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Pope Francis Strikes Down "Great Commission" Mandate

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  • #16
    Originally posted by tabibito View Post

    So far so good. It is an approach that has been effective in even the most resistant communities - to which the Baptist experience in Fukuoka attests.

    At the risk of sounding like another denizen of this site: the hard part is trying to work out what precisely is meant by proselytism.
    And I consider that something may have been lost in the translation.

    The way the Pope discusses it, if you initiate the conversation, rather than the other person asking you about your faith, then you are "not a disciple of Jesus".
    The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

      And I consider that something may have been lost in the translation.

      The way the Pope discusses it, if you initiate the conversation, rather than the other person asking you about your faith, then you are "not a disciple of Jesus".
      The way he says it, proselytism comes out as being somehow different from evangelism. It might be a reference to door knocking and other, more aggressive, procedures - but it is unclear. As you say, "lost in translation" might account for it.
      1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by tabibito View Post

        The way he says it, proselytism comes out as being somehow different from evangelism. It might be a reference to door knocking and other, more aggressive, procedures - but it is unclear. As you say, "lost in translation" might account for it.
        Fortunately, he doesn't speak for me.
        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

          I would like to think that - then there's stuff like this...

          Pope says, if you try to convert an unbeliever, you are “not a disciple of Jesus”

          In front of an unbeliever the last thing I have to do is try to convince him. Never. The last thing I have to do is speak. I have to live consistent with my faith. And it will be my testimony to awaken the curiosity of the other who says: “But why do you do this?” And yes, I can speak then. But listen: Never, never bring the gospel by proselytizing. If someone says they are a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, they are not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not done, the church does not grow by proselytism. Pope Benedict had said it, it grows by attraction, by testimony. Football teams proselytize, this can be done. Political parties, can be done there. But with faith there is no proselytism. And if someone says to me: “But why?” Read, read, read the Gospel, this is my faith. But without pressure.


          I think the real question is 'what does he mean by proselytism?'

          To be sure, “proselytize” has the connotation of evangelizing in the wrong way–high pressure, canned presentations, being manipulative, etc.–though simply telling people about Jesus is often branded as proselytizing. This is how it is taken in the growing number of countries with anti-proselytizing laws, which are often being used today to persecute Christians, something the Pope should be sensitive to.

          But setting that aside, the Pope’s answer suggests what might be a useful tactic in evangelism: Wait to be asked. Instead of trying to convince your Muslim, Jewish, and atheist friends to become Christians–which might create big trouble for a contemporary European teenager–live out your faith so that they become curious and ask you about it. Then you can speak.

          Fair enough. The problem, though, is that the Pope puts his prohibition about not trying to convince unbelievers and not proselytizing so strongly. Those who do so are not just well-intentioned but ineffective, or wrong-headed and naive. “They are not a disciple of Jesus.” Is he saying that if you try to convert someone to Christianity, you yourself are not a Christian?

          Evangelical Christians are well-known for evangelizing, for “witnessing” to others about their faith, giving their “testimony” about their own coming to faith in the course of “sharing the Gospel.” In their recent ecumenical zeal, Catholics have finally accepted Protestants as Christians, though as “separated brethren.” But does the Pope believe that evangelicals and Pentecostals who try to win others to their faith “are not disciples of Jesus”?
          I think the Pope's mistake is assuming that WE do the converting. We don't. God does. Whether we actively try to convince someone using apologetics, preaching/evangelizing/proselytizing, or merely answering their questions, we don't do the converting. That's the Holy Spirit's job.

          The Bible is clear that we are to actively spread the gospel as well as defend it.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
            In front of an unbeliever the last thing I have to do is try to convince him. Never. The last thing I have to do is speak. I have to live consistent with my faith. And it will be my testimony to awaken the curiosity of the other who says: “But why do you do this?” And yes, I can speak then. But listen: Never, never bring the gospel by proselytizing. If someone says they are a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, they are not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not done, the church does not grow by proselytism. Pope Benedict had said it, it grows by attraction, by testimony. Football teams proselytize, this can be done. Political parties, can be done there. But with faith there is no proselytism. And if someone says to me: “But why?” Read, read, read the Gospel, this is my faith. But without pressure.

            [/BOX]
            I think what Pope Francis is saying that Christians should be practicing lifestyle evangelism. My problem with lifestyle evangelism is I've only meet about 3 to 5 people who actually lived in such a way. If that is how we're supposed to evangelize, we need to make much better Christians (myself included.)

            To me while he may be genuinely believing this is how it's done, he's copping out from actually doing anything,
            "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

            "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post

              I think what Pope Francis is saying that Christians should be practicing lifestyle evangelism.
              You bet!!!

              My problem with lifestyle evangelism is I've only meet about 3 to 5 people who actually lived in such a way.
              EGGzackly - and when somebody uses the excuse "I don't have to tell people about Jesus - I just need to live a life that's an example" --- it's usually not from people who are living a very good example.

              If that is how we're supposed to evangelize, we need to make much better Christians (myself included.)

              To me while he may be genuinely believing this is how it's done, he's copping out from actually doing anything,
              And labeling those of us who DO believe in "witnessing" "soulwinning" or "personal evangelism" as "not disciples of Christ".



