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Author Topic:   Unethical practices in Evangelism. What is the value of the conversions?
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3100
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 1 of 105 (329206)
07-06-2006 3:55 AM


I admit I do not particularly like evangelism. I find it presumptuous, and insulting.
However, there are some evangelistic efforts that are much more irritating and unethical than the average effort. What is the value of a conversion if it is based on lies and deceit?
Does the ends justify the means??

There are some specific incidences I am thinking of. I will relate two of them here. The first one happened to a friend of mine. She signed up to a ‘Jewish singles’ web site, and dated this guy a few times , who claimed to be a ‘non-denominational’ temple (which she thought was odd). After about a half dozen dates, he suddenly tried to convert her to Christianity. Until the conversion attempt, he presented himself as Jewish.

The second story was related to me by a Roman Catholic that worked in an old folks home. There was an old Jewish lady at the nursing home that had Alzheimer’s.. This rabbi came to take her to Friday night services. It turns out this ‘rabbi’ was one of the Jew’s for Jesus, and put this woman on very strong arm tactics to try to convert her.

In case people aren’t aware, the “Jews for Jesus” founder was a minister for 10 years before starting Jews for Jesus (he wasn’t a Jew), and to a large extent, the J4J are financed by the Southern Baptists. There are a number of Southern Baptist ministers on the J4J’s board of directors. It is a specific effort by the Southern Baptists to try to convert Jews.

Again.. what is the value of a conversion that was based on lies? How about the people who figure out the deceit and leave because of feeling betrayed? Are the unethical methods a stain on all evangelistic efforts? Why or why not?


Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by Faith, posted 07-06-2006 4:19 AM ramoss has responded
 Message 6 by iano, posted 07-06-2006 4:53 AM ramoss has responded
 Message 51 by riVeRraT, posted 07-07-2006 9:31 AM ramoss has responded

  
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Message 2 of 105 (329207)
07-06-2006 3:56 AM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Faith
Member
Posts: 30895
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 3 of 105 (329211)
07-06-2006 4:19 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ramoss
07-06-2006 3:55 AM


In case people aren’t aware, the “Jews for Jesus” founder was a minister for 10 years before starting Jews for Jesus (he wasn’t a Jew),

And your point is? Moishe Rosen grew up in a nominally Jewish family and became a believer in Christ in his early twenties. He then became a missionary to the Jews and was also ordained as a minister, but never pastored a congregation. It was simply training for his work as an evangelist. Then he started Jews for Jesus as his life's work. I read a number of his books.

and to a large extent, the J4J are financed by the Southern Baptists. There are a number of Southern Baptist ministers on the J4J’s board of directors. It is a specific effort by the Southern Baptists to try to convert Jews.

Why the sinister tone about the Southern Baptists? Apparently Jews for Jesus is popular with the SBs. More power to them. They are a very big denomination. However, I've been in a number of churches, none of them Southern Baptist, which hosted Jews for Jesus speakers and performers and gave them support. Many people support them as part of their own private giving.

Again.. what is the value of a conversion that was based on lies? How about the people who figure out the deceit and leave because of feeling betrayed? Are the unethical methods a stain on all evangelistic efforts? Why or why not?

I've heard this complaint from many Jews and really I'm not sure I like any method that isn't completely up front about the Christian character of a group or a teacher. The idea of course is that they hope to get a friendly ear for the gospel which otherwise Jews are prejudiced against since birth and just shut out completely. However, the street evangelists for JfJ are quite up front. Their tracts are quite up front. There is no doubt about the mission of a Jews for Jesus city office.

I have some objections to some facets of Jews for Jesus myself, but mostly they are overridden by the fact that they do a very necessary work of taking the gospel to the Jews. No organization or church is perfect and their errors are quite forgiveable it seems to me.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 3:55 AM ramoss has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by Jon, posted 07-06-2006 4:31 AM Faith has responded
 Message 7 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 9:24 AM Faith has responded

    
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 4 of 105 (329213)
07-06-2006 4:31 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Faith
07-06-2006 4:19 AM


and to a large extent, the J4J are financed by the Southern Baptists. There are a number of Southern Baptist ministers on the J4J’s board of directors. It is a specific effort by the Southern Baptists to try to convert Jews.

Why the sinister tone about the Southern Baptists? Apparently Jews for Jesus is popular with the SBs. More power to them. They are a very big denomination. However, I've been in a number of churches, none of them Southern Baptist, which hosted Jews for Jesus speakers and performers and gave them support. Many people support them as part of their own private giving.

