Thursday, April 2, 2009

Evangelism Explosion (EE) vs XEE: A Culturally relevant improvement or a culturally appeasing compromise?

In contending for Biblical Evangelism, I have all-too often been accused of being a Ray Comfort fanboy with a biased view towards any other program and ministry. Now I’ll admit that on the basis of biblical exposition alone, Ray Comfort’s Way of the Master ministry does put forward a gospel presentation that is more in line with biblical precedent than others such as Campus Crusade’s “4 Spiritual Laws/Knowing God Personally” or Bill Hybel’s Walk Across the Room. So in fairness, what I’d like to do in this post is to do a review of another popular evangelistic ministry along with it’s newer offshoot.
Let me say first that in full honesty, I have the utmost love and respect towards the late D. James Kennedy. He was the rare combination of expositor, shepherd, evangelist and scholar. While these virtues are certainly what all pastors are called to do, few do so in the balanced manner that Kennedy did. He truly was a genuine contender of the faith.










The History of Evangelism Explosion

From the Official Website:

EE started in 1962 by Dr. D. James Kennedy. As a young pastor, Jim watched all his attempts to grow his first congregation go down the tubes. His church attendance dipped. Recalling those difficult times, he said, “Extrapolation made it clear that I had two-and-a-half months of ministry left before I was preaching to only my wife—and she was threatening to go to the Baptist Church down the street!”

Jim called this time the lowest point in his ministry. It was then that friend, and pastor, Kennedy Smartt, invited Jim to assist him in, of all things, a series of evangelistic services in Scottdale, Georgia, “I who had decimated one church was being asked to ship my technique across state lines. Have plague will travel!” quipped Jim.

During those 10 days of meetings, Jim simply went out with his friend and watched him engage people spiritually. By the end of the meetings, 54 people made professions of faith in Christ. Jim returned to Fort Lauderdale with the seeds that eventually became Evangelism Explosion. His church began to grow, and grow. In a brief 12-year period, church membership increased from 17 to 2,000.

Realizing that he couldn’t do this alone, he made witness-training a bedrock of his ministry, utilizing on-the-job training. In 1967, his Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church was singled out as the most rapidly expanding church in America. In 1972, EE was incorporated with its own staff and Board of Directors. As it spread to other countries, EE materials were translated into other languages. By 1984 more training clinics were held overseas than were held in the US.

In early 1996 EE was planted in all nations of the world. Materials have been translated into more than 70 different languages and clinics have been held in many nations. But there is still much work yet to be done developing national leadership and establishing strong, indigenous ministries in every nation.

The International Office provides an administrative base and raises financial support for the international operations of this ministry. It also oversees the material sales and training clinics for the United States. EE is a multi-denominational, non-profit missions organization whose operations are dependent upon our Lord’s grace and the gifts of His people
.[i]

The EE Program

From the Official Website:
More and more people are becoming equipped to share their faith in Christ through Classic EE. Classic EE outlines how a whole congregation can be motivated and mobilized to perform the task of sharing their faith in Jesus.
Once lay leaders and laypeople are trained, they, in turn, train others beginning the important process of spiritual multiplication.
Classic EE begins when a pastor or lay leader attends EE leadership training. Each pastor and lay leader then returns to his or her own church and begins to train church members (Level 1 training). The training includes actual witnessing experience. The inexperienced (trainees) go onto the streets in evangelistic outreach with the experienced (trainers) leading the way.
Line upon line, trainees gradually learn how to present the Gospel convincingly. Experience builds confidence. By the end of the training, each trainee is able to share the whole Gospel presentation.
EE training is scheduled across the country. EE offers training to fit your schedule from one-day Share Your Faith Workshops to more in-depth training of two-days or longer. [ii]

Becoming a skilled pilot not only takes class work, but on-the-job training. It’s the same with evangelism. Unfortunately, too many evangelism courses are all class work and no practical witnessing experiences.

Evangelism Explosion Leadership Training Clinics get you “in the air” with skilled Trainers who go out into the harvest field and share Jesus’ saving story confidently and completely.

You observe. You learn. Then you participate incrementally until you’ve mastered, and shared an entire Gospel presentation.

In a few short days this training has changed lives resulting in changed churches!

It’s no secret that the church is the key to the Great Commission. Once lay leaders are trained in EE, you’re ready to take off as you then equip the members of your church.

An EE clinic is not an easy commitment, but it’s small when considering it will change the lives of your congregation and community forever!

It’s the same method Jesus used. He began with a handful of people and turned the world   upside down!

