Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Synagogue of Satan is starting to be seen in some comments

I will not post a name of the person who sent this comment, but I want to show people how to not use Scripture to attempt to prove a point. When you put a bunch of "stuff" in there and neglect the Truth of God's Word, then you are playing the part of a fool. read below...

(I will set the scene, this person does not believe in evangelism. He believes in friendship evangelism. Basically meaning, you become friends with a person first and then present the gospel to them. If they die before you get a chance to tell them the Truth, then that is their bad luck. It was more important to be friends first) The blue print will be my response to him!

I want to address the Woman at the Well. I see this story lifted up quite frequently.

The Scriptures teach us a lot about this passage that some choose to not listen to or focus on. By not focusing on those and using it your defense against "friendship evangelism" does the Bible injustice.
There is nothing that "I" can do to bring injustice to the Bible. The Bible is God's Word. Now it is possible that when someone uses the Bible in a way that is not biblical to show the Truth of God's Word, then the person is guilty of exposing himself as an unbeliever.

The meeting: The village of Sychar was where Jesus met the Samaritan woman (Jacob's Well). The well was located near Mount Gerizim, the site of the Samaritan temple, Samaria's holy place.
The discussion is about how Jesus showed the woman at the well that she was a sinner. The history and the geography do absolutely nothing to prove a point here.
For biblical support of the town and the history of the region; you may take a look at the following:

- II Kings 17:21-41
- Ezra 4
- Nehemiah 4.
Again, not relevant to the conversation.
Also, remember that Jesus was thought to be by some a Samaratian and have a demon (John 8:48).
Again, not relevant to the conversation.
There are a few interesting things that can be learned from this encounter:

1. Twice her nationality and her religion were emphasized.
So, when I come up to someone, I will be sure to say, "You are of Swedish descent. You are of Swedish descent. I know you are a baptist. Look, When we evangelize with someone, we start out in the natural realm, much the same way Jesus did and then we turn it to the spiritual realm.
2. Then there is the fact that she is not exactly well-to-do. Women of influence and affluence did not draw water from wells in those times. (John 4:7)
When doing evangelism, it does not matter whether someone is of influence or affluence. This has nothing to do with talking to her. Jesus did not pick and choose whom he would talk to because all are sinners in need of a Savior. Just as we should not pick and choose who we will be "friends" with for the purpose of evangelizing.
3. Then there is the inescapable hint of a disreputable life - "you have had five husbands and the one you have now is not your husband". (John 4:18)
This is more than just a "hint." You make it sound like he was scared to tell her about her sinful life. No, it was the Truth that He gave her. He pointed out (without needing to say it) that she was an adulterer and was breaking the 7th Commandment. He convicted her of her sin. When we marginalize our conversations and act scared to mention sin, there will be no need to repent.
4. Further, this woman is somewhat unique in that she had not sought out this meeting either by prayer (like Anna in the temple) or by going out to find him (like the Syro-Phoenician woman - Mark 7:26).
Now, in dealing with evangelism, it does not matter whether someone prays for us to come around to talk to them. We do not need to have people come to us. We go to where the people are at. We hit the streets, we go to McDonalds, we go to the mall, we go to WalMart. We meet them where they are at. This argument that you are using here does not make any sense at all concerning our discussion. After Jesus ascended up to heaven, there were the disciples. What were they commanded? Go into all the world preaching the gospel to every creature. They were not to wait for people to come to them. They were SENT to reach the lost Gentiles.
Jesus in Relationship:

- Historically and traditionally, Jewish men did not speak in public to women, even their own wives.
This still has absolutely nothing to do with evangelism. Unless of course you do not talk to women. Putting a plug here for your relationship aspect of witnessing is pretty poor at best.

- For a rabbi this would have been an even greater restriction. Women were not publicly taught the Law.
And yet, when you read Scripture, John 4:25 says, "The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things." Regardless of this point, it has nothing to do with our discussion on evangelism.

