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6 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2007 - 7:38PM #1
keesiewonder
Posts: 221
I'm running in to some conflict or silence in other areas of Beliefnet, and am hoping my asking some questions here is a bit less confrontational.

How would you define proselytism?

Do Lutherans proselytize, and if so how?

If someone is a Christian and they do not have an agenda that includes proselytism, does that make them a hypocrite? Why or why not?
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2007 - 8:12PM #2
AFskypilot
Posts: 352
[QUOTE=keesiewonder;64207]I'm running in to some conflict or silence in other areas of Beliefnet, and am hoping my asking some questions here is a bit less confrontational.

How would you define proselytism?

Do Lutherans proselytize, and if so how?

If someone is a Christian and they do not have an agenda that includes proselytism, does that make them a hypocrite? Why or why not?[/QUOTE]

Good question.

Proselytism in the broad sense is to induce someone to convert to a particular faith.  In the narrow sense people see it as an attempt to force someone to change from one denomination to another.

The problem with proselytism by the these definitions is that it implies that I as an individual have the power to convert you to my particular faith.  I really do not have that power.  It is my understanding that a person cannot come to believe in Jesus except by the power of the Holy Spirit working through the Word of God. 

No, I cannot force someone to accept my beliefs, but I can give witness to those beliefs by speaking God's Word.  I leave it up to the Holy Spirit to bring about the changes in a persons heart.

Lutherans do not have a given formula for proselytism except to use the law to show a person where he/she is in sin and then anouncing God's grace in how Jesus is the answer to that sin.

Christians are called to witness to God's grace, but I respectfully disagree with the implications of your last question.  It implies we should see measurable results: "Today, I have one so many to Christ!!"  No, witnessing is more like planting the seed and letting God take care of it.
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2007 - 8:27PM #3
keesiewonder
Posts: 221
Thanks for your reply! Regarding my final "question", the reason I ask is I am regularly called a hypocrite on Beliefnet. Directly or indirectly. I presume this happens because I have a strong distaste for proselytism. Witnessing, well, many including clergy have said I am quite gifted there. But in the company of certain  (most?) christians, all I hear is "Hypocrite, follow me".

AFskypilot wrote:


Christians are called to witness to God's grace, but I respectfully disagree with the implications of your last question.  It implies we should see measurable results: "Today, I have one so many to Christ!!"  No, witnessing is more like planting the seed and letting God take care of it.

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6 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2007 - 11:37PM #4
Sakhaiva
Posts: 942
AFSkypilot - I cannot add to your post as you hit the nail firmly on said head. 

But since I want to type too.... :)   

KessieWonder, many moons ago I was a member of a non-denom that *did* have perscribed formulas for how to get people to church (the goal was to land visitors into 'two-on-one' studies involving proof-texting and a violent explanation of the crucifixion, the goal of which was to get people (re)baptized (full immersion in a bathtub in front of church) membership and into discipling.  What happened of course was people became judgmental of others and bragged 'I brought 'x #' new visitors' or 'I led x # of studies' ...   it made me think of Snoopy and the Red Baron - with Snoopy stamping dog-houses on the side of his flying dog-house marking his success....

....on the contrary, I've read that *successful witness* simply means sharing Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit (according to your specific bent) leaving the glory and the results to God.*   Nice contrast, isn't it :)

On another note - what is the deal with people and their ad hominem attacks?
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2007 - 6:38AM #5
tawonda
Posts: 4,367
To borrow a thought from St. Francis: "Preach Christ always. Use words when necessary."
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 14, 2007 - 6:59AM #6
keesiewonder
Posts: 221

tawonda wrote:

To borrow a thought from St. Francis: "Preach Christ always. Use words when necessary."



Is it preach Christ or preach the Gospel? (Link)

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