I like to scroll through the blogs tagged with “evangelism” on occasion, and if there’s something terribly wrong I’ll comment. If there’s an inspiring story of courage and boldness in witnessing I’ll comment. The other day, I happened upon this blog, dripping with sarcasm towards an event and preacher I’d never heard of–Tony Nolan at Winter Jam.
I truly have no idea what went on Winter Jam, and I’ve never heard of Tony Nolan. I would normally assume that it would be the usual unbiblical Christian M.O. Trick people into coming to some worldly event, and then pop them with the gospel–not usually a biblical gospel, but a squishy version thereof. However, the blogger was mad at Tony Nolan for mentioning hell and sin, so maybe it wasn’t all that bad.
I decided to pick one facet of the blogger’s mistake that I’ve discussed at length in the past. The mistake is saying that creating converts is a bad thing. I really have little patience for it, because I think it’s a very basic mistake, and comes from either:
- Saying there are people somewhere between saved and unsaved.
- Believing that the gospel isn’t adequate for salvation. We need to add our impressive discipleship techniques to make it really work.
Either way, I think we need to stand against those mistakes, and I left a comment asking for the blogger’s definition of convert. He said that a convert is “an individual who simply calls on Jesus and continues living life in their previous manner.” So, according to him all converts are false converts? I don’t know if he thinks a convert is going to heaven or hell, but I say you’ve either converted or you haven’t. You’re either born again, or dead in your sins. If someone converts, and continues living in sin, they are false converts. The problem is that you’re distorting the definition if you’re redefining all converts as false converts.
Later his girlfriend left a comment saying,
This blog was more important then what someones definition of “converts” and “disciples”. I am sure there are many definitions in the dictionary at your local library!!! Do you have a library card??? Oh wait what about the internet you can find it there too. http://www.dictionary.com is a great tool when in doubt.
This portion of her comment was leveled at me, and I decided to play along and said,
I agree that there are accepted definitions of disciple and convert available in every dictionary. Hopefully, the terribly unbiblical use of the terms by [the blogger] will lead him to borrow your dictionary or your Bible.
The latter phrase (borrow your dictionary or your Bible) was replaced by the blogger with “[edited due to negativity].” Furthermore, I was warned that I was in danger of being banned from the blog.
Neither the blogger, nor his girlfriend offered any sort of biblical defense for any of their viewpoints. I think at some point it becomes clear that they have no defense, and don’t know the Bible very well. I pointed this out to them, and the fact that it appears that Tony Nolan and any commenter who disagrees with them is likely to receive the “intense criticism” that they choose not to stand for themselves.
Finally, the blogger defends his criticism of Tony Nolan, saying it’s OK since he’s a public figure. I guess that pesky verse about “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” doesn’t apply if the other person is a public figure. Not only that, but the blogger took the opportunity to heap more criticism upon Tony Nolan for having the audacity to defend himself on the blog. The blatant hypocrisy on display amazes me.
Personally, I have no problem with calling people on their mistakes, and aspire to be teachable and humble when called on my mistakes. The blogger and his girlfriend pulled no punches with their sarcasm, and I think my sarcasm was mild in comparison. I don’t necessarily think I sinned in responding with sarcasm, but I’m open to opinions. I don’t even necessarily think the blogger and his girlfriend sinned with their sarcasm. The sin arises when they demand to be treated differently than they treat others.