I think what ramoss is trying to hit at here is that these people are claiming to be converted or "saved" Jews when they are really nothing more than Christians--and have been all their lives. Did I get that right ramoss?

Such claims are lies because they give the impression that Jews ARE converting to Christ, and this becomes a factor in the decision-making of those Jews wondering to convert or not. The Christians shouldn't be so glee about such conversions, though, because a conversion based on a lie (or a bribe) doesn't have a whole lot of value.

Only when you speak the Truth of the Lord and His Son Christ to people in plain and open face-to-face setting can the conversion hold any weight at all.

Jon


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Faith, posted 07-06-2006 4:19 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Faith, posted 07-06-2006 4:46 AM Jon has not yet responded
 Message 8 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 9:31 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 30895
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 5 of 105 (329216)
07-06-2006 4:46 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Jon
07-06-2006 4:31 AM


Well you put your finger on my own objection not only to Jews for Jesus but to most Messianic Jewish ministries -- their refusal to give up their Jewish identity and present themselves as simply Christians. The "all their lives" part is false for most though, as most I'm aware of are converts who grew up Jewish, not Christian at all but usually anti-Christian.

There are many Messianic Jewish churches and organizations now and they vary in the importance they ascribe to their Jewish identify, but some go so far as to have services conducted on Saturday rather than Sunday, by a "rabbi" in traditional garb, the shawl with tassels, with a real Torah scroll which is passed around to be kissed, and readings and recitations in Hebrew. The message is otherwise completely Christian.

I think this emphasis on Jewish identity is very wrong if understandable up to a point. But I would NOT say it is insincere. They sincerely believe that they are completely Jewish in their acceptance of Yeshua the Messiah, hence the catch-phrase "completed Jew" which is offensive to many traditional Jews.

So although I believe they are wrong from a CHRISTIAN point of view, I would never say they are lying in any sense at all. To what extent they make false converts I can't possibly know. There are false converts in all the churches.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Replies to this message:
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iano
Member (Idle past 45 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 6 of 105 (329217)
07-06-2006 4:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by ramoss
07-06-2006 3:55 AM


Its not like anyone can convert a person to Christianity anyway. A person can share the gospel and point the way and if the pointee comes to Christ it is, at the end of the day, between themselves and him. He will have done the drawing however murky the seas on which the gospel floated to a person

And if a person doesn't come to Christ then all the hooky televangelists and all the turn-off force feeding of Religion during childhood and all the molestation by priests will not be taken in evidence during Judgement. It is the rejection of the gospel - however it was delivered - that counts. The poor delivery may offend the intellect but it doesn't fool the heart.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 3:55 AM ramoss has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 9:39 AM iano has responded

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3100
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 7 of 105 (329265)
07-06-2006 9:24 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Faith
07-06-2006 4:19 AM


The point is that he gave up his Jewish faith long before he started "Jews for Jesus"> He was a minister for a christian church for 10 years.

The vast numbers of "Jews for Jesus" are not even of Jewish heritage.

You might say it is 'just his life's work', but it is based on deceptive practices and lies.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Faith, posted 07-06-2006 4:19 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 77 by Faith, posted 07-07-2006 5:53 PM ramoss has responded

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3100
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 8 of 105 (329267)
07-06-2006 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Jon
07-06-2006 4:31 AM


THat is correct. In the example above, they also were putting strong armed pressure tactices on a vulnerable person... an elderly woman with alzheimer's. They lied about taking her to a traditional Jewish service and isolated her to put strong armed tactics about trying to get her to convert. Her mind was deterorated enough that she was very vulnerable.

The first one was an attempt to get Jewish women to convert by misrepresenting himself as a Jew in a Jewish singles dating site. I assume he thought that 'lonely' jewish women would join chrisitnity for compaigionship.

Both cases it was an attempt to target 'vulnerable' people by misrepresentation. (Although I suspect that the dating site guy didn't get to far).


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Jon, posted 07-06-2006 4:31 AM Jon has not yet responded

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3100
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 9 of 105 (329270)
07-06-2006 9:38 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Faith
07-06-2006 4:46 AM


Well, I disagree with you somewhat. You do realise that the vast majority of 'Messanic Jews" are being funded by various Evangalistic
Christians in an effort to 'evangalise' to the Jews. That makes the practices deceptive.

