Flatlander Faith

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

The myth of gunslinger evangelism

“I would like you to meet brother Wyatt. Wyatt has got to be the fastest draw in the west with his Bible. Do you see all those notches along the spine of his Bible? That’s how many souls he has personally led to the Lord.”

Have you ever met a Wyatt, someone who could tell endless tales of soul winning? Are you trying to be a Wyatt? Do you feel that you need to be a Wyatt in order to be a “real” Christian?

Singing “Must I Go, and Empty-Handed?” can give you that feeling. “Must I meet my Saviour so? Not one soul with which to greet him: must I empty-handed go?” Kind of makes you feel guilty and useless if you don’t have any notches on your Bible, doesn’t it?

Will it shock you if I say that I want to be empty-handed when I meet my Saviour? I don’t want to be found among that crowd at His left hand who are pleading: “Lord, Lord, don’t you remember all the wonderful things I have done for you? Didn’t I win many souls for you?” Jesus is going to tell those people: “I never knew you. Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity.” I definitely don’t want to be part of that crowd.

According to Matthew 25, those at the Saviour’s right hand will have no awareness of having accomplished anything useful for the Lord. If we are followers of Christ, living in obedience to the Holy Spirit, we take no credit for the things we do. I tend to be more aware of how unwilling I have been to obey the prompting of the Spirit, and of how often I have messed up when I thought I was doing the right thing. I find no assurance in trying to keep a record of the good I have done, I am not really capable of discerning whether I have done any good at all. My assurance is found in the fact that I am still on speaking terms with the Spirit; He is still asking more of me.

Looking back on my life, I know that a great many people have each played a little part in leading me to where I am today. Each one, in obedience to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, did or said something that affected in some small way the course of my life. I doubt that any of them were even aware of the impact their words or actions had on me.

So I stumble on in life, trying in my bumbling way to pass on the blessings I have received. If some good results, it is the Lord’s doing, not mine.

“ As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good” (Ecclesiastes 11:5-6).

2 responses to “The myth of gunslinger evangelism

  1. blessings2u November 7, 2014 at 19:29

    Interesting and well said.

  2. Bob Goodnough November 7, 2014 at 21:28

    Thank you. I am trying to be honest in my writing and hope it might touch a chord in others.

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