Discussion in 'Cults & World Religions' started by turmeric, Nov 18, 2006.

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  1. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Has anyone heard these ads on Christian radio - or have you all progressed so far in your sanctification that you don't listen to Christian radio any more?

    I heard one this morning that had my blood boiling. It starts with this nice Christian lady (I know who it is, but don't want to say.) explaining that wrong actions and wrong attitudes separate us from God, and make us feel like there's something missing inside. She then proceeds to say something about Christ, I think, then she tells people that if they want to get rid of this bad feeling of something missing...(I'm waiting for the Gospel presentation)...to call and speak to someone at 1-800-NEED-HIM. A human mediator?!:eek:

    Maybe I'm over-reacting. Maybe I'm trusting my understanding of the doctrines of grace for my justification instead of trusting Christ? This really hit me wrong.
  2. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate

    You could always pay for 1-800-jst-ifid where when you call it you can press 1 for a reading of the WCF on justification 2 for assurance 3 for...
  3. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    SO... what is wrong with this?

    Talking to someone about Christ is not imposing a human mediator any more than counseling someone after church.

    Perhaps the way the ad was run may have been hokey....but what is wrong with the concept? Could this not be done by a Reformed church?

    I am sure that if an Arminian did the commercial there are flaws, but I applaud the concept.

    A lot of people "feel" their sins and a lot of people are miserable. Whether it is a church sign, a radio ad, a newspaper article or friend to friend, these all seem to be legitimate ways of showing Christ to a dying world.

    The sad part is (1) The receivers of these calls are probably all Arminians (maybe 'cause no Calvinists would do it), and (2) Most calvinists are so fearful of looking like an arminian that they would rather read another volume of Calvin than look for neighbors in need and practically help them.

    Now that makes MY blood boil!

    As for the idea of a reading of the WCF into the phone, that IS really funny. If someone is receptive enough and feels their need enough to call a number looking for spiritual counsel, it is a poor stewerdship not to put a live person on the other end to interact with them.

    Sorry, but maybe all the nonsense in the other threads about what Presbies should and shouldn't do and who Presbies should and shouldn't hang out with has got me in a foul mood.
  4. crhoades

    crhoades Puritan Board Graduate


    Understood. I was just being cheeky myself trying to lighten the mood. :D
  5. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Actually, Trevor, I've been staying off those threads about what good Presbys do, I can't stand them, they smack of self-righteousness to me.

    And I hope no one EVER reads the WCF to an average American seeking spiritual counsel. That's ridiculous, funny but ridiculous.

    I wish you'd heard the ad. It really did seem to be saying, you've got a little problem, we've got the formula, call us. Why they couldn't encourage the person to call on Christ, and THEN call 1-800-WHATEVER I don't know.
  6. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    1. Having a "nice Christian lady" giving a pseudo-Gospel presentation over the radio is a form of preaching the Gospel, which should not be done by any woman in any venue (if we want to take apostolic instruction seriously).

    2. This presentation fails to go back to the real source of our separation from God, which is Adam's fall and the penalty for original sin that is accounted to entire human race. Any actual sin is a secondary result of that fall.

    Of course, bringing up that point would necessitate discussing the total depravity and inability of mankind, which would lead to discussing Christ's particular substitutionary atonement, which would lead to other things Reformed, and we can't have any of that so we'll just not mention the little fact of original sin...

    3. Feeling like "there's something missing inside" is not how many a rebellious sinner feels. There are any number (whether as shown in Scripture or one's own experience with the world) who could care less about their sin, feel little to no shame and emptiness about what they do, and would laugh at any nice Christian lady who would try and tell them otherwise. They are dead in their trespasses and sins. Many of them will only begin to feel that emptiness as the Holy Spirit begins to bring conviction upon them and starts the process of calling and regeneration.

    I often suspect that the whole "emptiness inside" apologetic is just an easy way of avoiding the need to address the real issue of one's sin and inherent rebelliousness toward God, a discussion that is by no means easy to broach. Our ultimate need is not to have those empty feelings satisfied, but to glorify God and bow down in worship before the risen Lamb.

    A presentation like the above is not the serious preaching of the Gospel, and as a distortion of the truth it will do more long term harm than it will good.
  7. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Meg and Chris;

    Understood and agreed. Sorry, I may be a little defensive after interacting with some of the divisive threads of late. Maybe I should stay off of those threads, too.


    Every speaking of the Gospel is not a form of preaching. Women can speak fo Christ too.

    Why not deal with actual personal and secondary sin instead of Adam's sin? We can see OUR sin every day when Adam's sin appears to many to be distant and abstract. We do not need to give a replay of Genesis everytime we present the Gospel. It is enough to convince someone that they are a "Secondary" sinner.

