September 2, 2010 0 min to read

Group Tonight: Evangelism, Love and Judgement

Category : Blogs (Faith), Life-Ecstatic (Faith)

For our life group tonight we’ll be watching two videos related to evangelism, love and judgement.

The first will be Rob Bell in one of his Nooma videos entitled “Bullhorn Guy”. Here’s the video:

The second will be Todd Friel’s response to the video:

We’ll be discussing the various points raised by both these guys, whether we agree or don’t agree, etc.

Anyone is welcome to join. If you would like to come through we meet in the heart of Sandton tonight at 6:30 for 7. Email me at ryan (at) ryanpeterwrites . com (replacing (at) with @ and using no spaces) for details, or alternatively phone Church on the Square at 011-884-3820.

About Ryan Peter


Ryan Peter is a writer, journalist and ghostwriter from Johannesburg, South Africa. He writes fantasy, sci-fi, inspirational fiction, and on faith. Ryan is also part of the New Covenant Ministries International (NCMI) translocal team.

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Comments (21)

  • ReplyTweets that mention Group Tonight: Evangelism, Love and Judgement « Ryan Peter Blogs and stuff -- Topsy.com September 2, 2010

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    ReplyMH September 2, 2010

    Sorry Todd, I think you missed the whole point of the New Covenant that is underpinned by God's grace. Sins are forgiven, we are no longer under the law. Jesus fulfilled the law. As Christians we are the righteousness of God in Christ. God's love is good news, we don't need to scare people into heaven with big words that frighten and sterotype street preachers. Judgement has been passed and we are perfect in God's eyes because of what Jesus did on the cross. Check out the Bible and see that Paul wrote that himself. I think Todd missed this, completely.

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    Replyfleebabylon September 5, 2010

    Wow - MH, maybe take the log out of your own eye - it is you who have completely misportrayed Todd and have "missed it" as you well said...

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    ReplyMH September 6, 2010

    ...looking for that log.... maybe you can help?

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    ReplyMerry Helper September 6, 2010

    Alo Alo @ MH, "Judgement has been passed and we are perfect in God’s eyes because of what Jesus did on the cross. Check out the Bible and see that Paul wrote that himself." My grasp of such is that Jesus died for our sins and so the price was paid. So that Whosoever believes in him shall not perish at judgement. Judgement has not passed. There will still be a separation of goats and sheep. Perhaps you wrote in anger, or I am misreading, else please point me to the Scripture you say Paul wrote, whereby we have been judged and found to be perfect As for logs, I recall Little-John stick-fought Robin Hood on a log in the washing river,hahaha! Blessings MH [Picking in kindness]

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    ReplyMH September 6, 2010

    Our concept of time is just that, a concept. God exists outside of time. Everything that has happened, will happen, could happen, does happen... has already happened! Judgement day has come and gone in God's eyes. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says we are the righteousness of God in Christ. When God looks at me, He sees me forgiven, accepted, loved by Him and sin-forgiven. God is my father, my friend. John 3:16 - whoever believes will have eternal life! I am no good at debating, just expressing my opinion and seeing what other people think. No, no anger. But perhaps a dash of disillusionment at 'Christians' who think they got everything all figured out and yet work so hard for their salvation. I am still finding my path in the sheer grace of God.

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    ReplyRyan Peter September 6, 2010

    I don't want to post my thoughts down here yet because we had to cancel our life group meeting, and I still want to discuss the videos this coming week. At any rate, I will put out what I think are essentially three questions worth mentioning with regards to the responses to this -- is Todd Friel's use of the 10 commandments actually theologically correct? Will Christians be judged? And what if God has purposefully chosen not to know some aspects of the future? Thanks for the response guys. Stoked to see some lively debate going on here! :) :)

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    ReplyMerry Helper September 6, 2010

    Brothers MH, you deserve your MH abbreviation, concur I must God's time is not our time. Inside of this concept tho, must firm up a little to say every knee shall bow and tongue confess and that event has not passed yet. As for lifestyle, there will be many that will call Lord Lord and he will say I know you not, for when I was hungry etc. This does raise Questions about what "believe" means in John 3:16, anyhow let me rant elsewhere, Grace is the key, tis true. To my mind one of the ten is down, Sabbath has lost it's code, the rest stand and are affirmed by Jesus. Christians will be Judged. All will. What God has shared with us is sufficient, it may very well not be everything but it is enough to fill us. Blessings MH

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    ReplyMH September 7, 2010

    Thank you Merry Helper. Each to his own. I believe, personally, that we will be judged (in our concept of time) but be found pure and perfect as we are in Christ (that is why He died on the cross for us). He will not know those who call him 'Lord Lord' because they had no relationship with Him - the basic premise of the gospel, the relationship God has reconciled man to Himself for. Everything is relationship, not works, not function. I rest in the fact that I do not have to earn my salvation, I do not have to work away to change the world in the hope that I will perhaps pass judgement on that day. It is all done for me, God has set me free. I am in Him, He is in me. Grace is the key, I agree completely.

