. Some go off on some hobby horse or get sucked into some movement. Others will preach the whole counsel of God, but sometimes in a way that has so many qualifications etc. that it will often not be that effective.

    Compare Spurgeon's preaching with that of many today. One of Spurgeon's chief aims was the conversion of his hearers. Read the "Soulwinner" and compare that to the prevailing practice of Calvinistic churches today. I've been enjoying old W.A. Criswell sermons too. He was basically a 4 pointer, but he was a very learned man who was able to communicate truth in a way that the average person could understand.

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