Evangelical Christians, dangerous?


#1

At my school, we have a certain sect of Christianity (nondenom, I think) who preach in our quad. Using pamphlets and emotive language, they asked the tired “are you saved?” to every passerby. What I was wondering is if they are doing “good” in the sense that I should be in support of their conversion tactics? Not that their theology is perfect or that I should accept it, but should I recognize that they are preaching the word, regardless of how inappropriate I think their methods are?

That, and, if confronted, should I identify myself as catholic, knowing that it will instigate them to verbally attack me? I am fairly confident I can hold my own, but is it the proper thing to do?


#2

Confront is a strong word. But I think interaction is entirely appropriate since it seems to be an open air exchange of ideas, and acceptable to your campus.
Yes, be prepared for all the usual anti-catholic rhetoric if you identify yourself as Catholic. But myself, I wouldn’t rush to say you are. Instead, I would take a different tack and try to question their authority… It seems it all comes down to authority… Where do they get their authority, who are they accountable to? Question their truth, and allow The Truth to speak for itself.
Protestant sidewalk evangelism often goes in to self destruct mode if too many questions are asked. That is not their business, it is more ‘show business’ then anything. They are not prepared for debate, and will try to dismiss you.
Never deny being catholic, but don’t let them put you on trial… they are the ones on the stage trying to solicite truth. Put their truth to the test.
Good Luck ~~


#3

They can be dangerous, and I say this for a specific reason.

What they are doing in general is ok, because they are preaching the word and trying to bring people to Christ. Even though their theology is not perfect, it’s still good.

Except in one case. If they are a OSAS Christians, then they are extremely dangerous in my opinion. St. Paul writes, “For know and recognize this: no sexually immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of the Messiah and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things God’s wrath is coming on the disobedient.” Eph. 5:5-6

OSAS Christians today present these empty arguements. They aren’t encouraging people to sin by any means, and they’ll encourage people not to. BUT they are so strongly convicted that faith alone saves you once and for all that they will go out of their way to attack the idea that we have to abstain from sin. They speak so strongly that it doesn’t matter if you sin. I personally think that they are leading a lot of people to Hell. Here’s why.

If a person lives his life invincibly ignorant and never knows of the truth of Christ, but in general beleives in God and tries to be a good person, there’s a decent chance they may be saved. Then along come these Christians speaking of Christ as the ultimate savior. Joy! Then they teach you that you shouldn’t sin, but it doesn’t really matter. This leads people into a lot of situations where they are being tempted, and they know they shouldn’t do something (full knowledge), but they say, ‘well Jesus’ forgave me for this so it doesn’t matter,’ and they do it anyways (full will), so they commit a mortal sin. I think it’s extremely dangerous.

They teach that with that one time profession of faith, all your past sins are forgiven, but that all your future sins are forgiven too. I really think this leads a lot of people into mortal sin, and so it’s better off for people to stay Jewish or to stay as someone sincerely seeking God in their own way than to be converted to this particular theology.


#4

Hello Ianjo99,

When I am asked, “Are you saved?” I ask, "What must I do to share in everlasting life? After they give me thier inferior answer, I ask them what is the perfect answer to this question? What is Jesus answer to this question.

Evangelicals are dangerous. Many times I have discussed Jesus with people, however many times these people are too turned off by the evangelicals to even think of becoming a Christian.

Please visit www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com
NAB MAR 10:17

As he was setting out on a journey a man came running up, knelt down before him and asked, "Good Teacher, what must I do to share in everlasting life?" Jesus answered, "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments:
‘You shall not kill;
You shall not commit adultery;
You shall not steal;
You shall not bear false witness;
You shall not defraud;
Honor your father and your mother.’"

NAB MAT 19:16

“Teacher, what good must I do to possess everlasting life?” He answered, “Why do you question me about what is good? There is One who is good. If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied “You shall not kill”; ‘You shall not commit adultery’; ‘You shall not steal’; ‘You shall not bear false witness’; ‘Honor your father and mother’; and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”


#5

Hi Lazer,

I will add my “Amen” to what you’ve posted. I was a “victim” of that OSAS philosphy. And I’m not saying it alone led me into serious sin but it certainly didn’t help. I posted something today on a Protestant Web site about OSAS. Fortunately, this particular denomination does not follow that doctrine. They are in the Wesleyan/Arminian tradition of Protestantism.

Gene


#6

[quote=ridesawhitehors]Confront is a strong word. But I think interaction is entirely appropriate since it seems to be an open air exchange of ideas, and acceptable to your campus.
Yes, be prepared for all the usual anti-catholic rhetoric if you identify yourself as Catholic. But myself, I wouldn’t rush to say you are. Instead, I would take a different tack and try to question their authority… It seems it all comes down to authority… Where do they get their authority, who are they accountable to? Question their truth, and allow The Truth to speak for itself.
Protestant sidewalk evangelism often goes in to self destruct mode if too many questions are asked. That is not their business, it is more ‘show business’ then anything. They are not prepared for debate, and will try to dismiss you.
Never deny being catholic, but don’t let them put you on trial… they are the ones on the stage trying to solicite truth. Put their truth to the test.
Good Luck ~~

[/quote]

My first instinct was to say you are Catholic and be prepared to defend your faith, but I think the above responder has better advice. It is less confrontational and will really make them grasp at straws trying to defend their knowledge. You and the Catholic faith should come up the winner!


#7

Your post reminded me of a person who was spamming hundreds or maybe thousands of internet newsgroups for months with a typical Evangelical “get saved” message. As far as I could tell from reading responses to his spam, all he did was alienate a whole lot of people. I actually emailed him and told him that as a Christian I thought that his rude abuse of newgroup etiquette did great harm to the Christian message. He just blew me off. But based on examples like that I’m convinced that strong-arm proslyetizing is one of the banes of Christianity. Whether the group you’re speaking of falls into that category is another question.


#8

When I was a member of the Assemblies of God, a group of us did what we called “street ministry”. We took microphones and guitars out onto Hennipen Ave. in Mpls, in an abandoned lot between a couple of movie theaters. We handed out pamphlets and preached our version of the Gospel. Most of my fellow AoGers in the group were into the standard type of street witnessing that our OP describes, but I liked to surprise people to get their attention. One incident in particular has stayed with me. A group of hippies (this was in the early 70’s) strolled by and stopped to listen, with smirks of amusement on their faces, as if we were merely a sideshow on the street (which we were in a way). I thought to myself that they seemed to be headed someplace when they stopped, so I said, “A lot of people think we are headed the wrong way now days, and they are right. But, Jesus is headed the right way, so follow him and not the world.” One young man kind of started at that and looked at me seriously for the first time. I don’t know what good I did in his life if any, but I hope I helped him rethink his philosophy of life.

Encounters like that are one of the reasons I couldn’t remain in the AoG. I wanted to help people understand the truth, not just “get them saved”. The search for truth brought me to the Catholic Church. I don’t know exactly what I’m trying to say here, but perhaps to say that there may be a young person in that group of Fundamentalists who also thinks s/he is spreading the truth of the Gospel. Engaging them in some conversation may bring that out of one or two of them. Then again, they may not want to hear anything apart from their spiel. You never can tell what God will use to work in another’s heart and mind.


#9

I agree with that but I do insist that 95% of these type of people do truly do it out of love and out of wanting to help people and wanting to serve God.


#10

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