I learned about this last week from a friend on FB, whose non-denominational congregation is gearing up to participate in this endeavor. This friend excitedly exclaimed: "I'm so excited that our congregation is going to be a part of this massive effort to win people for Jesus!" This friend went on to explain how small groups in the congregation are being trained to "share the story of Jesus with people, so that they will accept Him into their hearts as Lord and Savior."
I didn't respond to this friend. I've learned the hard way not to try to debate theology on FB. So, I just blew it off.
But, then, just yesterday, I received a message from a Lutheran friend, who informed me that her LCMS congregation recently announced that they were going to be involved with E.A.C.H. Huh? What in the world is an LCMS congregation doing involving itself with this "Revivalistic Evangelism" endeavor? Such involvement sends the message that the enormous theological differences between Lutherans and "Americanized Evangelicals" are, at best, minor and inconsequential, and, at worst, non-existent.
It is understandable that Americanized Protestants and "Evangelicals" would involve themselves in this sort of evangelistic project. It's right up their theological alley. Tell people about Jesus, encourage them to make a decision to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior and, if you can get them to say that "Sinner's Prayer" with you, voila, you just won yourself a soul for Jesus. Been there, done that. Have a few t-shirts to prove it.
But, Lutherans should know better. Shouldn't they? I mean, we're not talking about joining with other Christians to do acts of mercy in their surrounding communities here. We're talking about joining with other Christians to "win people for Jesus." We're talking about joining with other Christians who have developed special "message series" and "training series" built upon "decision theology" and geared toward their false understanding of evangelism. We're talking about joining with other Christians who have bought hook, like, and sinker into the Satanic principles of the "Church Growth Movement," many of whom have created "churches for people who hate church" and have turned worship into entertainment. We're talking about joining with other Christians who emphatically deny that God works solely through His means of grace - His Holy Word and Sacraments - to create and sustain faith. We're talking about joining with other Christians who have no concept of the distinction between the Kingdom of the Right and the Kingdom of the Left, believing that they solve Metro Detroit's economic and societal problems through strategic and intentional "evangelism." How can Lutherans sign up for this? They really should know better. Shouldn't they?
The video and overview:
Everyone A Chance To Hear
- Collaborating together with all the evangelical churches in our region . . .
- Having blanketed our efforts in substantial prayer . . .
- Using every good strategy available to us . . .
- Having trained our people to be ambassadors for Christ in their world . . .
- For Forty Days beginning with Easter 2011 . . .
Mission Statement: Working together as a body of believers, we will give everyone in the Metropolitan Detroit area a chance to take the next step in their journey toward Jesus.
Lord willing, this will be the widest and most effective evangelistic campaign in the history of Michigan. The goal is not simply to give every person multiple chances to connect with the message of Christ; but also . . .
- To see tens of thousands come to faith in Christ . . .
- To see churches and church leaders working together as one body . . .
- To see substantial growth in our existing churches . . .
- To see momentum in the planting of many new churches in our region . . .
- To permanently alter the spiritual landscape of Southeastern Michigan . . .
- To make a statement to a watching world: Detroit IS rebuilding, and JESUS is the foundation of our comeback!
Opening sentence: "Detroit has become an icon of the failed American city."
Closing sentence: "The world is now watching Detroit with interest - and waiting to see if it finds a way to rise from the ashes."
The time is now to show a watching world that Metro-Detroit has found a way to rise from the ashes . . . and that 'way' is more than inner-city green spaces and smarter cars. That 'way' has something to do with the Lordship of Jesus in this region. And the only way the Lordship of Jesus is going to be felt in our region is if the church rises up to its mandate to boldly tell the world its message and give everyone a chance to hear it and respond to it.
E.A.C.H. Steering Committee