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Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Do you take prayer… PERSONALLY?. Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths …. Other faiths and ideologies to be discussed in this series will include… Cultural Christianity Agnostics/Humanists Wicca Universalism New Age/Hindu Judaism Jehovah’s Witness Mormonism

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sharing our faith with those of other faiths
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths…

Other faiths and ideologies to be discussed in this series will include…

Cultural Christianity Agnostics/Humanists

Wicca Universalism

New Age/Hindu Judaism

Jehovah’s Witness Mormonism

Buddhism Islam

slide3

The Official Definition of

  • …Perspective…
  • …it is how people “see” things based on their values, culture, history, beliefs, etc.
slide7

There are people, too, can “see” things from a different perspective such as…

  • Union shops
  • Sports Fans
  • Religions and Philosophies
  • Cultural, Ethnics, Racial
  • Political
slide9

Missionary to a remote part of New Guinea…learned the language…told the story of Jesus in their language. When he got to the part where Judas betrays Jesus, the people in the tribe cheered…they made Judas a hero where the highest attribute in their tribe was to be masters of treachery and deceit!

But, they also gave honor to a tradition of a “peace child.” Two warring tribes where one chief would give his own son to the other and as long as he was kept alive all the wrongs from the past were forgotten and there was peace. The chief takes his son while the mother wails at her loss…

When the missionary learned of this high honor of the peace child, he told how God the Father gave His Only Son for us as our “Peace Child!” Most of the tribe came to know Jesus in this tribe because of their perspective!

slide10

Three Models of Churches Today by Ronald Neibuhr:

  • Believers stand against culture
  • Believers and culture in paradox
  • Believers transforming culture …this is our goal!
  • Transforming culture through the gospel of Jesus Christ!
slide11

1. Christ stands against culture, maintaining strict separation between the church and the prevailing culture….many believers adopt a fortress mentality thinking they will guard themselves against sin. They will often attack the symptoms of sin rather than looking to transform them from the inside out with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Evangelism this model of hits and runs…because the believer does not remain in the culture it is not truly missional. Many mission friendly churches hate the culture outside their church walls, but at least they pay missionaries salaries, pray for missionaries, and often treat their missionaries better than they treat their own pastors. They take period mission trips, observe needs, do some very helpful things, and then go home

2. Believers and culture in paradox… this church exists alongside their godless neighbors, within the culture they created together, but the church does not understand its role in the culture…at the end of the day this model is kinder, but still running from culture. Believers go into an area with love n their hears, share the gospel, and then get out of there as fast as they can.

They love to send missionaries away to live in a culture and they hope to go for a visit next time vacation rolls around…they hope for change in the culture, but typically have no stake in that culture…believers in paradox go into a culture they want to redeem, but they leave at day’s end. Missional believers invest in the culture and remain after dark.

3. Believers transforming culture…These are missional believers wanting to transform the culture for Christ one person at a time…they think more positively about their prevailing culture because they focus on the redemption Christ brings…they know Jesus can change everything!

Without Christ, believers can do nothing, (John 15:5) there is no running in this model. Evangelism is done by personal, steady, consistent lifestyle and words of grace. Missional living leads to a messy life...he may have to look past such things such as their abuse of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and sex…are we ready?

slide12

We must be prayerful in sharing the gospel…we MUST NOT depend on our own strength, but on the power of the Holy Spirit…

“I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of salvation…” Rom 1:16

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses…” Acts 1:8

slide13

Essentials of the Gospel

  • We’ve all done wrong in God’s eyes…Rom3:23
  • This wrong separates us from God forever …Rom 6:23
  • Jesus came to take our punishment…Rom 5:8
  • Turn away from doing wrong as a way of life…Acts 2:38
  • Confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord…you will be saved. Rom 10:9
slide14

The main thing to remember in sharing your faith…

in the power of the Holy Spirit, you have to

SHARE

the plan of salvation…

“Faith comes by hearing…” Rom. 10:17

slide16

Today, we will better understand

  • Wicca
  • Universalism
  • …so we can be better prepared to shared the gospel and understand their perspective!
slide18

Wicca is one of the fastest growing cultic movements not only in North America, but also in Western North Carolina; especially among teenage girls.

