Proselytizing and Stealing Sheep: Historical Lutheranism's Perspective on Evangelizing the Heterodox
Is it acceptable to evangelize those who are already Christians? Such a question has likely come into the mind of many pastors who have looked to do evangelism but noticed that many of those around them are not unchurched. What should be done to get more people into the pews on Sunday? Can a pastor legitimately reach out to those who already claim a Christian faith but are of a different denomination? In the interest of answering these questions and helping pastors in their evangelism, this thesis examines the matter of proselytizing and stealing sheep from a heterodox congregation. After offering a definition of sheep stealing and proselytizing, it examines the views of historical Lutheranism and what the Scriptures say on this topic. It then presents some principles to consider for doing ministry in an area which is already predominately Christian.