Why Kobe’s Death Reminds Us There’s Not Enough Time for ‘Hospitality Evangelism’

The media is a-buzz covering the death of Kobe Bryant and people from all over the world are in mourning, as he is held up as a role-model and an example of a “good“ man that lived an exemplary life, and by the world’s standards maybe he did. But in his passing hour, he will not be judged by the world’s standards.

We should mourn the sudden and unforeseen death of Kobe Bryant, or anyone else we know who walks in darkness, whether by false religion, false conversion or unbelief, but always within one, singular scope: The urgency of the gospel message.

The Lord’s church has an urgent message, which is not one of opportunity or convenience, not one in which we proceed with caution, but it is urgent and therefore it must be proclaimed boldly.

Be warned of the “sensitivity“ language that has overtaken the professing church, that which coddles a man’s feelings, thereby withholding the glorious message of salvation until “the time is right.”

They tell us “relationship building“ is absolutely necessary before any “religious talk“ is permissible. They demand that we foster long term and intimate “friendships“  that will allow for “opportunities“ to present the gospel, reminding us regularly that this can take time and scoffing at the idea of boldly proclaiming the gospel. They issue a stern rebuke for anyone who dares to warn the unbeliever of the wrath of God unto all unrighteousness, as this is insensitive, unloving and unnecessary.

This unbiblical, emotionally charged movement is afoot in the church and gaining momentum daily, and they call it Christian Hospitality, or Missional Hospitality, and by way of redefining terms and completely dismantling selected passages of scripture, they convince the biblically ignorant that this is true evangelism. They solidify their claims by holding up widely publicized lesbian feminist Rosaria Butterfield’s purported conversion as “proof.”

Pastor Ken Smith, who supposedly led Rosaria Butterfield to Christ while nurturing an intimate friendship for 2 years, was interviewed by The Christian Worldview on September 17, 2016. It is a very revealing interview as summarized below:

When asked by the host why he did not share the gospel of Christ with Rosaria immediately he answered:

“Why should I? We didn’t even know her, so we just welcomed her into our home and fell in love with her after the first 10 minutes.”

Repeatedly throughout the interview Smith asks “what’s the hurry?”… then he makes a most curious and revealing statement: 

“In the course of all this you gotta remember I’m angling on how to get an appointment to present the gospel to her students and she’s holding me back….she said, ‘to tell the truth I’m not even sure what I believe’, so you see lights were going on because I had not had any sense of trying to win her to Jesus…I just had her as a way to get to the students.”  

No plans to proclaim the all-powerful gospel to her?  Why?

Smith insists that Christians must build intimate friendships before proclaiming the life-saving message, even going so far as to denounce the church’s eagerness to proclaim the gospel, complaining that we’re just too eager to present the gospel, as a result, we lose sight of the person’s “feelings”. He admonishes the Lord’s church to become listeners instead.

Dr. Tim Keller has been peddling this radical message of yoking with the world for more than two decades, referring to this blatantly unbiblical practice as “missional hospitality.” Pastor Ken Smith claimed to have practiced this brand of hospitality throughout most of his ministry, and in her latest book, The Gospel Comes With a House Key, Dr. Rosaria Champagne Butterfield demands that Christians embrace this “radical” form of hospitality. But the entire movement is a counterfeit. The church has an urgent message and a duty to proclaim it urgently, as Christ and his apostles so perfectly set this example for us in scripture, all to the Glory of God.

As I reflect upon a high profile death, or the death of a little known neighbor, the same is true…the message is urgent. Do not be deceived.

[Editor’s Note: Contributed by Toni Brown]