Do Our “Testimonies” Give Glory to Jesus Christ?

Here is something to ponder: “Testimonies” as witnessing. Is this even Biblical? Perhaps testimonies are meant to encourage the saints, rather than witness to the lost. Someone help me out here? Right off, I can only think of this example from the Bible: the woman at the well who went and told everyone in her town what happened when she met the Lord. After a quick review of the words “testify” and “testimony” in the New Testament, it looks like the context is almost always exalting Christ and telling the content of the Gospel! The Samaritan woman was being an evangelist; a true witness of the Lord, telling the Gospel to everyone she knew.

Last week my daughter and I attended a midweek worship service at a huge mega church. A woman told her testimony. She described what sounded like her “false conversion” : church kid, “accepted Christ” at 8, then lived backslidden for the next 20 years. She only praised and gave glory to these things: 1. a relative, 2. the doctors, 3. the psychologists and, 4. the psych drugs they put her on. Now this subject she was speaking on is another topic altogether. But regardless, it was only about her. Jesus was not even mentioned; only a phrase in Psalms that she repeated to herself mantra style that helped her cope. She preached the gospel of “hope in psychologists and drugs”- only.

This is not the first time I have heard this exact testimony from a woman in a mega church. This is the fourth time. Once I also heard a man give his testimony in which he went on about how, being down and out on skid row, some men invited him to church and now he has friends, community and a place to belong (and support to get sober, etc).

We can only give “testimony” if we are actually born again. And if we are, let us not only tell what the Lord has done in our lives to help us, but let us exalt Jesus Christ, (the true encouragement for believers) and represent Him to the lost by testifying of faith in Him and the content of the gospel (the only true witnessing and hope for the lost).

He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him. John 1:7

And this is the testimony (witness!), that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 1 John 5:11.

We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14

who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ.. Rev.1:2


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7 thoughts on “Do Our “Testimonies” Give Glory to Jesus Christ?

  1. Thanks Richard.

    By your definition, I have heard many people get up and talk about themselves, but I have not heard testimonies in churches all these years. (Except for maybe a one or two.)

  2. Loretta,
    Yeah, I know what you mean, “talk about themselves.” It is all too easy to do. The natural person wants the glory for the testimony. But we can rest assured that that is as far as it goes.
    Thanks Loretta!

  3. I would have to agree with you Loretta. I too have heard many testimonies where sin is glorified more than the redemption. The emphasis is placed upon how much “we” endured to get where we are.

  4. hey Brian! I’m still going to be checking out your site soon! (I just discovered it.)
    But yes, almost every single testimony I’ve heard (these happened to be in seeker type mega churches) were people giving praise to the CHURCH and all the new friends they now have, or (I’m not exaggerating) to the Psych doctors and the prescription psychotropic drugs (antidepressants, antipsychotics, depressants/stimulants, mood stabilizers etc). The commonality of these types of testimonies is alarming to me.

    But yes I’ve also heard that there are testimonies where the focus is the sin they were in, rather than the saving, redeeming, resurrection power of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  5. Does this church preach the true Gospel? I doubt it! Do the majority of the people who attend (or attended) know the Gospel? One wonders! Because this church is cut from the willowcreek-Rick Warren-modern-mega-seeker-easy-psychology-self-help-life improvement cloth as the other neo-E churches which are unfortunately man centered not Christ and CROSS centered!

  6. This church is a very popular, ‘pastor had a radio show on the local Salem communications network’, mega, Neo-E, hip, CGM, Willowcreek Association member, church which crashed and burned, so to speak if you know what i mean. Judgment begins with the “house of God”, and has commenced. We are there.

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