A regular accusation against me by some fundamental Baptist preachers, which seems to be a tactic by those who don’t appreciate my warnings about some IFB leaders, is that I should just busy myself in evangelism. Recently yet another pastor asked, “Why are you not soul winning and why are you spending your time in front of the computer instead of talking to real people about Christ?”
My reply is that I have done the work of an evangelist since I was saved at age 23 back in 1973 when I immediately began witnessing to my old hippy buddies each evening after work and talking to people in parks and wherever I found them and going out faithfully on church visitation. That first year I was saved, when I moved back home before heading off for Bible college, I visited a carpenter’s retirement home where one of my grandfathers had died and talked to the old timers there about the Lord.
When I was in Bible college I worked in one of Highland Park Baptist Church’s chapels about an hour from Chattanooga and eventually pastored it and I spent a couple of days a week sharing the gospel in that part of Tennessee. I have spent four decades evangelizing in jails, nursing homes, on the streets, in city parks, bus parks, house to house, through gospel meetings and house fellowships. I headed up a county jail ministry for four years and led an aggressive gospel ministry to a major university campus in Asia for two years recently. I personally distribute 300-500 gospel tracts a week. I also lead and disciple a group of national men in weekly evangelism and hold them accountable for that work.
I have spent a total of 21 years in church planting in South Asia since 1979, which is where we live. We had the privilege of planting the first Baptist church of any kind in Nepal in the 1980s and hundreds of people have come to Christ through our ministry here from darkest Hinduism and Buddhism by God's amazing grace. It is true that I do a lot of studying and writing and I create materials such as the Way of Life Bible Encyclopedia and the Advanced Bible Studies Series and the One Year Discipleship Course and the new apologetics course. I make no apology for the time I spend researching and writing, and thousands upon thousands of people have written to thank me for these materials, as well as for my “warnings” such as those in the Friday News Notes.
But I didn't accomplish the aforementioned evangelism and personal discipleship and church planting things by sitting at a computer screen. These days we are starting several new churches together with the good co-workers the Lord has given us, and I spend a lot of my time in these endeavors. Preacher friends, I beg you, if you don’t like my warnings, just say so candidly and see if you can refute them from Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:21), but don’t engage in personal attacks and innuendos as God will judge such things. Christ’s men must be men of truth and integrity. If you have a question about me or my ministry, ask me personally instead of asking someone who doesn't know me and perhaps hasn't even taken the time to read my writings. I am only an e-mail away for someone who approaches me with some reasonable level of Christian grace. Thank you so much and may the Lord bless you richly in this upcoming new year!
(Friday Church News Notes, December 14, 2012, www.wayoflife.org firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)