Sermons and Papers

Theses on Evangelism

by Pr. Robin Fish
  1. "Evangelism" (in the modern sense of the word) is a product of Calvinism/Arminianism and is inimical to the Christian faith because it is contrary to the Scriptures.
  2. "Evangelism" encourages the false concept that we can decide - choose to become Christians - contrary to 1 Corinthians 2:14 and all Scriptures. It does so either explicitly or implicitly.
  3. "Evangelism" focuses on the power of the human mind and on human will rather than the will of God and the power of the Word.
  4. "Evangelism" misunderstands and misrepresents the purpose for which the Word of God is spoken, ignoring that God's Word is also spoken to judge the unrepentant and unbelieving.
  5. "Evangelism" makes the Church a human work rather than God's creation.
  6. "Evangelism" divides the whole council of God and establishes one element alone as supreme.
  7. "Evangelism" cheapens grace and misunderstands the work of the Spirit through the people of God and their confession to the effect that sinners are misled as to the nature of the Christian life and believers are misled as to the nature of the Christian confession.
  8. "Evangelism" confuses methods with the means of Grace.
  9. "Evangelism" conceals the glory of Christ in gathering His Church and shepherding them, thereby weakening the church and burdening the believer with false and misleading doctrine concerning the nature of the Christian life.
  10. "Evangelism" depreciates doctrine, hinders the office of the ministry, and cripples catechesis by presenting the Christian faith as an option rather than a whole-life reality.
  11. "Evangelism" places the focus of the Church on gaining men rather than serving the Lord, as Christ also observed of the Pharisees, "You search heaven and earth for one proselyte and when you find him you make him more a son of hell than yourselves."
  12. Genuine and effective Christian confession is better understood as "Gospel-contagion" for it works only by the power of the Word of God through the lips and the lives of God's holy people.
  13. "Gospel-contagion" is the result of faith working in the lives of Christians. It is intimately connected with and dependent upon participation in the life of Word and Sacrament of the body of Christ.
  14. The message creates the only appropriate medium to accomplish the mission.
  15. The Christian faith is not mere data, it is the Holy Spirit at work in the believer through the Gospel, and the Law properly distinguished.
  16. The Christian faith is passed on man to man by the confession of and the power of the Word of God, particularly the gospel preached to terrified consciences.
  17. All outreach of the Church, indeed all the work of the Church in proclaiming both Law and Gospel, is mission.
  18. Local missions are accomplished by believers living in the lively hope of their faith, and giving a defense when asked about that hope, even as Peter writes.
  19. Distant missions are only properly done by sending (missio) a preacher to proclaim the Word.
  20. Particularly in outreach, clarity of doctrine and care for precision in the truth of the Word of God proclaimed is of ultimate importance.
  21. Sound catechesis is integral to mission outreach whether local or distant.
  22. Faithful, confessional, liturgical worship among the fellowship of believers is essential for both the "missionary" and the "missionized" to accomplishing the great commission.
  23. "Gospel-contagion" is not effective or complete without and until the new believer is prepared for and receives the sacraments.
  24. The "Mission Imperative of Christ", called "The Great Commission", is the life of the Church, and is the "program" for making disciples of unbelievers, and it has two basic steps; baptizing in the name of the Triune God and teaching them everything that Jesus has cause to be revealed to us.
  25. Therefore, "Evangelism" is inappropriate for Christians, but rather preaching, teaching, and study of God's Word faithfully, faithful, liturgical worship, the proper use of the Sacraments, and the daily living out of our faith and hope in God for Christ's sake, in the fellowship of the body of Christ, is the appropriate and effective program for sharing the faith, confessing Christ, and "growing the Church."

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