Archive for the Evangelism Category

Evangelists

Posted in Evangelism on February 19, 2013 by RWZero

When I was a kid, people ran away from evangelists. They made excuses and tried to avoid talking about Jesus.

Since I lost my beliefs, I’ve experienced nothing but Christians making excuses and trying to avoid talking about Jesus.

It is the most appalling farce.

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You’re Absolutely Right

Posted in Evangelism on February 13, 2012 by RWZero

“You know, you’re absolutely right,” says the Christian, in response to my message. “We should be acting that way, the way you say; but we’re not. I realize that the church is broken and sinful; that’s why I pray each day that God will help me be full of the precious passionate peace that passes all perception…”

Dear Christians, it isn’t good enough.

It isn’t good enough, when someone points out hypocrisy, to say “you’re absolutely right, something is wrong, and I pray that the Lord will help us fix it.”

At some point, you need to admit that it isn’t fixed. It’s never been fixed. It’s never going to be fixed. There is no evidence that it even can be “fixed.” You want to tell me that Christianity makes this particular kind of difference in people. When I look at the church, and I mainly see weird personality quirks, a sheltered subculture, and similar hierarchical quibbling as exists in society, you want me to ignore it.

Presumably, you want me to ignore this because the true faith points to something better than this. But this is just lip-service. I’m looking for whether something is actually different; whether what you’re saying and preaching actually works. It means nothing to me that “it’s supposed to work,” or that “one day it will work,” or that “we wish it worked.” It means nothing that you can dream up a scenario in which everyone is acting in such and such a way. The fact is that it doesn’t quite work, in quite that way that you think it does.

That’s what matters.

To me, at any rate.

“Well, We Don’t Know…”

Posted in Evangelism on September 10, 2011 by RWZero

How will God judge the billions of people who lived before Christianity? How will he judge the unevangelized, or Homo Erectus, or even… chimpanzees? Of course it helps if you just deny the existence of prehistoric people (creationism)… but the unevangelized certainly do exist. What do you really think is going to happen to them?

People who say “we don’t know” how God will judge sidestep the fact that someone either goes to heaven or hell, in Christianity. Saying “we don’t know” just means we don’t know whether a person goes to heaven or hell. It doesn’t actually mean “I don’t know.”

My argument is that there are only two cases (heaven, and hell) and in the case of many millions of people, either of these is ludicrous. Because you have a big gradient of clueless people who have no idea that Jesus is going to judge them eternally, and neither do they know what they are supposed to do aside from how their culture teaches them to behave (presumably they are judged by their actions and attitudes, unless you argue that all unevangelized people go to hell–I would probably just slap someone if they told me they believed this. I would actually slap them in the face. I mean, what’s a slap compared to eternity?)

If people are judged and sent to infinitely differing eternities, you have to split the people who lived in prehistoric times, and the people who live in ignorance, along a line that seems too fine to actually exist. Especially when a lot of them aren’t necessarily under the impression they’re going to be judged for an eternal destiny. Saying “we don’t know” doesn’t solve the problem because I submit to you that ANY of the combinations (that is, 2 to the power of N people under consideration) are unacceptable to any rational person.

“Love the Sinner; hate the Sin”

Posted in Evangelism, Humour etc., The Narrow Path on September 2, 2011 by RWZero

~=

“Remember boys and girls. Love the Christians;  hate the Christianity.”

Mom, Dad and the Youth Pastor

Posted in Evangelism on August 13, 2011 by RWZero

Some people can accept the meaning of the data, and others cannot.

I don’t think this was one of those things that only troubled me: I think that deep down, this was something that troubled most of us. I think that’s why we never talked about it.

“This data illustrates the importance of influencing children to consider making a decision to follow Christ.”

Unbelievable.

When I attempted to confront the author of this page and ask him what he thought it meant, or at least, how he would respond to the implications I saw in this, he became somewhat defensive, ultimately never answered me, and ended the e-mail exchange.

“We all Deserve Hell”

Posted in Evangelism on March 26, 2011 by RWZero

That’s what they would always say when the question came up as to how a loving God could send people to Hell. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and as such, we all deserve Hell. It’s really lucky that God chose to save us, though, because he didn’t have to.

So Jack and Jill go on their merry way, thanking God for sparing them the eternal conscious torment that they deserved. Then they fall in love, and decide to have a child, because that’s what people do. They name her Jane. When Jane is old enough, they explain to her that she deserves to suffer eternal torment for falling short of God’s standards. But if she accepts the Lord, she can be spared this terrible fate. Jane decides to accept the Lord, and cannot believe how nice it was of God to keep her out of hell.

Jane meets a nice Christian boy named Jason. After a few years of nice Christian marriage, they decide that it would be nice to have a child around the house. They name him Joe. When Joe is old enough, they explain to him that (unfortunately) he is a sinful creature who deserves to burn in hell for all eternity, but if he accepts God’s gracious forgiveness for all his sin, he can avoid this terrible fate. But he doesn’t. He stops going to church, and decides to become a career man who doesn’t really believe in God.  Jane and Jason are mortified. They pray and pray that Joe will change his mind, so that he will not be tormented forever.

To me, it seems pretty simple. To wake up in the morning, butter your toast, hold down a steady job, cheer for your favourite sports team, talk with co-workers around the water cooler, and maintain that kind of a theology, your thinking has to be seriously compartmentalized.

But to hold that kind of theology and intentionally have biological children of your own, you have to be utterly sick.

Generous Orthodoxy

Posted in Evangelism on August 22, 2010 by RWZero

Measuring the Width of the Narrow Door

I have expressed my discomfort at the very idea of hell; however, it is not because of discomfort that we must be generous with our orthodoxy. An aversion to eternal punishment may be emotional, but diffidence in proclaiming it–that is demanded by simple logic.

We cannot believe that anyone who rejects a handful of facts pertaining to Jesus Christ is damned, and that anyone who accepts these facts is saved. Even the most fundamentalist Christian will agree with the latter statement. The former is often contested. But one need not contest this in order to believe that Jesus is the “Way, the Truth and the Life,” as it is possible to walk down a road without knowing its name.

Imagine that some evangelists give a Bible to indigenous tribesmen in South America, and that this tribe converts to Christianity. However, it turns out that someone performed a search-and-replace on this Bible, replacing “Jesus” with “Obama.” Is this tribe going to hell? I don’t think so. Now, imagine that all of Paul’s epistles are missing, which is a big deal, considering that the evangelists believe in a very Pauline Christianity. Hell? Probably not, unless everyone who met Jesus in person is going there too. Finally, imagine that when the tribe hears the gospel message, they exclaim “We knew it! We believed something just like this before you got here, but now we know what it’s called.” Minutes later, a volcano erupts and kills everyone on the island. Did the evangelists save all those souls by arriving a few minutes early?

I am loath to force the point, but it is an untenable theology that regards people as saved or damned solely on account of factual knowledge. To sustain the idea that God sorts people at all—what with their transition through person-states, and extreme circumstantial differences—is a mind-rending exercise in an of itself. But to presume an understanding of what the outcome will be? This entirely misses the point of believing such things in the first place. The doctrines that we consider orthodox are a collection of words and ideas that do not necessarily correspond to anything consistent in all the people who believe them. You may think that you believe otherwise, but I’m pretty sure that you don’t.