    Some sinners do, in fact, feel like there is something missing. Christ offers not just Himself but his benefits to - even Christ said, Come unto me and get rest because my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Has Christ sold out to these arminians because He presents himself as a solution to people's felt needs?

    Sin must be mentioned, yes, but to first make people take notice by pointing out there feelings of emptiness (due to sin) is a legitimate way to open a bridge to discuss their sin and their separation from God - the true cause of their emptiness.

    We don't have to pander to an audience, but we can make the Gospel meet people first where they are receptive. This is not church growth, but just common sense.

    As a means of getting people to call and talk about their problems and the Gospel, these commercials may, in fact, be effective means of getting people to hear and consider the Gospel. The real judgment must regard what is being taught in the phone counseling sessions. Are the counselors who receive these calls presenting the Gospel clearly? Are they talking about sin and Christ? This is where we determine whether this group is actually presenting the Gospel or not.
  8. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Good point. It was early in the morning, the church I've been going to has been stressing grace, the Gospel as a motivation for right behavior, etc. Suddenly, I heard this somewhat perfectionistic definition of sin, what sounded like a simplistic (as opposed to simple) presentation of the Gospel, and then when the punchline came, it wasn't "Go to Christ" but come to us...I can be a little hard on evangelicals at times. I just don't want to see people who think they're saved when they're not, but that's up to God, isn't it?

    By the way, Trevor, you've got more evangelistic guts than I'll ever have, going to a predominately Muslim country at this time in world history. God bless you and your efforts!!
  9. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Thanks Meg...guts don't equal brains and I could be wrong on this thread though (because I haven't seen the commercial).

    But it sounds like this commercial MAY be a legitimate means of opening dialogue. No one should expect to "get someone saved" by viewing a commercial, but the aim of the commercial seems to be to get people to talk and dialogue about Christ.

    Maybe the commercials producer's figured that the name of Christ would turn people away, so thus, let us wait until they are ready to call and thus have some sort of readiness and greater commitment to hear us out. Maybe that is their reasoning for saying, 'Call us" instead of "Come to Christ" Or maybe they figured that "Come to Christ" can easily be misunderstood, so that they desire a trained counselor to be able to detail what "Coming to Christ" means (i.e. personal faith, repentance, etc...not just a wish or a happy thought). Maybe they plan to take the time to explain about the person and work of Christ.

    But, I do think that we tend to bash evangelicals too much, when most of them are often more evangelistic than us. I can more easily tolerate some of them with a slightly misdirected zeal than the rabid fascination with minute details type of mentality that often abounds in Reformed circles.

    Some of the recent threads posted on PB are prime examples of Reformed navel gazing while millions perish for lack of ANY knowledge at all.
  10. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Agreed. Self-righteousness and perfectionism are not the exclusive province of evangelicals - the Reformed experience it as well. It's a depravity-thing, I got plenty of it as well. I confess I was WAY more evangelistic when I was an evangelical. I'm just bitter because I grew up evangelical and wasn't saved. I feel like I'm just beginning to understand the Gospel - not talking about parsing it expertly - but really starting to believe it. Hopefully, that will induce humility...
  11. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    Whoa! Just had an epiphany. I was more evangelistic because i preceived conversion always as a crisis, whereas now I see that it may just be a process, which means I feel it's just as important to say things that make people think as it is to make the full "presentation" which I only do now when I have a clear opportunity.
  12. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    If Paul had this to say of the role of women in the church: "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection, but I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." Do you think that he would be pleased with a women usurping that role in front of the whole listening world? No, apostolic command requires that women do not engage in public and spoken Gospel exhortation. Instructing other women in the faith, or private discussion with a friend or co-worker, is on a very different level than public religious broadcasting.

    Why not deal with both actual and original sin? From my experience in the evangelical churches of my youth the focus was only upon actual sin, I don't believe that I had ever heard, nor was I taught the concept, of original sin. Yet, it is just as an important part of the Gospel as personal sin. It is avoided because it is abhorrent to the Arminian theology of most broadly evangelical groups. It should be taught because it is part of the truth of God's revelation.

    Indeed, this is true, and I did not deny it. I stated that many do not have this felt need syndrome, and to try and butter the Gospel up for them would result in forthcoming mockery. My point is not that there is never a place for this tactic, but that (again, as in the above point on original sin) the real issue of their rebellious and fallen state is hardly ever addressed in the same said broadly evangelical churches. Sure, Christ spoke to some of their felt needs, but he also rebuked many for coming to him only with the goal of having them fulfilled (e.g. "Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.").