Take flight in four steps:

• Key leaders from your church attend a five-day Leadership Training Clinic (if at all possible we encourage pastors to attend)
• Begin training people in your church
• Watch as key lay leaders take charge of evangelism and outreach
• Experience personal and healthy vital church growth!

Pastor, it starts with you, and filters into the hearts of laypeople releasing them as lay leaders who train others and reach your community for Christ.[iii]




The EE Gospel Presentation: “Did You Know?”





Review:
Pros:1. An eternal focus: the “Did You Know” tract begins with a proposal relating to the reader’s eternal welfare. The opening statement is not a humanistic one wherein God is seen as the answer to man’s insecurities and lack of fulfilment, but rather the focus is one that anyone has at least thought about once: “What will happen why I die?”

2.
Sin is treated is specifics as opposed to being defined as an abstract: While not explained in the manner of directly referring to the Moral Law in the way that Way of the Master is best known for, the presentation nonetheless explain that sin is indeed violation of a real, tangible law and listsindividual trangressions.


3.
Grace-centred: The tract explains both the justice and mercy of God as two interlinked divine attributes. The presentation expounds upon human inability as well as the need for God’s grace apart from works.


4.
Lordship focused: Some tracts leave the explanation of Christ divine identity out on the grounds that it is perceived as irrelevant or confusing. EE on the other hand describes Jesus as not just a man, but as God, using John 1 as the basis. Furthermore, the tract explains before the call to respond that saving faith is more than cerebral assent, but it is a call to repentance and full transformation.


5.
Reformed Soteriology: While Kennedy does not specifically mention Calvinism or T.U.L.I.P. by name, he nonetheless presupposes throughout the textbook Calvinistic concepts such as Total Depravity, Regeneration preceding Faith and the evangelist’s reliance not upon himself, but the power and providence of the Holy Spirit. Of course, there are no doubt Arminians too who (mis)use EE as well.


6.
Local-Church Discipleship and Accountability: With due respect to my brothers in Christ who serve in evangelistic parachurch ministry, all too often a “successful” witness encounter rarely goes beyond the encounter itself. That is, the new convert is merely left to fend for themselves without instruction as to what they are to do or where they are to go. EE’s formal training on the other hand starts with the local church with a focus on training senior leaders who in turn train the elders under them, who in turn train members, etc, until the whole church is mobilized. In that regard, Senior Pastors are formally taught how to properly “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:4).
One of the traps a lot of churches make is in separating the discipleship ministry from the evangelism ministry; i.e. “
I snuff ‘em, you stuff ‘em!” This often results in the evangelism ministry having a detached accountability wherein should an evangelist preach an unbiblical gospel presentation, the responsibility lies not on the evangelist who should be indicted for false teaching, but rather the discipler.
EE on the other hand calls harvest workers to fulfil both roles: gathering the fruits, feeding the new convert, getting them “folded” into church membership, and hopefully training them to the point that the process can be duplicated with the new convert “enlisting” to join the battle for souls.

Cons:

1.
Sinner’s Prayer recitation: Here is Dr. Kennedy giving an invitation to recite the sinner’s prayer - 





Paul Washer’s “War on the Sinner’s Prayer” -



>



2. Congratulatory gesture: Following from the above point, including both a congratulatory gesture as well as a “spiritual birth certificate” is both presumptuous as well as trite. The downside of including a congratulatory gesture in a printed tract is that one need only turn a page to see CONGRATULATIONS! written in bold and wrongly assume they are now saved because the tract told them so despit the apparent lack of conviction or understanding (I speak from experience in using the tract with one-on-one witnessing. Since then I simply tore the page out.)


3.
Requires large Human Resource base: While EE may be good for those who wish to start an outreach ministry from scratch, there is an underlying presumption that said church will already have a pre-established discipleship program for members along with sufficient church administration to keep track of new visitors in addition to a health intercessory prayer ministry. Ergo, in an environment that doesn’t really have such ministries already up and running, the EE program probably won’t be very sustainable. (The same critique could also be applied to new church plants).



XEE






From the official website:
For more than 45 years, Evangelism Explosion has impacted lives around the globe by equipping believers to share their faith. Millions have been trained and they, in turn, have trained millions of others. This “spiritual multiplication” is why EE has been so successful. Equally exciting for us is that, every year, millions of people make a profession of faith in Christ through EE and hundreds of churches experience tremendous growth.

