Thursday, August 30, 2007

Rice Christians

This reminds me of a Good Friday church service a few years ago.  The Pastor's spoke of not rushing past what happened on Good Friday to see Resurrection Sunday.  He said to fully appreciate the joy of the Resurrection you must first 'linger at the cross'. 

Could this be the problem with Western Christianity?  In telling people that "Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life" or "Just accept Jesus and He will fix all your problems" is this what we are doing? 

We are rushing our un-saved friends past the cross and to the resurrection so to not scare them off.  We must allow them, sometimes even force them, to 'linger at the cross' so that they can see the cost of their sin and the price that Jesus paid for them to be 'right with God'.  Only then will we create Disciples of Christ, not Rice Christians.

August 30

Evangelism: Modern Salesmanship

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us. --1 John 2:19

In our eagerness to make converts I am afraid we have lately been guilty of using the technique of modern salesmanship, which is of course to present only the desirable qualities in a product and ignore the rest. We go to men and offer them a cozy home on the sunny side of the brae. If they will but accept Christ He will give them peace of mind, solve their problems, prosper their business, protect their families and keep them happy all day long. They believe us and come, and the first cold wind sends them shivering to some counselor to find out what has gone wrong; and that is the last we hear of many of them....

By offering our hearers a sweetness-and-light gospel and promising every taker a place on the sunny side of the brae, we not only cruelly deceive them, we guarantee also a high casualty rate among the converts won on such terms. On certain foreign fields the expression "rice Christians" has been coined to describe those who adopt Christianity for profit. The experienced missionary knows that the convert that must pay a heavy price for his faith in Christ is the one that will persevere to the end. He begins with the wind in his face, and should the storm grow in strength he will not turn back for he has been conditioned to endure it.

By playing down the cost of discipleship we are producing rice Christians by the tens of thousands right here on the North American continent. That Incredible Christian, 116-117.

"Lord, I suspect this is getting much worse even since Tozer's day. In our emphasis on growth and success we may indeed be guilty of producing rice Christians. Deliver us from that error. Amen."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Amen, we must tell the whole truth for them to see the whole problem.

Can you imagine Paul telling the Thessalonians "Jesus wants to heal your relationships." He full well knew they would have persecution, yet the Thessalonians recieved the message "not as from men, but as it really was, from God".