SHOULD ONE PROSELYTIZE?
And what did the church teach on it? And DOES God’s Church force their beliefs on others?Compiled by The Worldwide Church of God Archives Staff
1) “God has not left His Church without a specific duty or purpose. Its primary purpose is to preach and publish the Gospel of the Kingdom to the world, not to proselytize, convince or convert, but merely as a witness (Matthew 24:14). This true Gospel message is decidedly not the message taught by this world’s churches, either in subject or purpose. Our free booklet What Is the True Gospel? explains further.” *1 Listed Below . 2) “But, even so, some are being called by God now to preach His message as a witness to the world (not to proselyte or convert the world — Matthew 24:14) and to learn God’s way, so they may teach the masses when God finally does call the rest of the human race and open their minds (Revelation 5:10).” *2 Listed Below 3) A great quote from another great article pinpoints what we are to do, what this work IS, “Today the primary objective of the Work of God is to preach and publish the Gospel of the soon-coming Kingdom and Government of God (Matt. 24:14; Mark 13:10). It is being done as a witness, not to gain members or proselyte adherents! The Work of God today is not set up as a rival organization to this world’s churches. God has commissioned us to cry aloud, spare not, and show our people their sins (Isa. 58:1). We have not been commissioned to preach smooth things and mealy-mouthed platitudes! Our job is not to appease or cajole a sin-laden world! It is to warn a society bent on self-destruction! This Work comes in the same spirit and the same power as Elijah once did (Mai. 4:5-6). And like Elijah we label paganism and idolatry for what they are! And as in Elijah’s time, the “prophets of Baal” still wail and moan, calling upon “another Jesus” who does not hear them!” *3 Listed Below 4) “We realize that only God can call and convert a person (John 6:44, 65) — so we are not a proselyting Church.” *4 Listed Below 5) “The Church of God had never been a proselyting church. Jesus Christ set the example. He never urged people to “get saved” or “be converted.” When the woman at Jacob’s well in Samaria asked Him to give her of God’s Spirit, which He had referred to as “living water,” He made no effort to convert her. He did proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God, saying, “Repent ye, and believe the gospel” (Mark I: IS). He chose His disciples and simply said, “Follow me.” They followed unquestioningly. He made no emotional appeals for converts. He made no pleading “altar calls” accompanied by sentimental hymns. Nor did the apostles. The Church of God follows the example they set. Therefore it has no evangelistic program or missionary activities in the modern sense of the words. Instead, its commission is to proclaim the good news of the coming Kingdom of God—not to convert the world, but merely “as a witness” to all nations.” *5 Listed Below 6) “ At NO time did I fight against the “Sardis” people, or seek to pull any of their brethren away from them, or from those through whom God had originally called and converted them. This I NEVER DID. This these dissenters ARE DOING, and there is NO PLACE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT where Jesus Christ approves such a thing. I NEVER proselyted. From the first, I merely preached the Gospel, and Christ gave me NEW converts. I went to the world with the Gospel. The dissenting ministers are going to the Church to proselyte and draw members after them.” *6 Listed Below 7) “WE ARE NON-PROSELYTING We do not compete with other churches. We do not seek their members nor solicit any MEMBERS DIRECTLY. God adds such members as He calls and who come voluntarily.” *7 Listed Below 8) “the Church of God, a non-denominational, non-proselyting church.[…]” No one is ever asked or urged to join.” *8 Listed Below 9) “Nowhere in the New Testament do we find that Jesus, or the Apostles, ever coaxed, urged or cajoled anyone into “joining” the Church. They merely proclaimed the TRUTH — the GOOD NEWS — of the Kingdom of God. No one was urged to “join.” In fact, according to the Bible, one CANNOT join God’s true Church. If we have not received the GIFT of God’s Spirit, “we are none of His” (Rom. 8:9). The proclaiming of the Gospel by Jesus and by His Apostles was merely EDUCATIONAL — proclaiming God’s TRUTH — leaving all hearers free to make their own decision. We follow their example. No one is ever asked to join. No one is ever urged or pleaded with to “give their heart to the Lord,” in the way many Churches do. We are not proselyters. We make no effort to take members away from other Churches. “ *9 Listed Below 10) “We ran one-page or two-page ads in Reader’s Digest in South Africa 1968-1972, besides miscellaneous other magazines. And REMEMBER, Co-Workers, WE DO NOT SOLICIT MEMBERS! We are completely NON-proselyting. Jesus sent His apostles out to proclaim HIS MESSAGE (which is His Gospel) of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD. Remember, Jesus Himself did NOT solicit converts or members when He was on earth. Neither did His apostles. NEITHER DO I! I myself, on radio and TV, in advertising, in speeches before the public MAKE NO SOLICITATION for either members or contributions! God has called us to PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS OF THE SOON-COMING KINGDOM OF GOD. OUR REAL SUCCESS IS COUNTED BY THE NUMBER REACHED WITH THE MESSAGE — WHICH IS REALLY AN ANNOUNCEMENT of the coming KINGDOM OF GOD. We NEVER try to talk people into conversion or membership! THEY MUST COME TO US! NO OTHER CHURCH ON EARTH DOES THIS AS CHRIST DID AND SENT HIS APOSTLES OUT TO DO! So, the real report on the RESULTS produced by YOUR OFFERING and payment of GOD’S TITHES is how many of the public we REACH — not how many members; GOD ADDS the members, as you will notice in Acts 2:47.” *10 Listed Below 11) “And for our time, now, Christ said, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the END (of this present world) come.” NOT to proselyte — not aggressively to seek Church members — but to ANNOUNCE the Good NEWS of the soon-coming KINGDOM OF GOD — which will bring us WORLD PEACE, universal happiness and prosperity, and eternal salvation. To PREPARE THE WAY for the coming of Christ again to earth in all the divine splendor, POWER and GLORY of the Eternal GOD, as the KING of kings and LORD of lords to rule, and to SAVE the world. This is not the time when God is trying to SAVE the world, spiritually. We are preparing the WAY for the time when He will do that. IF God had been trying to get the world spiritually “saved,” HE WOULD HAVE SAVED IT! Nevertheless, though we have made no direct active effort to make converts — and absolutely NONE to compete or take members from churches, there have been thousands of conversions of those who heard the proclamation of Christ’s Gospel. “ *11 Listed Below We post this short list of examples of what the Church taught, and of course the TRUTH is PLAIN!
More articles on this subject are AHEAD!
Article List *1= Prove All Things: What and Why the Church? By Bernard Schnippert – May 1985 Good News Magazine *2= Prove All Things: Eternal Judgement By Bernard Schnippert – September 1984 Good News Magazine *3= What “on Earth” is God Doing? By Brian Knowles – September 1971 Tomorrow’s World Magazine *4= Here’s Why the Word of God is the foundation of Knowledge! Churches — Do They All Teach the Truth? By Dennis Luker – May-June 1970 – Tomorrow’s World Magazine *5= This Is the Worldwide Church of God: Part 2 – January 1979 Plain Truth Magazine *6= Herbert W Armstrong CoWorker & Member Letter – May 02, 1974 *7= Mr. Attorney General of California: You cannot shut these doors opened to me for world travel to proclaim the Gospel! By Herbert W. Armstrong – July 14th 1980 Worldwide News *8= Personal By Herbert W Armstrong – October 1969 Plain Truth Magazine *9= Plain Truth Subscriber Letter – March 10, 1965 By Herbert W Armstrong *10= Coworker Letter – January 23, 1980 By Herbert W Armstrong *11= Coworker Letter – March 23, 1974 By Herbert W Armstrong ]]>