In spreading the Gospel message are we to meet the needs of the people first before delivering the message of salvation to them? Is this effetive evangelism? Should the church rely on government assistance in meeting the needs of the community?
One thing I could never understand about Evangelists is why do they(at least in my own experiences within the black church) only travel from church to church to deliver the Gospel message to people who, for all intents and purposes, are already believers? Isn't this a bit redundant, sort of the proverbial "preaching to the choir"?
Why do so many pastors of mega-churches always preach to their own congregations but never go out on the street corners and spread the Gospel? Why do "mega-churches" even exist? Why don't they break off into smaller more intimate numbers in order to truly address the needs of the people? Can a Christian individuals' needs be met attending a mega-church? Why is there a trend of teaching Christians how to live better lives by getting more blessings from God? Why do most of the materials and messages given include giving tithes, offerings and pledging money to that particular "mega church" but rarely mentions giving money to the poor and needy on your own? Why is supporting a "ministry" emphasized as opposed to starting your own "ministry".
What about those pastors who go on television and promise great blessings of material wealth if you send in a financial "seed offering"? Usually in return for sending in your offering or tithe they promise to send you a genuine bottle of holy water from the land of Israel or a blessed handkerchief, or some other rediculous item. Is this real? Is it biblical for pastors and churches to be doing this? Does it work?
I receive letters like this in the mail all of the time, almost every week from various churches telling of how God is pooring out his spirit of wealth and health and financal blessings because of people giving certain amounts of money in exchange for such things as blessed blankets, or posters with an image that is supposed to be Jesus depicted on it, or baggies of sand from Jerusalem, or two pennies that are "blessed", to be placed in a pair of shoes and worn. I've even received envelopes that you put your "seed" offering in and sleep with under your pillow after praying over it and then send it in.
Do stuff like this work? Is this what salvation is all about, what you can give to God to get what you want from Him? As I mentioned before, I get pamphlets, flyers and newsletters riddled with bible verses promising wealth and prosperity or that you will receive the "promises of God", most of which are taken out of context.
What has happened to Christianity today? Where are the truth tellers? Or am I mistaken, is this the truth?