"And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased." (Ga5:11)
Whenever a person, answering God's call to proclaim "Thus says the Lord Jehovah" (Ezk2:4), does so faithfully, there are also going to be the calls to soften, tone down, not be so "hateful", to "do it in love", to be more "tolerant" of other viewpoints and people.
In addition there will be 'advice' from others claiming to be Christians and/or preachers on "how to" proclaim God's Word. And along with that, there will also be various forms of 'chiding' in terms of -how- NOT TO preach.
As you might imagine, this ministry receives such communications on a periodic basis. Many will be out-n-out nasty in their hatred of God's Message as proclaimed here. But others, pretenders, wolves in sheep's clothing will be more 'politically correct' and slide their comments in sideways, not really saying what they mean, but suggesting that if a person portrays a "conservative" image, that such conservatism, of itself, is going to turn off anybody coming along who is a "liberal". That the liberal person, as soon as they get a whiff that this ministry is conservative, that they are going to discredit anything said. Thus the advice: to not go overboard in stating anything that might betray one's conservative leanings.
In other words, a person should be careful how they address the issues of 9/11. They should not say things like: any judgments America receives due to its sin, as illustrated by its electing a philandering president (Clinton), are just and from God. One should not address the feminist agenda of the woman's "right to choose"...to kill her unborn baby. One should not get into the politics of gay rights and marriage issues.
However, forget politics...! Isn't this the sort of thing christendom has been doing for decades with Scriptural concepts?
"Sin" is too harsh a word, and "repentance" is too humiliating, especially when we are deemed to be of so much "worth" to God; instead, let's talk about "relationship". Christianity isn't a 'religion', it's a "relationship".
We don't want to "repent"; instead let's talk about "giving our heart" to God. Give your life to Jesus. During a TV program, the footer on the screen says, "To begin a relationship with Jesus call this number"
If we talk about "sin" and how a person is headed towards the Lake of Fire, that is so "negative", it will turn the person off. They will not be interested in the gospel "presentation".
Church is much too "stuffy" and uninviting. The hymns are so 'boring' and slow. It turns people away.
Don't let yourself be known as a "fundamentalist", because that is sure to turn off the person. They won't want anything to do with your "presentation" of the Gospel. You won't ever get them to "pray the prayer" and make a "commitment".
Where does the Bible say any of these things? How are we of so much worth to God? The Bible says that there is "no good" in us (Rom3:10), that even what we think is good is like a dirty rotten cloth. (Is64:6)
Where does it speak of "giving" -anything- to God? It is God who gives a new heart. (Jer24:7) How do we give God our life? In our natural state we are "DEAD in trespasses and sins" (Eph2:1) Where are we told to give a Gospel "presentation"? To get them to "pray the prayer"? Those are not Biblical concepts.
Perhaps, in working around word definitions, a person might come up with "presentation". But do not people usually -present- "gifts"? But who is the Giver of the Gift of Salvation? It is the "gift of God" (Eph2:8) Anything good that is given is given by God. (Mt7:11, Ja1:17)
The Believer is merely a 'messenger'.
What is sharing? A person has some cookies, and another comes along, so the first person gives the other some of their cookies. Children are taught to "share your toys". In other words, a child who 'owns' a toy lets others play with 'their' toy.
But it is NOT -our- faith -to- share. The faith that we have is God's gift to us, it does not originate from ourselves. Even once given to us, it is not even -our- faith. It is the "faith of Christ" (Ga2:16, Php3:9) So, how can we share something that is not even ours? The Believer is not -giving- their faith to another person. That is a totally unbiblical teaching.
However, the word "share" has softened the Christian mandate. It's a more loving-sounding word, than "preach". People don't like to be "preached -to-", because preaching is so condemnatory. Who do you think you are? Better than me? But when a person has been "sharing" with another, they often return to their peers rejoicing that the unbeliever left on a "positive note", 'feeling good' about the "presentation".
But what is the Believer commanded to do by God? What did Jesus command? "preach the gospel to every creature" (Mk16:15) What is preaching? It is -proclaiming-. Another word is to "prophesy". Prophesy is more an OT term. Preach is NT. They both mean the same thing. To do what...?
Someone whom God calls is a watchman. What does the watchman do?
Which sorrow then "produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted" (2Co7:10)
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to shame. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and HE WILL EXALT YOU." (Ja4:8-10)
Paul, an apostle to the gentiles, preaching that gentiles did not need to observe all the OT rituals, did still observe Jewish traditions, being Jewish himself. Since one of Timothy's parents was Jewish, he circumcized him in order to not give the Jews anything to complain about. (Ac16:3) He also engaged in Jewish vow and purification rituals. (Ac18:18,21:24) Thus, he was a Jew to Jews.
But when he proclaimed "I have become all things to all men, that I might in any way save some" (1Co9:22) he was not going contrary to his other teachings where he proclaims to "cleanse ourselves from all defilements of the flesh" (2Co7:1) In order to save people out of sexual perversity he did not have stage performers gyrating their bodies in half-naked and sexually explicit movements, in order to not turn away the sexually promiscuous. He did not wear satanic tattoos, while preaching to, well, most of what exists today in the world.
The WHOLE POINT of the Gospel Message is to draw the sinner out of darkness into God's Light. (1Pet2:9, 2Co4:6, Ac26:18) And when the light shines on sin, it exposes sin for what it is. (Eph5:11)
When we are saved, we have God's LIGHT in our hearts. Jesus said that the Believer is the "light of the world" (Mt5:14) And we shine in a dark world. The Light is not the same as darkness. There is no way for Light to -blend- with darkness so as not to seem so different. And a person whose eyes are accustomed to the dark, when the light shines in their face, they put up their hands to shield their eyes from the light. Sometimes it even hurts; and if they were sleeping, "Go away! Let me sleep!"
We are not commanded to curl up with them and sleep, but rather:
When Jesus came to the world, he was "the true Light" and came for the purpose of giving "light to every man coming into the world" (Jn1:9) But when He came, the "darkness did not lay hold of it" (vs5) he even "came to His own, and His own did not receive Him" (vs11) And ultimately they crucified Him.
So, what makes us think that we, suddenly, should become "popular" to the world? We are to be something that Jesus was not?
Whose servants are you? When Jesus preached some of His most forthright messages, it says, "From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more" (Jn6:66)
So why is it that today's [c]hurch is so busy doing a con job on the world? Being salesmen? Figuring out "what sells" and strategizing successful marketing campaigns, to get larger numbers.
That is a DIFFERENT GOSPEL! IT IS ACCURSED!
It is a given:
The [c]hurch is singing and praying, "Jesus, walk with me". Or like the Martins sang some years ago, that Jesus is "dreaming big with you"
When what it should be asking is, "Lord, what do you have in mind for me to do?" (Ac9:6) and singing...
O'er mountain or plain or sea;
I'll say what You want me to say, dear Lord
I'll be what You want me to be.
"But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in Heaven." (Mt10:33)