    Trevor, I do not think that one can downplay the Gospel over the airwaves, and then have us hope that they "turn it up" in a backroom, so to speak. Granted, one does not have sufficient time over a radio add to do so, but then we may ask ourselves if we should be giving out sound bite ideas of the Gospel, in a way that distorts the larger issues, over the radio to begin with. I do not think that these things are matters of legalism or self-righteousness. It is a matter of being faithful to the apostolic teachings. Does the Word allow it? Is this what we should be doing? What would the apostles say? It is rather a desire to be faithful to the Word in every aspect of the ministry. Sure, sometimes it can be taken too far, but only when the interpretation is pushed past the limits of intention. These things are often difficult for us, many of whom have grown up in an egalitarian and loose-thinking age, but when Scriptures confront us with limits to abide by, and truths to proclaim, we must take both in a serious and thoughtful manner.

    So, no Meg, I do not think you were being silly or petty, you were thinking about these things in light of what you have learned from the teaching of the Scriptures.
  13. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    So, let me try to get a grasp on your beleifs:

    First, a woman cannot say anything publicly about the Gospel? After all, any truth concerning the Gospel could be construed as teaching.

    Second, given a 30 second blip on the screen you would want Adam's sin mentioned too, besides just one's personal sin?

    Third, you would prefer to speak only of Christ without His benefits? Instead of felt needs expressed, you would prefer to make sure the audience knows that they are rebels against a holy God?

    Fourth, because we can only give 30 seconds or so to the Gospel if radio/tv and other formats are used, we should maybe refrain from these medium due to only being able to give a "soundbite" of the Gospel.

    I would like to see the actual text of this commercial.

    I sympathize with many of your points, but I do not see the Reformed doing anything like this. Surely there is a God-honoring way to do a short broadcast such as this?... If so, what would it look like?

    If you had the money, how would you "Get out" the Gospel? What format, what would be said, what sort of follow-up? Would you stay away from TV altogether, newspaper, billboards, etc.

    I hear Reformed criticisms of modern evangelistic techniques all the time, but most have nothing to put in their place.

    I agree with most of your critique, but what are YOU going to do?
  14. Archlute

    Archlute Puritan Board Senior

    If by saying, "cannot say anything public about the Gospel" you mean public proclamation of the Gospel in Church, over the radio, etc. then my answer is an unqualified "Yes, I really mean that." That is not their role in the Body of Christ, and I'd like to see you give me some Scriptural proof to the contrary.

    To prove that I'm not just the flaming chauvinist that some may accuse me of being, I'd like to point out that my wife is complete agreement with me on this point, and states that she even feels uncomfortable when the women's Bible study leader "gets to preaching" while delivering a devotional. She agrees that the public proclamation of the Gospel belongs to ordained ministers only.

    I'm not for any thirty-second blips on the screen when it comes to presenting the Gospel.

    That depends on who I am speaking with, for Christ's benefits only come to those who repent of their sins and believe. The older Reformed preachers believed that men must first be humbled by the preaching of the law, and only after that should they have the soothing salve of the Gospel applied.

    Yes, every audience that is being evangelized needs to know that they are rebels against a holy God.

    I agree, as noted above.

    That could be helpful, especially if we are debating issues that do not apply to it.

    I am not very familiar with what a majority of Reformed churches practice in this regard, but I think that it is safe to say that, in as much as a denomination holds to the importance of the preached Word, they will only have sermons over the radio and preaching in the congregations. If I had the money, I would help to pay for the training of more M.Div. students.

    Finish seminary, and preach the Gospel :D

    As an aside, I know what a discouraging thing it can be to have Reformed folk go overkill on some issues just to prove the point, but often there are valid concerns underlying their tirades. I hope that you have not felt pounded over the head by my responses, as I do agree with many of the concerns that you have voiced in other threads. Blessings on your labors, brother.
  15. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)


    God bless you on your seminary efforts.

    I also agree that most TV adds seem to be a waste of time.

    Most folks seem to hear and believe through the witness of friends and family, not tv adds or the like.

  16. caddy

    caddy Puritan Board Senior

    :up: Amen

    Work like it all depends on us. Pray, believe and know that it all rests with God.

  17. JasonGoodwin

    JasonGoodwin Puritan Board Sophomore

    Yeah, I've heard it on XM to the point of overkill. Then again, just about everything that XM does is overkill sometimes (with the exception of the Talk channels).

    BTW, off on a tangent, they're at it with the "Christmas Carols" again. A month of incessant "Yuletide" repeats. If there's one thing I absolutely can't stand about this time of the year, that's it right there.:rant:
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