By way of introduction, some people don’t think it is right for me to defend myself against accusations, and I understand their concern. There is a time to defend oneself and a time not to. There are examples of both in Scripture (e.g., Paul defending himself to the Corinthians and Jesus not defending Himself before Herod) and I personally have taken both tacks on various occasions.
People have been spreading untrue rumors about me since my early missionary years when I reproved the compromise within the Nepal Christian Fellowship (such as a pastor who had three wives, a preacher who sold pornography in his bookstore, a man who was ordained an elder in spite of an immoral, violent testimony, and a “prophet” who claimed that the angels are filled with the Spirit by dancing and humming). In those days, the head of the Bible Society said that I had burned a pile of Bibles. Some Bibles were burned by missionaries from Switzerland, but I had nothing to do with it. I was visiting another country at the time; I had no foreknowledge of the deed; and I was not in favor of it (even though the Bibles were the Nepali equivalent of the corrupt Today’s English Version). The Bible Society leader sent a letter out to all of the churches in Nepal saying that I had burned the Bible, and to this day there are people who believe that I did this. The man later recanted, though he never publicly corrected the matter.
Through the years, it has been rumored that I am a Ruckmanite, that I am a Baptist brider, that my missionary reports aren’t accurate, that I am an “angry blogger,” that I think I’m right and everyone else is wrong, that I have never corrected an error, that I think I’m the pope of Independent Baptists. I’ve been likened to a pig who loves to wallow in controversy, and it’s been said that I’m still demonized from my hippy past. Some people seem to think that I am an ogre who hates his own grandkids!
In regard to the issue of neglecting evangelism for “blogging,” I am defending myself because I want people to listen to my warnings. My objective is not merely to defend myself, it is to help people think through these matters in a biblical way.
The Lord knows that I am not trying to boast, for I have nothing to boast of. Measured by God’s perfect will, I am an unworthy servant. Many of the saints put me to shame.
Now to the subject of this report --
A regular accusation against me, especially since I started warning about Jack Hylesism in the 1990s and some goings on at West Coast more recently, is that I neglect evangelism.
It’s the “shoot the messenger” tactic, and it is effective because it turns people’s attention away from the real issues and muddies the waters.
I have heard this accusation probably a hundred times, and if I have heard it that many times personally it is certain that it is a wide spread thing. Consider two recent examples:
“Why are you not soul winning and why are you spending your time in front of the computer instead of talking to real people about Christ?”
“My Bible says to redeem the time and I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that you sir, are not doing that. I wonder how many souls in your area died and went to hell while you were writing this ‘blog’? That’s a thought provoking question and one that I hope you will consider.”
My reply, first, is that a preacher has other obligations before the Lord than evangelism. Evangelism is only part of the Lord’s Great Commission. Another part is to train disciples by “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Mat. 28:19). That’s a big job. If evangelism were our only responsibility, we would not have 27 books in the New Testament filled with so many other things.
Unless an individual does absolutely nothing but evangelism 24/7, he can’t legitimately criticize me for doing other things. If an individual does any teaching, any warning, any studying, any discipling -- anything other than evangelism -- it would be hypocritical for him to criticize me in that regard.
Having said that, I will now give my credentials in regard to evangelism.
I have spent four decades preaching the gospel in jails, nursing homes, hospitals, on the streets, in city parks, bus parks, house to house, on university campuses, military bases, through gospel meetings and house fellowships, and from the pulpits of churches.
Because of the life-changing power of the new birth, I sought to win souls to the Lord from the time I was saved at age 23 (in 1973) when I began witnessing to my old hippy buddies each evening after work. I went out regularly on visitation in the first church I joined. I visited a carpenter’s retirement home where one of my grandfathers had died and talked to the old timers about the Lord. I wrote my testimony and distributed it as a tract to people in the city park, in barber shops, and wherever I found them (and ever since then I have written and distributed many of my own gospel tracts).
A year later I went off to Bible college and there I worked in the bus ministry for six weeks and then ministered in one of Highland Park Baptist Church’s chapels about an hour’s drive from Chattanooga. Eventually I pastored that chapel and I spent a couple of days a week preaching the gospel in that part of Tennessee for three and a half years.
I headed up a county jail ministry for four years.
Recently I led a gospel ministry to a major university campus in South Asia for two years. Thousands of students and teachers on that campus heard the gospel for the first time through that ministry, at the very least receiving a gospel tract for the first time in their lives.
Since 1979, we have spent 22 years in church planting in South Asia. We had the privilege of planting the first Baptist church in Nepal in the 1980s, together with the godly co-laborers the Lord gave us, and by the Lord’s grace hundreds of people have come to Christ through our ministry from darkest Hinduism and Buddhism by God's amazing grace.
Now in our 60s, we continue to start new churches here.
We have sought to preach the gospel to every creature as Christ commanded by using every legitimate means possible, including gospel radio broadcasts which thousands of people have listened to. Literally hundreds of thousands of Nepalis have heard about Jesus Christ through our work.
These days I spend at least half a day a week at the national bus park on the other side of the city an hour’s drive from our house and distribute gospel magazines to the passengers who are headed to all parts of the country. This is a full-color, magazine-format gospel publication my wife and I completed recently. We printed 50,000 copies of the first run. It has a variety of testimonies and short articles and lots of pictures, and I have never seen a Nepali throw it away. It’s the kind of thing that a lot of people here find interesting so that several people tend to read each copy, and I believe we will see a lot of fruit from it.
I lead and disciple a group of national men in weekly evangelism and hold them accountable for that work.
It is true that I do a lot of studying and writing. I have published materials such as the Way of Life Bible Encyclopedia, the 20-volume Advanced Bible Studies Series, the One Year Discipleship Course, and a new apologetics course. I make no apology for the time I spend researching and writing, and thousands of people have written to thank me for these materials, as well as for the “warning” materials such as O Timothy magazine and the Friday Church News Notes.
Preacher friends, I beg you, if you don’t like my warnings, just say so candidly and see if you can refute them from Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:21), but don’t engage in personal attacks and innuendoes, as God will judge such things. Christ’s men must be men of truth and integrity.
If you have a question about me or my ministry, please ask me personally instead of listening to someone who doesn’t know me and perhaps hasn’t even taken the time to read my writings. I am only an e-mail away for someone who approaches me with some reasonable level of Christian grace.
Thank you so much and may the Lord bless you richly!
I covet your prayers.
In Christ, D. Cloud
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