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Old 05-14-2007, 10:11 AM   #46
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There is a problem with this because the people who 'recruit' honestly believe they are doing the Lord's work and are supposed to do it, but the ones being 'recruited' are sometimes annoyed and want to keep the friend, but not the 'recruiting.' The only think you can do is to let them know they tried their best and did 'the Lord's work' and what happens next will have to be up to the 'recruitee' and if the 'recruitee' doesn't convert, it's not their fault.

I do wonder how many 'recruiters' realizes just how much they push people away with their high pressure sales, it's exactly the opposite of their intentions but that's usually how it comes across.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:11 AM   #47
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I do wonder how many 'recruiters' realizes just how much they push people away with their high pressure sales, it's exactly the opposite of their intentions but that's usually how it comes across.
You know I wonder this too. I also wonder why it doesn't occur to a lot of Christians eager to "witness" how incomprehensible a lot of the "Christianese" jargon may be to people who aren't steeped in the faith. Even here on FYM, when some of my fellow believers are defending their faith, the explanations are so full of terminology that I would imagine would just seem foreign and weird to most people.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:24 AM   #48
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The latter is what's always bothered me. When you come with a Bible in one hand and a plate of food in the other I don't really think that objectively speaking you can say that the person accepting the plate of food WANTS to learn about the faith the mission was founded on. Something about it has always rubbed me the wrong way. You don't see people establishing missions in the middle of Malibu or Beverly Hills - how successful would they be there where the local populace doesn't need anything tangible from the missionaries?
But really what's the alternative. . . Should Christian missionaries who really believe in what they have to offer stick just to "preaching" and ignore the listener's obvious physical needs? Or should they stick just to meeting people's physical needs and keep what most Christians believe is the "bigger picture" stuff to themselves. The second alternative would only make sense if the missionary believed that what they were preaching was a "scam" that they needed to lure people into. That sometimes gets implied in these discussions and I find that really laughable. In any discussion of Christian "evangelising" you HAVE to accept, a priori that the "evangelist" really believes their message will make a postive difference in the lives of those they "reach" both now and "forever." In general, a missionary isn't soulessly trying to "close a deal" .

I mean I understand your concern, but I can tell you that most of the Christian missionaries I know are not nearly as manipulative or underhanded as you seem to be suggesting. For one thing, I don't know of any Christian missionaries who make needed aid--food, medical care, etc-- contigent on conversion. They treat everyone in need regardless of their level of interest in the "message." If anything, the missionaries I know have the opposite concern: They don't WANT people to convert because they hope to gain some material "advantage" by doing so. And this is often a problem in developing countries where many people think to convert so they can have the perceived socioeconomic advantages the missionary might be able to provide. Most missionaries I know aren't thinking: "How can we sucker them in", they're thinking "how can we be sure they're not converting for the wrong reasons."

I would agree that the Christian faith seems to prosper in poorer countries/areas but that has long been the rule though I think the reasons are probably more complex than merely that the poor folk in the third world are lining up for a handout.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:28 AM   #49
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So for me missionary work really is the thing I've learnt it is, going out preaching the Bible and basically getting as many people as possible.
To be fair, I too get that sense sometimes. . .in my own church too and it always irritates the hell out of me. Perhaps because playing a "numbers" game is easier than actually taking the time to get to know someone. The kinds of language that I hear sometime just makes me so annoyed: "soul-winning", "getting decsions for Christ", "reaping" and so on. . .

I'm not saying you haven't got a point. You do. I just keep aspiring to what my faith should be, not what it often is.
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Old 05-15-2007, 06:56 AM   #50
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It must be hard to see people doing this work in such a way feeling.
It's good there are people like yourself trying to show that it can be different, and not buying into this numbers game.
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Old 05-15-2007, 08:08 AM   #51
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And one more thing, never say God loves you.

This is the poorest and funny statement I've heard far too many times from someone try to converse you to a religion.
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Old 05-15-2007, 12:42 PM   #52
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This woman isn't doing your mother any favors. If she were a true friend, she'd accept her as she is. She's not. She's trying to force her to live on *her* terms. It's not right. If I were your mother I'd cut the ties.
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Old 05-15-2007, 02:33 PM   #53
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I disagree with this verte. Friendship doesn't just mean accepting someone as they are. True friendship is being willing to invest the time to those who are hurting to help them get better. Those who are Christians believe that having a relationship with God will help the ones they love. I don't agree with their aggressive methods, but I don't think that they are trying to get her to change for selfish reasons.
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Old 05-15-2007, 03:28 PM   #54
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Those who are Christians believe that having a relationship with God will help the ones they love.
True friends have respect for their friends' beliefs, and will back off when they need to.
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Old 05-15-2007, 03:33 PM   #55
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Originally posted by maycocksean


