Become All Things to All Men?

1 Corinthians 9:21-23 AMP
21 To those without (outside) law I became as one without law, not that I am without the law of God and lawless toward Him, but that I am [especially keeping] within and committed to the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law.
22 To the weak (wanting in discernment) I have become weak (wanting in discernment) that I might win the weak and overscrupulous. I have [in short] become all things to all men, that I might by all means (at all costs and in any and every way) save some [by winning them to faith in Jesus Christ].
23 And I do this for the sake of the good news (the Gospel), in order that I may become a participator in it and share in its [blessings along with you].

What did Paul mean when he said that he became all things to all men?

Often V22 is used by the “seeker friendly” evangelists to justify changing the message and/or doctrine of the gospel to accommodate its recipients{being careful not to offend}. Is this really what Paul was saying?

V21 give us a clue that Paul was not willing to change his doctrine or become lawless. He was also not willing to change His preaching on Christ crucified even if some were offended by this.

1 Corinthians 1:22-23 AMP
22 For while Jews [demandingly] ask for signs and miracles and Greeks pursue philosophy and wisdom,
23 We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense.

Paul’s freedom in evangelism was not to be used to satisfy flesh{avoid conflict}.

Galatians 5:13 AMP
13 For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another.

1 Corinthians 9:27 AMP
27 But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].

Paul simply meant that he would use peole’s own beliefs and ways to show them the truth.  Not change the truth to make it more welcoming.

Related:
Are seeker-sensitive churches biblical?

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2 Responses to “Become All Things to All Men?”

  1. khollandsblog Says:

    From Spirit of Error

    As I look back, it is the “seeker-friendly” atmosphere that has done 2 terrible things in the North American Church:
    1. Failed to give the whole gospel and leave the “seeker” deceived about their true need for salvation – and vulnerable because they may think they are saved and have never dealt with their sin.
    2. Starve the believing core of a local church and leave them untrained and un-grounded and vulnerable to any one coming along with “special” information – such as the NAR or Jesus Culture / Bethel Church in Redding, CA

  2. khollandsblog Says:

    From ODB:

    Either we conform our desires to the truth or we conform the truth to our desires. —Os Guinness

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