"More on Evangelism," by Ronald Ginther

PVF Family Devotions Such As This: Forbidden in over 52 Countries!


Remember the furor of a few years ago about "Mohammed cartoons" in a Danish paper that supposedly provoked bloody riots and brutal killings of Westerners across the Muslim world? (Actually, that was just a pretext for doing things that they would have done, but wanted an excuse for doing, a seeming justification to confuse the already confused Western World.

I merely heard about them (I didn't see the cartoons), that Mohammed's turban was drawn (rather deservedly for this caravan-raider and sword-wielding leader of the new religion of Islam) in the shape of a bomb.

For this "crime against Mohammed" Sisters of Mother Teresa's charity organization were gunned down in Yemen, unarmed and defenceless women of mercy that they were, in retaliation for what was done to Mohammed's dignity by the irreverent Danish cartoons. The cartoonist was proscribed, marked for death, by Muslims in a "fatwa" or official declaration to all Muslims by an imam. The cartoonist is still at this date a marked man and has to live in guarded seclusion.

The Sisters of Mother Teresa's charitable order were attending to the orphans in Yemen, for many years in fact. What did they have to do with the cartoons? Nothing. But the Muslim gunmen hated the nuns because they were Westerners, they were Christians, they were helping orphaned Muslim children--that was more than sufficient to use them for vengeance in retaliation for the Danish cartoons that made Mohammed look ridiculous. The cartoons were the pretext that justified the killings, in the eyes of the Muslim murderers.

In India, the same Sisterhood and Mother Teresa herself often had to face brutal persecution and threats to their lives from fundamentalist Hindus who claimed the Sisters were trying to convert Hindu people to Christianity, when actually they were simply giving humanitarian aid to dying poor, sick, often elderly people abandoned by their families that they gathered up from the streets of Calcutta and gave shelter to so that they could die with a modicum of human dignity. The Sisters did not "convert," but ministered to all people regardless of their religion, but they were still charged with "converting" and persecuted.

The point is: conversionary or not, even if you do not share Christ the Savior with anyone, you as an "infidel" or "non-Muslim" are a legitimate target to Muslim fundamentalists even if you are only dispensing critical humanitarian aid to people.

So ff you are Western, Christian, or engaged in helping needy people--those are major strokes against you that fundamentalists of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism consider capital crimes calling for your execution.

Buddhism too? Oh, yes! Ever since Sir Edmund Hillary became first to climb Mt. Everest in Nepal with a Buddhist Sherpa's considerable help too, he and others who followed his example met everywhere with Buddhist people and higly commended their religion to Westerners, and since then Buddhism has been popularly equated with religious toleration of other faiths in the minds of the American and British publics. It is not the case at all, that Buddhism is a religion of toleration, despite what secularists and humanists such as Hillary say in their books and interviews. In the mountain kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan and elsewhere in Southeast Asia where Buddhism is dominant, Christians are vigorously persecuted, imprisoned, and even killed, even to this very day.

Just as activist feminists in the U.S. are silent about Muslim honor killings, female circumcision and mutilation, the barbarous dress codes inflicted on women (putting a gag on themselves), the taking of the most basic rights away from women, etc., the world press is virtually silent on this persecution too.

Western Churchmen, particularly representatives of the National Council of Churches in America and the World Council of Churches regularly visit Buddhist-dominated countries and go on well-publicized tours, but overlook the bitter persecution of native Christians in those countries in the effort to bring conciliation and ecumenism with these outreaches to societies dominated by non-Christian faiths.

They have no issue theologically with Buddhism and Hinduism, and so seek to pray and blend divine services with the Buddhists and Hindus and worship the same "God," interpreted differently, but still the same "God."

The VOICE OF THE MARTYRS is a ministry founded by the Communist persecuted and imprisoned and tortured Romanian Lutheran Christian, Richard Wurmbrand. VOM is the magazine he published that documents and calls the Churches' attention to the persecutions, and has names and contacts to help the persecuted and incarcerated Christians in those countries, including countries that are primarily Hindu or Muslim.

Amnesty International and other human rights organizations affiliated with the United Nations routinely ignore these countries that practice these horrible persecutions, as they are only waged against Christians, and somehow are counted as human rights violations by them.

The relentless campaign of genocide "religious and ethnic cleansing of Sudan" waged against millions of southern Sudanese, mainly black Christians, by the fundamentalist Muslim regime of northern Sudan was ignored for many years.

