Loose Ends On Evangelism

July 26, 2000

This edition is taken up mostly with two dialogues. Both were concerning the two disagreements that we had concerning evangelism last time and I pray that both are dealt with effectively here. The first idea is that we do not always have to be evangelizing or even to be concerned with it as long as our witness is effective enough. The second deals with what was mentioned concerning the Great Commission recorded in the ending of Mark's gospel. Below those are some good thoughts about evangelism.

I believe that we can wrap up the discussion on evangelists. This started three months ago with the premise that the present revealing of the five-fold ministers may be the manifestation of the sons of God. We discussed apostles, leadership and authority, women in ministry, prophets, pastors, love, teachers and evangelists. Good stuff. Changed my mind on a few things. I did some writing in dialogue with a group before the end of the year that I am compiling that had a lot to do with the manifest sons. When it looks done, I will forward that and see what you think about it.


Dear Jay,
> So what is the consensus - are we all evangelists? No, but whether we
> are or not, evangelism should be a primary concern and if we are not to
> do it ourselves, we should do everything that we can to help spread the
> gospel. In this light, I believe that we are all agreed upon this. If
> not, I will wait for some more responses on this, but if none, I believe
> that we can move onto the next subject.

I just wanted to say that i still feel that our example is enough. This is partly because i feel that the poor already own the kingdom of heaven, simply because they do not own the world. Should we be there for those who want to come to Christ?? Well, to me that answers itself, if they WANT to come to Christ they already have. We should be there for fellowship and testimony and love...but i feel that it is very wrong to PUSH any BELIEF on anyone. As a woman i have been told i have a place and must keep it in order to please God...i have also been told that this is not true. But whatever i am told, whatever i am taught, to me it comes down to the truth that MY place is MY place and i must find it on my own. I have been given the gift of free will and the ability to choose my path. Anytime someone tries to lead someone else down THEIR path, they are restricting the free will of the other. This is just how i feel, i am sorry if it doesn't make sense to you but it seems important to me to say it.

Can i tell you one story? I was at a tiny pentecostal church in the colonial (ghetto) where my amiga lives. (mexico) She has 5 boys earns 5 dollars a day and lives in a shack, literally. She is also the happiest person i know, she is at peace, as are most of the people in the neighbourhood. Anyway, this tiny church rocks, sways, and vibrates with the spirit. I have nowhere else felt anything like it. One night a man was at the altar, kneeling in prayer. He had no shoes. He had on old clothes. What was he praying for? Nothing. Just over and over he kept saying "gracias, gracias" in the most beautiful voice i have ever heard. That night changed my life. I have learned more from the EXAMPLE of this man thanking God, than i could ever learn from a preacher. Was this man trying to teach me? No. He probably never even saw me. But the impact his example has made on my life has been unimaginable.

Do you get what i'm trying to say? I hope so because that's as clear as i can make it. Go on to the next subject though. People will always evangelize. I can't stop that with an e-mail. But the price of evangelism is high...the cult of personality usually wins out over the Word of the Lord.
With Love,

Dear Tanya,

I really believe that your cynicism is misplaced. Obviously you have been turned off by phony Christians and I cannot blame you for that. But to condemn one of the precious gifts of God because you have some kind of animosity toward it is to oppose what God gives to us. You must bring yourself to see this. What we are trying to say here is that evangelism should be in the spirit of God. Are you opposing this spirit? It sounds like you are. What you are reacting against is the fleshly aspects of evangelism. Re-read your testimony here and you will see it that this is true and it is a healthy part of the doubt needed to protect ourselves from false christians. But do not throw out the gift of God just because it has been misused and misrepresented by others. Do not blame the good just because you have been hurt by the bad. The man that impressed you in Mexico was singing the praises of God and it blessed you. He was in the spirit, the Lord inhabits the praises of His people and certainly we can be led to Him by the example of others. But have you ever actually read the Bible? Or have you read it and not believed it? We may come to the Lord without the benefit of scripture but think of all the wonderful things that is there to teach us. The gospel gives us faith to grow along with the Holy Spirit. It brings us to maturity to live a humble and holy life. Holy living makes a person holy, not poverty, as much as I exalt poverty, it can not save you, only Jesus can save you. I learned my faith of Jesus through the reading of scripture, others reach it through the example or the preaching of others. One may not be better than the other, it is the final result that matters. You are condemning one of God's gifts, not just those that practice it. Please try to understand this and get back to me before I post your message.