- A woman's place in that society was not remotely similar to our own. But Jesus never treated women in the expected ways of his culture. He talked with them. He taught them. He expected and trusted them to be able to proclaim the Good News. He told stories using women as his characters. He even gave an illustration of what God was like using the image of the woman searching for the Lost Coin. Jesus acted and spoke as if women and men were equal before God and his eyes.
In speaking about relationship and evangelism, this argument you are presenting does not follow logically. You are saying some things that are very obvious and yet, they are things that do absolutely nothing to bolster your claim that friendship evangelism is better than straight forward evangelism.
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ." (Galations 3:28)

The Meeting:

Jesus not only spoke to this woman and initiated a conversation but he asked her for a drink of water. Jesus very deliberately chose to affirm life instead of hide-bound tradition that said this woman was not only immoral but ritually unclean when he asked her for the drink.
Guess I have to ask. We know Jesus did these things. Do you? I personally don't care who a person is or where they are from. I will witness to them. I will "initiate" a conversation. Now, saying that Jesus "deliberately chose to affirm life" should be what every single person does who is evangelizing the lost. We do it because we love the person enough that we don't want to see them go to hell.

He specifically ment through Samaria to have this meeting with this woman. They normally would not travel this way.
Again, this does nothing to prove your point.

Jesus on many occassions to meet / touch / confront those with great needs.
now, Jesus knows who has great needs. We can know of a great need too. The need for the gospel to be preached. We are to preach in-season and out of season. Or did you forget that one! While doing evangelism, I shake the person's hand and introduce myself to them. I then ask them some questions. How about those Cubbies? Nice weather we are having, isn't it? Simple things like that. I then ask them if they would like to take the intelligence test. It is almost a 100% seuccess ratio on this one. They all say yes. Why? because people want to prove how smart they are. From there I have them laughing and enjoying our time together. It goes from the natural realm to the spiritual realm when I ask them if they can name the Ten Commandments. No one is offended. They all attempt to name them. Usually they can only name about 4 or 5 of them. So, by your own argument against evangelism, I meet someone, by way of introduction, I touch them, by way of handshake, and I confront them when I walk up to them in the first place. What is their great need. They are sinners headed for hell. They need a Savior!
Now circling the wagon on why this is not a good verse to use against friendship evangelism (which term I do not like) is the following:

In this passage, Jesus and the followers were traveling through the town. They did not live there and would not be around.

Today, when we are in our community, we will see people on a day to day basis.
So, while you are in "community" you will completely NEGLECT ALL OTHER PEOPLE WHO DO NOT LIVE WHERE YOU LIVE? Seriously, when you go on vacation, do you take a vacation on witnessing to people? You like to say that the best way to evangelize is to love people the way Jesus did. Well, your argument is not a valid one. If we are to love all people, we will witness to them, regardless of where they live, where they go to church, how much money they have. We are told to not be friends with the world. Are you obedient to God's Word? Something tells me the answer is no. Your lack of willingness to confront people with the Word of God shows a lack of understanding. In an attempt to prove your point, you have failed miserably.

The commenters have also posted remarks about how Jesus never said the words repent to the woman at the well. When she realized that he was the Messiah, the one called Christ, she left to tell others. The overall theme of the Bible from beginning to end is repent, repent, repent! We don't see what was said to her when she came back to Him later. But you better believe that because of His knowledge of her life, and the fact that she now knows He is the Messiah, she will come back to listen to what He has to say.

Read what the Serpent said in the Garden of Eden...
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. Genesis 3:1-6

This is why I will not post comments that have a sound of the deceitful serpent. It sounds good, but the great deceiver has other plans for you. Saying things like, "I think we should just love people (with no mention of caring about their eternal salvation if they should die THAT DAY!) or to say, something like, "the NOTION of repent." That is too serious of an infraction. It is not a NOTION, it is the Truth of God's Word that says that all sinners will perish unless they repent! No one will come on this blog and pervert the Word of God to deny this eternal truth.