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    ReplyMH September 7, 2010

    If Christians are to be judged, then we place ourselves under the law again, in an old, inferior and obsolete covenant. we rely on passing through that judgement by our own works and deeds and hope that God is in a good mood when he swings that gavel... I cannot live like that, knowing what Jesus secured on the cross for me...freedom. I cannot live knowing that my entry into heaven depends on what I do... it makes no sense! Paul writes of the awesome grace of God...there is nothing better than that! Take a listen to some of Rob Rufus' sermons as he expounds grace and its amazing makeup that God designed for us.

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    ReplyMerry Helper September 7, 2010

    Alo Alo Ryan please stop me if you feel I am hijacking your blog? @ MH: Believe? : MT 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. MT 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? MT 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. MT 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: MT 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: MT 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. MT 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: MT 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: MT 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. MT 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? MT 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? MT 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? MT 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. MT 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: LK 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, LK 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. LK 13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: LK 13:26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. LK 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. JN 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. In line with these scriptures what does BELIEVE [Jn 3:16] mean to you? This is something I mull over many times. note to self: If I believe that the stove-plate is hot, I will not touch it!!! Back to Grace: God's riches at Christ's expense. Thing is Old School Law applies and The scale of Righteousness applies to us all. Fortunately for you and I when we get weighed, Christ will call out our names and declared that our sins have been paid for and then Yahweh will draw us in, through Christ. That is if we believe in Christ. For not all that call themselves Christians, are. Not all that call Lord Lord will be known. Like the apostle Paul I am working out my salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12) I am pushing my point hard here, maybe too hard, wish I could meet and thrash this out with ya. Agree with your each to his own theory/ start, kinda ties in with respect for me, was compelled to Illustrate that Judgement has not passed nor is that in Scripture. You have since written: "I believe, personally, that we will be judged (in our concept of time) but be found pure and perfect as we are in Christ (that is why He died on the cross for us)." well liked. As for Mr. Rufu if you insist I will put the effort in, however to my mind the Acrostic G.R.A.C.E God's Riches At Christ's Expense is Simple Clear and Effective. Blessings MH

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    ReplyRyan Peter September 7, 2010

    Nah don't worry about hijacking the blog, discuss away! :) I'm sorry I can't add anything, don't want to limit my group's discussion on Thursday night. But I'll probably add some of my own thoughts on Friday. (Also currently have limited Internet connection, which is why I haven't posted a new blog since last week).

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    Replyfleebabylon September 8, 2010

    I wanted to point out that Todd Friel is not stating that believers are under the letter of the law... Paul wrote to the Galatians that the law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith, and when faith as come there is no longer a need for the schoolmaster. Therefore Todd is using the law lawfully as Paul says to Timothy, as its function is to bring about a knowledge of sin... not to justify - only to reveal the condemnations of those who are outside of Christ. The law condemns us as sinners and shows the corruption of our nature. I think it was Moody who said the law can only chase us to Calvary and no further. -Jim

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    ReplyRyan Peter September 14, 2010

    Now that my group have discussed this I thought it would be good to weigh in my opinions, although the conversation might now be a little old. Firstly, Bell I think plays a bit of a devil's advocate in his video but based on the actual content of what he says there are certain things I think are worth mentioning. I think he's a little too hard on the bullhorn guy, who might really love people but just doesn't know how to love them. There are also certain situations where the bullhorn guy's style might be needed. Evangelism is largely a contextual thing, and a lot of Bell's 'love' statements sound more hippie than real. People need more than just someone to tell their dreams to. At the end of Friel's video, on the other hand, no one actually got saved. One guy even said, "cool man, that's your thing," which is a real sign of the culture and that Friel's style / presentation might have been seen to be irrelevant, and I think I know why. Friel is using the ten commandments as a base to evangelise to non-Christians. Why? What have the ten commandments got to do with them? What do the ten commandments actually have to do with Gentiles? According to Romans 2, nothing. And rightly so. I think non-Christians instinctively know this. If a Muslim had to see me having a beer and come up to me and say, "You know, the Koran says you shouldn't drink," I'm going to be like, "So? What's that got to do with me?" A lot of non-Christians will have the same approach if we go to them and say, "We must obey the ten commandments of the Bible." The 'Ten Commandments' are what we reference to a particular point in scripture that is only a part of the whole law God gave to Israel. If we want to talk the ten commandments, then we also ought to talk about Jewish ceremonial law etc. Contextually and theologically, the ten commandments -- along with the whole law -- have always been for Jews. The rest of us, Gentiles, are not under the ten commandments. Christians, on the other hand, are under the Law of Christ, not the Law of the Old Testament. The Law of Christ is lived out by His Spirit. We follow Christ Himself, not laws. From a letter perspective, I would say we're obligated to the Sermon on the Mount, as Jesus expounds on the heart of the Jewish law and lived that out. Since we follow Christ we follow Him in that. But our salvation, in terms of a positive judgement, is not dependent on how we follow that, it's dependent on faith and trust alone in Christ. If we talk about our salvation, in terms of an enjoyable life, then we are dependent on that, because the Jesus life is a happy one and brings with it joy, despite persecution and suffering. Moody might have said the law can only chase us to Calvary, but I would object to Moody's use of the law if that's what he said. None of us Gentiles have ever been under the Jewish Law. Romans 2 explains this clearly. We don't need to bring the Jewish Law in to show people they've fallen short of God's standards -- people fall short of their own standards and their own law! They are a law unto themselves, fall short of it, and cast judgement on others as well. By their own standards they've fallen short. The law might have been a schoolmaster, but we must remember to keep in mind who Paul is talking to with the Galatians. He is expounding on what the law's purpose is for Jews, but makes it clear that the Jewish Law is now neither for Christians, Jew or Gentile, and has never been for Gentiles or non-Christians.

