Saturday, February 23, 2008

Chronological Bible Storytelling

Pre - Evangelism

How do you share God's plan for humanity with a culture who has no prior knowledge of Biblical truths? People who do not know the name of 'Jesus' can not call upon His name for forgiveness without an understanding of who He is or why they have a need of forgiveness.

Interestingly enough, most all cultures are aware of their spiritual need for some kind of an atonement for their wrong doings. This is often seen by developing a form of 'appeasement' worship of demons and spirits.

Man was created with an inborn need for purpose and understanding of how to achieve it. The missionary working among a tribal people must be very careful in how he presents the gospel message to these groups.

In the past, we see that many early 'Christians' made the mistake of simply requiring a people to
be baptized and change their behavior, even sometimes forcefully requiring this as is the case of the early Catholic mission work among South American Indians. What this produces is a change in culture but not a true relationship with God. These cultures often appear to adopt the outward appearance and behavior of Christianity while simultaneously continuing with their pagan practices.

The way to avoid this is to teach the Bible chronologically to the people. Just as God revealed Himself to humanity. We walk them backwards, into the future!

We begin with the creation account of Genesis, work our way through the Old Testament which teaches of the need for an atonement, on to the birth of Christ as the Messiah, to His death which provides our needed atonement sacrifice! On to the resurrection proving His Godhead.

A very interesting site where you can see the process of this chronological Bible story telling is HERE! This site provides free lesson plans for adults and also a curriculum for children including coloring pages and video links. It would be great for home schoolers and anyone teaching children. It is also available in several languages, including Spanish.

The modern day Christian worker must also realize that right here in our own country, we can not assume the average person has a clear understanding of the Bible and a Christian world view. With the immigration of so many foreigners to our land, we have the opportunity to present God to them here, but do not assume they have any background understanding of the gospel. This material would be well used in a small Bible study.

On the mission field we call this 'pre-evangelism'. We must introduce them to Christ. It is exhilarating to see a person or group of people as they see this wonderful story of God's love unfold to them for the first time! They then have a personal relationship with Christ and not just a head knowledge.

And that makes an eternal difference!

Disclaimer: I may not agree with everything presented at this site, but it has much to offer and is free.So use your own discretion and check it out for yourself!


redneck preacher said...

Thank you for the information. You have, I am sure, seen the EeTow flick from New Tribes. Both of those are pretty good from the perspective of someone who has never presented the Gospel to an indigenous jungle dweller.

We are approaching the need to do the same thing in the USA. Kids are kept from learning true history and told only nuts believe in Creation. Sometimes we have to do damage control before we present the truth. Fortunately evolution is fun and entertaining to poke holes into.

God’s Creation is truly marvelous.


Peggie said...

I read your blog with interest and this post just made me want to comment. I had friends that went out with New Tribes Missions and had to learn how to teach in this manner. I thought it was great and think it is needed in America with the way things are going. I have their syllabus and need to dig it out again. Thanks for sharing this.

WomanHonorThyself said...

everyone has that inner spiritual hunger..absolutely!

Harry said...

I was going to write what Womanhonorthyself already wrote. I think that even hard core atheists have a need to believe in something bigger than themselves. They turn to the secular "isms", Communism, Socialism, Environmentalism, etc.

Gayle said...

Harry is right. They are also very angry because they believe in nothing larger than themselves. It's quite sad!

Bar Kochba said...

What I find so hard to accept about Christianity is the belief that all non-Christians will burn in hell forever. Contrast this Christian exclusivity with the Talmud's statement that the righteous of all nations have a share in the World to Come and that the Divine Presence can rest on any man or woman, Jew or non-Jew. Where is this concept taught in the Torah?

Jungle Mom said...

By far, the worst part of hell for the unbeliever will be the eternal separation from G-d.

Deut.32 22For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.

23I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.
24They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust

Ps. 88: 3For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.

4I am counted with them that go down into the pit: I am as a man that hath no strength:

5Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, whom thou rememberest no more: and they are cut off from thy hand.

6Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps.

7Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Selah.
Psalms 55:15Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them

Bar Kochba said...

But what gain would G-d have by punishing someone eternally? Punishment is not cruel or vengeful but to bring atonement, teshuva, repentance. A kind G-d would never condemn one of His beloved children to eternal hellfire just for missing the boat.

Ezekiel 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD; and not rather that he should return from his ways, and live?

Jews recite kaddish, special prayers for the dead, for 11 months after their deaths because we believe that they spend 11 (12 for the wicked --- of couse, the extremely wicked never get out) months in Gehennom to cleanse their souls so that they can go to Gan Eden and enjoy the Divine Light.

MightyMom said...

very interesting

Pastor Erik DiVietro said...

Graham Johnston identified the needs you pointed out as the "meta-narrative." In our postmodern, emerging culture in the USA, there is no longer a "Christian" thinking underlying things. Even most western atheists are rebelling against a basic understanding of the Christian message.

The need for "pre-evangelism" is very real in the US, as well as the world. People know there is a problem with the world, but they do not know where it comes from. They sense sin, but they cannot name it. They know they need a Savior, but have never heard his name except as a profanity.

We have adopted a missional attitude to ministry in our church, assuming we are reaching a non-Christianized people and telling the story as if it is the first time the listener has heard it, because most of the time, it is.

Enjoyed the post!

Yekwana Man said...

Bar Kochba,

What part of the law and prophets says that "the Talmud's statement that the righteous of all nations have a share in the World to Come" because that seems to contradict the psalm that says there is none that doeth good no not one. Psalm 14:3

Bar Kochba said...

Christians say that all people, including Jews, are sinful and cannot be righteous. But the Torah says quite the opposite: "All your nation is righteous; they will inherit the earth eternally; the shoot that I have planted, the work of My hands, something to be proud of" (Isaiah 60:21). So we are righteous, and God is proud of us. And it says, "Open the gates, so that the righteous nation that keeps the faith may enter" (Isaiah 26:2). We, the Children of Israel are righteous, for the Torah says so. Of course, we must uphold the Torah, or otherwise we might cease to be righteous. But as long as we keep the Torah, we are righteous.

The Prophets chastize the Children of Israel many times for abandonning G-d's Torah but never for not believing in the messiah. the only path to HaShem is through His Torah. The Torah says, "There is no person on earth so righteous that he does only good and never sins" (Eccl. 7:20). Rather, the definition of a righteous person is as taught in Proverbs 24:16: "The righteous fall even seven times and still get up, but the wicked stumble in evil." In the Book of Job (33:23) it says that if someone has even only one merit and 1,000 sins, he is rescued from hell. So we are not doomed to hell.

G-d's plan for salvation never changed. It is only through His Torah, a gift and not a curse.

Vicarol said...

Bar Kochba, May I suggest that the 10th chapter of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament can shed some light on the issues you discuss. Then, read the the entire book of Hebrews and the book of Romans,which was written by the apostle Paul, both written to Jews. Paul was a man I think you could identify with, a Hebrew of Hebrews of the tribe of Benjamin, circumcised the 8th day,a Pharisee,a persecutor of Christians until he had an encounter with Jesus Christ that changed his perspective and his life (as he describes more fully in Philippians chapter 3 of the New Testament).