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Evangelistic Endeavor -- 18 (Wed, 9/27)



Attendance is very low tonight--around 30 people. This is probably due to the fact that it is Wednesday and it doesn’t seem to be a good meeting day for people. If my memory is correct, Wednesday is the most poorly attended evening.

The topic is the Remnant. Again, we have not broken up the topics at all but just keep on going hard. How much change can we expect people to embrace in a month’s time? I think at this point we just need to deal with topics like prayer, Bible study, and other spiritual disciplines. We basically have the same group of visitors coming and we need to lighten up.

The other problem is that we have only dealt with issues that deal with the mind. We haven’t focused on Christian living and how to get to know God better. The only Christian living issue we will deal with will probably be the standards sermon where we tell people to take their jewelry off. Is that really Christian living? What about service, love, forgiveness, etc?

One of the phrases the evangelist loves repeating is that there are different denominations because of human interpretations of the Bible. Instead, throughout the series we have let the Bible interpret itself. No human interpretation is needed but we simply allow the Bible to interpret itself. This belief is common and scares me. I don’t even know where to begin with this idea. I don’t have a problem with the idea of comparing Scripture but let’s face it, we are interpreting the Bible with human understanding and logic. When we believe we aren’t interpreting the Bible but letting it speak for itself, there ends up being no room for discussion and change. Our interpretation will always be correct and anyone who believes differently than us is just allowing their human interpretation to get in the way.

I’m really disturbed at the extreme level of proof-texting used. I think it would be good if we spent more time on fewer passages. I understand the idea of showing a ton of texts to prove the point but I don’t think it’s necessary. If you unpack a few texts on an issue, the people will believe it and actually understand the concepts better. Part of the problem with the proof-text method is that it is devoid of stories. Stories are what changes lives and we don’t ever deal with the great stories of the Bible on a focused level. People live and learn through stories and we don’t have any of that except the evangelists’ testimony. I also think telling stories is important because it calls people to join the Christian story being told today.

A few quotes from tonight (paraphrased):

“If Jesus came to Hunter’s Point, he wouldn’t go to the Baptist church, the Apostolic Church, the Catholic Church, he’d go to Rainbow Seventh-day Adventist Church.”

“They were part of the Noah’s Ark Seventh-day Adventist Church.”


Anonymous said…
How would you approach the same sermon using only a few passages of Scripture in more depth? What stories would you tell?
trevan said…
Well, the preacher mentioned Noah's Ark which is a good one. I think you could also talk about Remnant with Jesus and the Disciples. It kind of seems like most stories in the Bible are about people who go against the flow and stand up for God in the midst of opposition. I probably would also try to throw in current event type stories and maybe stories of members in the congregation who stayed strong for God.

I think there is a place for topical sermons in which we cover a lot of territory and show the themes throughout Scripture. We just need to be careful that we don't allow that to become the only method we use.

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