The killings by Muslim militia groups in Dafur has changed this somewhat. Dafur is located more in the center of Sudan, and it has been brought to the attention of the world by these agencies, and even by President Carter on his famous visit to the beseiged area--but this has happened only after ten or fifteen years of persecutions of Christians in the south, about which these organizations said nothing, when already millions of Sudanese Christians had already been slain, butchered, and driven away by armed gangs of Militant Muslims provisioned by the Muslim central government in Khartoum.

None of what I have described ought to be a surprise to a Christian. Not only do we see an aggressive secularism in America and in Western Society generally move to take away Constitutional rights of Christians, but our Lord Jesus Christ forewarned all his disciples, present and in ages to come, that they would encounter bitter persecution, even death, for being His witnesses to the world.

As we sew in Communist countries and now in post-Soviet Union countries to follow, families would turn against them in some cases.

Children testify against their own parents, etc., getting them in trouble with the authorities.

Christ said that his disciples would be delivered up to courts and face death sentences and all manner of hurt for His name sake. All this has been come true since his disciples obeyed him and went out preaching the Gospel. It has been true since then, and continues to be true today, whether in Muslim societies, Hindu societies, or Secularist-Humanist societies in the West.

But for all who love Jesus and the Bible, the Great Commission from Christ remains in force:

"And Jesus came [after the Resurrection] and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore aznd make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father aznd of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age".--Matthew 28: 18-20.

Again, from Mark's Gospel, Chapter 16, verse 15 onward: And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe in My name: they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; theyw ill take up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

So then, after the Lord has spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

The Gospel of Luke, Luke 24: 44-48, also speaks of the Great Commission:

Then He said to them, "Thus it is written and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day.

"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name [speaking of Himself] to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses [the disciples present] of these things."

The Book of Acts, Acts 1: 6-8:

Therefore, when they [the disciples] had come together, they asked Him, saying, "Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?"

And He said to them, "It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has put in His authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem,a nd in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

After reading these scriptures, and have considered how unworkable and naive the policy is regarding humanitarian aid workers dispensing help without the Gospel, are you still of the opinion that it is wrong or unwise to obey the Great Commission the Lord gave all his disiciples?

Disciples of Christ should share the Gospel regardless of persecution, or the threat of it, it is obvious--that is, if we are to obey Christ, not man. Going unarmed, keeping one's faith in Christ private, etc., does not protect a person from the fundamentalists in every major religion.

Even ultra-orthodox Judaism has a bad record, and gangs of ultra-orthodox persecute evangelical missionaries and even Messianic Jews in Israel.

One boy in Jerusalem, son of a Messianic Jewish believer, was horribly injured by a pipe bomb wrapped up like a Jewish festival gift.

Evangelical Christian bookstores and even churches are firebombed. Churches are unable to function freely in many parts of Jerusalem without interference or harrassment by religious Jews. So even Judaism in the ultra-orthodox communities is anti-Christian, anti-conversionary, so to speak.

Jewish rabbis claim that Judaism is not conversionary (and some evangelical churches hold to this too, claiming that there is a Dual Covenant, which means that Jews can come to God through their Covenant in the Old Testament and be saved that way, which is a false theology that Christ would never subscribe to, nor Paul either), but Judaism was conversionary in the first century when the New Testament was written, as there are mentioned "proselytes" of the Jews, foreigners or Gentiles who became Jewish believers through accepting the Torah teachings of Jewish but not Christian missionaries.

What does our Stadem heritage say about conversion and sharing the Gospel without restraint? It says a great deal!


This is easily proven beyond doubt. Alfred and Bergit Stadem did not have any reservations or restraints in this regard. Lutheran Fellowship League meetings (in which Alfred and Bergit were prime promoters and Alfred was an officer), evangelistic tent meetings held on the farm that invited the whole community, participating in numerous Church conventions, evangelistic meetings of Billy Sunday, and Lutheran camps, all speak of the Stadems' obedience to the Great Commission.

They took a giant step further and shared the Gospel freely with Catholic Mexicans over the border in Mexico, on numerous mission trips. Back in his home territory the Upper Midwest or the Dakotas, Alfred spoke to uncountable groups at churches and Christian camps about the forty million unsaved Mexicans going into a Christless eternity, calling for help to bring the Gospel to the Mexican people.

They raised monies and all sorts of humanitarian aid for the Mexican churches and missions of the Latin American Lutheran Mission.


Their immediate family also followed their shining example.