Jon has answered his opinion. Are conversions based on deception really that valid? What about the 'missonaries' that use this deception?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Faith, posted 07-06-2006 4:46 AM Faith has not yet responded

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3100
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 10 of 105 (329272)
07-06-2006 9:39 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by iano
07-06-2006 4:53 AM


So, in your opinion, lies when it comes to trying to convert someone is ok. The end justifies the means?

And it's ok to strongly prostyelise to people when they have gone through an emotional upset, or are unable to properly think ,such
as that poor lady with dementia??

Edited by ramoss, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by iano, posted 07-06-2006 4:53 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by iano, posted 07-06-2006 9:51 AM ramoss has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 45 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 11 of 105 (329276)
07-06-2006 9:51 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by ramoss
07-06-2006 9:39 AM


Let me give you an example:

quote:
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son so that whosoever would believe in him would not die but would have eternal life

If you don't believe and go to church and give money to the poor then you rotten soul will burn in the fires of hell and be tormented forever you foul sinner you. And I will sit on that day beside my God and laugh at your torture. Hahaaaaaaaaaa


Here we have something of the gospel wrapped up in an inappropriate and patently sinful package. No matter. "The gospel is the power of God unto salvation" - not the packaging. If you have read it all, that little bit of the gospel resides within you and is at work. The rest can be used in your rejecting of the gospel if you so reject. God uses the gospel, you use whatever is is you use to reject it. Thats how this gig works.

So. Whilst the packaging may vary in attractiveness/appropriateness, the gospel goes out. And God uses that. I say again that a person cannot convert another - the gospel does. A person cannot be conned into nor out of the kingdom so that of which you speak is moot.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 9:39 AM ramoss has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 9:54 AM iano has responded

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3100
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 12 of 105 (329277)
07-06-2006 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by iano
07-06-2006 9:51 AM


So, it's ok for the JW to come and prosytlise to someone of the mainstream Christian faith when they are vulnerable, and show them that the Trinity is not in the bible?? How about the practices of the Mormons?

How about the scientologists??


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by iano, posted 07-06-2006 9:51 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by iano, posted 07-06-2006 9:59 AM ramoss has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 45 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 13 of 105 (329281)
07-06-2006 9:59 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by ramoss
07-06-2006 9:54 AM


Those teachings eminate straight from satans rectum - so I could hardly concur. I was talking with a neighbour who was going through a very rough time with depression. "I have no hope" she wailed at one point.

So I talked to her about Christ. "be always ready to give an account for the hope that you have" I talked of how my life a few years back had that same nihilistic hopelessness and purposelessness woven up in it. And how that has all changed.

Edited by iano, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 9:54 AM ramoss has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 10:08 AM iano has responded

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3100
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 14 of 105 (329286)
07-06-2006 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by iano
07-06-2006 9:59 AM


So, when your side does the same practices, it is ok.. but when someone does those exact same practices against your beliefs, it 'is straight from satan's rectum' in your words.

Why the double standard there? Is not morality 'objective'? The same action (bringing someone closer to a heartfelt belief in god) is moral in yoru eyes in one case, but immoral in another.

What if your beliefs are incorrect, and the JW's or the Mormons are correct? Wouldn't it make YOUR practices immmoral, and theirs moral?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by iano, posted 07-06-2006 9:59 AM iano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by iano, posted 07-06-2006 10:16 AM ramoss has responded

  
iano
Member (Idle past 45 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 15 of 105 (329294)
07-06-2006 10:16 AM
Reply to: Message 14 by ramoss
07-06-2006 10:08 AM


So, when your side does the same practices, it is ok.. but when someone does those exact same practices against your beliefs, it 'is straight from satan's rectum' in your words.

Yup (within boundaries: telling someone the truth within the context of a conversation which leads to things like hellfire etc is ok. Not using such things as a BOO! tactic)

Why the double standard there? Is not morality 'objective'? The same action (bringing someone closer to a heartfelt belief in god) is moral in yoru eyes in one case, but immoral in another.

JW and Mormanism and Hinduism etc are not Christianity. I know you do not believe this but that is not my problem as such. The gospel is truth the rest is lies. I cannot help (nor would I want to help) that. Certainly if you accepted (for the sake of argument) that the gospel is true and the rest false you would have no problem with what I say.

What if your beliefs are incorrect, and the JW's or the Mormons are correct? Wouldn't it make YOUR practices immmoral, and theirs moral?

Yes. But they are not correct and I am (within boundaries)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 10:08 AM ramoss has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by ramoss, posted 07-06-2006 10:26 AM iano has responded
 Message 17 by nator, posted 07-06-2006 10:27 AM iano has responded

  
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