What a Mess!

Posted: August 11, 2007 by Daniel in evangelism, resources

Just an update on Daniel’s earlier posting. The nice folks at JAAL got back to us extremely quickly, and the response website for the campaign is actually www.allaboutlife.com.au, with a link to “tell me more about Jesus”. So I followed the link and found a very interesting gospel presentation. Frankly I think it’s a bit of a mess. To start with you need to actually find your way into it through a little multimedia presentation, and I think that many people would probably not bother. Then there is a multi-part audio visual extravaganza, different depending on which part of the first page you clicked on. Watch it yourself and see what you think, but I suspect that most people won’t sit through the whole thing. Even if they do they won’t hear anything about sin, righteousness, repentance and faith, or God’s amazing kindness and grace shown through Jesus’ death and resurrection. At least not in the one I managed to watch my way through. AAAAARRRRGGGHHH!

Okay, deep cleansing breaths everyone. I really recommend you take a panadol before you watch it. Be prepared for a broad cross section of modern day dodgy so-called gospel presentations. This is exactly the sort of thing that I was talking about yesterday when I was concerned about love. God is not your girlfriend, people! We don’t need some sort of big cosmic cuddle, we need saving from the righteous wrath of God. His love in providing for our salvation is soooo amazing! Surely that’s a far better gospel than what has been presented on www.allaboutlife.com.au !!!!!!!

  1. Hi, I am the ‘nice folks at Jesus. All about life’. The link on the http://www.allaboutlife.com.au site to ‘whosjesus’ does have some problems – I agree. The difficulty for us was to find a site that explained the Gospel clearly and in way that would satisfy everyone. I actually don’t think that’s possible.
    Very open to other ideas – but I do need to say that the key delivery mechanism for the Gospel is every Christian in Tasmania and their churches. That’s what will give this campaign its greatest impact.
    Thanks … I’ve tried to be ‘nice’ too

  2. Angela says:

    I agree with you, Martin, it won’t be possible to please everyone. There is such a broad spectrum out there within the church, and so many differing opinions on what the gospel actually is. The main thing, I believe is to be biblically faithful and as theologically accurate as we are able. After all is said and done we need to please God above all and glorify his name, which the biblical gospel does better than anything else ever could.
    You are also right in saying that the key is face to face contact from the churches into our communities, our church has lots planned and we would like to see even more events tying in to the campaign.
    I think it is right to be passionate about delivering the gospel to a dying world. I also think it is important to make sure that whenever we represent Christ we do it as accurately, faithfully and biblically as we can. I would rather challenge those within the church who have a faulty understanding of the gospel than water it down, as I am sure you’d agree.

    BTW I wasn’t being sarcastic in referring to you as nice folks, you obviously are, and you obviously care a great deal about reaching the lost. So even if we don’t agree on some points, well done for getting out there and making lots of people, christians and non-christians alike, face the gospel of Jesus afresh.

  3. Georgie says:

    hi Angela 🙂
    i have looked at the JAAL site fairly closely and tried to wrap my mind around its pros and cons and see where it falls in relation to our calling. My take on it.. is that while it’s function to “get people asking questions” and “make God relevant again” in a society that is quite happy independet from Him, it is a very useful tool. The adds don’t really say anything about God (phew) but are clever reflections on Christ’s influence on our view of things regardless of faith and perhaps prompt the viewer to ask further. I AM nervous to the extreme about using tools that an organisation of such ecumenical colouring might produce, but as the “nice- JAAL” guy said.. the point of the campaign is get churches and Christian sharing what they believe to be a faithful Gospel call as people respond to the media that JAAL provide.. and as far as that goes i think its an awesome and clever idea that should keep everybody happy, and ultimately be effective as God’s word never returns void. If anything… as we are concerned about presenting an accurate presentation of the gospel (rather than an easy to swallow pleasantly toothless half baked version) we should have a real urgency to be working on getting the message right and getting it out there (as dan and josh and others are doing.)
    It would be awesome if our country went through a time of scripture saturation where the word was everywhere it’s people turned… 🙂

  4. I am interested in Bible Society being categorised as “an organisation of such ecumenical colouring”. Maybe its worth Georgie and others looking into its history and founding?
    In Sydney, most people think we’re part of the Sydney Anglican Diocese … (Which we’re not, I hasten to add) Interesting how different people see us in different ways.
    Be interested (some ad hoc research on my part) on what others thing.
    Martin – the ‘nice JAAL guy;.