Dear Jay,
I have read the bible. I have read the works of the church fathers. I have read the Nag Hammadi texts. I have read everything that i can get my hands on. To me the most precious gift of God is free will. I believe, and this is a belief and need not be yours, that any attempt on my part to sway the will of another is wrong. Probably the only thing that i would consider a sin. Now, i am not saying that we should not be there for those who wish to learn. I am saying that we should let them come to us. If i shine a light on the wall, the wall is lit, but is not the source of the light. We are ALL lit by the same light, but we are not the source. I have not been hurt by evangelism, maybe bothered but not hurt. But many have. Too many. For us to assume we have all the answers is wrong. And now here's the biggie, if you don't like what i've said so far you'll hate this. I do not believe that people who have not heard the name Jesus are damned. And if they are then damn me too because i don't think that God would damn people for not knowing a name. The words of Jesus follow common sense and love. I think that Love is enough. I think Love is the spirit of God. I would like people to feel the love of Christ, but i will not jam it down someone's throat. I feel that if someone loves, not considering themselves, that they are saved. If they aren't than how can i be?? Because i am Christian? Makes no sense. I would like to ask you what you meant about me not believing the bible? Didn't mean to upset you, if you want me to leave the group i will.
With Love,

Hi again Tanya,

You are so right on in that so many have brought the gospel to people without truly ministering to their needs. You have love and compassion for others and I respect that. But we must all be careful just whose name we are coming in. We do not receive our eternal reward if we come in our own name. We can come in the name of love and compassion but the bottom line is still what decision do we make concerning Jesus and if we truly love others, we must bring them that message.

I commend you for your stand on love and free will and respecting other's viewpoints. I would not drop you from the list because we disagree, I only do that through hateful disagreements or heresy. What I meant about not believing in the Bible is that a few of the things that you are saying is contrary to what it teaches. Many things you say are true but it is not truth alone that will save you, only Jesus can, and it is in His name that we are justified. I am happy that you read what is going on here and this means that you know how much we are teaching on love. But I must admit that the Bible teaches that even sinners love each other so I must also admit that even love can not save you if it is just love alone.

This may surprise many but I agree with you that those that have not heard the name of Jesus can be saved and it is in the love that one has for another that will justify them. Even Jesus said there are others not of this fold. But the fact remains that you have heard the name of Jesus and the fact remains that I believe that we have a responsibility as a Christian to do what we can to spread the gospel. We are not talking about Bible bashing here but rather speaking out against it and doing it the right way. You could be a help in that. Can you truly say that preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit is Bible bashing? If it is truly the Lord speaking through us then it is in love and truth according to what others need to hear and this is what you must strive for in your own life - doing it the right way according to your love and compassion. It is good that you have reacted against what is false but as I mentioned before, you need not deny the gifts of God just because they have been misused in the past. None of us are able to speak against the truth no matter what our opinions are.

Paul writes to Timothy that: "It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us." Jesus said "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Of course we have free will, Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times but later on he preached: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." It was the promised gift of the Holy Ghost that made the difference in Peter. Tanya, would you deny the promise of the Holy Ghost to others simply out of love? I cannot believe that you would want to do that unless there is more for you to learn and this is where your free will comes in. Accept it or reject it, the choice is always ours.

I can see that you believe in Jesus according to your salvation but what of the gift of the Holy Ghost? Many evangelists don't even teach this and of those that do, many stress a particular gift instead of the giver. With ignorance on one side and confusion on the other side from so many of them, I respect your dissatisfaction. I wish I knew more about you, of your testimony concerning the baptism of the Holy Ghost, so that I can understand more.


Hi Jay,
Glad you understand what i'm trying to say a little at least. I think I told you before that most people think I don't make sense. It's hard to write it down, because alot of what i think i can't put into words immediately.

> Jesus said "Whosoever
> therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my
> Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him
> will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."

I will always when asked tell people i am Christian. If questioned further i answer to the best of my ability. This to me is spreading the word. People usually end up asking about religion sooner or later. But until someone knows me, how can they see how Jesus influences my life? There would be no meaning in His name if i just started preaching (and i could do it) without people seeing how Jesus' example leads me in my daily life. The words would be empty.

As far as Paul goes, he is not Jesus...Jesus is who i follow and no other. There is a beautiful quote in the gospel of Thomas ( i can't remember word for word) :

Jesus said "If they tell you the kingdom of God is in the sky, then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they tell you it is in the sea, then the fish of the sea will precede you. Rather the kingdom of God is inside of you and outside of you."