But really what's the alternative. . . Should Christian missionaries who really believe in what they have to offer stick just to "preaching" and ignore the listener's obvious physical needs? Or should they stick just to meeting people's physical needs and keep what most Christians believe is the "bigger picture" stuff to themselves.
I don't know, Sean. But I can tell you that, for example, before the war broke out in the country where I was born, there were no missionaries. Suddenly, you find yourself post-war with tens of thousands of hungry refugees and the country is overrun by Jehovah's Witnesses running soup kitchens. Now I'm not saying they didn't honestly believe they were acting in the best interest of the populace, but it is exploitative in a way. They showed up when people needed a service they were offering and were desperate to eat or to find a pair of winter boots. It left a bad taste in my mouth, to be honest. If you come in as an NGO, then you should feed the people without handing them a pamphlet and without herding them into a makeshift kingdom hall during dessert. I don't think you have sinister ulterior motives but I don't believe either that these people would have shown up had there not been a tragic disaster. In fact their track record alone suggests they wouldn't have. I was bothered by it when I saw it and I'm bothered by it today.
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Old 05-15-2007, 03:50 PM   #56
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dazzlingamy,

My Faith teaches that you're to approach people when the situation arises; to teach by the Spirit-when moved upon.

If ppl aren't feeling it, you're not suppose to try a different approach, it means that they're not their in their spiritual growth yet.

Our Faith (LDS) teaches that one of God's most important gifts that he bestowed upon mankind, is free will, we are told not to interfere with that.

That's one of the unique attributes of Mormonism, and why we don't believe in infant baptism.

When speaking with people about Christ if they aren't receptive, you always leave the door open, and *never* contend with people.

If the people who you speak to don't accept the message of Christ at that time, you let them know that you love them unconditionally and that you're their friend regardless.

Remember Jesus washed Judas' feet knowing full well Judas was plotting against him and was about to betray him. Christ still served his enemy, and didn't interrupt Judas' free will.
A few hours later, Judas took him out.

If that's Christ example, that the example I think that all Christians around the world should model their lives after.

Anyway, that's my take.

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Old 05-15-2007, 11:22 PM   #57
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Originally posted by popsadie
I disagree with this verte. Friendship doesn't just mean accepting someone as they are. True friendship is being willing to invest the time to those who are hurting to help them get better. Those who are Christians believe that having a relationship with God will help the ones they love. I don't agree with their aggressive methods, but I don't think that they are trying to get her to change for selfish reasons.
Disagree.

I think they are trying to change her for extremely selfish reasons. Why? Because they made the pre-judgement of what is best for her. It is what they think, not what she think.

Selfish is more than taking advantage from other s to benefit oneself, persuing someone to live the way you designed for them is selfish too.
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Old 05-15-2007, 11:52 PM   #58
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If you come in as an NGO, then you should feed the people without handing them a pamphlet and without herding them into a makeshift kingdom hall during dessert.
I would generally agree with your assessment here. I'm not a big fan of pamphlets personally nor sermons with dessert. And if these were the tactics used, I would find them offensive too. It's important to point out though that Jehovah's Witnesses are famous even within Christianity for their extremely aggressive approach and NOBODY--besides other Jehovah's Witnesses, I'm guessing--are fans of the way they evangelize.

I think the issue is motives. . .I agree that the missionaries might not have come had their not been a disaster. . .perhaps the argument you're making is that if they "really" cared about people's "souls" they'd have shown up before the disaster rather than chasing the ambulance so to speak. But then again there is the belief among Christians that they should help when people are in desperate circumstances. I tend to think the motivating factor is "tens of thousands of hungry refugees" while you seem to assuming the motive is "Hey, here's an opportunity to get a bunch of new converts while they are in a weakened and desperate state." Perhaps that is the motive for some, I won't dispute that, but not for the missionaries I know. The missionaries I know understand that such conversions wouldn't "stick" in the long run anyway and that linking physical aid and evangelizing in the manner you described is inappropriate. However, they ALSO believe that the message they have is every bit as important, if not even more important, than any physical aid they might have to offer.

Don't get me wrong. . .I can appreciate why you had the bad taste in your mouth. I'm just arguing against taking the behavior of one group and using that to make blanket statements about missionary activity in general.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:36 AM   #59
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I suppose the question one needs to ask is if there is objective truth. If those who are "trying to help her" believe that there is objective truth, and that truth is that there is a God who seeks a relationship with his creation, then they are being sincere in my mind. That said, I don't think they are being wise. I think that there are much better ways of sharing one's faith then the way they are doing it, but I don't see them as bad or insincere people.
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:36 AM   #60
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I suppose the question one needs to ask is if there is objective truth. If those who are "trying to help her" believe that there is objective truth, and that truth is that there is a God who seeks a relationship with his creation, then they are being sincere in my mind. That said, I don't think they are being wise. I think that there are much better ways of sharing one's faith then the way they are doing it, but I don't see them as bad or insincere people.
One piece of old news I read from a local newspaper years ago. A little boy got fever, and the mother insist to take care of the boy at home, so the doctor told the mother mix alcohol with water in certain percentage and use a sponge to put the mix liquid to the boy's skin to reduce the heat if the temperature went high, and prevent potential damange to the boy's body. However, the mother did it far too much times on the boy's whole body. The boy went unconscious, and killed by alcohol poisoning.

The medical method is a objective truth, the mother is doing her best to take care of the boy.

The woman got 15 years in prision BTW, and I do think the judge understand what is good and sincere, what is bad and insincere.

In this thread, a different case, but similar logic.
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