Cora Stadem Taylor and her husband Carl became missionaries to first Alaska's Indians and then to the Indians and people of of Brazil when his health demanded a change to a much warmer climate.

Observing their parents and the missionary life at close hand, their children wanted to missionaries too (their parents prayed they would WANT TO, not BE MADE TO), and they shared the Gospel to Indians in Brazil, the people of Columbia, and also Latinos in America, and have even been reaching out to Muslims of Iran and Jewish people too.

Myrtle Stadem Svanoe and her husband William (Bill) handed out Gospel tracts wherever they went, and vigorously supported a missionary-sending, church planting church that started in their own home in Minneapolis. Their grandson Gene Iserman created recently his own ministry, to raise funds for clean water supplies for children in Africa, and he raised them embarking on an epic kayaking trip from start to finish of the Mississippi River! God was with him, evidenced by his surviving the extremely challenging physical ordeal as well as some close calls with huge freighters and not to mention the hungry alligators. Rennard Svanoe too with his wife Grace founded Canyon Scholars, a means by which poor Mexican and Indian young people, mainly sons and daughters of small farmers in and around Anahuau and the Copper Canyon, could continue in school and finish with a diploma, by virtue of having their school expenses paid for them (something their families could not afford). With Grace Svanoe gone to Glory, Rennard Svanoe remarried, with a lady who he found subscribes to the value of this greatly needed education-funding ministry; Rennard sees it as his own personal response to Grandpa Alfred Stadem's physical and financial investment on behalf of the poor of Mexico, and for that reason he and Grace moved to Mexico to live among the very people they were seeking to help.

His new wife is a National and a Mexican evangelical believer. Grace could converse fluently in Spanish, and translate from Spanish to English as an expert, but Rennard's wife is a native herself, knows her own people, and that will greatly enhance Rennard's effectiveness among the Mexican people no doubt.

Bernice Stadem Schaefer and her husband Russell shared the Gospel with all sorts of people, including Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormoms and led them to salvation in the Lord Jesus. Russell Schaefer operated a printing press for the scripture research booklets he published, as he was a scholar and Christian publisher, and for years he was also a full-time teacher at the Ewalt Bible School, Atascadero, California. In their own home they hosted with wonderful Christian hospitality countless Christians passing through the area that had heard about them. You would think they were running a hotel at times! It was a natural extension, however, of their Christian faith, to hold their doors open to all God's people as well as those seeking God who needed Christian love and hospitality to show them the true way.

Who among us can fault this home-y, informal approach to winning souls to Christ? It may win more souls in the end than all the public Gospel preaching (which you cannot do anyway in most countries today, since it is against the laws--since Christianity spread like wildfire in the old Roman Empire in the First Century as long as it remained a home church faith and did not become formalized in structure.

The same truth is borne out in China, where the home church movement is engulfing the whole nation regardless of all the persecution and restraints of the central goverment, which is Communist.

Estelle and Joseph Rangen, with his vibrant, far-ranging pastoral (they don't use the word, "missionary" for themselves but still functioned that way) ministry in the Lutheran Brethren churches spread across America and even into Canada, and Estelle's indispensable role as pastor's wife and all-round helper in the music and teaching activities of the church, made a great impression on this country in the planting of new Bible-based churches as well as the encouraging and strengthening of already established churches. Lutheran Brethren schools are included in their ministry, for they served them and the various programs that the schools were involved in. Their son Paul Rangen was a Christian radio station operator, and this ministry took him to KXEI in Montana with its wide coverage as a listener-supported Christian station. He literally died with his boots on, as he was working at KXEI with great energy and devotion to its Gospel music ministry when he collapsed and had to be hospitalized for a terminal lung disease. Their surviving daughters and families continue to be active in the churches they attend.

From the 1930s to the early 1940s, Pearl Stadem Ginther and her husband Bob Ginther worked many hours for the Union Gospel Mission in Sioux Falls, SD, bringing in speakers for the presentation of the Gospel to the homeless and needy men who came for help, food, and lodging.

Bob Ginther read and memorized the Word as he drove to and from work at Morrells Meat Packing Company in Sioux Falls and whenever he was free from work, preached on street corners for the Mission, and also later after moving there, was a volunteer preacher at his home congregation in Washington State.

Pearl Stadem Ginther his widow from 1947 on, continued this effort, vigorously supporting with attendance and money and personal participation Billy Graham's ministry and scores of other evangelists' ministries as well, and has continued to share the soul-saving Gospel with uncountable people by word of mouth, letters, cards and acts of kindness.

