Saturday, August 25, 2007

Welcoming Mike Young

The Reformed Mafia has picked up some new "talent" from the West Coast region. I am pleased-as-punch to introduce to you my friend and fellow ex-Navy man, Mike Young.

His gifts and talents as related to the defense of the faith will make themselves evident. There is no need for me to detail them in advance.

So let it suffice for me to tell you that Mike has proven to be an amazing friend on a personal level. I believe he is a man who, once he considers you a friend, will happily go to great lengths for you, proving himself loyal and steadfast. And, I've seen that he has a great deal of passion for reaching the lost, but not in the "door knocking" or "tract passing" manner. No, Mike actually wants to go where the people are and relate to them.

So, welcome, Mike. Have it at!

10 comments:

Mike Y said...

Thanks Gordan and fellow Mafia for the warm welcome.

Sadly, in the spirit of the hitman nickname, I used to be a part of an elite door knocking group called SWAT (Soul Winning Attack Team). It was a very dark period of my life, indeed. I much prefer the apologetics way :)

Rhett said...

Welcome Mike!

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Welcome Mike...Just to note...Apologetics has its purpose, but the old lady down the street may not be concerned with all of the philisophical objections to the faith, but wants to know just why she needs Jesus and needs the gospel. Perhaps what she needs is a willing servant of a Living Christ to go knock on her door (Not in Combat Mode, but ready to share the gospel). It sure does work for the cult groups. What if we knocked on doors with the truths of the gospel?

gordan said...

Joshua, my comment about door knocking and tract passing was in reference to the "cold" and blind nature of that sort of thing. I didn't mean to completely disparage it. However, I'm not sure where we go in Scripture to justify the practice. They had doors back then, after all, but I don't see them going knocking. I hate to get into the mode of thinking "it works for the cults," and so maybe we should give it a try.

Rhett said...

I've gone door-to-door twice. Once with my friend Joe and once by myself in a Mexican community passing out Spanish tracts. (that last one I felt a STRONG unction to do, so I did it even though I was scared to death)

It's not my favorite method, but that has more to my lack of guts than anything else. Besides, I'm the kind of guy who doesn't even visit his next door neighbors unless their house is on fire or something.

I think if you do with the right motives and in a respectable manner, there's nothing wrong with it.

I guess the reason why I'm so partial to things like handing out tracts (and other "random" ways of spreading the Gospel) is because it was through tracts being passed out at random that I first read about Jesus and "heard" the Gospel.

What I really think is silly is when a guy is standing near busy intersection, marching up and down the side-walk, yelling at the top of his lungs about how everybody is going to Hell. (Like anybody can hear what's being said!!!??)

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Exactly Rhett. Or, how about those people that have repent or else, on the back window of their car? Anyway...

Gordon, I knew my comment about the cults would cause a stir. I don't mean it like, lets start adopting cultic practices because they are growing.

The thing is, I don't see what is so wrong about going door to door. I don't mean to get into an argument or anything, but you said in regards to door to door witnessing:

"However, I'm not sure where we go in Scripture to justify the practice."

I don't think it has to. it should be our burning desire to share the gospel with everyone we meet. Do we need a Bible verse to tell us to share the gospel with the person in the self-check out line at Wal-MArt? Because I am sure you won't find one for that. I don't believe we need a Bible verse to tell us where we can share the gospel and how long we have to know someone before we can share it.

Here is my thing: If the gospel is the power of God for salvation to anyone who believes, who are we to regulate God's saving work? Can God not save a man we have never met at his own door step? I believe God can providentially work in ways like that.

I am not advocating going around with a cold spirit of condemnation, but a compassionate spirit of mercy and grace, offering eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Here was my illustration: Perhaps there is a little elderly, unsaved lady who can't go anywhere and doesn't go anywhere. She doesn't have TV or Radio, and is nearly blind and can't even read that ole dusty copy of the Bible that belonged to her parents. She heard about Jesus when she was a little girl, but doesn't know the gospel. This woman doesn't have all of the arguments against Christianity, but her problem is that she is lonely and just needs to know the Saviors Love. If we turn our backs on knocking on doors, we turn our backs on knocking on HER door, and never share the gospel with that woman who is on the edge of eternity.

I am not meaning to appeal just to the emotions, but I am sure a situation like that exists. Knocking on her door might be the only means we will meet her and the only means she will ever hear the gospel. Just a thought.

gordan said...

Joshua, I think we're on the same page in all of that. You didn't say anything I disagree with.

I was speaking more to the fact that door-knocking and tract-passing has become, for many, the be-all and end-all of evangelism: as in, if you don't personally use those methods, then you're not obeying God. That's what seems to me an unbiblical yoke to throw on somebody.

And the only reason I mentioned it in introducing Mike (to get back to the point) was because I know that he came out of that sort of idea I just described. (The whole IFB obsession with whatever pragmatically produces the numbers.)

I've done tract-passing. I confess that I hated it, because I never actually got to engage anyone in conversation.

Mike Y said...

Hmm... what shall I add to this?

As you've guess by now, I've certainly gone door knocking as a Fundamentalist and as a Calvinist. Both with different expectations and purposes.

Having said that, I do think there is an expectation that comes with such an action.

In Matt 28:19, we have the aorist participle, poreuthentes or "having gone". It ties us back to chapter 10 when Christ sent his disciples out to preach the Law and Prophets back to the Jews in Jerusalem.

Do you remember the reaction? They met rejection. And do you remember what the Lord told them prior to going? He told them to shake the dust off their sandals if they met rejection and not to cast pearls before swine.

Well, he went on to explain the reactions in chapter 13 where we get all of the parables.

That's what we know of going door to door with such an intention. Now, when the early church went door to door, it wasn't for the conversion of the lost. It was for the purpose of confirming the doctrine of those who were disciples.

Anyway, we need to be very careful in going door to door not to make the mistake of looking to the cults for the example. Our example comes from scriptures. And if we go door to door, it must be with the purpose of discipling, not seeking converts. Mattew and Mark show us the two imperatives are keruxate, "teach" and matheteusate, "preach".

It's up to God to prepare hearts and souls for reception to what is preached and taught.

So, should we go door knocking? Why not. But then again, why not preach and teach in more neutral areas? Why not have a bible study? Why not invite people over? Etc.

My experience is that the best results are those that have occurred over a long period of time. Investing in someone and answering questions.

Those "converts" I've been able to get to pray a prayer or to make a profession have never lasted. I've only seen one such person go on to have a true walk with God. And that's out of thousands I've witnessed to.

Just a thought.

Joshua A. Hitchcock said...

Mike, by going door to door, we arent trying to get a prayer to be said or a profession. Modern evangelism and Modern churches use that to validate the effectiveness of their ministry. Going door to door to share the gospel in no way means that person is trying to coerce someone to say a prayer. I have been door to door and have had very good conversations with people and have seen that they did not understand the gospel at all. People living on the same street of the church who never went to a church ever. Noone had ever taken the time to share the gospel with them, and these people were very grateful I came to their door. Did they ever get saved? I don't know. However, God calls us to proclaim the gospel, and God is the one who does the saving. I believe if some is saved, then they will have the desire to go to church. Anyway, welcome aboard...look forward to continued discussion. I'm just not all up for throwing out the baby with the bathwater bc IFB abuse the bathwater.

gordan said...

Joshua,

Mike actually does do some door to door. His thoughts against it were specifically against the IFB version of the practice, as well as what he's written here.

(Just to clarify. Nobody's throwing out the baby.)