Is that a prophetic message or are you just promulgating comfort?

in #theology6 years ago

I intend to express my disagreement with John Reasnor and by extension Joel McDurmon who approved of this article about tactics related to exhorting churches to love and good deeds, sometimes called "The Church Repent project".

All in all, Reasnor's article does not take into account the urgency of the matter when we approach a church. In Oklahoma especially there is no reason to give benefit of the doubt to any church that styles itself "conservative" and/or "Bible believing."
If you haven't read this, please do so now: The Guilt of the Churches of Oklahoma, 2018

McDurmon's intro says:

Michael Green in his book Evangelism in the Early Church makes the point that Evangelism frequently succeeds best when the Gospel flows naturally across already-existing relationships.

  1. It "frequently" does so? How does Green know? Maybe that's covered in his book, maybe it isn't.
  2. What is the standard of success, since McDurmon is mentioning "succeeds best"? Converts? Numbers? How do we measure faithfulness to God if not by obeying His commands and following His example?
  3. In the context of calling churches to repentance, how would McDurmon or Reasnor suggest we "flow naturally across existing relationships"?
  4. Can the babies, or the lost going to hell, afford to wait for us to do so?
  5. What if that has already been tried and nothing changed?
  6. Did Jesus or the prophets or apostles do that?
  7. What does that say about the consistency of our method with our message, when we calmly and quietly say "hey, I don't want to bother you or distract from your cute little programs, but babies are dying, if you don't mind"? Do you go into a man's house that is on fire and WHISPER to him that he is in danger?

Note that McDurmon is the author of a totally unfair and wicked hit piece on Ray Comfort, for the worst of which he never apologised. He has a longstanding bias against public-facing Gospel proclamation. What's the alternative? It would seem the alternative is the much more comfortable friendship evangelism. That should tell you a lot about American Vision.

On to Reasnor's text--

As a starting point for church repent, sending an email or writing a letter is a better option.

Where is the proof?
Reasnor has agitated a handful of churches a handful of times. He is no authority on this matter. You want an authority on the matter? Talk to Todd Bullis. Talk to Mike Gulley, Scott Herndon, Danny Ehinger, Troy Buccini and Matt Wiersema.
And as for Oklahoma specifically, that has been done over and over again. Operation Rescue in the 80s. The Personhood amendment 5 years ago. Senate Bill 1118 3 years ago. Dan Fisher. On and on, the churches do not care. And Reasnor says "hey let's just keep talking calmly and be respectable". Based on what? He has no practical evidence that it's "better" and no biblical argumentation (I would happily debate him on that topic) either.

Remember that holding signs is just one tactic out of many

Obviously. How do we know which one is best?
The Bible is how.

Remember that doing something like talking to the leadership first could be wise

What is the argument? I don't see one.
And God "could have" used Darwinian evolution to bring about the variety of organisms we see on Earth today. What IS wise? What DID God say? That is the question.

A simple and easy attempt will quiet many criticisms and ease the path to persuasion (if persuasion is even the goal).

Such attempts have already been made.
And why would we want to "quiet" these "criticisms", when they are borne out of ecclesiolatrous traditions of man? Speaking of goals, is it the goal to get a few people out to the abortuary, or is it to wage war against the worldview that makes abortion acceptable in the first place? If the latter, the ecclesiolatry and associated apathy of the churches is perhaps the single weightiest reason, but we should cede ground to those evil traditions even as we pretend to chip away at them?

But most of us were pretty normal conservative Christians doing the best we knew, until we knew better. And knowing better didn’t happen right away.

Did anyone approach Reasnor in this way? Have most Christians even had a chance to interact with abolitionist rhetoric brought in this way? No. The tactic Reasnor criticises has barely been tried. You know what has been tried? Relaxed, calm communication with the ecclesiastical gatekeepers. 3500 babies dead today, yesterday, and tomorrow, and Reasnor says we should calmly talk to men who set themselves up over other men in the church of the Living God.

That is all the more reason to go about this with the utmost humility and charity.

The implication is that public exhortation lacks humility and charity, but no argument is given. It is a false dilemma.
We lack humility when we refuse to follow God's Word because we think we know better, and we enable lack of humility on the part of the ecclesiocrat gatekeepers when we restrict ourselves to calmly addressing them in the way Reasnor suggests.

both the abolitionist that believes that holding a sign out in front of a church building is the whole point of abolitionism

Literally not a single person thinks that.

Is it our goal to expose abortion to the world? Is it our goal to rebuke a pro-choice “church”? Is it our goal to reason with fellow believers and persuade them of the importance of loving their neighbor?

What if the goal is to glorify God by obeying His commands to expose evil, oppose the prideful, call for repentance, and repeat prophetic exhortations?
The implication is that exhorting the whole congregation (which exercise Reasnor describes in a well-poisoning manner, "holding signs", as if that were all it is) is opposed to reasoning with fellow believers. Reasnor would have us ASK the ecclesiocrat gatekeepers if we can reason with our brethren, thus perpetuating a major plank of the very evil we claim to oppose.

It wasn’t a surprise to me that most became abolitionists through talking to friends, reading articles, watching videos, and listening to lectures.

Again, very few people have ever come into contact with an abolitionist church exhortation. Exhorting churches actually gives rise to many articles and videos, as well. The ideology has been laid out there; now it is time to apply it. How many videos will emerge from calmly sitting across from an ecclesiocrat gatekeeper?

Don’t become impatient. This is a long fight

Tell that to the babies whose lives were lost today while the churches ignore them.

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