That always stuck with me, and i think it sums up what i am feeling. I believe in the gift of the Holy Spirit, i believe that the Spirit is what i feel sometimes, a feeling i call grace. It crashes into me and helps me see things that i couldn't before. It fills me with love and comfort. But i cannot convey grace upon another. Only God can. I think the best part of love is understanding. It brings us wisdom. This is kinda my point but i don't think i can get it across...if i try to lead someone, even if i think i am doing the right thing, i am not loving them. I should lead noone, but love everyone. If someone truly wants to learn about Christ, and asks me, i will help, because it is their will to learn, not mine to teach. But out of love i will teach. So i have not condemned the gift or the message....just the form that the messenger takes. I think that if we all "are passersby" the word will spread, but also will stick, because people will be learning when they are called to learn. Make any sense? Look at Voodoo and Santeria....that is what happens when people are not ready to receive the Word.

I also think that to go places and preach without being asked, means that we are judging the population to which we are preaching. It is hard for me to make you understand what i feel, but it seems very important to me to try to say it, because i feel very strongly on this subject. I am no better than any other. I have no right to make someone feel inferior, intentionally or not. That's all i can say i guess, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I'm sorry that you don't understand me...you're not the first! I will try to give you some insight. I have always been somewhat of a self educated philosopher/anthropologist. I have an extremely strong personality which leads to my fear of evangelism. I can, if i want, make any argument sound like truth. And, i am very good at knowing what people want to hear. So, i usually don't get involved in things that influence the thinking of others. I usually (! not always!) keep my opinions to myself because they are MY opinions. If i do voice an opinion i make sure to stress that it is an opinion or belief which not need not be the same as those around me. I also appear hard to some because i walk my talk as well as i can.

I prefer to live in Mexico and next year will move there for good. (God willing) I prefer to stay with the poor, i prefer their company. They have less hang-ups. They teach me about Love. They teach me to see how lucky i am to have been raised here and at the same time how being raised here has hurt me. I will never stop learning, i will never stop seeking. I am learning daily how the trapping of society and the flesh take us farther from God. I am learning how my guilt, fear, pride and anger are illusions that hurt only me. I am trying to find peace and don't think that i will do it here, surrounded with "luxury". It's too easy to backslide...to many options out, y'know? About 5 years ago i became disenchanted with the church.(anglican) The priest has been understanding and told me to search for God until I find Him. About 3 years ago i came across a text called "The Thunder- Perfect Mind" It was the first time i felt the Grace of God, i mean the words flew off the page and straight into my heart. I cried for nearly 2 hours. Still, if i feel alone or down, i read it and feel comfort. Since then i have felt Grace more and more.....i was seeking and i found and i marveled....and now i am learning to LIVE. Hope that helps you to understand me a bit, i know it's really just words without knowing me, but i have tried to be as honest as i can. Thank-you for allowing me to stay on the list, you are a loving man. with love,

Hi again Tanya,

I am understanding a lot more than a little of what you are trying to say. You are doing the right thing in bringing love and compassion to these people. I would not want to change you a bit. The one thing that I know for sure in all this is that when you look into the eyes of a poor person, you will see the eyes of Jesus. You have looked for Jesus in your own way and have found Him. I heard a story of a man that was looking for Jesus but could not find Him, he looked for the love in his brother and did find him and the three of them walked away together. When the day of reckoning comes for us, Jesus tells us that it will not be the ones that have just prophesied in His name but those that have fed the hungry, visited the sick and clothed the naked, in this we are serving the Lord.

Thanks Tanya.

Stay Blessed,


Hi Jay,
Once again, you have stirred me with a powerful message concerning the Gospel. Bottom line is, the words of the Lord are written upon our hearts this time, and if we listen, they are very clear. I thought your written explanation of Evangelism was powerful and pleasing to the ear. I am in-line with you, and stand in agreement with you. Jay, I would like to ask one of the members of the body who responded to you, Dave, where he got his information concerning Mark 16: 9 through 20. Although I am aware of many of the mis-translations (and mis-interpretations) of the bible, I have not heard of this one. It intrigues me. Perhaps there is a publication or something out there that outlines something of this nature? If you know of one, please let me know.

Bill Caraway

Hi Bill,

I have heard this many times before about the early manuscripts of Mark not including those verses. There are many editions of the bible even that tack an explanation on as a postscript. My KJV for example says nothing about the omission. My New American Standard has verses 9-20 in brackets with these words on the margin: "Some of the older mss. omit verse 9-20." Notice that the explanation refers to the word "omit" rather than being "added" as an explanation. There is also another ending in early copies of the manuscripts and is given in the NAS which is "And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation." The long version is found in the Catholic Bible and the Philips translation which has the heading "an ancient appendix" to preface verse 9.