Her many descendants can tell of her endeavors in this respect, how they have continued up right into her 100th year of life!

One of these vibrant Gospel ministries is the Seamen's Center of the Port of Tacoma. This ministry aids the visiting seamen at their ships, or they came come to the Center for help and recreation and to buy some needed personal items, or be taken to shops, hospitals, or clinics by the ministry van. The Bible is also available to them in their language, often Chinese, Japanese, Korean. Christmas gift boxes are also given to to them each year beforehand, by the thousand. Pearl Ginther has every year collected items for this ministry at her church and then boxed and wrapped them for giving out, along with a Gospel tract and her own personal greeting to the sailor. The ministry's newsletter can give some idea what is involved:

When she passed to Glory and her great reward from Jesus her Savior and Lord, Pearl Ginther my beloved mother had volunteered her time and love and help to the ministry of the Seamen's Center for over 20 or 30 years, besides performing countless acts of mercy and food distribution in her area to the shut-in, poor and needy, and to nursing homes and group homes.

As for the Tacoma Seamen's Center, the Gospel is not only shared by the center's chaplains and also the volunteers, but there are given out Bible correspondence courses along with the Bible that many seamen especially like to take along and work on during the long voyages, which take them often months away from their families and homes.

She was attending the meeting of its Auxiliary right up to her Homegoing, April 30, 2011. Her devotion to its cause was noted in the MOORING LINES:

Pearl Ginther in the MOORING LINES


To characterize evangelism as an attempt to "judge and convert," while just ministering to physical needs, is to cut the Gospel in half, and you have no real Gospel. John Wesley the famed evangelical revivalist of Britain in the 18th-19th century along with his brother Charles, the great song-writer and co-evangelist with his brother, ministered the Gospel holistically, did he not? Read John Wesley's Journals, and you will find out that he was a holistic Gospel preacher.

Our grandparents Bergit and Alfred Stadem, along with most of our parents, did so too. They did not divide the Gospel into Social Gospel and Conversionary Gospel, it was one Gospel of Jesus Christ. They also knew that to witness of Christ holistically, giving out the saving salvation message of Jesus on the Cross, paying the full payment for our sin, as well as ministering to urgent physical needs, would bring persecution and opposition from even religious bodies. But they thought it worth it, to obey Christ first, even above considerations for their own safety.


A lie is a lie, the truth is the truth. They cannot be mixed. Believe what God says in John 3:16, and you believe the unpalatable but eternal truth of the Gospel. Don't believe the lie that says God accepts everybody as they are--with or without Christ--since "they are good or sincere about their belief."

You are not being "judgmental" if you share the Gospel with the unsaved person who already "has a religion" but doesn't know Christ is the only Way God provided for them to be saved. They cannot be saved from their sins and condemnation without Christ and believing on Him alone. It is that set and simple: One Way in Christ, or no way!

Christ didn't think it was being judgmental and condemnatory to share the saving Gospel about Himself, did he? Of course not! He said there was absolutely no hope for any person on earth other than in Himself.

He said unequivocably and exclusionarily, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no man comes to the Father but by Me."

Furthermore, just as he was about to ascend into heaven after His Resurrection and appearing to over 500 people, he gave his disciples the Great Commission, to go and tell the Good News about salvation in Him to all the world.

Is that "inclusive" or "exclusive"? It is neither, it is SALVATION IN CHRIST ALONE, THE ONLY SALVATION THAT IS REAL, WHICH CHRIST DIED FOR.

Will we obey him or will we cave in to political correctness and become "non-conversionary" and dispense solely humanitarian aid (perhaps with the hope we will not be attacked for being Christians).

But as we have tried to show, there is no real safety in this world for Christians, even those who chose to render humanitarian aid only, without any attempt to share a salvation message. Events have proved that Jesus is right: his disciples, his faithful witnesses, will encounter bitter persecution, in this world, even from families and religious authorities--they will deliver you up to the authorities of the synagogues, he told his disicples. They should even expect in some cases to be put to death for preaching the Gospel.

Heaven is full already of martyrs, precious saints who preached the Gospel and were slain because of it. The 20th century added more martyrs, in fact, to heaven's rolls then all the 19 centuries that preceeded. The 21st century is heating up to rival the record of the 20th, it appears. So we should not be surprised or dismayed but expect this to happen to us as it happened to them.

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