  5. Georgie says:

    didnt mean to sound rude – perhaps my comment was ambiguous.. i meant the imput from so many different denominations, when i said ecumencally colourful

  6. Hi guys.

    OK at first I was concerned because there was no gospel presentation at http://www.jesusallaboutlife.com.au – now I realise that this is just a site that is meant to support Christians in getting the most out of the ads. I have since found the Who is Jesussite. I am sure that the people that set this up hope to present the gospel. I understand that the JAAL ads intend to arouse conversation and motivate Australian Christians to evangelise – that actual Christians will do the work of evangelists.

    It is also clear that the Who is Jesus website is meant to be another evangelist – reaching those that the local Churches don’t – or reinforcing a message that they may receive if they attended an event at a local Church.

    I am flat out disappointed and concerned at the content of website/web-experience. One part titled “Follow me” intends to take sinners in five vague steps of a gospel presentation and culminate in a prayer to receive Christ. If you want to view this you need to click on the Butterfly. The presentation is one of the worst I have heard in recent years. I thought that the Church in the west had gone past the relevant man centred gospel that diminishes man’s sin and God’s amazing grace. I thought that this was now passé and daggy and that the new groovy thing was to be reformed in one’s theology. Oops, maybe that’s just me.

    There will be a percentage of our non-Christian population that will go the site after watching the ads.

    How to improve the Butterfly presentation:

    Don’t start with some weird spiritual presentation of how God is with all of us. OK, start with who God is, 1 Timothy 1 v17

    To the King of ages,immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory forever and ever.Amen.

    Then use the Law of God to help people see their true condition before God – God is angry at them, not cool with them and hanging out with them.

    Then explain the wonderful free and universal offer of salvation to all that would forsake their sin and trust in Christ alone for the forgiveness of their sins.

    That might be a start.

  7. Daniel,
    Your comments and our previous uncertainty about the http://www.whosjesus.com.au site have now led us to consider something a whole lot simpler …. again, we have never focused on the web as the delivery mechanism for the Gospel. JAAL is not a web campaign, rather it uses prime-time media to support local churches in their evangelism. The web was simply a way of people ‘finding out more’, like the 1 300 number will be.
    I am very interested in looking at web sites that you would recommend as presenting the Gospel well to our contemporary culture. When we created the response web site we decided that we wouldn’t create an evangelistic site – rather we would link with another one – hence the whosjesus link. (In the same was as we decided that when people call the 1 300 number, we won’t counsel them, just get their details and get the book out to them.)
    Having seen what happened in SA and the ACT – can I say that you will be blown away by the opportunities JAAL will give you to talk about Jesus. There will be lots of press interest too – get on talkback and have your say.


  8. Yes, I am looking forward to it too, our Church has a lot of events and programs planned.

    I really appreciate your responses here.

    Do you think that there are significant weakness in the gospel presentation (the butterfly) @ Who is Jesus?

  9. Daniel,
    As I think I said, the whosjesus web site is not our ideal web resource. However when the campaign ran in Adelaide (I think) we had an e-mail from a girl (teenager) who went to the site and followed it all the way through to the prayer of commitment. I think her testimony is on the JAAL site. The book text that appears on the site is actually the text from our response book, written by Peter Downey and Bill Salier – 2 good Sydney Anglicans.
    That book is very clear and straight forward.

  10. Angela says:

    Hi all,

    It’s great that she was saved. If God is calling someone, then they will be saved no matter what, even if the resource they see is not ideal. God can use whatever he likes. I do also think that we should try to be as clear and biblical as we can at all times so as not to mislead anyone along the way.

    I really like the presentation on wayofthemaster.com and the two ways to live one is good too http://www.matthiasmedia.com.au/2wtl/

    So let’s get to it and biblically share our faith folks!

  11. Ok I have found the response book I want to try and get my hands on a copy.

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