New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches


Oct 10, 2001 Vol 01 : 073
 
NT Church Proliferation Digest Wednesday, October 10 2001 Vol 01 : 073


Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism
Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism
Re: [ntcp] resurrections becoming frequent on the internet
Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism


Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 20:41:31 -0400
From: "Dan Beaty"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism

Link,

Thanks for the additional comments. I think I can now see where you are
coming from:

>

You have already noted some good examples, but from Paul's letters, I gather
that his method was "by any means possible." (1 Cor. 9:22)

In our Sunday meeting we were discussing the need for a sense of urgency
concerning the things of God. From Acts, I get the impression that Paul was
always extremely eager to present the Gospel of Christ, but learned in time
to be more sensitive to the Lord's direction than at first.

Certainly he would have preferred for people to recieve the truth
immediately, but he often stressed patience was needed when dealing with
"those who oppose themselves," in order to "recover them from the snare of
the devil." (2 Tim 2:25).

But whether short time or long, he was willing to do whatever it took to
bring those to Christ with whom he was engaged. (Acts 26:28-29).

Dan Beaty
Columbus, Ohio USA

http://www.livingtruth.com


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Date: Mon, 8 Oct 2001 18:40:56 +0700
From: "Link"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism

Hi Mike,

As always, thought-provoking comments.

You argued that Lyaconians, etc. would be familiar with Jewish teaching,
considering how evangelistic Jews were in those days, and the fact that they
could be swayed by the Jews because (presumably) the Jews convinced them that
the apostle's teaching was unorthodox.

It _is_ possible that the average pagan in that area had a general knowledge of
what Judaism taught. It's also possible that some pagans could have been
familiar with the Aristolian teaching of one God based on the Prime Mover
argument. (And if Aristotle were Jewish that would ad all the more reason to
think of this as an argument for Greek philosophy making the pagans
God-conscious.)

But I'm not convinced that a mob of pagans would be really familiar with Jewish
teaching. You argued that Moses was read on every Sabbath in these tons. Some
non-Jews went to the synagogues to hear the Torah read, but isn't it likely
that the number of pagans who went to check out the synagogue were rather low,
percentage-wise?

Think about the average 'Palestinian' 'Cousin' in Israel. How many of you
could tell you what Christians believe about Jesus? There are Orthodox
Christian Palestinians from their own race, but can these people explain any
basic Christian doctrine?

Granted, the pagans of that area might have had some general knowledge of God
and Jewish beliefs. But would they have had more information about Judaism
than a stone-age tribesman could get in a day 'seminar' on Judaism? They might
have known the Jews believed in one God, but the ethics of the OT, the need for
atonement in the OT sense, etc. would not have gotten absorbed into their
belief system yet. Yet, with their level of knowledge, the apostles were able
to quickly get to the part about Christ.

I'm not saying the Creation to Cross method is _wrong_. It just seems like the
apostles didn't take weeks to get to the part about Christ. And if someone is
led by the Spirit to hold off the part about Christ for several months, he
should obey. But I don't know that this is the case for most people following
the Creation to Cross technique.

Here's another topic. How much teaching does a 'cousin' need before getting to
the part about Jesus? Does anyone have any 'techniques' for getting all the
myths about Abraham, Moses, etc. out of a former 'cousin's' belief system? Do
you usually do that before or after conversion?

(Actually, I hear on average it takes 5 years of Christian witness for the
average 'Cousin' who repents. Some ev. by getting them interrupted in the
Bible and leading them through it anyway.)

Link Hudson


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Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2001 11:30:44 +0700
From: "Link"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] resurrections becoming frequent on the internet

Hi Dave,

Mike M. made some comments about brother Wolfgang Simson's style a while back,
talking about the American marketing approach in one of his letters (though
Wolfgang is German and has spent a lot of time in India.)