In North America, there are somewhere between 250,000 and 5 million adherents! (It is hard to get an accurate count)

sharing our faith with those of other faiths19
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths…

In Asheville area, there are over 300 “known” adherents to Wicca and brag of having several “covens” but it is believed to be many more!

However, these are very vocal in their practice and occasionally makes the news headlines…

slide20

Please show up at Asheville City Hall on August 2 at 7 PM FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASELocal Witches to Publicly Spell to Save Asheville\'s Magnolia Tree

Asheville, NC — Spiritual activist group Coven Oldenwilde has issued an open call for area Nature-lovers, Pagans, and Wiccans to join them in publicly casting magic spells to stop a developer from destroying… the majestic Magnolia tree in front of City Hall. (from Asheville Citizen Times, July 28, 2007)

slide21

Major Wicca beliefs:

  • practices rituals that revolve around the cycles of nature and “magick”
  • Spells and hexes
  • Divination using astrology, numerology, palm reading, tarot cards

Taken from 4truth.net January 26, 2009

slide22

Wicca beliefs (cont.)

  • Do not believe in Satan, (claims he was invented by the early church)
  • Belief in both male and female deities
slide23

Wicca beliefs (cont.)

  • Blends beliefs from New Age such as:
  • animism
  • pantheism
  • polytheism
slide24

Animism: belief that everything, even inanimate objects, wind rain, even rocks, have a soul or spirit.

Pantheism: belief that everything is divine…deity as one with nature…humans are also divine.

Polytheism: belief that there is more than one god.

slide25

Prudence Jones, a pagan writer, says they are “…polytheistic, recognizing a plurality of divine beings…”

…at some point, they no longer have control over the forces which they call upon, but rather, they themselves ends up being controlled by them!

slide26

The Christian response to this is to first acknowledge that Wicca and other practices of the occult are wicked and demonic…

…demons are REAL and should

NOTBE UNDERESTIMATED

slide27

Even though the Wiccans claim not to believe in Satan, the real power behind their practices

IS Satan himself…

we need to be aware of this as REAL

slide28

Ephesians 6:12, 14-17 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms…

slide29

Therefore put on the full armor of God…

  • Belt of truth
  • Breastplate of righteousness
  • Shoes of the gospel
  • Shield of faith
  • Helmet of salvation
  • Word of God, which is the Sword of the Spirit”
slide30

…they practice divination and sorcery and sold themselves to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger.” 2 Kings 17:17

slide31

So how should a Christian respond? We need to understand and see their perspective those who practice Wicca…

(this does NOT mean we need to agree with them!)

slide32

“…they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator. Romans 1:15

slide33

Once again, many that go into Wicca have been treated badly early on in church history…

…are Wiccans treated any better by the church today?

slide34

Prior to speaking with Wiccans concerning the gospel…

PRAYERFULLY ask for wisdom in approaching Wiccans with the gospel…ask the Holy Spirit to soften their hearts to accept the gospel message.

slide35

How do we reach Wiccans with the gospel? Talk with things they may know…one resource suggests using “Chronicles of Narnia” to start discussions…

Do not be so quick to tell them of their lostness and the coming wrath of God…as true as this is, this may close future opportunities in sharing the gospel message with them…

slide36

Ask, “Do you consider yourself spiritual?”(Be prepared for the answer!)

  • Tell me about your spirituality…
  • (Don’t forget to really listen!)
  • Can I tell you about my spirituality? (Asking permission helps bring the defensive walls down!)
slide37

Share Psalm 8:3-4 with them…

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”

sharing our faith with those of other faiths38
Sharing Our Faith with those of other faiths…

Share your personal testimony.