Now we have developed XEE, a new and effective way for Gen X and Y leaders to equip people in personal, relational evangelism. Through XEE, people become the type of witnesses that Christ intends for us all to be. XEE trains people to really connect with those around them and build stronger relationships. Using this platform, it’s easier for someone to share the Good News simply and confidently. Ultimately, we want to help people lead their friends to a relationship with Jesus. We invite you to get on board.


The XEE Gospel Presentation
00 Intro
On a Scale of 1 to 10, how fulfilling would you say your life is?
What makes it an X? Would it change in either direction if God were in your life?
Many people think of God as
Uncaring
Uninvolved
Dead
But that's not true. God wants to have a relationship with us and give us a full life.



01 Life

Jesus, who is God's Son said "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

Let's think about what Jesus meant by life to the full. He is not talking about our circumstances, or a feeling of well being, He is describing a dimension of life, rather than a quality of life. It's like the difference between virtual life and real life. Life to the full is life lived in real relationship with Jesus, and results in life both now and forever.
What do you think stops us from having life to the full?




02 Us
We ignore God in attitude and in action. We rebel and separate ourselves from Him, breaking our relationship, which ultimately results in death - permanent separation from Him.
Ignoring God in attitude leads to ignoring Him in action. Because we ignore God, we end up living life our own way. Some of us do this in small ways, and some of us in really big and devastating ways that have significant consequences. We mess up our lives and we never find real fulfillment in life. When we live in rebellion to God, it affects and breaks our relationship with Him.
The Bible says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23) "There is no one righteous, not even one; There is no one who understands, no one who seeks God, all have turned away." (Romans 3:10-12a)
How do you think God will react to us ignoring Him?




03 God"God is love" (1 John 4:8) On one hand God is loving, so He doesn't want to punish us.
"God is just" (Exodus 34:7b) on the other hand God is just, which means He must punish our sin.
God's love for us doesn't depend on what we do for Him. He wants to have a relationship with us. But no matter how much He loves us and doesn't want to punish us, He cannot ignore our sinfulness.
God solved this tension in the person of Jesus.

04 Jesus
Jesus lived the perfect life.
The Bible tells us that Jesus was fully God and fully man. He lived a perfect (sinless) life. Being man, He experienced adversity - just like us - in the midst of social upheaval, depression, and crisis. But, being God, He never sinned. Because Jesus chose to obey, He lived his life to the fullest; being blessed by God and being a blessing to those around Him. It's the way life was meant to be lived.
So if Jesus lived His life to the full, what does that mean for us?
Jesus did something no one else could do because of who He is. Being without sin, He became the substitute for our sins, and by doing so, He has removed the barrier that blocked our relationship with God. He took our penalty, our sins were laid on Him and He assumed our guilt and our debt, and He rose from death to a life forever. This means we can join Jesus and live with Him forever. We're not covered by guilt or sin anymore, because Jesus has removed it.
The Bible says, "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."(John 3:16)
Our relationship with him can start today, and we can have life to the full, now and forever.




05 Faith
How do we receive this life to the full?
Jesus says, "I am the way the truth and the life." (John 14:6)
We start this relationship through faith, and receive this life to the full as a free gift.
Faith is not simply knowing in our mind the existence of God and Jesus. Faith is not temporary or fleeting.
Faith is Knowledge, Agreement, and Trust.
It is understanding who Jesus is and what He did for you, agreeing that He is in fact the Lord and Savior, and trusting in Him alone for life to the full.
We cannot in any way earn or deserve this relationship with God.
The Bible says, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Trusting in Jesus is the only way by which we can receive this life He promises.



06 Response
The real life Jesus offers can start today and go on forever.
It's a life that lasts beyond the grave. Jesus offers us this life to the full. All we have to do is take it.
Would you like to begin this relationship with Jesus and have life to the full?
You need to:
A. Admit that you have sinned against God, need to repent, and accept His forgiveness
B. Believe that only Jesus can save, that He died, and rose again
C. Commit to following Him as Lord and Savior
If this is the desire of your heart, then we encourage you to tell God by speaking to Him in these words:
My Lord and my God, I admit that I have been wrong in not following You. I turn away from my sin - I repent. Please forgive me. I believe that You paid the penalty for me on the cross and that You rose again from the dead to offer me new life. I commit myself to following You as my Savior and Lord. I want Your gift of life, now and forever. Help me to live for You by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life." (John 6:47)

 
Review:
Pros:1. Generational target: XEE is designed to reach out towards a specific taget group, that is GenX and Y. It notes the characteristics young people in today’s era have with regards to culture and aims to respond accordingly.

