Should Christians Only Evangelize?
by Carlton Pruitt
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Christ told us to teach all nations whatsoever he has commanded us which I take to be not only those things found in the New Testament but some of the Old Testament as well since "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and training in righteousness... etc and the N. T. wasn't written until after Christ died and ascended to heaven. Christ quoted Scriptures of including but not limited to: Genesis, Psalms and Isaiah on several occasions so that these are not without authority for today's New covenant believer.
As an example there are no commandments I'm aware of in the N. T. that forbid a Christian wearing tatoos so does this mean they are permitted?
I think not.
God is clear in telling the believers in the O. T. not to mark or engrave their skin as did the pagans who knew not God.
As one website pointed out:
WHAT ABOUT LEVITICUS 19:28?
Leviticus 19:28 is the Christian (or so-called Christian?) tattooist and tattoo-bearer's worst nightmare. The Lord plainly, clearly, strongly, and without a doubt – condemns the tattoo.
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
Could that be any more clear?
"Ye shall not. . .print any marks upon you. . ."
Simple. . . Straightforward. . .Settled. . .
God Said It. . . I Believe It. . . That Settles It. . .
Right. . .?
Not hardly. . .
The clear statement from the word of God does not settle anything for this generation of disobedient, carnal, worldly, tolerant, non-judgmental, Christians. Rather than obey God, they run miles and miles and miles to "justify" their open disobedience to the Word of God.
How do they get around Leviticus 19:28?
Clearly, there it is. "Ye shall not. . .print any marks upon you. . ."
A lot of Christians when confronted with Leviticus 19:28, scream, "Hey dude, that’s not for today. Man, that’s the Old Testament. I’m under the New Testament".
Did you know that "bestiality" (perverted, sex with an animal) was only forbidden in the Old Testament Levitical Law? Only in Leviticus 18:23 and Leviticus 20:15-16. This was only in the Old Testament Law. Does that mean a Holy God NOW – under the New Testament, approves of bestiality?
By the way, have you ever read Leviticus 19:29? The verse immediately AFTER the "it’s not for me" Leviticus 19:28?
Do not prostitute thy daughter, to cause her to be a whore; lest the land fall to whoredom, and the land become full of wickedness. Leviticus 19:29
This is the only place in the Bible that God directly forbids someone to prostitute their daughter. And since, it’s ONLY in the Old Testament Levitical Law (and "hey, dude, we’re NOT under the law") – it MUST be ok by the Lord for a parent to cause their daughter to prostitute.
This is the same perverted, wicked, line of reasoning as the "it’s ONLY in the Old Testament-tattoo-bearer-wearer". Same reasoning. . . Same disobedience. . . Same perversion of the Word of God.
There are many other "moral laws’ that are ONLY forbidden in the Old Testament, such as the human sacrifice of children. No where in the New Testament is this forbidden. Does that mean that NOW under the New Testament, God Almighty endorses throwing babies into the fire as a human sacrifice?
And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD. Leviticus 18:21
Matthew Henry’s Commentary at the beginning of Leviticus 19 explains that most of Leviticus 19 (such as verse 19:28) are moral commandments that applies not only for Israel but for the New Testament Christian today.
"Some ceremonial precepts there are in this chapter, but most of them are moral. . . Most of these precepts are binding on us, for they are expositions of most of the ten commandments."
(Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Leviticus 19:28)
I find it interesting that among many Dispensationalists like John MacArthur there is an implicit anti-nomianism that is being taught as a result of making the O. T. and the N.T. two water tight compartments where never the two shall meet.
While legalism is certainly another gospel so too is anti-nomianism or an anti-law mentality or framework whereby Christians must be silent in speaking out against public policy matters because pastors head up local churches that are 501c3 incorporated and so are ecclessiastically muzzled when it comes to putting forth the crown rights or Lordship of King Jesus over all areas of life.
Aren't Christians Just Supposed to Preach the Gospel? Why Protest Against Abortion?
Mark Harrington of Center For Bio-Ethical Reform, Midwest has stated: "Abortion is a Gospel issue!"
Harrington relates that "When Eric Harrah, who owned or partnered in 26 abortion facilities across the country, opened an abortion mill in State College, PA. the town went ballistic. They began picketing immediately. However, the gospel was the weapon that God was going to use to penetrate the heart of Eric Harrah. When Eric prayed, "God if you know that what I am doing is so terrible, and if who I am is not who I should be, and if my whole life is so wrong, then send someone to show me the right way." The Lord sent him Steve Stupar. Steve is an elder in a local church and was sent by God to the abortion mill to speak to Mr. Harrah. One day, when others were picketing outside the abortion mill, Eric asked Steve "What are you doing here?" Steve responded, "Because you prayed for me to be here." This put Eric's into a confused state mind.
