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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Please Don't Get Angry With Me If I Can't Take You Serious.

I have always figured if I have a blog and regularly make critical remarks against a particular religion, belief or philosophy, that I will gather my share of dissenters. I am fine with people taking issue with something I may have written. That is part of the game here in blog world when you keep the screen door unlatched to your comment page so that anyone can wander in, sit down and yell at you. I'm totally fine with that. Hey, if you disagree with my opinion, you disagree with my opinion; and what is more, I welcome your negative opinion by allowing you to post it on my comment page.

However, please don't expect me to take you serious if you are unable to formulate a coherent argument against me. I know for me personally, if I take the time to leave a comment on someone's blog with whom I disagree, I do my best to articulate the reason why I disagree with that someone. That takes a bit of noggin' use, because I have to formulate a reasoned response and maybe interact with any challenges or questions the person might have mentioned in the original blog I am responding to. Maybe it is just my love for excellence, as well as my general good will toward my fellow man, but I expect the same from disagreeing commenters. The same also goes for people emailing me privately. Just saying things like, "you're an idiot," or "stupid heretic," and "religious imbecile - neener, neener, neener" just doesn't qualify as an intelligent, articulate challenge to a disagreeing point.

Let me share two recent examples to illustrate what I mean.

The first one comes from a gal named "Tara" who emailed me privately through Fred's Bible Talk to inform me of my "poor thinking." Our email exchange could be summarized as follows:

Tara - "Fred, you have poor thinking. You believe science equals religion. Your Christian faith is subjective."

Fred - "Thanks for the note, Tara. Could you please provide me with an example from something I have written that demonstrates poor thinking on my part? Where have I stated that science equals religion?"

Tara - "You Christians are all alike. I have heard this religious mumbo-jumbo before. Besides, your Bible is all messed up."

Fred - "Again, Tara, what have I written that brings you to the conclusion I have poor thinking? Could you provide an example?"

Tara - "*sigh* Fred, you are so hardheaded. I can't believe how blind you are to the truth. You're brainwashed. And don't even think about responding to me again because I blocked your email."

Okey Dokey.
My second example is from commenter Jeff, who responded with typical KJV only flair to my post, Nachimson's Nasty Name-calling. In his short rant, Jeff proved the truthfulness of my thesis that KJV onlyists tend to have a scant amount of substantive argumentation and must resort to belittling ridicule against their non-KJV only detractors. I am told by no uncertain terms that I am "arrogant," "puffed up with great 'swelling words,'" "humanistic in my thinking," equated with "atheism," and I am a lazy slug when it comes to "soul winning."

By the way, if I may be excused to digress for just a moment. For those who have never encountered the terms, "Soul winning" and "Soul winner" are phony, Fundamental Baptist expressions used to describe a person, or persons, who goes out into various public venues carrying big signs with Bible verses and religious slogans scrawled across them and thrusts gospel tracts into people's hands. As if being out in public is bad enough, the "Soul winners" also feel a liberty to interrupt supper time in order to bore a family to death with a canned gospel presentation. It doesn't really matter if their witnessees pray a prayer, as long as they are doing their duty to hand out tracts and "share the gospel" they are called "Soul winners." And if per chance some poor hapless person is strong armed into praying a prayer, it doesn't matter if there is no genuine spiritual change in the person's life, or if the "soul winner" even bothers to disciple his "converts," he is still considered a "Soul winner" because it is quantity of work produced in the effort, i.e., numbers; rather than the quality of the time spent with the individual and the message shared. Of course, this is a post all its own.

But, moving back to Jeff's comments. I believe the most charming put down used by Jeff is when he wrote, "your manuscripts are Catholic in origin and proven to be corrupt so even if you were competent enough to translate you would still be in error." The cut against my "translating" skills aside, it may be helpful information for Jeff to know in future attacks against non-KJV folks, but the Textus Receptus, the Greek text from which the KJV is translated, was put together by Erasmus, a Roman Catholic priest. The very Greek text Jeff claims to defend is Roman Catholic in origin. Interestingly, Erasmus's Roman Catholicism only forces the KJV apologists to re-write the biography of Erasmus to make him into some proto-Fundamentalist.

So, please, with these two examples in mind, if and when you do comment against something I wrote, give me the honor of taking you serious. Know what you are talking about.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Curtis: kjvmiller@yahoo.com said...

Mr. Butler,
You wrote,
“By the way, if I may be excused to digress for just a moment. For those who have never encountered the terms, “Soul winning" and "Soul winner" are phony, Fundamental Baptist expressions used to describe a person, or persons, who goes out into various public venues carrying big signs with Bible verses and religious slogans scrawled across them and thrusts gospel tracts into people's hands. As if being out in public is bad enough, the "Soul winners" also feel a liberty to interrupt supper time in order to bore a family to death with a canned gospel presentation. It doesn't really matter if their witnessees pray a prayer, as long as they are doing their duty to hand out tracts and "share the gospel" they are called "Soul winners." And if per chance some poor hapless person is strong armed into praying a prayer, it doesn't matter if there is no genuine spiritual change in the person's life, or if the "soul winner" even bothers to disciple his "converts," he is still considered a "Soul winner" because it is quantity of work produced in the effort, i.e., numbers; rather than the quality of the time spent with the individual and the message shared. Of course, this is a post all its own.”