Verses 9-20 is not found in the Sinaitic and Vatican Manuscripts, it is found in the Alexandrian and Cambridge manuscripts and there are many explanations give for the omission, all conjecture. The latter text is referred to by Irenaeus in the second century. Most Bible commentaries accept it's authenticity.

I have a Sunday School booklet distributed to evangelical churches that explains these two endings and gives a good example of what can happen with this problem. The lesson ends at verse 8, explains that there are two endings, gives the short one and omits the long version. This is of course irresponsible teaching and even goes so far as to say that the long version should not be taken with equal authority with the rest of the gospel.

The gospel of Mark is the memoirs of Peter. We were not there when Peter dictated these words to Mark but at the same time, we do not have the first manuscripts to prove one way or another. Whether these verses were added or omitted is not ours to judge but whether these words are true should be. Those that will not believe that the gift of tongues can follow a believer will see it one way (as in the example of the omission of the evangelical booklet) and those that do believe in all the spiritual gifts as being valid today will see it another. The same with the Great Commission, if we can believe that this is consistent with what Jesus would say to us will have no problem accepting the authenticity of what is recorded here if we can understand that this is what Jesus would also have us do. Also, for Mark to end his gospel as abruptly as it would be at verse 8, obviously does not make sense. In that there would be a logical conclusion to the gospel does make sense. The responsible position however is to present both views. Of course, this must be opinion as to whether or not it was added or omitted and not dogmatic assertion. Since no one knows for sure, to take one side or another as an absolute fact and think that the other side is absolutely wrong or a deliberate falsehood is irresponsible and prejudicial for sure.


Hi Jay,
Thanks so much for your insight. Jay, I have been doing quite a bit of research into the history of the bible and the various translations afforded to various people at various times. (sorry for the "various-ness"). This all began with my exploration into the "Sabbath Day." While studying and digging for information on how it changed from Saturday to Sunday, I was flabbergasted. As we strive together in Christ for the truth, it seems that the more I dig, the more confusing this whole scenario becomes. Sort of like when Solomon says, "too many books weigh heavily upon a man." Jay, in some of the neighborhoods in the DC area we have churches on every corner. Each professing a variation on the same theme. Each professing righteousness, not only based on what is in the KJV/NAS/NIV and other versions of the bible, but because of their understanding of what something "really" means in the Greek or ... Isn't this dangerous? We seek truth, and it is written upon our hearts in these end times. I am finding that one of the major perpetrators of mis-information throughout the history of the bible is the Catholic Church. I had the pleasure of reading some of the Canons which are left out of the bible (such as the Book of Thomas, Mary, and others). My guess is they were left out because they point in a direction dissimilar to many of the basic precepts of the New Testament, I don't really know. This is really getting ridiculous to me. It seems the more I find out about the New Testament, the more I am convinced that something is not altogether right about it. You don't find this type of thing going on in the Old Testament. I know that I'm not sticking to the format you have established here, and maybe I am trying to read too much into this. HELP!!!!! (smile)


Hi Bill,

You asked for help, I don't think that you need it as long as you believe in what the Bible says and do not let inconsistencies and textual controversies stand in your way. We are to study the Bible and let it teach us in the living way and not the dead letter. We know that the Holy Spirit is here to help us learn and is why I stress spiritual interpretation so much. There are others who think that I am bashing the Bible by my insistence that it is the Holy Spirit that should have the final authority in doctrinal matters but not so. It is just that when we come up with private interpretations of what the Bible says, we come up with all the different teachings that have started competing denominations and all the schismatic divisions. We do need to agree with what the bible says but we can only do that if we have the maturity to allow the Holy Spirit to have that final authority and not rely upon man's idea of what the Bible says as to it's authority. This is the spirit which gives life and not the letter which kills.

I study these others books as well, the Didache, the writings of the apostle Barnabus, those that you mention, all that I can. It's good to seek these things out and not to have so much reliance on the Bible alone that we become no better than an ignorant person that believes that there is no inspiration outside of the scriptures, to think that way limits God and our understanding. Wisdom is everywhere if we only look for it. You mention confusion but this comes from relying on the Bible as law and not spirit. The fact is that you are reading too much into textual criticism but you are questioning, which is the right way to go. You are on the right track.

