Is Prayer Walking the Panacea for Adventist Evangelism?

Until six weeks ago when I was approached to review Ron Clouzet’s latest book, In the Name of Jesus: Power to Pray for People and Places, I knew nothing of it. I am solely responsible for not knowing about this book, now being projected as the latest solution to the increasing headwinds facing Adventist global evangelism. But because misery likes company, l feel an irrational compulsion to share the blame for my unawareness, with others. And the decision makers at the Michigan Conference, who closed the Berrien Springs, Michigan, Christian Book Center (ABC), seems like an unfair but irresistible choice.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11410
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Thanks for this piece, Matthew. This simply will be forgotten after it fades away. It treats all non Adventists with profound disrespect, treats evangelism as a formula, and reduces ecclesiology and our role in the kingdom of God as all subordinate to getting people in the door and the tank. The usual.

Aside from not even being in touch with the reality of the world in which we live, and general population ratios to Adventists, it does the typical thing of never even considering that maybe something is not only off about the methods, but about the substance of the message itself, a global religious/political conspiracy theory that speculates a declared death sentence over non compliance with Sunday law. Right…that’s what John was writing about as the substance of the gospel to 1st century audiences in the empire.

It’s an embarrassment.

Frank

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Thank you Matthew for your concluding statements, citing the example of the early church regarding a relational church planting strategy.

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Truly amazing that while recognizing a need for change in evangelism, there is not a real change proposed. When will christians, all versions, understand that it is how we live our lives and interact with others that demonstrates if our beliefs have value. Christ lived/taught that all through His brief time on this earth. Why is that so difficult to understand?

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This article is puzzling to me:

  1. The idea seems pretty harmless compared to a billion Great Controversy’s.

  2. One of the things I find most frustrating about Aventism is that liberal or conservative our favorite past time is to find fault with those with a different mindset. It is the things that brings both sides into perfect alignment.

It is likely why people are attracted to Joel Olsteen, Tony Robbins, Jay Shetty and others who are working to help people have a more abundant life and to change the world.

  1. If the author offered some concrete better ways to do evangelism and provided examples of doing it better the criticism would be reasonable and fair, but this article does not do that. It just tears down. - Yes I know he talks about love your neighbor stuff, but so me the money

  2. This is a twist on prayer walking I find to be more compelling and practical https://churchanswers.com/solutions/courses/pray-and-go

The only panacea for Adventist Evangelism or for any other denomination are these two things:

  1. Live the gospel
  2. Preach the gospel.

Thanks

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“Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me.’”–The Ministry of Healing, p. 143.

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As a child, I understood the basic—if fallacious—appeal of SDA-ism.

For example, in grade school, I heard President Kennedy say he wanted to have a man on the moon before the end of the decade. For my part, I smugly told everyone who would listen that I knew this couldn’t possibly happen because Jesus was going to return well before then.

In other words, as a third grader, I knew I could be the the smartest person, even in a room full of non-SDA’s adults, scholars and rocket scientists, simply because I knew Adventist “Present Truth”!

Of course, the fact that this didn’t happen caused me and (some) SDA’s to tone down their condescension toward the rest of the world, somewhat, or to equivocate, just a little, when using the term “soon”. But from what I’ve seen in more than a few comments in this forum, that arrogant approach to evangelism is alive and well and pervades much of Adventist thought.

That is, the key still seems to be that we have a better prophet than the rest of you sinners and we’ll use brute force assaults, blatant-to-the-point-of-being-irrational contortions of scripture, and good old fashioned ad hominem attacks on the whole of humanity in order to get you to accept EGW’s insults upon her fellow man and in an effort to compel everyone to acquiesce to SAD-ism’s interpretation of Jesus’ good news, by sheer force of will!

:flushed::flushed::flushed:

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