Rev. Reimar Schultze is a modern-day Elijah. This Holocaust-survivor-turned-worldwide-evangelist preaches today, even at 81, a no-compromise gospel that is alien to so much that abounds in the evangelistic world today. I am thankful to know him.
I was going through some papers of mine the other day and an old copy of Rev. Schultze's newsletter "Call to Obedience" fell out (You can subscribe to this free resource at his website Schultze.org). As I began to read these words, they stirred my soul as something coming from the mouth of God. It is my privilege to share it with you here (with Rev. Schultze's permission). This is the first of two parts.
The New Evangelism!
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine…And they shall turn away their ears from the truth…” 2 Timothy 4:3,4
Dr. A.W. Tozer remarked on this text about fifty years ago, “Any Evangelism which by appeal to common interests and chatter about current events to establish a common ground where the sinner can feel at home is as false as the altars of Baal ever were.”
Too many men are willing to make some compromise with Baal to gain an advantage over their fellows. The desire to be “successful” is very strong in any man’s heart born on this side of eternity. It is bound up within a man’s nature to want to compete, to conquer, to rise to the top. Any man who does not have a sense of success feels unfulfilled, restless, discouraged, and depressed.
It is this “let’s do something great” attitude that brought man to the tower of Babel. Because this attitude is a noble attitude perverted by sin, man seeks something great for himself rather than for God. It is this sense that is at the root of all competitive sports. It is this that drives the business machine. Men want to be first, if not in this or that, then in something else ---but sure somewhere. If not first on the moon, then perhaps first at a game of chess with a family member, or at being the best driver in the neighborhood, or at being the kindest man in church. Only those who struggle to the top are assured of a promising posterity. It is this spirit for success in competition coming from perverted human nature that drives many a preacher to do whatever it takes to fill up his sanctuary and to expand it.
Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). What is given to us naturally, being corrupted by sin, is in direct opposition to that which is given to us supernaturally. This is what Paul means when he says, “For the flesh lustest against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other…” (Gal. 5:17). Jesus addressed this conflict even more drastically when he said, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matt. 16:25). The natural life with all its instinct to advance itself musts be crucified and be replaced by the spiritual life God has in store for us or we shall never be his disciples.
Yet, American Christianity is mistaking natural attributes as a blessing or as a gift of God. It is inconceivable to the American “Christian” that a man who is six-foot six-inches in height should not be a basketball player or that a man with the chest like a barn door should not play football or that a man with iron lungs should not be a soccer player (for all the rest of us Christians to watch on Sunday afternoon television). We assume that this is all given by God for us to enjoy, not realizing that it is merely our competitive carnal nature trying to get on top of others and preventing us from keeping the Sabbath Day holy.
If we can’t win the world with the old standards, with the old gospel, then let’s turn that old gospel into a new gospel. If people will not endure sound doctrine, then let us give them something less than that to save ourselves from the embarrassment of a Noah who, by refusing to become contemporary in his age, won no one to God in about one hundred and twenty years of preaching. We just cannot endure such humiliation. We just cannot have people turn away from us when we preach sound doctrine. We cannot afford to look like losers, and so we run after them with a Christianity that offers them what they want rather than what God wants:
If they want ten-minute sermons, we give them ten-minute sermons. If they want sermons that don’t If they want professional singers dressed in Hollywood attire, we give them professional singers ---saved, sanctified, or not! If they want church or prayer meetings cancelled for the sake of a ball game, we do so. If they want rock music mixed with Christian lyrics, we do the mixing for them. When people want drama and entertainment on the platform, we give it to them. If they want divorce and remarriage justified, we bless them in the name of Jesus (there are now as many divorces in church-going families as in non-church-going families in the United States). The bottom line is, we do not want to lose them ---at any cost!
My friend, let’s be aware of this compromising new evangelism where we raise children who know all the statistics of dozens of ball players but who cannot name a simple hero of the Christian faith, a trailblazer like Augustine, Savonarola, Luther, Wesley, William Carey, Hudson Taylor, Jonathan Goforth, or Mary Slessor. Their views and their talk is about ball games and the latest accomplishments of their favorite team, and not about the great saints of old who were ablaze with the glory of the Lord, changing their communities and even their nations. Would it not be wonderful if our boys, instead of following ballgames on Sunday afternoons, would get lost in the books of high spiritual adventures of the mighty warriors of the Lord throughout history?
When women want to come to church dressed to attract men, carrying their Bibles, we let them do so. When men come to worship the holy God, and they wear the same garments they did to the last ball game, we let them do so. In essence, it does not matter what you look like on the outside, it is what you are inside that matters.
That sounds good at first, but the fact is that what you are on the inside will show on the outside. Jesus did not say, by their roots you shall know them, but by their fruits. The roots reflect the inside, the inner life; but the fruit is the outside, the visible. The words are: if the roots are holy, so will be the fruits. Remember that....
To Read Part 2, click here.
- To read a short autobiographical description of Rev. Schultze's experiences as a young Holocaust survivor, click here.
- To order Rev. Schultze's captivating autobiography I Am Love, click here.
- Rev. Schultze's daily devotional "Abiding In Christ" is available on Kindle for the great price of only $8.99! Click here to order this worthwhile resource today.