Over the next few weeks, with the help of the Holy Spirit, Steve led Eric back to Jesus. Soon after Eric rededicated his life to Christ, he left the abortion industry. Conclusion: Abortion is a gospel issue!"
Pro-Life Work Is Evangelism
Pro-life work saves lives, both physically and spiritually. Pro-life activists experience first-hand, remarkable success stories in evangelism. Many high profile abortion supporters and abortionists have committed their lives to Christ. Dr. Bernard Nathanson (a founder of NARAL), Norma McCorvey (Roe of Roe v. Wade: see her new book, "Won By Love"), Sandra Cano (Doe of Doe v. Bolton), Carol Everett (owned/operated several abortion clinics in Texas) and Eric Harrah have become born-again.
Abortion is child abuse. That is not a secret. However, abortion also abuses (physically, spiritually, and emotionally) everyone who comes into contact with it. Thousands have been healed by Christ's forgiveness and love, through the work of pro-lifers. What is your church doing to help? What are you doing, in the area of personal, direct, non-violent action? As long as the church sits in denial, the surviving victims of abortion--the abortionists, the clinic workers, the mothers, fathers, and grandparents of aborted children-- must suffer in silence.
Tragically, the rate of abortions within churches is about the same as those who are unchurched. Women simply state, "I am a Christian, God will forgive me."
The Mothers - The Wounded
"When these women evaluate the abortion decision, therefore, they do not, as a pro-lifer might, formulate the problem with the radically distinct options of either "I must endure an embarrassing pregnancy" or "I must destroy the life of an innocent child." Instead, their perception of the choice is either "my life is over" or "the life of this new child is over." Given this perspective, the choice of abortion becomes one of self-preservation, a much more defensible position, both to the woman deciding to abort and to those supporting her decision." --A passage from First Things
An unidentified woman called into a radio program on a Christian station. She said, "When I was younger I had had an abortion, not once, but twice."
The mother of three told Mark Harrington (a local pro-life missionary), "I really wish there had been someone like you there (to counsel me). I don't know if God can forgive me for something like that, but I know every time I look at my children, I can't forgive myself. I deliberately, knowing it was wrong, did it anyway, because that's what was easy for me."
Won't you be there for these hurting women, church? Won't you speak up for unborn children? Can you be there to offer counsel before a choice is made that most women will regret, sooner or later? Won't you talk openly about how Christ offers healing and forgiveness to those exploited by abortion?
"In his Great Commission, Jesus didn't tell us only to evangelize. He told us to be "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:20). Jesus commanded us to be compassionate and to take sacrificial action for the weak and needy. If we fail to do this--and if we fail by our words and example to teach others to do this--then we fail to fulfill the Great Commission. We show the world and the church that our words about the gospel are only that--words."--Randy Alcorn, Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments.
Rights and Irresponsibilities
Christians should protest against abortion because it is their right and responsibility as Americans. Our Declaration of Independence states that the right to life is "endowed by our Creator." No other right, real or imagined, can supercede it. We act irresponsibly, if we fail to defend the right to life. Abortion is indeed a gospel issue. However, many Christians feel intimidated into silence. They frequently hear that any pro-life effort constitutes political involvement.
"I am amazed by the continual drumbeat that Christians shouldn't be involved in politics. America is a unique experiment in freedom. Our government was designed to be "of the people, by the people, and for the people." While Karl Marx had it right when he said, "Religion is the opiate of the masses," Jesus died that we might be freed from religion to experience a deep and abiding relationship with Him. Christianity has been defined as "Christ in me-ity." If that is true, how can we exempt ourselves from politics without abandoning our rights as citizens?
When I, as a Christian, enter a polling booth, in the strictest sense of the now abused definition of the doctrine of "separation," I am mixing church and state for I, and other members of the Body of Christ, comprise the church. And on what moral issue can the Pastor preach who buys into the notion that he should stay out of politics?
Let us not forget that in today's culture, every moral issue has been politicized from homosexuality, to abortion, to gambling, to marriage, etc. Can you imagine John the Baptist not addressing Herod's adulterous affair with his own brother's wife because he feared the loss of 501.C.3 tax exempt status for delving into politics."--Pastor Rick Scarborough, author of "Enough Is Enough: A Call to Christian Involvement"
Yes, we have a responsibility as Christians, and as citizens of this country. The majority of Americans claim that they are personally against abortion. How can we, as Americans, stand silently by? How can we allow the slaughter to continue, which we know is a great evil? If we had lived in Nazi Germany during the Holocaust, and we knew where the death camps were, what would we do?