2. Contemporary teaching methods: XEE makes use of various multimedia technologies such as DVD and Internet rather than just face-to-face lecturing. Viewers are shown the method taught and demonstrated by young people who model the outreach target.

3. Use of natural dialogue as opposed to a “canned” presentation: As demonstrated in the videos, the XEE Gospel presentation was not so much a word-for-word recital of a formula, but rather came out as natural conversation that involved both parties.



Cons:1. Shift from eternal to temporal concern: EE’s trademark feature is the proposal centred around eternal consequence: DO YOU KNOW for sure that you are going to be with God in Heaven?” On the other hand, XEE is very much focused on Life here on Earth, proof-texting John 10:10 “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

2. Lure of life-enhancement: Following from the above, the underlying motif shifts from eternal welfare to a subtle suggestion of life enhancement; that life here on earth is incomplete and unfulfilling apart from a relationship with Jesus. It must be remembered that when Jesus used the word “full”, he was not necessarily speaking of improved quality, rather it will be full of the believer’s calling from God. And when we look through the scriptures, we do see that the disiples definitely lived lives that were indeed “full”: shipwrecks, stonings, imprisonment, persecution, etc.

3. Omission of the Moral Law: While XEE correctly quoes from Romans 3 to describe sin, it fails to expound upon the specifics of the Law as it’s EE parent did. The explanation of sin, morality and the Holiness of God thus becomes abstract and ad hoc.

4. Relational rather than Confrontational slant: XEE is unapologetically a relationship/friendship evangelism method.
In todays age, Relationship/Friendship evangelism may seem like the best way to witness on the grounds that light of the fact that we live in a society that embraces relativism and political correctness, to suddenly approach someone out of the blue and “preach at them” about sin and the need to receive christ as the only means of salvation, hence it is better to build a level of trust until they seem confortable with issues of faith. Based on Australian culture, it seems that this should be the ideal way to witness. However, such an approach does have shortcomings if taken to an unhealthy extreme:

1. It becomes dependant upon the virtues of the messenger: The Christian has to exert themselves to be extra- attentive to their mannerisms, expressions and attitudes. While Christians are to be careful that they maintain personal holiness, especially among non-believers, we should be careful that we don't impose upon ourselves a degree of perfectionism that eventually leads to legalism, or worse, pride. Secondly, we may find that others within our friend's immediate social group that are also non-christians who just happen to be calmer, nicer, more gentle, attractive and outgoing than us! Consider the merits of the Apostle Paul as he described his own ministry in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 1When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.2For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.3I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.4My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power,5so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.
Later when defending his ministry to the Corinthians, Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:10 (New King James Version) “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.”
Paul was clearly not the ideal candidate for relational witnessing.

2.One can become unequally yoked: 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 warns14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
17"Therefore come out from them
and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you."
18"I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

Being unequally yoked doesn't just mean having intimate relations with a non-believer (e.g., Boy-Girl Relationships, marriage), but it can apply to any kind of connection between two people from something as meaningful as a close friendship to something as disconnected as a business partnership. Either way, when a believer lacks resolve to be open and up-front about standing for their convictions and
“earnestly contending for the faith” (Jude 3), eventually compromise will set in when the friend takes the more dominating role in the friendship to the extent that the Christian finds themselves unwittingly doing everything to please that person, even going as far as to deny faith in Christ when the friend openly declares to show no interest or belief in God at all. “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).

3. People receive the saint, but not the savior: When the messenger is made sovereign over another person's salvation instead of God alone, it can lead to the potential convert making a decision for Christ based on what they see in the messenger, and not the actual concern of the gospel. Their “discipleship” consists not so much of growing in Christ-likeness, but rather emulating the characteristics of the person who led them to the point of decision: a charismatic personality, a successful lifestyle, intelligence, natural charm. Sadly, when the witness either goes through a “dry spell” in their walk and/or starts to backslide causing them to not be at a full 100% in their own Christian walk, the new believer can only be expected to follow and be stumbled. 3For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. 4They think it strange that you do not plunge with them I nto the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. 1 Peter 4:3-4

At it's core relationship evangelism as exemplified by XEE presents a erroneus view of fallen man's relationship with God that is unbiblical on the grounds that the Bible teaches that the fundamental difference between belief and unbelief have nothing to do with a person's “Connections”, but rather their spiritual condition:

 
5 The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. Genesis 6:5

 6 All of us have become like one who is unclean,
       and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
       we all shrivel up like a leaf,
       and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
Isaiah 64:6

