Wednesday, October 26, 2005

To Answer a Comment

An anonymous poster stopped by to comment on my entry about mailing the John and Romans into the apartments that were inaccessible to us. I wanted to answer a couple of concerns this person had, because others might have the same concerns. Here is the body of the comment:

That is wonderful - but it makes me sad that it is only John and Romans! Romans was written to men and women who were already Christians - there has to be a LOT of background knowledge of the Jewish people and their way of life for one to glean all they can from Romans. If anything - why not John and Acts? They were written by the same author, are both written in chronological order, and if anything, Acts is chock full of conversion stories and would definitely show someone the way to Christ. The apostle Paul's story alone is in Acts 3x! It just always worries me when someone shares part of the Bible and not all of it - but I know that your intentions are good! But remember - Romans was written to Christians - it was never meant for non-Christians (of course they can learn from it, just saying that it is full of messages to people who have already become Christians, not those seeking the truth).

I appreciate your comments and the fact that you've stopped by to read my blog. I also appreciate your concerns. The reason we distribute John and Romans rather than the entire Bible is simply a matter of economics. These are small pamphlet-size books, which we can print and mail for 25 cents each. I'll let you do the math to find out how much we're paying to deliver 18,000 copies! We could never print and mail the entire Bible for 25 cents each. Also, most people would be overwhelmed by an entire Bible and would be less likely to even begin reading it - they would have no idea where to even start! The choice of just two books keeps the book small enough to read through quickly. Let's face it - in the day that we live in, if it's not a quick read, many people won't even begin to read it, so a small booklet is much more likely to be read than an entire copy of the Bible.

As for the choice of which books to include, I believe that Romans is a fine choice for the unsaved. The book of Romans is indeed written to Jewish Christians, but it is rich in teaching about sin (Rom. 3:10,23), the penalty for sin (Rom. 5:12; 6:23), the payment for our sin made by Christ (Rom. 5:8), and how to have our sin forgiven and receive eternal life (Rom. 10:9-13). I hope you would agree with me that these verses - and their contexts - are absolute, life-changing Truth, which every person needs to hear! These verses from the book of Romans are the main verses that I use personally to lead someone to Christ, although they certainly aren't the only ones I use. The entire first three chapters teach about sin and that all are guilty before God, with no hope of reaching Heaven by our own goodness, something that is taken lightly in this age of "I'm ok, you're ok." Of course, Romans is also full of doctrine and instruction on living the Christian life (chapters 12-15). So I believe Romans is profitable for the unsaved seeking the truth about how he can be saved, as well as for the newly saved person learning how to live the Christian life.

(Incidentally, the book of Acts was written by Luke, not John; please compare Luke 1:3,4 with Acts 1:1-4. Romans, of course, was written by Paul.)

Your last concern was that you are leery of those only giving a portion of the Bible. I understand that concern, but I can assure you that my husband, the pastor of our church, teaches and preaches the entire Bible, the whole counsel of God. You're welcome to visit our church's website and read our doctrinal statement and listen to some of my husband's sermons. Should you have any questions about our doctrine or our evangelistic practices, feel free to contact him through the church website.

Thanks again for reading my blog and for taking the time to comment!

4 comments:

  1. I agree with you about Romans and John. My Dad uses them in Spanish of course.

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  2. I agree with what you said about Romans; it's has alot of good salvation verses in it!

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  3. Anonymous7:18 PM

    Excuse me...I meant Luke (which I supported when I said that it was the only gospel which claims to be written chronologically). I was typing quickly and got ahead of myself! I understand the cost effectiveness...and agree that the whole of the Bible would be VERY overwhelming. However, I still think that Romans is not necessarily the best choice. The teaching of the "Roman Road" concerns me - Romans was not meant by Paul to be used evangelistically, but to encourage and rebuke Christians. Why not show someone an actual conversion story such as Paul, the Ethiopian Eunuch, Cornelius and his household, Lydia, etc? Why not show the lifechanging power Christ had over Paul's life instead of just letting them read a promise? Also, if you're already giving them a narrative (the gospel), then why not continue with a narrative of the beginning of the church and the first Christians? Why be more confusing by throwing in a letter which an unbeliever would not understand the context of? I am sorry, but I still feel that Romans is for a more mature Christian who is ready to face deep truth. The gospel of Luke and Acts would be my choice. However - good luck with your efforts!

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  4. Hi again, Anonymous! I'm sorry that our choice of books of the Bible seems to concern you so much. I really have to scratch my head over your reluctance to use Romans to lead someone to the Lord. I honestly don't see the problem, but you're certainly entitled to your opinion. Thanks for stopping by!

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Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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