Walk the Talk: Direct Action Versus Procrastination
In the Columbus, Ohio, area there are six abortion clinics. There are 1200 churches. Why, when churches outnumber clinics 200 to 1, are abortions still so common? Surely, there is something wrong with this picture.
It is the responsibility of the church, not the pro-life organizations, to speak up for truth and justice However, when people are dying, we must do more than just talk. If the church would come out of the closet, the abortion clinics would go out of business.
Perhaps your church is pro-life. Your pastor may even speak out against abortion from the pulpit. Unfortunately, the world goes on, "business as usual;" while Christians continue their busy work with men's groups, Bible studies, pot lucks. Sure, these things can be productive. Still, babies continue to die, and mothers and families continue to suffer abuse at the hands of abortionists.
When the church does the job of taking the gospel to the streets, instead of expecting the lost to come to the church, hearts change. There should be no need of parachurch organizations and pro-life groups. Church members should not have to seek ministries outside the church, in order to fulfill their call from Christ to:
"Open your mouth for the speechless, in the cause of all who are appointed to die."--Proverbs 31:8
"Deliver those who are drawn toward death, and hold back those stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, "Surely we did not know this," does not He who weighs the hearts consider it? He who keeps your soul, does He not know it? And will He not render to each man according to His deeds.'--Proverbs 24:11,12
What do we mean when we discuss "direct action?" We are talking about actually going to where the hurting people are, and offering to help them. We can prayerfully, thoroughly educate ourselves about the facts of abortion and the development of unborn babies. We can sidewalk counsel, volunteer at a pro-life organization or help out a pregnancy distress center. We can donate time, money, and expertise.
We are talking about actually letting your voice be heard, outside the walls of the church. Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper or magazine. Stand on a sidewalk in front of a clinic and hold a sign. Show the love of Christ, by telling the truth in love.
Ask your pastor if you can be the pro-life leader for direct action in your church. You can become a missionary to the unborn, to abortion workers, to families involved in abortion. Provide your pastor with pro-life literature, information, and current events. The body of Christ--the church-- should lead the pro-life fight--not marginalize it.
The Great Commission, and Direct Action
"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.--Matthew 28:18-20
"All that I have commanded you" is the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
The woman at the well did not have to go to Jesus--Jesus went to her. The adulteress, who was being stoned, did not have to run to the synagogue for help--Jesus went to her, to save her. The man who was robbed did not have to crawl to church--the Good Samaritan found him and rescued him.
"The same Bible that commands us to 'go into all the world' commands us to rebuke the ruthless, to defend the fatherless, to care for the widow, to speak up for the oppressed (see Psalm 82:1-4, Proverbs 24:10-12, 31:8-9). In fact, true religion before God is to help the widow and orphan in their distress (James 1:27).
If we fail in our biblically commanded societal duties, our very worship becomes a stench in God's nostrils, and He has promised not to hear our prayers (see Isaiah 1: 10-18). He said in verse 15, "And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.'...The cure of America's illness is not an either/or proposition. Preaching the gospel is not in conflict with social reformation and visa versa. Both are critical. God's concern is for the spirit, soul, and body. Our goal should be the whole counsel of God."--Randall A. Terry
We confess before God, and before the church, that we have not fulfilled our responsibility to our fellow men and women, as Christ has called the church to do. Only through repentance and subsequent true revival (walking the talk!) can our nation be saved from the consequences of the shedding of innocent blood.
Tattoos, and abortion are just a few examples that Christians can and should address as the opportunity arises. Of course our primary responsibility is to evangelize and tell others about the merits of Christ's death and resurrection and sin and judgment on those unrepentant and unbelieving. But have you noticed that many today who call themselves Christians disobey many of the commands of Jesus while thinking they are obeying the gospel.
We must take everything the Bible reveals and discern what is valid for today.
Theologians debate the issue of theonomy or Christian Reconstruction for example and try to discern what part of the Old Testament laws are still valid for today.
Books have been written on this subject so I'll not cover this topic now but I think you agree that the Great Commission includes evangelism (Yes!) but also whatever Christ has commanded us in His word meaning not just what he said while he lived but also what his Spirit spoke through the prophets under the Old Testament.
Carlton Pruitt ministers the gospel to the Los Angeles area.
Formerly a Hollywood actor (SAG member) and junk removal expert he now spends most of his time studying the scriptures, writing articles, hymns and poems and doing street preaching.
See all his videos on https://www.YouTube.com/user/LAStreetPreacher
CONTACT at Carlton2061@gmail.com
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