6 responses to “The Church is More Essential than a Hospital: Responding to Criticisms

  1. Dan,

    I needed to add the following to my last comment…sorry…

    1 Timothy 3:7 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

    7 An elder must also have the respect of people who are not part of the church. Then he will not be criticized by others and be caught in the devil’s trap.

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    • 1. Pastor Gabe spoke simple Biblical truth to some comments that completely missed the point he was making concerning the difference between temporal hospitals and eternal realities.

      2. You NEVER debate non-believers? What an odd thing for a professing Christian to say, IOM.
      3. Jesus never spoke straight and ‘offensive’ truth to anyone?
      4. There are times for gentle persuasion and times for direct confrontation. Jesus knew that and responded appropriately.
      5. If you believe we are to just ‘sweet talk’ the lost into heaven, but never ‘debate’ unbelievers, when/how do you witness to them at all? Every spiritual conversation with an unbeliever IS a debate.

      Here’s a good commentary on 1 Timothy 3:7 for your edification:

      Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without – Who are without the church; that is, of those who are not Christians. This includes, of course, “all” classes of those who are not Christians – pagans, infidels, Jews, moral people, and scoffers. The idea is, that he must have a fair reputation with them for integrity of character. His life must be in their view upright. He must not be addicted to anything which they regard as inconsistent with good morals. His deportment must be such that they shall regard it as not inconsistent with his profession. He must be true and just and honest in his dealings with his fellow-men, and so live that they cannot say that he has wronged them. He must not give occasion for scandal or reproach in his contact with the other sex, but must be regarded as a man of a pure life and of a holy walk. The “reason” for this injunction is obvious.
      It is his business to endeavor to do such people good, and to persuade them to become Christians. “But no minister of the gospel can possibly do such people good, unless they regard him as an upright and honest man.” No matter how he preaches or prays; no matter how orthodox, learned, or apparently devout he may be, all his efforts will be in vain unless they regard him as a man of incorruptible integrity. If they hate religion themselves, they insist justly that since he has professed it he shall be governed by its principles; or if they feel its importance, they will not be influenced to embrace it by a man that they regard as hypocritical and impure. Go to a man whom you have defrauded, or who regards you as having done or attempted wrong to any other one, and talk to him about the necessity of religion, and he will instinctively say that he does not “want” a religion which will not make its professor true, honest, and pure. It is impossible, therefore, for a minister to over-estimate the importance of having a fair character in the view of the world, and no man should be introduced into the ministry, or sustained in it, who has not a fair reputation; compare Col 4:5 note; 1Th 4:12 note.

      Albert Barnes

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      • Yes, Dan, you do “sweettalk”. A couple things…

        When Jesus was confrontational, WHO was he confrontational to? People who considered themselves TEACHERS.

        Jesus ate with the sinners.

        Jesus spoke in parables, but why? His reasoning was not to teach the unbeliever, but to CONFUSE the JEWISH people who think that they KNOW IT ALL. It was not used as a TEACHING moment, except to the ones who actually followed Jesus, for THEY will understand.

        Here is one thing I have learned…wisdom. You CANNOT go around pointing fingers at ANYONE that is NOT a follower of God, and CONFRONT them with going to hell. That’s not how you do business as an Evangelical to WIN people over.

        You find COMMON GROUND and go from there, POLITELY.

        You gotta remember, the Jews were already God followers, and the only ones Jesus had a problem with, and lashed out to was those who thought that they were smarter than he was…the lawyers (teachers), etc., not the common foke.

        I’m NOT an Evangelical. I am a Christian. Now, I am going to clarify my not debating non-believers. I will only get into those debates if I am ALREADY A TRUSTED FRIEND to them in the first place. A former roommate of mine, atheist. Why was he an atheist? RAISED CATHOLIC. I informed him, “Well, that’s totally understandable”, and we were able to engage. His mind was already made up, so nothing I could say would convince him. We were roommates. We got along extremely well. We are friends. He’s the best auto mechanic I’ve ever known. He’s worked on my vehicles for FREE and for extremely low hourly wage, highly educated ASC certified, continual education. He knows the debate very well. We disagree. But before I get into a debate with someone, I need to KNOW them first.

        Those who claim to be Christian, they are open game to me. Kinda like when Paul, a Jew, would get into heated debates with the Jews, yet, NOT the Gentiles with the same hotness, if you will.

        Your commentary on Timothy is really good!! Thanks.

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        • Ed,

          You said ” You CANNOT go around pointing fingers at ANYONE that is NOT a follower of God, and CONFRONT them with going to hell. That’s not how you do business as an Evangelical to WIN people over.”

          1. If you believe that, you disagree with Jesus. Search your Bible for Jesus’ teachings on hell.
          2. If you don’t confront unbelievers with the issue of sin, God’s holiness & judgment (in hell) for sin, you have NOT shared the gospel.
          3. God is the REAL soul winner. We are to be faithful with the message. God uses us to point his people to the cross of Christ. He opens hearts to hear and receive, with gladness, the true gospel of Christ.

          Nuff said, my friend.

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          • Dan,

            I need to re-remind you that the topic of hell is to those who were ALREADY followers of God. The Jews.

            My example is the Apostle Paul who is the Apostle to the GENTILES.

            How many examples of the topic of hell did he speak of and to whom?

            The topic of hell has a place and time to speak of, but NOT as an OPENER to the unbelievers.

            If an unbeliever does not believe in an afterlife to begin with, he certainly is not going to believe in a hell.

            1 Cor 15, Paul discusses that some followers do not even believe in an afterlife, and since they don’t, why are they being baptized if no one rises from the dead? For if we only have hope in Christ in THIS LIFE, then we are men most miserable (KJV).

            Romans 7:7 Paul states, I had NOT known sin but by the law.

            Evangelicals give Christians a bad name, and they are violating the Timothy verse I provided, and the commentary that you provided.

            Ed

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            • The same Jews To whom Jesus said these (sweet talking ) words?

              ““If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”

              “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”

              42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8)

              These religious Jews were, in reality, unbelievers in the God they claimed to follow. Therefore, Jesus was speaking to ‘unbelievers’ when excoriating the religious Jews, as well as the Samaritan woman at the well.

              Ed, your argument holds no water. I think you are coming from the viewpoint that unbelievers have it in themselves to make genuine decisions for Christ solely out of their natural human nature. If that’s true, of course we need to ‘sweet talk’ them into a decision for Christ. We CANNOT therefore discuss that which they by nature hate, which would be the gravity of the sin they love, the reality of God’s righteous judgment, and hell.

              However, if we don’t get to the bottom line (the bad news that MUST precede the good news), we have NOT preached a complete gospel but a truncated gospel leading straight to hell. That was Pastor Gabe’s point, and a good one at that.

              But then you don’t believe in the doctrine of original sin. You have said as much.

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