In Part two, we talked about how FUD can affect our view of the rapture. Now, we'll examine how this shows in our witness.
The average person today is worried and deep down inside, frightened of what is going on. No one knows what is going to happen with the economy, the US, the world, jobs, crime, taxes, terrorism, etc. This translates into an awful lot of folks who don't know where to turn, and who are scared to death of what is going to happen next.
As Christians, we proclaim the Gospel to the world, but we already have a strike against us: we're Christians. The world doesn't want to hear our message in the first place, because the flesh is strong in them. They pretty much want to do what they want, since they are "god" of their own lives, and the message that we preach doesn't make sense to them:
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. " (1 Corinthians 1:18)
But at some point, a few of them reach the breaking point where they have no choice, and so they decide to talk to someone who "has Christ in their lives," or they visit a site like RR or RF.
Now, imagine this: you're looking into this christian "thing" so you decide to check out RF. You hear about all of the promises of the Lord taking care of your needs and being in control of all things. As you are skimming the posts, you come across one about the internment camps or the swine flu, for example. Or another one about how the government is stripping away our rights, and the sky is falling; or even about the Illuminati and their secret plan to hold hostage nylon stockings or some silly nonsense..(and so on and so forth.) You check out a few more posts, and see people vehemently disagreeing, and being at some points downright rude. "where is all this christian love?" you would ask yourself.
More than likely, after a few of these posts, you would write the whole "christian' thing off as garbage, and look elsewhere for answers.
The unsaved are NOT going to look at the FUD and say "wow: they know a lot about things, I'd better listen to them!" They are going to take one look at those posts, decide that we are full of bovine-source fertilizer, and write us off as demented. Then when another christian comes along with the word of God, these folks can proudly point back at us, and say "you guys are FULL of it!"
And I wouldn't blame them.
I've written posts before about our witness to this world, but we need to see it from the point of view of the unsaved. People who come to a site like RF looking for hope are NOT going to see hope if all the site is filled with is Fear, Uncertainty and Doom. Do we have the Gospel of Christ, or are we depending secretly on OURSELVES and our "brains" to save us from peril?
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29, emphasis mine)
When we spread FUD, that is corrupt communication, because as previously mentioned, FUD is based off of half-truths and lies. There is nothing good about it for use in edifying anyone! It would be the same as giving a starving man a plate of garbage and telling him to chow down! Yet, that is EXACTLY what we do when we pull this kind of antic.
The point is: when we promulgate FUD on the boards, we: 1) Look like we have no faith in God to do anything for us, and look foolish because of it; and 2) we send that message to the unsaved, who write us and Christianity off as some parody and they go elsewhere for answers. We can say all we want "well, they weren't interested in it anyways, they weren't seeking God", but that won't fly. If we're too interested in saving our own skins to tell people the gospel instead of the conspiracy of the week, then why would anyone listen to us to begin with? To be honest: if YOU were unsaved and reading all of what appeared here, would YOU stay? I wouldn't have!
"Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the bowels of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother. " (Philemon 1:5-7)
Are we being refreshing? Are we communicating our faith to these people? or are we communicating something else?
To answer that, look at the posts about the latest about the newest scare. Look up about the middle east, or the swine flu. Look at what WND and sites like that put up, and that eventually make their rounds here. Then you have your answer.
RF has the potential to become a tremendous force in drawing people to Christ. But people WILL NOT stay somewhere where everyone is running around like a chicken with their head cut off. If we are so afraid and so defeated that we expect to be tortured in the tribulation, or that we keep setting dates that never come, our witness is shot, and NO ONE is going to listen. Back in biblical times, if a prophet's life did not match up with what they preached, the people were to disregard that prophet. Are we saying one thing, and then doing another with how we conduct ourselves?
Are we preaching another gospel? The Gospel of FUD?
That's another point to consider: when we become obsessed with a thing, that thing becomes our god. Christians are supposed to love God and desire to do his will in all circumstances. Yet, if we read the FUD posts, a lot of people come across as being more interested in stocking up for seven years, hiding in their basements, and watching for the jackboots to come storm the land in search of guns and supplies!
And this has a positive impact on the unsaved who view this site HOW?
The Lord warns us about bringing in another gospel, and he is not subtle about it:
"But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8-9)
On the one hand, we teach "trust God"; on the other, we teach "run for the hills". When we vacillate between these two dichotomies, we come across as unsure in our own faith, and as fake. Not only that, but when we do these things, we are disobeying God's clear instructions....
...hmm. Didn't Adam and Eve do that in the Garden of Eden?
Get my point?
At any rate, in part 4, we'll tie everything together, and we'll see why FUD shouldn't be on here to begin with.