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GDCM News and Notes
 GDCM News and Notes 

GDCM Weekly Communique & Updates

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Highways and Hedges Ministry - 10/5/2019 - 4:30 pm

Join us at 4:30pm as we once again go to 121 N. Front Street in Baltimore to minister to our Brothers and Sisters in Christ

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Faithful speech doesn’t need to rely on formulas.

In fifth grade, I received evangelism training through my church. It went something like this: Memorize a series of verses (the famed “Romans Road” of evangelizing), identify an unbelieving friend, ask her to get together, share the gospel, and invite her to place faith in Christ.

My Sunday school teacher spent the summer helping us learn the words we would need to know, and in late August, she drove two of us to pick up a classmate and test our skills. I remember nervously sipping a milkshake next to our target unbeliever, terrified I wouldn’t get the formula right or remember the Sinner’s Prayer. I don’t remember whether the evening ended in conversion, so I’m guessing it did not.

I’m not here to knock my well-intentioned teacher nor critique the various memory tools or verbal formulas for evangelism. God certainly uses these means. But my husband and I chose a less formulaic approach to train our children to be invitational, relational, and convictional in the speech they used to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

It may seem counterintuitive to train children in gospel words even before they themselves have professed faith. But when we focus less on apologetics and more on Christian speech, these patterns can and should be taught as soon as they start to talk.

First, we should train our would-be tiny evangelists to be fluent in kind words. Children in Christian homes should be taught to forgo sarcastic, bullying, and teasing speech for gracious, encouraging, and affirming speech. When we model and reward kind speech inside our homes, our children are likely to use it outside of them. Kind language is in short supply in our culture, and children who learn to stem the tide of vitriol ...

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Kathryn Kuhlman’s story offers a case study of the indisputable achievements of strong evangelical women and the equally indisputable roadblocks they often face.

“You have been called ‘hypnotic, charismatic, hypnotizing,’” said Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show in 1974. His guest resisted. With a disarming smile, she said she was “just the most ordinary person in the world.” Carson didn’t buy it. “You’re not quite ordinary.”

With this telling anecdote, Amy Artman launches her masterful biography of Kathryn Kuhlman, a charismatic healing evangelist who emerged in the post-World War II era alongside Oral Roberts. It’s hard to say whether Roberts or Kuhlman was the most prominent healing evangelist of the day, but it’s easy to say that she was the most prominent woman in the field. At the height of her ministry, many people considered Kuhlman “the best-known woman preacher in the world.” Very few female religious leaders of any theological stripe were famous enough to snare a berth on a network talk show like Carson’s.

Kuhlman’s story is a big one, yet she has won little attention from historians. Most American religious history textbooks give her a few sentences at most and some none at all. In The Miracle Lady: Kathryn Kuhlman and the Transformation of Charismatic Christianity, Artman not only rescues Kuhlman from undeserved obscurity but also crafts a sweeping interpretation of the cultural origins of the modern charismatic movement. (Artman is careful to credit her secondary sources, including Edith Blumhofer, David Edwin Harrell, Wayne Warner, and, in the interest of full disclosure, me.)

Artman—who teaches religious studies at Missouri State University—offers ample biographical details, but her main interest lies in two overarching arguments. The first is that Kuhlman was one ...

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Why humility is one of the most effective tools for resisting the Devil.

For we are not unaware of [Satan’s] schemes,” says the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:11. We always forgive people, he says one verse earlier, because we know what the Devil is up to, and we are not having any of it. Similar logic underlies Paul’s insistence that Christians put on the armor of God: “that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph. 6:11). Satan has a plan, but we know what it is so we can stand against him.

I’m not sure how many Western Christians today could echo Paul’s sentiments. Many churches, anxious to avoid seeming spooky, weird, or unhealthily preoccupied with the Devil, throw the baby out with the bathwater. They hardly mention him, let alone teach people how he plans to destroy them and what to do about it. More than a handful of professing Christians don’t believe in him at all, which is just how he likes it. “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled,” quips Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects, “is convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

Obsessing over the Devil makes us fearful and paranoid, but ignoring him altogether makes us naïve and unprepared. So it is significant that two of the four Gospels give us detailed accounts of Satan’s guerrilla campaign against the Lord Jesus (Matt 4:1–11, Luke 4:1–13). Reflecting on how Satan attacked him—and how he stood his ground—can be illuminating.

According to Matthew, immediately after Jesus was baptized, he was “led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (4:1). (This is worth remembering when it comes to the recent controversy over the Lord’s Prayer and whether God would ever lead his ...

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    Greater Destiny Christian Ministries

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