Southern Baptist churches, based on our baptism reports, are less and less effective at sharing the gospel in such a way people receive it and become Christians. The reasons for this vary from church to church, but there are some common problems which span geography, culture, and ministry style. This is the sixth installment in a summer series highlighting some of those issues and offering some suggestions for change. A pressing problem limiting evangelistic effectiveness is preoccupation with culture wars.

Another barrier to sharing your faith is anger with the culture around you. There seems so much to be angry about! The news media, entertainment companies, and educational establishments often undercut moral values Christians hold dear. We are confronted by militant groups promoting homosexuality, radical environmentalism, risks to the unborn, and unmitigated greed leading to worldwide economic uncertainty. Christians feel threatened and see the devastation these actions will leave for future generations. Some believers react with one of two extremes. Both undermine witnessing effectiveness. Some Christians retreat from the culture, immersing themselves in the Christian subculture, and avoiding contaminating contact with unbelievers. Other believers attack the culture, letting their anger drive them to condemn others who don’t hold their positions—and worse, equating that with maintaining their Christian witness.

Jesus got angry on several occasions (for example, Mark 3:5 and John 11:33). In each case, His anger was directed toward His followers or the religious leaders He encountered. Jesus was never angry with unbelievers, or their collective expression as popular culture. He was confrontational with sinners, but never dismissive or overbearing with those He encountered. Paul warned against unresolved anger, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger” (Ephesians 4:26). James promised, “Man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness” (James 1:20). If you are angry with the culture, you have chosen an ill-advised path to relate to unbelievers and affect lasting change. Engaging lost people, as personally as possible, is the best hope for cultural renewal in your circle of influence. Launching your own culture war on people around you won’t change individuals or culture. It’s hard to share the gospel with people who are objects of your anger.

Solution: Repent of your judgmental spirit toward lost people. Turn from anger as a strategy for cultural change. Adjust your expectations about the behavior of the unconverted. Lost people are spiritually depleted, so their poor choices shouldn’t surprise you. Ask God for compassion and patience with people, particularly those who aggressively oppose your values and perspectives (and force them on your community). Confront sin, but love sinners.

This series is excerpted from my book, Unscripted: Sharing the Gospel as Life Happens


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Forgiveness, Restoration, and Pastoral Integrity

Forgiveness, restoration, and pastoral integrity are pressing issues in our generation – as they have been throughout history and will be in the future. Yet, as believers, our commitment to robust church fellowship demands we do this hard work.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

When Words Fail

Dr. Iorg responds to the Tyre Nichols tragedy and commends the response of the Nichols family.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

Relationships Matter: Confirmed Again

Dr. Iorg reaffirms the importance of relationships and asks the church to make three choices to promote healthy community.

Jeff Iorg
President
Dr. Jeff Iorg is the president of Gateway Seminary. Prior to his service at the Seminary, Dr. Iorg was the Executive Director of the Northwest Baptist Convention for almost ten years. He was also the founding pastor of Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Oregon, and has served as a pastor in Missouri and a staff pastor in Texas.

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10 Questions with 10 Pastors
January 31, 2023

Brian Simms

In this new episode, our host is joined by Brian Simms, senior pastor of CrossPointe Church in Fontana, CA. Pastor Brian shares his process of how choosing the sermon themes for the year, how he gets organized for the week, and how he has grown over the years.
Lead On Podcast
January 29, 2023

Women in Ministry with Dr. Alicia Wong

Dr. Iorg and talks with Dr. Alicia Wong about the various roles women can take in ministry and especially in church planting.

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Spirituality of Jonathan Edwards | JEC at Gateway Seminary

Dr. Chris Chun hosted a digital symposium with Dr. Michael Haykin and Dr. Robert Caldwell to discuss Edwards’ spirituality, devotional life and theological impact in American Christianity.

Chris Chun
Professor of Church History | Director, Jonathan Edwards Center
Dr. Chris Chun is the professor of Church History and the director of Jonathan Edwards Center at Gateway Seminary. Chris’ doctoral research at St. Andrews University was focused on the eighteenth-century Edwardsean Baptists in Britain. He also has served as president of The Evangelical Theological Society (Far West Region).

Faculty Dialogues: Dispensationalism or Not

In this episode of Faculty Dialogues, Dr. David Rathel and Dr. Paul Wegner held a live discussion on their views on dispensationalism.

David Rathel
Associate Professor of Christian Theology
Dr. Rathel is the associate professor of Chrisitian Theology at Gateway Seminary. Prior to Gateway, Dr. Rathel supplied pastoral care to churches in the United States and Scotland, served as an Adjunct Professor of Theology and Philosophy for the Baptist College of Florida, and provided teaching assistance for the University of St Andrews.

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