              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

              Comment


              • #22
                I'm assuming in his mind, "not disciples of Christ" is not necessarily the same as "not Christians." I can readily imagine he considers them genuine believers, but not "students" who have properly learned to imitate the Teacher.
                Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

                Beige Federalist.

                "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

                Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

                Let's go, Brandon

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                  The way he says it, proselytism comes out as being somehow different from evangelism. It might be a reference to door knocking and other, more aggressive, procedures - but it is unclear. As you say, "lost in translation" might account for it.
                  As is almost always the case when he speaks

                  Originally posted by rogue06 View Post


                  That said, has there ever been a Pope who sends so many mixed messages that require numerous later explanations and interpretations?

                  Every time he speaks we have to wait for an official statement explaining what he meant.

                  I'm always still in trouble again

                  "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                  "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                  "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post


                    To me while he may be genuinely believing this is how it's done, he's copping out from actually doing anything,
                    Nice point.

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                      It seems to me that you're missing his intent by taking a sentence out of context. He has something of a point. His point is essentially that evangelization should be something that overflows from the heart, buoyed by the inner change wrought by Christ, not a mere attempt to win converts. (was intending to post this last night, but got called away)
                      Absolutely right! And when he says, "Read, read the Gospels", that should be a clue. The Gospels really confirm what he is saying.
                      Last edited by footwasher; 12-07-2021, 07:59 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
                        I'm assuming in his mind, "not disciples of Christ" is not necessarily the same as "not Christians." I can readily imagine he considers them genuine believers, but not "students" who have properly learned to imitate the Teacher.
                        Paul tells us to imitate Christ AND Paul, and Paul most obviously did NOT simply "live the life" and hope somebody asked him about.

                        The Book of Acts, in particular, is about the growth of the early Church, and it would appear that Paul was "not a disciple of Christ", according to the pope.
                        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          I'm trying to find the article - not Christianity Today, but something similar - that attempts to describe the Pope's 'messaging' as being the result of being "too smart by half".

                          It's like he's trying to say something clever, to make a point, but it just doesn't translate well.

                          The example was....

                          I say "I don't believe in sending children to Church", then wait for the obligatory gasp, and concluding "I believe in TAKING them".

                          If not done correctly, the takeaway is "Cow Poke doesn't believe Children should attend Church", or something like that.

                          The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by footwasher View Post

                            Absolutely right! And when he says, "Read, read the Gospels", that should be a clue. The Gospels really confirm what he is saying.
                            If you look at the Gospel, you will see that evangelism was done by picking up a cross (taking up a difficult problem), being raised up (being helped by God), and drawing people to God in the process, through being a Light to the world.

                            This was possible because Jesus's death nailed the Law to the cross, and those in the Kingdom could stand in the presence of God, because where there is no law, there is no transgression, and only the pure can see God, which is what we become in the Kingdom. People were so drawn because they could finally become blessings to the world, as promised to Israel. God made it possible, and also made opportunities to use this gift, by creating problems in advance for His followers to solve, problems like blinded people (evil), or difficult to understand Scripture passages (darkness). To properly be blessings however, people had to do the great works and later, say good things about God, which Moses failed to do, and the people in Matt 7.23 also failed to do.


                            Ep 2
                            10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance, to walk in.


                            Is 45
                            7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.


                            Jn 9
                            1As Jesus passed by, He saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4We must carry out the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”


                            Jn 12
                            32And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.


                            Jn 3
                            1Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2this man came to [a]Jesus at night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these [b]signs that You do unless God is with him.”


                            Joshua 2
                            Joshua 2:8Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, 9and said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given you the land, and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before you. 10“For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. 11“When we heard it, our hearts melted and no courage remained in any man any longer because of you; for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.


                            1 Cor 14
                            24But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.


                            Ep 4
                            7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it a says:

                            “When he ascended on high,

                            he took many captives

                            and gave gifts to his people.”



                            Remember, do great works and later say good things about God:


                            Acts 8
                            35Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.36As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?”


                            Proselytising is used by the Pope in the pejorative sense, in meaning using wrong means to get converts, as the Jews who travelled far and wide were doing. They told people they only had to fast and tithe in becoming Jews, and God would make them blessings to the world, because fasting and tithing would please God, and He would send Messiah, something that Judaism still preaches, neglecting the weightier requirements of the law, justice, mercy and faithfulness to God


                            We Evangelicals are also guilty of doing the same, when we tell people good things will happen to them, that they will go to heaven, if they just say the Sinner's Prayer. People are attracted by the easy requirement, and the assurance they will never lose their salvation for doing it, becoming bigger devils than they originally were.

                            In following my own advice, I want to state that I couldn't have explained the view unless God had led me to do so, gave me the opportunity to earn eternal treasures, gave me the words to say, and gave me the works to do, like He led Philip.
                            Last edited by footwasher; 12-08-2021, 07:50 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by footwasher View Post

                              If you look at the Gospel,....
                              I'm going to ask you to take you unorthodox psychobabble elsewhere.

                              Do not post in this thread anymore.

                              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                                I'm going to ask you to take you unorthodox psychobabble elsewhere.

                                Do not post in this thread anymore.
                                Okay, you are the thread starter. Apparently you have the right. However, if you really want to stump me, you should point out the faults in the view.

                                Comment

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