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    Replyfleebabylon September 16, 2010

    "Friel is using the ten commandments as a base to evangelise to non-Christians. Why? What have the ten commandments got to do with them? What do the ten commandments actually have to do with Gentiles? According to Romans 2, nothing. And rightly so. " Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Unbelieving gentiles will be damned by the law, if not the letter, so it is still very relavent to them. Everyone outside of Christ is under the law and is found guilty by it. I think we should focus on being Biblical, rather then relavent to our culture which often comes at the expense of being Biblical. If we can do both we have done well. In Christ - Jim

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    ReplyMerry Helper September 17, 2010

    Jim, I like it, tks.

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    ReplyRyan Peter September 20, 2010

    Jim, I'm confused as to how you can read Romans 2:14 & 15 above as anything other than Gentiles are / never were under Jewish Law (Torah) but are rather a law unto themselves, with their own conscience condemning or excusing them. You said: "Unbelieving gentiles will be damned by the law, if not the letter, so it is still very relavent to them" I don't see how you read this in the scripture at all. They are damned by the law unto themselves, not the Torah. That's what I see as the plain meaning of that scripture. What do you mean by "the letter"? You also said: "I think we should focus on being Biblical, rather then relavent to our culture which often comes at the expense of being Biblical." Yes, I agree we must be biblical. I would argue that if we are we would be relevant to our culture ;) Although, that just might be a play on words. As to being biblical, the Bible also says it is God's kindness that leads people to repentance, not the Law. (Rom 2:4.) I don't feel Friel is really being biblical in this instance. There is nowhere in the Bible anywhere where the 'ten commandments' are separated from the rest of the Torah and it is stipulated that all of man are to live under these ten commandments. The ten commandments were given to the Israelite people and the ten commandments were the beginning of a long list of other laws -- the complete Torah. If 'Gentiles' (non-Christians in our context) are under the ten commandments then they are surely under the whole law, the whole Torah, ceremonial and all, and that makes no sense. Is there a biblical reason to separate the ten commandments from the rest of the Torah? I don't see any biblical reason at all.

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    ReplySentinel September 23, 2010

    Interesting discussions here, Ryan. I'm intrigued by the coincidence of timing - I found this post today, but I recently lead our cell group and used the "Bullhorn Guy" video as a basis for the discussion. I've just looked in the calendar and it was the same week that you posted this... :) On topic, although Paul writes that the Jewish law was handed down specifically to the Jewish nation, I don't think that there is an inconsistency with using the Ten Commandments as instruction for our lives as 21st-century Gentiles. I don't think that we should expect non-Christians to agree with an argument like "Don't do x because the Ten Commandments tell you not to", but if we're interested in understanding God's will for our lives, I think they have a great deal to teach us. As for the second video... I don't think it's much of a response. Part of Bell's criticism of "Bullhorn Guy" was that he made angry noise without actually engaging with people. Friel's approach at the end of his video was to go up to individual people and have a one-on-one conversation, try to get to know them, try to meet them as an individual, and also at the same time to talk about some of the hell and judgment parts of Christian doctrine. This is not how Bullhorn Guy was described. I think Bell's approach has a risk of sometimes ignoring the hard and unfriendly bits of the Gospel - and yes, I mean the Gospel, not the OT, since Jesus spent a fair bit of time talking about hell - but these bits are also part of God's love and justice, they need to be communicated in those terms. "God hates you and he's going to punish you because you're a bad person" is not the message that Jesus brings.

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    ReplyRyan Peter September 27, 2010

    Thx Sentinel -- lol, interesting thing about the timing there! Personally, I think the Sermon on the Mount does a better job than the Ten Commandments could ever teach us if we're interesting in knowing God and His will. I can see the value in the ten commandments, and agree with you that they can teach us something, but I see more value in the Sermon on the Mount by far, especially since this reveals the heart of the whole Law including the Ten Commandments. One could start with the Ten Commandments and then use the Sermon to expound on them, sure, just like Jesus did -- but my point is that Jesus Himself and His teachings should serve as the core and basis of Christian living; after all, the New Covenant is founded on better promises.

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      ReplySentinel September 27, 2010

      Absolutely - for Christians, the starting point must be the Gospels. More importantly, for humans, the Word made flesh (i.e. Jesus) should be the starting point if we want to learn about God. Having started from that point, though, the OT can add a great deal of depth to our understanding of God and also to our understanding of humankind. Nicky Gumbel put it succinctly in one of the Alpha courses: "The Bible is important because it's about Jesus."

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