The Sabbath day is not an issue except for those that live under the law. The Sabbath day was not given over to Sunday worship as law except in the minds of those that want to conform to the same dead letter as those who would insist that the Sabbath laws are still binding on the seventh day. It is not according to the spirit but to the letter and denies the grace that Jesus died to give to us. There should be no confusion in that if we truly understand what the New Testament teaches. Those in the early church greeted each other with grace and peace. The gospel we preach is the gospel of peace and that comes from the Holy Ghost which is righteousness in the Lord who gave us the grace to be able to live right. The division begins in having the pride of doing what is considered law based upon misinterpretation and fundamentalist tradition and looking down on others that do not think the way that they do. That is not love and it is in being in love that will break down the barriers of division in these last days because through dialogue in love, we will be able to identify what has divided us.

Of course, we all are seeking for truth. The only way that we are to find truth is to know where it is. Jesus is truth. Seek Jesus first and His righteousness and all these other truths that you are looking for will be added.


Hi Jay,
Thanks for your help. The phrase you provide is right on target: "We are to study the Bible and let it teach us in the living way and not the dead letter." I guess that is why the Lord spoke through Isaiah, and then the Apostle John in the Book of Revelations, about His word being written upon our hearts this time. Sometimes one can "feel" what is good and what is right, but identifying it and grasping it entirely is simply impossible. I don't get the feeling that you are bashing the Bible - rather I feel that you are enhancing it when you provide a message, or in this instance a phrase, like the one mentioned above. There is something about the Holy Spirit that sheds new light on the Bible each time I read it, and in different situations, when I am in need. You are absolutely right about seeking the truth, because Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the light." Outstanding clarity and revelation of thought from you, Jay. Thanks for taking the time out and providing the encouragement. I needed to know that I was going in the right direction.

Bill Caraway

Jay, to me evangelism is simply telling people that God, in Heaven (most folks believe in a "higher power" at least) HAS TO BE THE BOSS in their lives, just like they have earthly bosses, be they parents, grandparents, legal guardians, teachers, ministers and/or real on-the-job bosses. "IF" people will ADMIT that "THEY" are not in control, but God, or as a "start" a "higher power", THEN they will BEGIN to be influenced by that decision. THEN they need follow up, by Christians, to explain that the "WAY" to God is ONLY through His Son Jesus Christ. I find the three fingers/one hand illustration handy for explaining the Father, Son and Holy Spirit "TRUTH" to Pre-Christians. Three (3) fingers/one (1) hand. The "Hand of God", if you will. So, to me evangelism is NOT getting people to go to church, but is merely HELPING them SEE their need to ADMIT they are NOT the Boss, but God is. After that, we Believers can work on discipleship with anybody who will say, "God, I believe that you are the boss now and I realize too that you have a Son named Jesus who died on a Cross for all the rotten things I did, am doing and will do in the future. He was my Substitute on the Cross. Because of Him, I do not have to go to hell (and separation from God) for my bad things, BUT I must believe "IN" Him as well as "ON" Him, and thus I can begin to make Him the LORD (Boss) of my "LIFE." Simple stuff really, but until a person ADMITS who is in control (not themselves), the battle for their mind and their soul will not begin to be won by the side (God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit) that will win the war. We Christians KNOW these simple truths, but of course Pre-Christians usually do not have a clue (UNLESS AND UNTIL WE GIVE IT TO THEM!) Keep up the good work! I don't see how you read all these responses.

Loveya, a.k.a. Larry P. Ingle

No other person comes to mind with as great success in evangelism in recent earth's history, as Pastor Charles Finney...mighty in the Spirit, his writings today serve to still bring converts to Christ. There is now a strong resurgence of interest in Charles Finney and the need for Revival. His written Revival Lectures are posted at www.ccel.org/f/finney/revival/ . They are a call to us today to give all for the sake of the Gospel of Christ. Blessings,

Jay, Evangelism is a much deeper topic than many realize in some ways, and yet is a much simpler thing as well....

The fact is, we are all called to be evangelists... that is, we are commanded to proclaim the Good News, which is the essential element of evangelism.

Where we often get confused is in the process. How do I evangelize?

I have also never felt gifted as an evangelist. I have led a few people to the Lord, but if the proof of a gift is in results, then I am also a teacher and prophet, not an evangelist.

I have done quite a bit of street evangelism, prison evangelism, nursing home evangelism and pulpit evangelism...... and mostly it seems to have fallen on ears of stone.

The Good News is, I am not responsible for the response of the hearer, I am responsible to proclaim the Message, period.

Now it is also important to be relevant and real in the proclamation. How many lost souls have heard a message of thinly veiled condemnation and have simply answered, "So what?"

We must be sure to express the compassion of Christ as well as the urgent message of the coming judgment of God.

Evangelism is really nothing more then telling someone that their house is on fire, and showing them the way out of it.

Mark O.

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