Wolfgang also seems to like to collect stories about miracles. I only caught a
part of his teaching during the seminar, but he told a story about a revival in
a certain African country- Uganda I think. If I remember right, the story went
that every two years, the magicians would do something and certain springs would
flow. After the springs flowed, the people did brutal female circumcision.
Well, the church rose up and prayed and the springs didn't flow anymore, and so
they didn't do the brutal ritual female circumcision. I think he had told many
other such stories.

I had emailed Wolfgang and invited him to dinner. I had just met him the night
when I heard the Uganda story. After the meeting was over, he filmed a local
believer who was telling some miraculous story. I think it was a conversion
story about a young man who died and saw Jesus.

So I think Wolfgang like's to collect stories like that. He is the one who puts
out the Friday fax, right?

I participate on a Pentecostal list. every once in a while, someone brings up
the topic of certain name-dropping, sweating, loud, self-promoting preachers who
talk a lot of miracles that happened elsewhere, but never seem to happen in the
meetings where you see them.

Maybe miracles are more inclined to take place on the mission field. After all,
Hebrews 2 tells about God doing signs and wonders when the Gospel was _first
preached_ among the Hebrews. Maybe the rationalist world view of Americans can
hinder miracles. Even Jesus could not do many mighty miracles in His own
hometown because of their unbelief.

I can relate to what you are saying about there being a lot of undocumented
miracles. In the early 90's, I used to live in an area where I got TBN, and I
would watch Benny Hinn Crusades on TV from time to time. The hair, music, and
use of words like 'marvelous' kind of made the show a little too melodramatic
for me to stomach at first. It seemed kind of fake because of those things. (I
wonder how unbelievers think about it.) Once I got used to the style, it didn't
seem as fake anymore.

One thing that bothered me about Benny Hinn's interview techniques. Someone
comes up claiming that their knees are healed. He doesn't say, "Sir, could you
walk at all without that wheelchair before you came up on stage." Instead, he
asks, 'What did you feel go through you.' The people who go up on stage usually
say they felt heat, electricity, maybe cold. People can get these 'feelings'
from sitting under an air conditioning or heating vent, or by getting shocked by
the person sitting next to them who is wearing a fuzzy sweater in the winter
time.

I went to a Benny Hinn crusade, and hours before Hinn go there, we'd see people
raising their hands on the bottom floor of the arena, raising their hands. The
audience would clap. I remember thinking if I could get down to that floor, and
just ran around with my arms, up, people would clap for me, too. How do we know
if the people down there are healed or not.

There was a little elderly lady with an oxygen tank at the bottom of my section.
Some 'regular believers' gathered around her and prayed for her. She lifted up
her hands and our section clapped. I thought that since I could get to where
she was, I would interview her. I asked the lady next to me about her. She
said the woman had walked down really slowly with people helping her down to the
front.

I went down and talked to the woman. She looked like she was about 90 years old.
She had a big green oxygen tank next to her, with a mask, which she didn't use.
I told her I was just someone in the audience curious to find out what happened,
and asked her what was wrong. She showed me a letter from her doctor saying she
couldn't have a lung transplant for her emphysema because of her bad heart. She
said before the meeting, she couldn't be off the oxygen for more than a few
seconds without panting.

I asked her what she wanted to do now that she was better. She said that she
wanted to go fishing with her 4-year-old grandson, who had wanted her to go with
him.

I asked her if she wanted to walk up the stairs. She said she did. I took her
by the hand and we walked up the steep stairs of the Atlanta Omni. People
clapped.

I got that woman's phone number. A few months ago I tried to call her number
here from Indonesia through net2phone, but the reception was terrible. I gather
that the man who answered was probably her husband. He said something about her
being dead. We couldn't hear each other and he got frustrated and hung up
angrily. So I don't know what happened afterwards. She did look rather old, so
it is possible that she was healed and died of something else later on.

I wish that people who made TV shows showing people who had been healed did a
better job documenting the healings. With all the supernatural TV shows in the
US, that would make a good show. I haven't seen TBN in years, but they would
have the resources to put together a show researching legitimate claims to
miracles. I doubt they would do it in a scientific manner. I can just imagine
the host who sounds like a soother Pentecostal preacher, and occasional 'old
country' style Gospel songs every 5 minutes on the show.

