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