Should We Witness?

by Rick Martin


Should We Witness?

Any person who has some contact with the denominational world hears terms such as witnessing and offering one's testimony. We need to ask do these terms accurately define how the Lord tells us to bring people to salvation. Should we use this method to convert people? This is a method that has long been used by denominations. They tell others "what Jesus did for me" and relate their religious experiences. We realize this is suitable for them because their religion is based mostly on emotion or feelings.

The Church is to use the Lord's ordained method of preaching to communicate the Gospel today and not witnessing. We have been authorized to declare the Gospel. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: There is a difference between witnessing and declaring. Witnessing is highly subjective: it is a telling of one's feelings, emotions, experiences and prejudices. It filters the Gospel through fallible experiences of man and lends itself to many perversions. The Book is the witness, not man. It allows the hearer to apply the truth to his own situation without going through some man. This is what should be done.

Witnessing or giving one's testimony turns people away from the authority of the Word of God toward whoever can give the most impressive sounding experience. I am sure many of you have seen some of these religious channels on TV where people are offering their testimonies. One night I happened to be flipping through the channels and came across CBN. There was a lady with pink hair and a lot of eye make-up, hosting the program. She was giving one of her testimonies. She said when she was a young girl she had a pet chicken that got run over. She continued her story by saying, "I brought my pet chicken in the house, put it on the table, prayed over and it came back to life". Now that sounds impressive, but we all know that people can tell impressive sounding things which are not true. In my lifetime I have sat at many a table with a dead chicken on it and I am sure glad that after we prayed it did not come back to life because I like my fried. Things such as this may sound impressive, but we are to simply declare the Word. Declaring the Word is what point's people to the Bible, as the authority of God. The Bible has one basic message for all, one plan of salvation. Why not just declare it and let each person apply it to himself. The Bible is the testimony of God. Our job is to preach the Gospel, and not ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. Should we witness or offer our testimony? The answer is no! Why, because the Lord has not authorized it as a way to communicate the Gospel.

Rick Martin
300 Clubview Terrace
Woodstock, GA 30189
mmartin@bellsouth.net