Duggar husband Ben Seewald recently released a short video through Jeremiah Cry Ministries that drops hints about what his role is in the upcoming Evangelism Reformation Conference. In the eleven minute video, Ben explains why he thinks evangelism in America needs a reform, what he thinks churches are getting wrong, and why he believes his way — the Duggar family way — works.
The Duggar family is clearly back on the public speaking circuit. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar spoke last week at the Big Sandy Family Conference, an event of Bill Gothard’s Institute in Basic Life Principles, with one of Jim Bob’s speeches scheduled to be about how the past two years of negative publicity affected his reality television ministry. Shortly before that, he gave a talk that the hosting pastor says was about a woman’s duty to sexually submit to her husband.
Meanwhile, Jessa Seewald is scheduled to speak in June about modest clothing, and shortly before that, Ben Seewald will join the Evangelism Reformation Conference, an event described as “…a call to return to the evangelism that has shaken the nations throughout history.”
Jeremiah Cry Ministries recently shared a video Ben Seewald filmed with founder Jeff Rose, in which Rose leads Ben through a series of questions about the problems with modern Evangelicism, and what it is that Ben thinks he’s doing right with regard to sharing the gospel.
“The gospel itself is offensive enough….”
Ben Seewald’s description of the gospel as ‘offensive’ may reflect his own experiences of sharing. He’s certainly received backlash for some of the ways he’s talked about religion — such as posting about why he thinks Catholics get religion wrong, and actively campaigning against a movie portraying God as diverse.
In the video below, Seewald appears to support that he expects to offend when he shares his religious beliefs, and that he feels to do otherwise would be to offer a ‘watered-down’ version of Christianity.
“I mean, our culture is becoming more and more hostile to true Christianity, and it accepts a form of religion that goes under the name of Christian as long as it doesn’t speak prophetically against sin and say things such as Jesus.”
Ben goes on to say that it’s becoming “in our culture, almost unacceptable” to quote that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”
He goes on to say that modern Evangelism believes that Christians must communicate the gospel in the correct way, to make it appealing to the listener. However, he says, this is wrong — that “As long as we’re proclaiming and explaining the gospel as clearly as we can, God can take that and apply it to the sinner’s heart.”
It’s not clear if this is a response to Duggar viewers who have criticized Ben Seewald’s own style of preaching. However, the primary focus of the video, brought up repeatedly, is that if one is sharing the gospel correctly, today, others are going to be offended. Seewald warns that parts of the Bible that offend are often left out of preaching, and that this is a mistake.
Seewald doesn’t go into exactly what Biblical beliefs he believes are being silenced, but this often means views on LGBT rights and women’s rights, something on which the Duggar family’s stances and actions have been highly controversial. In particular, the Duggar family has been criticized for suggesting LGBT individuals are dangerous to children, while keeping quiet about Josh Duggar’s own record, until the police report was released publicly alleging that he had molested several underage girls.
According to Christian Today, Ben Seewald in particular was criticized for using quotes from an anti-gay pastor as a response to the nightclub shooting in Orlando last June.
On the other hand, Seewald has also ruffled some conservative Christian feathers by addressing racism and the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as for denying that Donald Trump is America’s savior.
According to Ben Seewald’s profile for the conference, besides social media, his venues for preaching the gospel in the ways he’s advocating have been YouTube, his family blog, and a church a short distance from the Duggar home.
[Featured Image by Ben Seewald/Instagram]