Monday, March 02, 2009

Failed Gospel Tract

26 comments:

P.D. Nelson said...

I love it Lee!

GalatiansC4V16 said...

A picture speaks volumes huh?

Marcie said...

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
Phil. 1:20-21

Rev. said...

Nice.

barrywallace said...

Fantastic!

I saw this on a couple of other blogs and tracked it back to this far. Did you create it? I may post it on my blog and want to give you credit if you're the creator. Thanks.

Lee Shelton IV said...

Barry, I did create this particular one, but I can't take full credit for it. I saw something similar on another site a few years ago, but couldn't track it down. So, I just searched for an appropriate picture and tacked on the caption.

Lee Shelton IV said...

I have a similar one here.

FracturedSaint said...

Great stuff.

Angus W. Duncan said...

Brilliant!

Rick said...

In regards to the 4 Spiritual Laws, John MacArthur said something like "God's plan for the life lived in unbelief is anything but wonderful." That first step is in the wrong place, and as you say in your post, which is great, the plan might include time shares in unusual locations.

Rick
http://watchforparousia.blogspot.com/

Ignacio said...

Thank you very much for the post.

I have been trying to track down another image that is somewhat similar. It's the one where people were drowning all around Noah's Ark, and the ark had the "Smile God Loves You and has a Wonderful Plan for Your Life" sticker on it.

Pls let me know if you have a link to it. Many thanks again!

ignlacsina@yahoo.com

Justice~! said...

The difficulty in the prosperity gospel comes I believe when what is being asked for is for self-glory and not the glory of God - and even then God is the one who determines whether those things are to His glory...I know I am ignorant but from God's eyes someone in the den of lions sacrificed and persecuted for him *is* a glorious plan for that person's life.

Andy said...

Barry,

This reminds of the book by Ram Comfort circa 2000 titled "God has a wonderful plan for your life"* the front cover is Stephen being stoned.

From chapter 2. "Instead of preaching the good news that sinners can be made righteous in Christ and escape the wrath to come the gospel has degenerated into the pretext that we can be made happy in Christ and escape the hassles of this life."

*ISBN 1-878859-25-0

Matt Henning said...

I can't believe I'm actually writing a negative comment here, but as a Christian Hedonist I can't support your contradictory behavior.

As I share the KGP daily, I always say to them, "God has a wonderful plan for your life, but it isn't that you die retired on a golf course! Its much better!"

And in my opinion if you share the gospel correctly that first point will make sense that the wonderful plan for your life is that you find your joy "IN CHRIST" and yes, possibly die!

Lee Shelton IV said...

Matt, I appreciate your comments, but this was a jab at the prosperity gospel. Those who espouse such ideas tend to use the phrase "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life" indiscriminately, with no thought about whether or not the people they are addressing are believers. Many people under the prosperity gospel teaching may be lured into a false sense of security, believing they are saved when they are not. Or they may seem to believe for a while until life's road gets rocky, at which point they abandon the faith. All the more reason for us to make sure we share the gospel correctly.

Evan said...

And a great jab it is!

KB said...

I hate the prosperity gospel as much as anyone and I love reformed doctine. But for y'all to sit around and bash the Knowing God Personally book or the Four Spiritual Laws (neither tract even comes close to a prosperity gospel concept) is a ridiculous waste of your time. I like the way I share the gospel better than the way that some of you don't.

Lee Shelton IV said...

We see variations of this phrase all the time, so it's hardly exclusive to any particular book or tract.

The prosperity gospel aside, I still have a problem with telling everyone that God has a wonderful plan for their lives. As Rick pointed out in his comment, the plan for those without Christ is anything but wonderful.

KB said...

Lee, you said "I still have a problem with telling everyone that God has a wonderful plan for their lives". However, the gospel is very good news, is it not?

How then do you introduce a gospel conversation to someone who likely despises it? Wouldn't you at some point be asking someone to see and believe (as you do) that the gospel could be good news for them (even if you don't know the final outcome of their personal eternal destination)?

Or would you only share the "negative" aspects with a non-believer (i.e. wrath, sin, hell) until you somehow know that they've trust in Christ, then you could with good conscience share the "positive" aspects (God's love, forgiveness, Christ)?

Lee Shelton IV said...

It might be difficult to convince someone who is healthy, happily married, has three kids, a great job, and lives in a nice house in a good neighborhood that there is a more wonderful plan for his life. He needs to understand the bad news -- that he's a sinner, that he has broken God's law, that he faces eternal punishment -- before he can grasp the good news of salvation through Christ. Both sides must be presented.

On the other hand, someone who is poor, sick, and starving might listen to us say that God has a wonderful plan for his life, but he may see it merely as a way to escape his physical suffering. The prosperity gospel preachers make their living exploiting such people.

My main point is that we don't know what God has planned for each and every person. The phrase in question isn't necessarily synonymous with the free offer of the gospel.

KB said...

Lee, I completely agree with your accessment of those two groups of gospel-needing people. Again, I'm not supporting prosperity gospel preaching in any way. And no, the phrase in question isn't necessarily connected to our ability to share the gospel with someone.

My main question though is, no matter how you share the gospel with a non-believer (whether you begin with some good news or with some bad news), aren't we by definition offering something to someone who it may not apply to in the end? We don't know how people will respond--that's in God's camp.

If we are all fine with that concept of evangelism, then why the issue with introducing the gospel with a phrase that may or may not apply to everyone?

If I'm following your logic on having a problem telling people that God has a wonderful plan for their lives, then how do you ever-so-carefully offer the gospel without possibly saying something that might not apply to them?

Lee Shelton IV said...

I don't want to quibble over particular phrases used when presenting the gospel as long as the gospel is presented clearly. Again, this was intended as a jab at prosperity gospel preachers, mostly because those are the only ones I hear using this phrase. I was simply trying to convey that people may have different ideas about what constitutes a "wonderful plan."

Matt Henning said...

Lee, I appreciate the reply but disagree that this is a jab only at prosperity teachers. I have seen this all over the web with people attacking people from Campus Crusade for using the KGP.

The KGP is one of the most widely published items in history and it begins with "God has a wonderful plan for your life". People who use this, begin gospel conversations with boldness and clarity and present people with the gospel much like Paul did in 1 Corinthians 1 when he "came to know nothing except Christ crucified" (yes, I do agree this track isn't perfect tho, but also not worthy of a jab).

I am no prosperity teacher and I believe God has a wonderful plan for our lives. We were created in the beginnning to rule over creation and he calls every man (in his "loving will" note: not will of decree) to do the same. This is a wonderful good thing, even if the world does not see it so. I have no problem telling people this. Much love to you brothers.

barrywallace said...

Andy,

Thanks for the book recommendation and quote!

Joe VonDoloski said...

Any chance I could get this tract in hi res art so I could print 1000 of them to pass out?

My e-mail is mrvondo@hotmail.com

Thanks,

Joe

Lee Shelton IV said...

The resolution of the picture on this blog is the only version I made. I don't know the title of the original picture, but I'm sure a higher resolution could be found online.

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