Pressing the ‘Pause Button’ on Paul Washer
Out of all the well-known postmodern reformed preachers, Paul Washer is the one who I’ve shared the most videos of. The last time I counted I had over 120 Paul Washer videos on my web site. Though I have learned much from Washer, and I appreciate the many things he said in this interview, but today I will be pressing the ‘pause button.’
It should be noted. Discernment is not discernment when one can only “discern” the obvious error among blatant false teachers. Discernment is being able to see the compromise or err among those that you highly regard within your theological camp (or closer to it), coupled with the courage to apply it.
Over the years I’ve seen Washer become increasingly critical of street preaching, and more of an advocate of relational evangelism, or friendship evangelism. We all have different methods, and there’s a time and place for some of them, but Washer’s below comment is where I draw the line. And frankly, this looks too much like Rosaria Butterfield’s heterodox hospitality horrors evangelism.
During this lengthy question and answer session, they ask Washer how to respond to the “LGBTQ” agenda. At timestamp 26:16 Washer shares a story about a homosexual acquaintance (Ron). And how he learned that Ron had become deathly ill (of AIDS). Rightfully so Washer visited Ron at his deathbed. But at timestamp 31:20 Washer reveals and teaches his man-centered “relationship” driven evangelism. And I quote ~
“What you have to understand, the less that you are in a Christian country, and we’re not in a Christian country, the more you have to build a relationship, and the more you have to show people with your life who you really are. And there are people on this planet that know that I disagree with them. But that I would take a bullet for them, and defend them. Now I’m not going to defend their sin, but I will defend them as a person, and the image of God that remains within them.”
Though I agree with some of the above quote, and with most of the Q&A, but to teach younger Christians that they “have to understand,” and “have to build a relationship” to be effective, is unbiblical hogwash. This is that mystical belief that if we make friends with worldlings, that they’ll somehow ‘see Jesus inside of me,’ and when they’re on their deathbed, then we should share the Gospel with them (not saying that Washer waited that long).
Next weekend is the annual decadent “Gay Pride Festival” in West Hollywood. Shall I join this parade and “build a relationship” with them, and “show” them “who you (or I) really are?” Or shall I do what the Scriptures command Christians to do. To preach (or share) His glorious Gospel with them. I think I’ll do the latter. Christians are to be ‘not of this world,’ nor to “build a relationship” with the world.
As the world changes around us, we’re not to adapt to the world, nor become more relevant. Those that are unsaved in this world that I am associated with, are not my friends; they are my mission field. And no this is not being “holier than thou,” the Bible says Christians are to “be holy for He is holy.” No this is not being “self-righteous,” but I am clothed in Christ’s imputed righteousness. No this is not being “unloving,” because love warns. No this is not being “legalistic,” it’s being Biblically obedient. And no, I do not think that I am “better than them,” but I am called to a betterment of being set apart, and to walk circumspectly.
Lastly, the above NOTW graphic is more than a bumper sticker, t-shirt, or tattoo; it’s a lifestyle.
Update 02/2021: See my podcast here on his wrong view of Romans 13.
A Facebook friend (Courtney) commented this under this same post. This is very telling.
“I’m starting to wonder about him. He had someone from his ministry personally contact Keith Thompson (from youtube) to ask him to take down the video clips he had of Paul Washer preaching. He said he’s getting frustrated that his preaching snippets are online and doesn’t want it to affect his missions. Then the other day Heart Cry’s instagram page posted that they were rejoicing over someone getting converted through watching one of Paul Washer’s sermon snippets online. So I’m confused with that. I would think Paul would be happy his sermons are available for all people to watch. These are videos with no commentary by the way, just Paul preaching. It sort of turned me off to learn this.”
A comment from Edward,
“Yeah I watched about half of it last night and caught that.. prettty sad , crazy how becoming famous will change you … I like the quote, preach the Gospel be forgotten and die”
“This is a healthy view of street preaching by Paul Washer. And he defines relationship here. What he should have said is connection instead.”
Shanny thank you for sharing this video. I did watch it, and this one proves my point as well. Though Paul is partially supportive of OAP here, but then he defines a preacher as one who does NOT preach. He states “There are wonderful and very effective street preachers out there. Some of them I know, they don’t preach. They’ll go onto a college campus, eight hours a day, and they’ll walk around praying….” He then goes onto say that that “preacher” will ask for their permission to share the Gospel with them. Where in the Scriptures are we told to ask the world for their permission? Then in this video he again states the importance to “build a relationship with the people, to whom you’re preaching…” Yes he comes across as somewhat supportive of OAP in this video, but then he limits it to what he thinks they should be doing. And why is he concerned that others might think the OAP is “crazy?” Let them think that, they thought that of some of the men in the Scriptures were crazy. Perhaps Paul needs to define what a “preacher” is? Remember I’m not calling Washer a false teacher (far from that), but I am pressing the pause button.
In all fairness, this is some good news from HeartCry Missionary Society in China –
Unlike America’s spiritually neutered niceness (or unbiblical gentleness), this is a testimony of a true church. Whereas there’s no flinching in the face of adversity and no room for a castrated Christendom.
No, it’s not “gay pride month.” It is the abominable, sexually immoral, homosexuals, sodomites, and reprobates boasting in their sin while blaspheming Almighty God. And God’s Word says that He “hates” pride (Prov. 14:4), He “hates those who practice evil” (Ps. 5), He’s “angry with the wicked every day” (Ps 7:11), that “pride comes before the fall” (Prov 16:18), and the “wrath of God abides upon them” (Jn. 3:36). Repent towards God and thrust yourselves upon Christ for salvation! https://www.theexpositor.tv/the-good-news/