 9 The heart is deceitful above all things
       and beyond cure.
       Who can understand it?
Jeremiah 17:9


21For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' " Mark 7:21-23


19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.
John 3:19-21

18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
 21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Romans 1:18-27


10As it is written:
   "There is no one righteous, not even one;
    11there is no one who understands,
      no one who seeks God.
 12All have turned away,
      they have together become worthless;
   there is no one who does good,
      not even one."
 13"Their throats are open graves;
      their tongues practice deceit."
   "The poison of vipers is on their lips."
    14"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
 15"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
    16ruin and misery mark their ways,
 17and the way of peace they do not know."
    18"There is no fear of God before their eyes."
19Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
Romans 3:10-20


7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. Romans 8:7-8


3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4



The Bible is clear that apart from the grace of God in the act of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, man on his own has no ability or inclination whatsoever to seek, worship or obey God. We cannot self-regenerate. Any attempt merely results in counterfeit religion at best. Scrpture portray the spiritually open-minded not as though they are humble “seekers” in search of God, but rather rebellious idolators trying their hardest to turn away from him completely. How does this apply practically in outreach? Listen to the words of the apostle Paul as he explains how he put this principle into action:
17For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
 18For the message of the cross is foolishness
[gk. Moria, from where we derive the english word “Moron”] to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
   "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
      the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Corinthians 1:17-24
There's a two-fold application in the above passage. Firstly, human virtue on it's own is not a contributing factor when it comes to salvation. When true believers gather together, there should be a sense of shock that those present are not there as representatives of the World's finest when it comes to whatever is considered hip, cool or successful. When you look at People Magazine's Top 50 Most Beautiful people, how many of those listed are in a personal relationship with Christ? We see this demonstrated within Jesus' selection of the twelve: uneducated fisherman (Peter and Andrew), unruly youths (James and John, the sons of Zebedee), a tax collector (Matthew), even a local terrorist (Simon the Zealot); these were those society considered expendible. To the humanist who wants to stand before God on judgment day thinking they're going to receive a trophy for how good they thought they were, all they can expect is a hard slap in the jaw by the sovereign grace of God.


Secondly, Paul clearly did not make attractional appeals to people at the worldly level in the hopes that it would lead others to Christ. If anything, he saw such thinking as a hindrance to the annointing of the Holy Spirit in his ministry. He desired to be completely reliant upon the grace of God in such a way that his preaching would point people to Christ rather than himself. It was not as though Paul was an inept moron; when we look at the issues he covers in the letter of Romans, it's obvious that he could have gone toe-to-toe with the intellectuals of his day and given them a run for their money; yet even so, when he was in athens among the philosophers, their response to his presentation of the gospel was "What would this idle babbler wish to say?" (Acts 17:18). When people reject the message of the gospel it is not because they personally reject you even though may seem to do so vocally, it is because “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned“ 1 Corinthians 2:14.
Again, the difference between belief and unbelief lies not in the merits of man – in either the messenger or the recipient – but rather the supernatural intervention of God. How then are we to serve as the mid-wife of this new birth? “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!" Romans 10:14-15.
On the other hand, if a person is convinced to “make a decision” for Christ on the basis of the very things Paul preached against in 1 Corinthians 1:18-24, don't expect them to last long as inevitably they will encounter people outside the church who display such things on a much grander level than those within.


In conclusion, XEE marks a vast departure from the attempts by D. James Kennedy to create an evangelistic ministry built upon a foundation of Reformed ideals. If anything, there is an underlying shift in churches’ soteriology wherein the emphasis is not on conversion as a confrontational experience wherein one is quickened to promptly be brought face-to–face with his sin, but rather as a relationship with a God who promises an improved life on Earth.

 

  If D. James Kennedy were still alive, would he agree with the format of XEE?









1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    This is Sauli from Finland. I've trained people in Xee and had many of the same doubts as you have as when I first attented the training myself. However during the course, I noticed that to the "outside" for a person who has not attented it, it might seem a bit poorly balanced between concepts. However, during the lessons and in the material we do dwell deeper into the matters of what sin is etc. The truth is, where I live, most people do not have a clue on what Jesus is about, they don't care what happens when they die and so on. Many people just close their ears as soon as you mention God, Jesus or Bible. That's why I've learned that the initial approach has to be a bit different. Also, "life to the full" is not defined as all the things you get down here that your life is all great, more like that you get a completely different view on things, the change is first in the soul of a man and it starts from an acknowledged relationship with/in Jesus Christ.

    ReplyDelete