Tim Brown said...

One thing the woman did do...she told people that she wanted them to know about this guy who knew her heart!

She was convicted of sin. Since we don't know the person's heart as Jesus did, we use the ten commandments. Since the Word is "Sharper than any two-edged sword", it cuts to the heart, just as Jesus did.

He used the conscience, just as we do when we use the law of God.

That is how the Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment!

So much work these people do to avoid the obvious.

Tim Brown said...

Forgot to mention I appreciate what you said about limiting those who you reach out to.

As I have said before, we don't neglect doing things for people who are in need; James said that is just a part of saving faith. This is such an elementary principle that I'm amazed they keep hammering at it. We don't see it as "preach and don't help". We see it as "do both". Yes, we help people...BUT we give them the message.

They talk about "community". Is this part of the idea of "getting them in the church to hear the gospel"?

So then, is it that you only share with those that come to your church? Wow. So, they don't have the freedom to just share the gospel with people "on the fly"...? Wow.

pastorbrianculver said...

What's really bad is that they get mad at people who use the Law and the even go so far as to "mock" anyone who uses the Law to convict the lost of their sins. If Satan were a pastor in a church, or if he were a Youth Pastor, that is what he would do.

"surely, God did not say to use the Law to convict people of their sins. Just love them to Christ, that's all you need to do!"

beware of wolves in sheep's clothing!

Jessie said...

Brian said... "If Satan were a pastor in a church, or if he were a Youth Pastor, that is what he would do."

Exactly. He wants the Law taken out of the church because he knows that without repentance there is no salvation (Luke 13:3,5). Without the knowledge of sin, people don't know what to repent from.

Someone said... "surely, God did not say to use the Law to convict people of their sins. Just love them to Christ, that's all you need to do"

Read Paul's letters. Do you believe the Bible is the Word of God? Because if you do, you will understand by reading Paul's letters. Especially Romans 3:19,20, Romans 7, Galatians 3:24, etc. I could name a ton more.

Thanks for your posts, Brian! Keep up the good work :)

pastorbrianculver said...

to those who are being blocked, again, all you have to do is apologize for the sarcastic remarks and the false teachings and I will let you back in. If not, please do not email me any more!

Jessie said...

About the sex offender list...

I was freaked out, too, as I didn't realize there were that many who were actually registered. I mean, how many more are not?

The scary thing is when you go to L.A. It's pretty much child sex offenders and rapists. THEN New York City... wow. That is so incredibly crazy! It's also sad to see how many of those people tend to be right near an elementary or middle school.

Sad, sad world.

pastorbrianculver said...

Anonymous (Jeff) tried to post this comment...

"All I know is this...some of you would not know Jesus if He were standing in front of you showing you how to live...
Getting so caught up in the dot a tittle of the law...blinds you of the TRUTH!"

Go ahead Jeff, forget the Law and the need to repent. You have been warned and you have made a decision to ignore it. I (and others on here) have told you the Truth and have given you God's Word (In context, try it sometime,it really works!) and you have denied it. Trying to disguise yourself so you can get your sarcastic remarks on here, shame on you Jeff. You are a family and youth pastor. What does the Bible say about lying?? Oh yes, all liars will have their part in the lake of fire. Or is that one of the tittles that you want to ignore!

Tim Brown said...

...yup, another inference of phariseeism. And for the umpteenth thousandth time, we don't seek our own righteousness through observing the law, but seek to use the law as Jesus did.

Again, they never understand what the pharisees were about. Tradition and justification through observing the law.

Last I checked, we aren't doing that.

Tim Brown said...

He also may be interested in knowing I've linked to this post...

Doorman-Priest said...

I seem to have been permenantly banned. I'm not sure what I said. Are you sure I was sarcastic? In your last response to me you said how close we actually were in our views. Please tell me my failure. I really didn't think I'd been mean. It could, of course, be down to the nuances of the division of a common language. Maybe you don't deal with many folk from around these parts. Or is it simply that I was too challenging.

pastorbrianculver said...