When I first read this portion of your article it struck me as the foolish whimpers of an unsaved man, bitter at the witness some Christian had just delivered to him. I assume however, do to the contents of your website, you are a Christian and this, Sir, is why I write to you.

Firstly, you should note that “Soul winning” and “Soul winner” are not:
1. Phony: Which implies that those who use the terms are dishonest and deceitful. As you should know, the Bible says “he that winneth souls is wise” (Proverbs 11:30). Therefore a person that wins souls would be called a “Soul winner” and when he would go out in the public for the purpose of leading someone to Jesus Christ it would be called “Soul winning.”

2. Fundamental Baptist expressions: The term is also a Pentecostal expression, Non-
Denominational expression, etc. It is simply a “Christian Expression.”

Secondly, spreading the Gospel via tracts, signs, bumper stickers, street preaching, or door to door visitation, is not something a born again child of God should poke fun at.

The Bible says,

Rom 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Rom 10:16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Jer 11:6 Then the LORD said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them.

I would like to write more but have not the time. I encourage you to repent over the things you said and consider the many souls that hear the gospel through the means by which you seem so repulsed by.

8:06 PM, August 25, 2005  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Curtis,

I make a key distinction between the fundamentalist's "soul winning" and biblical gospel evangelism.

Soul winning involves contrived presentations that are shallow, theologically empty, and designed to be emotionally manipulative to get people to "pray a prayer" or walk an aisle. The word phony is an apt one to describe "soul winning" techniques, because the methods employed by the "soul winners" are deceitful; they do not present the whole gospel message to the sinner, which includes counting the cost and surrendering to Christ as Lord. After hearing the soul winner's presentation, the person is left with the false understanding that he or she just needs to repeat the name Jesus, or pray that magical prayer, and they are saved and can then return to living a self pleasing life. As far as the soul winner is concerned, as long as that person has made some verbal commitment to utter the name Jesus, he or she is saved. That is not winning soul's, but deluding men to believe a lie.

Gospel evangelism, on the other hand, is a biblically mandated way of life that involves Christians preaching the word of God to sinners, calling them to repentance and submission to that word of God and if and when a sinner does receive Christ, he or she is not simply viewed as another trophy to present to the mid-week prayer meeting, but the person is followed up on and discipled at the evangelist's church.

In fact, I would be curious to know how many of these supposed souls you have won even began walking with Christ after that prayed your prayer, and if they did, how many are still walking with the Lord with lives of holiness. Care to venture a guess?

So please, do not go away from here thinking I don't evangelize, for that is simply not the case.

7:54 AM, August 29, 2005  
Blogger Preacher said...

Mr. Butler,

“Soul winning involves contrived presentations that are shallow, theologically empty, and designed to be emotionally manipulative to get people to "pray a prayer" or walk an aisle…”

Proverbs 18:13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him.

Your definition of soul winning describes what the small minority of those who say they go soul winning do. In a good church, such an individual would be reproved and corrected. I can remember 2 instances myself (Once in a Jail and another on the streets) where those I was with began to do what you are accusing all soul winners of doing. I promptly reproved them and dealt with the souls myself and then went to the man who was over the “functions” and they were sure to rebuke such nonsense also. You can be sure that there are those who say they go to “gospel evangelize,” that do the same as you accuse soul winners of doing.

Whether it be “gospel evangelizing” or “soul winning” (same thing), you will always have those who err from the right way so that they can boost their ego instead of glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

As far as my personal experiences soul winning, I do try to either follow-up or get them in a good Bible believing Church (Of which I have previously spoken to the pastor.) nearby. But I would not, however, use myself to typify all who call themselves “soul winners.” For I only know of the 3-4 dozen that I have had dealings with.

Oh, here are a list of known preachers who group themselves with “soul winning.”

Billy Sunday used the “phony” phrase “soul winner” in his sermon, “Dancing, Drinking, Card Playing”

Charles Spurgeon wrote the book, “The Soul Winner.”

Billy Graham: I believe he used the phrase soul winning in his autobiography.

John R. Rice wrote the book, “The Golden Path to Successful Personal Soul Winning”

John Wesley said, "To this day field preaching is a cross to me, but I know my commission ... to be a soul winner…”

Bob Jones Sr. wrote the book, “Let’s Go Soul Winning.”

Jack Hyles in his book “The enemies of soul winning” has almost all of his Chapter titles containing the phrase “Soul Winning.”

D.L. Moody had a sermon entitled, “The Qualifications for Soul Winning”

Curtis

6:35 PM, September 04, 2005  

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