Maybe someone could put together a 'documented miracles' web page for believers
to post their testimonies and medical records on the 'net. The webmaster could
filter out all the New Age claims to miracles. The web page would be a good
source for miraculous 'Chicken Soup' books or for a TV show.

Link Hudson


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Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 09:12:09 +0200
From: "Deborah"
Subject: Re: [ntcp] Bible-storying evangelism

Link commented:
> But I'm not convinced that a mob of pagans would be really familiar
with

> Jewish teaching. You argued that Moses was read on every Sabbath in

> these tons. Some non-Jews went to the synagogues to hear the Torah

> read, but isn't it likely that the number of pagans who went to check
out

> the synagogue were rather low, percentage-wise?

Last winter I participated in a tour of five of the seven cities
mentioned in the opening chapters of the Book of the Revelation. In
Turkey, obviously. Granted I was not in what was once called Galatia,
not the city of Lystra; I was in ancient Asia-- mostly on the western
coast. But I'll tell you what I saw in both Ephesus and Sardis. Work
stalls which had Jewish names on them. Next to work stalls with gentile
names. In the Agora (market) areas of both cities. My point? The
biblical commandment was (is!): "you ... shall talk of them (the
commandments) when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when
you lie down, and when you rise up" (Deu. 6:7). It was and is a natural
part of an observant Jewish person's life to talk about the Torah in the
normal course(s) of life. Here in Israel it is normal to see Jewish men
walking together discussing the Bible, at set times of the day "laying
tephillim" (binding on their right arm and forehead "philacteries") at
their places of business, and praying. They dress "strangely". They
don't eat "normal" foods or do certain things. They're different. And
they discuss the application of God's Law to everyday life. All the
time.

A Jewish business next to a "pagan's, like in Ephesus and Sardis,"
was bound to provoke questions. Comments. And they were common
throughout the Roman empire. The religious Jew (granted, there were
some who, as today, lived like gentiles, but only some) back then was
only too willing to explain to the "pagan" the basic truths of the
Jewish faith. Like I said, the ancient evidence suggests a highly
"evangelistic" Jewish religion which was reading/seeing the signs of the
end of the age. And acting accordingly.

Link uses the word "mob" when referring to the Lycaonians. And I
suppose they could have been since the Greek word OKHLOUS _can_ indeed
mean "mob" and they were worked into a violent frenzy against the
Apostles by their Jewish visitors. But it basically has the idea of a
crowd or multitude with no such pejorative associations. No slight
against their intelligence or education. The Lystrans certainly weren't
incapable of understanding the rudiments of the Jewish faith, had they
ever heard them. Which they, local merchants and laborers, likely had,
just from working and living alongside Jews. It was their natural
setting. They didn't have to attend synagogue to know that Jews
believed in one God only, that He required certain moral and ceremonial
things from His people, that the Jews were awaiting an ultimate
king/deliverer, and that there would be a final judgment of all peoples
based on God's requirements. Such a foundation would have been
sufficient for the gospel of Jesus Christ to have made sense to such a
"pagan mob". More so than it would to an isolated tribal group.

> Granted, the pagans of that area might have had

> some general knowledge of God and Jewish beliefs.

> But would they have had more information about

> Judaism than a stone-age tribesman could get in

> a day 'seminar' on Judaism?

For sure. At least some of the "pagans" of Lystra lived and
worked alongside Jews. Or were contacted by Jewish merchants. God's
ancient people were not an abstraction to them, as they would be to
modern "stone-age tribesmen". Jews were respected as an ancient people
by the leaders and many of the subjects of the Roman empire. And the
Lystrans listened, for whatever reason, to the Jews from the nearby
cities of Iconium and Pisidian Antioch. That tells me that the Jews had
some kind of influence with the Hellenised Lycoanian people of Lystra.

Michael

Jerusalem


End of New Testament Church Proliferation Digest V1 #73

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