Your response to Tim came across as being sarcastic. No personal attacks please. All I ask, is please be respectful of my blog and the people on it. I have a couple of guys who have posted things you have not seen that were downright arrogant, obnoxious and rude. That will not be tolerated. Also, I will not let false teachings be shown here. I consider this to be similar to church. As a pastor, I would not allow false teaching to take place within the walls of my church. Just because someone says they want the right to say it, does not make it right for them to be rude. So, I cut them off from the comments. I tried to offer one of the guys an opportunity to participate in a Bible study, and his response back was very rude and sarcastic. This being a man who professes to always show the love of Jesus as his way of reaching the lost. The other man says the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God. He thinks there are mistakes in it. Again, I will not allow people like this to teach others on my site. I have a responsibility to God to protect the holiness of His Word (not that the Bible needs "my" protection) But I will defend God with my life. You are welcome to comment on here so long as sarcasm, and false teachings do not abound. If we understand each other, then I welcome your comments, if not, then it might be better served for you to spend time elsewhere.

God bless

pastorbrianculver said...

Doorman, can you send me an email? thanks

MB said...

I do not understand how you could so completely misunderstand the writing the one you have connected with "the synagogue of satan"... It seems you have taken almost everything Jeff said out of context. Unbelievable.

pastorbrianculver said...

MB, considering how you are from the same town as JG or even from his church, I can understand why you would say that. Teaching from the Bible is not just about spewing out facts. It is about properly teaching the Word in context. It must also correspond with the rest of the bible. When using Scripture to try and prove an invalid point, it does not make him look good. I am pointing out, line by line, why his conclusion is not a valid one.

Jessie said...

I think the phrase "taken out of context" is the most overused phrase on the web. And I honestly do not think people understand what it actually means.

If I were to say:

Hi, my name is Jessie. I'll be 23 in about a month. I got married on June 16, 2007, and I love my husband very much. I accepted Christ into my heart when I was 16, and accepted him into my heart six more times, still living in sin. I didn't realize my need to repent until much later when I was saved. It's a wonderful thing to know I am going to heaven.

Taking something out of context would be this:

"My name is Jessie... I accepted Christ... when I was 16... still living in sin... I am going to heaven."

Taking something out of context is when you take words out and make it mean something it doesn't.

Brian did not do that. He took what was said exactly and commented on it.

Taking something out of context does not mean that you cut out sentence by sentence, and maybe skip a few NON IMPORTANT ones. We do this with the Bible. The problem with people taking the Bible out of context is they take A FEW verses, maybe even ONE, and make a whole conclusion from that ONE VERSE instead of MATCHING IT WITH OTHERS.

The way he responded was NOT out of context. It would be like him responding to the above statement like this.

"I accepted Christ into my heart when I was 16."

Oh, how true that statement is for many. I see you said you did it 6 times before repenting. Did you know the phrase "accept Christ into your heart" isn't even in the Bible?

He didn't change the meaning of what I said. He just took out a sentence and responded to it.

Please, can we at least understand SLIGHTLY what it means to take things out of context??? The entire phrase has become my pet peeve.

Thus ends the lesson on what it means to take out of context 101.

pastorbrianculver said...

great job of teaching! If only some people who are "trained" in ministry had just a portion of that kind of wisdom. What a difference it would make!

Are you all surviving the long winter up there??

Jessie said...

The winter is never going to end, I have come to that conclusion. We're going to go right through Christmas with snow...

We haven't had this much snow in YEARS! Last year our first official "decent" snowfall came in the middle of January. We had more snow from November-December (end of last year) than we did the previous November-March. It's crazy!

