Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Converting people to the Christian club while they remain unsaved.
I better add some commentary to this one.
If you go to weak evangelical churches, or simply search "baptism testimony" on YouTube, you will hear something like this:
"I was at a really low point in my life (insert felt need here). My friend (the "Friendship Evangelist") invited me to church. I knew there was something different about my friend, but I couldn't put my finger on it. I knew she was a Christian, but she never shoved her beliefs down my throat. So, I decided, 'What have a got to lose. Nothing else has worked. Maybe I should give this whole 'Jesus thing' a try.'
"When I came to this church for the first time, the people seemed friendly, genuine, not plastic. I liked the music. Even though I didn't know the words at first, the music made me feel relaxed, at home. And then the pastor got up to speak. I felt like he was speaking directly to me, like I was the only person in the church. He seemed to really understand my problems, and he sounded like he really cared.
"So, after that first Sunday, I decided to come back. I've been coming, now, for about a year. I've joined a Home Group. My Home Group is like my family, the family I never had. I know they love me, and I love them, too.
"So, that's why I'm here to be baptized, because I love Jesus."
So, what's the problem?
Be honest. You've likely heard testimonies like this one. It may have been yours.
No mention of sin, repentance, the cross of Christ, an affirmation of the resurrection, or trusting in Jesus Christ alone for salvation. While moving, and no doubt sincere and heartfelt, the above testimony is likely that of a false convert--someone who was warmly welcomed into the Christian club, while never being called to repent and believe the gospel.
Friendship Evangelism, as it is most commonly practiced, breeds testimonies like this one--testimonies that, unless the person comes to genuine repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, will result in yet another Matthew 7:21-23 tragedy.