Make it NO longer than 2 minutes!!

slide40

Most are hostile to Christianity, especially efforts to evangelize to them…ask questions to make connections; don’t be argumentative or condemning.

slide41

Above all, again, rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to guide you and to change the heart of the person you are speaking…

Remember, God is in the business of miracles…trust Him!

slide43

Membership in the Unitarian Universalist: >200,000 people, (67% are women, with a large section of both male and female being gay)

  • Started around 250 AD by Arius, who taught Jesus was created rather than being eternal and equal to the Father.
  • Have become really liberal in the 20th Century abandoning any claim to Biblical authority and even debated the very existence of God.
slide44

Quoting from the www.uua.org website, “Unitarian Universalism” defines themselves as:

A caring, open-minded religion that encourages you to seek your own spiritual path. Our Faith draws on many religious traditions, welcoming people with different beliefs.

slide45

(cont.) …We are united by shared values, not by creed or dogma. Our congregations are places where people gather to nurture their spirits and put their faith into action by helping to make our communities—and the world—a better place.

slide46

(It) is a liberal religion that encompasses many faith traditions… Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Pagans, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, and others… Unitarian Universalists are free to search for truth on many paths.

slide47

To quote the Rev. Marta Flanagan, "We uphold the free search for truth. We will not be bound by a statement of belief...

Although we uphold shared principles, (we) have varied beliefs about everything from scripture to rituals to God.

slide49

When popular icons such as these say reckless things regarding the universality of salvation, many people will unfortunately gravitate to what they are saying…

slide50

To find the some of the videos and powerpoints as well as other info, go to http://fbchnc.org/missionresources for more info!

slide51

Evangelical Christianity is exclusive at its core…Jesus Christ is the ONLY Savior; there is NO salvation apart from Jesus.

  • However, there are two main thoughts of Universalism:
  • Inclusivism
  • Pluralism
slide52

Inclusivism:

  • Agree that you must be in Jesus, (afterall he died for all), but if people all over the world are doing the best they can in their condition and labored in their faith then God will let them in heaven.
  • Pluralism:
  • Believe Jesus is not at all necessary for salvation and that other gods are legitimate for salvation too.
slide53

These are growing concerns in our country:

“Do you really believe that the sincere Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist will not be in heaven?”:

Bailey Smith, past President of SBC said that ‘God does not hear the prayer of a Jew,’ (outside of Christ)…received lots of critical press for that remark…

Vatican II in 1965, the belief statement of Roman Catholicism opened the door to “inclusivism” worldwide

slide54

The philosophy ofUniversalism occurs not only in this organization, but also is RAMPANT among many mainline denominations today!!

slide55

USA Today reports…

Most American religious believers, including most Christians, say eternal life is not exclusively for those who accept Christ…this includes an overall majority who attend church regularly also said many religions can lead to eternal life.

slide56

USA Today reports…

Al Mohler, President of SBTS says, “We are in an age when we want to tell everyone they are doing just fine. It’s extremely uncomfortable to turn to someone and say, ‘You will go to hell unless you come to a saving knowledge of Jesus…”

slide57

USA Today reports…

Jimmy Carter stated once again his belief that there is salvation outside of faith in Christ, …suggesting openly that all persons will be saved…

slide58

We have to remember that the Bible is very clear that not all persons will be saved…

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.” Matthew 7:13

slide59

Prominent “Unitarians” include:

  • John Adams
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Louisa May Alcott
  • Adlai Stevenson
  • Paul Newman
  • Carl Sandburg
slide60

Witnessing to Universalists:

  • Be sure of your own faith and the Bible. Stay Prayerful and let the Holy Spirit give you discernment.
  • Inquire about their faith and beliefs…e.g. “Who is Jesus Christ in your opinion?”LISTEN!
  • Stay focused on the essentials
  • Do not argue
slide61

Witnessing to Universalists:

  • Share your personal testimony regarding your “life” changing event of salvation.(Keep it under 2 minutes!)
  • Share the plan of salvation.
  • Offer them material such as Lewis’ Mere Christianity, McDowell’s More than a Carpenter
slide62

The main answer to the problem of evil is the person of Jesus...

Moral evil finds its remedy in the perfect obedience of the life of Jesus and His death on behalf of those who believe in Him for the payment of sin.

slide63

“I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know….

slide64

“… Hear and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:1-6

slide65

Pray that God will give all of uscorrective lenses…tosee first our own sinfulness and then that He will open the eyes of the lost to see Him!

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