God has been giving me wonderful birthday presents, though. It's been 75 degrees with bright sunshine the past two years! Freezing cold the day before and after, but perfect weather on my birthday! And even thunderstorms! In the middle of March, at that! It's usually only about 40s average then... :)

How much snow have you guys gotten?

Tim Brown said...

Yup! Great job!

Anonymous said...

Except the TRAINED people can refutiate what the UNTRAINED people are saying.

Thus endeth the Lesson of Monopoly 101!

Tim Brown said...

Not sure yet, Jessie!

pastorbrianculver said...

I let this one in Nator, you just proved my point, thank you!

Tim Brown said...

Yes, thank you Nator!

Tim Brown said...

(Methinks Nator didn't understand that we have training???)

Tony said...

Hello Jessie (and all),

I disagree with your definition of taking things out of context. It includes what you said, but it is more than that. Take, for example, the question that the Pharisees bring to Jesus... "Is it lawful for a man to divorce a woman for any reason." It seems straight forward, and Jesus' answer, though hotly debated, seems straight forward. But taking the question, and the answer, out of the context (cultural/historical), you might get a very different answer than if you understood the historical/cultural context in which it was asked (at the time of Jesus, there were two prominent views of divorce, developed by two different rabbis, and the disciples were basically asking, 'who's camp are you in?'... knowing that certainly makes more sense as to why they would come up with such a question to begin with). So taking things out of context is not limited to just words, paragraphs, or letters.

As to the discussion with Jeff, so much of the original context (no pun intended) is missing, I'm not sure that Jeff and Brian are saying such different things. It may be the case, but I just can glean that from the remaining posts.

pastorbrianculver said...

I still agree with Jessie on this one! The example of the Pharisee needs to be looked at.

you posted...
"Take, for example, the question that the Pharisees bring to Jesus... "Is it lawful for a man to divorce a woman for any reason." It seems straight forward, and Jesus' answer, though hotly debated, seems straight forward. But taking the question, and the answer, out of the context (cultural/historical), you might get a very different answer than if you understood the historical/cultural context in which it was asked (at the time of Jesus, there were two prominent views of divorce, developed by two different rabbis, and the disciples were basically asking, 'who's camp are you in?'... knowing that certainly makes more sense as to why they would come up with such a question to begin with). So taking things out of context is not limited to just words, paragraphs, or letters."

the problem (and you even said it), But taking the question, and the answer, out of the context (cultural/historical), you might get a very different answer than if you understood the historical/cultural context in which it was asked.

You are right, the problem is this. The original question asked Jesus...
is it lawful for a man to divorce a woman for any reason?

Here is what Jesus said,
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made [them] at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

There is the answer straight from the mouth of God Himself! Don't forget that Jesus is the Word. It was the Pharisee's that asked Jesus the question, not the disciples.

they tried to trick Jesus when they said, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

Jesus tells them it was not a command but it was because of the hardness of their hearts.

See, it is not that Jesus' answer "seems" straight forward, it is straight forward! He told them the truth. They were asking a question that they had no intention of listening to his answer other than to set a trap for him. They were deceitful.

Again, the answer that Jesus gave did not need a historical or cultural backing. His Word is the Word of God. He was in the beginning, He created all things that were created, the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word became flesh! He is answering exactly as he should have answered. There are many things that do need historical and cultural backing to further support certain claims, but it is not necessary on all claims. The the answer is straight forward, we can take God at His Word.

In the example Jeff gave, instead of giving all of the historical and cultural data that he gave, what he should have done was look at what Jesus said and back it up with other times he spoke *as well as the apostles who were following Him.)
Without fail, Jesus gave Law to the proud and grace to the humble. Without fail that is what He did. He was consistent. So were the apostles as they did the same thing. Law to the proud and grace to the humble.

Look for a time when that did not happen. You won't find it. When you look at who the audience was and what the knowledge was or what their intentions were, you will see that is was always Law to the proud and grace to the humble.

So when Jeff does not think it is necessary to present God's Law but only love, he is going against what God himself teaches!