Monday, February 11, 2008
After reviewing the articles related to child evangelism, how do you respond to the question, “Is Child Evangelism a Form of Child Abuse?” Agree or disagree?
Article is at: http://www.anabaptists.org/writings/child-e.html
First of all mad props to the writer of this article for speaking his mind and speaking it bluntly and holding back no punches, he isn't joking around.
I think the first thing that needs to be presented is the presentation of the gospel. "Come into my heart and make me a Christian so I can go to heaven to be with You some day." We have made Christianity this idea of fire insurance. We make it all about going to heaven and nothing about bringing heaven to earth. Doesn't the most popular prayer in the Bible say "on earth as it is in heaven." We have lost the idea that we are called to care for people, instead of living the American dream and thinking we have our 401k of death covered because we paid into it with a prayer. When the gospel is presented this way it becomes cheapened and not about Christs love, but our selfish ambition to survive.
I think it is important for a child to understand the gospel fully before accepting it. The issue is that every Christian parent wants their children to be raised to follow Christ, so most push it on their children at a young age and they began to realize their decision wasn't very genuine, and in their teenage years they either recommit and let Christ become the Lord of their life or turn away because they don't really believe what they have been told they believe.
I don't know if I would go as far as the author does in his last few sentences, but I do think that when we present the gospel the wrong way to children it is worse than child abuse because we are abusing something much more precious then their flesh, their souls. I don't believe I have much wisdom in this area since I am currently not a parent. My main issue is that we need to get away from the idea that we should accept Christ so we can go to heaven.
After reviewing the following websites, www.Gotlife.org, www.simplysharejesus.com, www.thewayofthemaster.com and www.kidzplace.org, please discuss your observations of the sites as related to usefulness in ministry and approaches to the Gospel
Got Life wasn't much better than the digital tracks we saw last week. The only reason I thought it was even close to better was because it addressed a lot of tough questions that seekers have. I would have a hard time saying this is relevant (to culture) media.
Simply Share Jesus was great. I think this is the best multimedia we have seen. I think it appeals to the auditory learner because the presentation is heard instead of read. I think the idea of a cube that changes art forms is something that keeps your attention. I would show this while evangelizing. I think it could be an awesome tool in the overseas mission field. I think this is a relevant tool.
The Way of the Master wasn't very impressive. When i pressed on point 1 I thought it took forever to show how we are all guilty of sin. It was nearly 10 minutes to explain how we are all sinners. It could be explained with much less time. "Hells Best Kept Secret" made me laugh, because Kirk Cameron spoke of the Rich Young Ruler and how Christ didn't want to be his friend, but he let him walk away. "He didn't say come back and have a no strings attached relationship" say Cameron. But maybe he should actually focus on the story itself and what Jesus is doing. He isn't planting a seed as much as he is telling someone that they must love God more than money. I didn't agree with much that was said, but I did think it was cool that they showed video of them on the street actually doing evangelism, instead of just talking about doing evangelism.
Try This is about as un-relevant as it could possibly be. It is a word document on a website. I think the wording is good for the target audience; kids. The only thing is the graphics are cheesy at best. Not the best resource.
Properly understood and applied, surrender, repentance, and faith describe how to establish a relationship with the living God. However, if any one of the three is emphasized to the neglect of the others, there is a problem and possibly a misleading interpretation of the Gospel. If faith alone is emphasized, one can move to an "easy believism." If surrender is overly emphasized, one can move to legalism. And finally, emphasizing repentance alone can lead to a works salvation. In sharing our faith, we should listen carefully to hear these three facets, regardless of the words that are being used. What do you think?
The statement is right on when it shows the need for all three. We cannot just have one or the other, it is imperative that we include all three when we share the gospel. In explaining the good news we must remember that Christ calls us to Surrender our lives and living sacrifices to Him, Christ calls us to repent and become forgiven, and Christ calls us to have faith that can move mountains. So how we might communicate this to a person who is seeking Christ is: God calls you to give your entire world to Him, this doesn't mean that you can't come as you are, but what this means is that you must be willing to let God have control over your finances, job, worries, prayers, etc. Next, the Lord asks us to repent for what we have done against God so that we can be cleansed by Christ. Repentance is something that is continual, even as a follower of Christ you will make mistakes and sin and in those times God calls us to repent and be reconciled with Him. Lastly, Faith is important because without it the first two (surrender and repentance) are hard to fulfill. If you are constantly doubting what you believe then it will be hard to see any reason to surrender your life and repent when you do wrong. Jesus tells Thomas to "stop doubting and believe." Later in John 20 Jesus tells Thomas "because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." All three of these principals are tattooed throughout the gospel as they should be tattooed in our lives.
"The questions and issues for lost people have changed. I am not sure that we are listening to the questions any longer. Is it possible that in our efforts to communicate we are simply shouting our answers at a higher pitch?
Some people tend to scream the same thing at a higher pitch. Instead of taking a different angle and adapting with culture they continue to tell of the ideals that used to work to defend their faith. I know that the Christian population is beginning to be people that are spoon-fed their beliefs instead of doing the research to find why they believe what they believe. This method has hurt Christianity because many of us only know the answers that we have been told and when that is proven wrong we either get louder with the same argument or we begin to doubt our faith.
Love is the central piece for what we believe as Christians. Loving the Lord or God and loving our neighbor are quite a consistent trend in the Bible. And on the one occasion Jesus is asked who is my neighbor. He goes off on a tangent about the Good Samaritan. He basically tells this teacher of the law a story of hatred and how the Samaritans and Levites hated each other, but the Samaritan stopped, he cared, he loved his neighbor as himself. Who is our neighbor? Everyone, including the person we hate, and we must live like we love all, even those who crash planes into America’s buildings, even those who lobby for pro-choice, and even those who ultimately we want to hate. Love is the best evangelism there is, because when we love, we reflect Christ.