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Old 10-26-2007, 07:39 AM   #91
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Originally posted by maycocksean


Well, my church is doing an evangelistic series right now in one of the villages on our island. And Saipan is 95% Catholic.



See this is what I don't get. Not a knock on you, Sean, but it's one of the things that's always really bothered me about evangelicals. It's one thing to go spread the gospel among peoples who haven't heard of it or who haven't had the opportunity, due to geography or culture or whatever factor to really gain exposure to it. But when somebody is already a practicing religious person, who is a missionary to step in and try to convert? I guess I could comprehend it to an extent with different religions but when you're converting between dominations of the same religion, honestly that really reeks to me of something distasteful.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:24 AM   #92
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See this is what I don't get. Not a knock on you, Sean, but it's one of the things that's always really bothered me about evangelicals. It's one thing to go spread the gospel among peoples who haven't heard of it or who haven't had the opportunity, due to geography or culture or whatever factor to really gain exposure to it. But when somebody is already a practicing religious person, who is a missionary to step in and try to convert? I guess I could comprehend it to an extent with different religions but when you're converting between dominations of the same religion, honestly that really reeks to me of something distasteful.
Knock a way. Believe me, you have no idea how conflicted I am about this whole evangelistic series. . .and evangelistic series in general.

Still, I don't think there's really much of a qualitative difference between spreading the gospel among those who have not been exposed to it and spreading a "version" of the gospel, if you will, to those who have already heard it. In any case you're still trying to get them to abandon whatever it was they previously believed. I think a lot of it has to do with what you think you're accomplishing from "evangelizing." While I personally don't think it's my business to be deciding who's hellbent and who it's my business to save (and I really don't buy that idea that you get "saved" based on your assent to a certain set of doctrines), I candidly admit that I'd like to "save" many of my fellow Christians from their belief in everlasting torment in hell, because I just really think it's really sad and wrong that people believe a loving, just God would do such a thing. So in a sense like that, yes, I would feel comfortable "evangelizing" to my fellow believers.

Finally, at least for me personally, I wouldn't feel a need to "save" another religious person. However, even though Saipan is 95% Catholic, Catholicism here is often largely a merely cultural construct with little deep spiritual meaning for many of it's practitioners (though this certainly not true of all of the Catholics. Most of the Catholics I know well are quite devout and deeply spiritual). There are many people who while "Catholic" aren't actually religious at all and for them I think it's fair to share the gospel with them. At least as fair as sharing it with anyone else. . .

I'm not really a big fan of overt proselytizing, though I suppose it's has it's place.
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Old 10-26-2007, 09:33 AM   #93
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I guess if you believe that you really have something 'different and positive' to offer, you try and offer it.

If it's done with a genuine, loving, "I have a gift that is good, for your consideration" kind of approach, most people should not be offended by it.

But to often it's -- Here comes the AMWAY salesmen, again.!!!!
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Old 10-26-2007, 10:09 AM   #94
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But to often it's -- Here comes the AMWAY salesmen, again.!!!!
Tell me about it. . .

The one thing I dislike the most about a lot of evangelistic efforts is the disturbing similarities to sales that they take on.
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Old 10-26-2007, 12:57 PM   #95
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Do you mean homemaker expectations, no-women-in-religious-leadership expectations, or both? Not allowing women to be rabbis was certainly one of my major gripes with Orthodoxy (though it's not precisely analogous since rabbis, especially in Orthodoxy, are primarily charged with ruling on legal matters, not 'pastoral' duties.

No, I left the boundaries of the homemaker discussion because that was never going to be an issue for me so I didn't think much about it. I didn't pay too much attention to who was a homemaker and who wasn't. It was more the women should not instruct men sort of thing or not have authority. (Or as in 1 Corinthians 14, be silent in the church. Of course, most churches rightly and smartly blow that one off) I watched the attitude often extend beyond the confines of the church and watched a sometimes unhealthy deference. I have no problem with some deference. I defer to people all the time, men and women. I just could not imagine deferring to someone purely because of gender, nor could I imagine being limited purely because of gender. Limiting by gender wastes an awful lot of talent.

Suffice it to say, I wasn't a huge fan of Paul.
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:23 PM   #96
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Quote:
Originally posted by MadelynIris
I guess if you believe that you really have something 'different and positive' to offer, you try and offer it.

If it's done with a genuine, loving, "I have a gift that is good, for your consideration" kind of approach, most people should not be offended by it.

But to often it's -- Here comes the AMWAY salesmen, again.!!!!


i just find evangelizing to be really rude.

what if i were compelled to tell each evangelical person i meet that God doesn't exist just so i feel better about myself?

i get the point of it, and i understand where the impulse comes from, but to many people, a blissful look and rhapsodizing about what the Holy Spirit does for you looks little different to me than when Paula Deen tastes one of her super-buttery rich desserts and makes her "O" face and says, "you know what, y'all? you've GOT to try this."
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Old 10-26-2007, 01:35 PM   #97
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i get the point of it, and i understand where the impulse comes from, but to many people, a blissful look and rhapsodizing about what the Holy Spirit does for you looks little different to me than when Paula Deen tastes one of her super-buttery rich desserts and makes her "O" face and says, "you know what, y'all? you've GOT to try this."
Quit evangelizing to me, you food pusher! I've chosen the weight watchers religion.

Seriously though, my boyfriend and I were talking about this last night. We were at an event sponsored by our school where they focus on the different faith traditions of a different geographic region each week and students share a bit about their religions. One person had shared about Buddhism in Thailand and during the Q&A portion she was almost getting grilled by the Christian students who intentionally or not were actually very rude in their questions and condescending in their quasi-evangelistic way of "giving their opinion". It made me really uncomfortable. Afterwards, my bf and I were talking about the idea of letting people believe what they believe and being respectful of one another. I have to give him credit for patience. Goodness knows, my parents try to "save" him from his Muslim ways when they get the chance and he's always been very gracious about it.
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Old 10-26-2007, 03:29 PM   #98
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Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
she was almost getting grilled by the Christian students who intentionally or not were actually very rude in their questions and condescending in their quasi-evangelistic way of "giving their opinion".
If they only had any idea of the damage this really does to their religion...
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:30 AM   #99
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Suffice it to say, I wasn't a huge fan of Paul.
heh. Me neither.

Granted he penned several of my favorite scriptures, but I always got the sense he would have annoyed me a bit if I'd met him in person. And I found his views on marriage and on women to be, well, off-putting.
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:50 AM   #100
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i just find evangelizing to be really rude.
**sigh** I know. I tend to feel the same way, especially the real aggressive door to door kind. . .And the funny thing is, I feel like often times, especially among the rank and file church members that are hauled out into the streets (and church leaders like myself that just quietly avoid those types of ministry in favor others) during a big evangelistic event like the one our church has going now, is that there's a serious violation of the Golden Rule happening here. None of us want someone else showing up at our doors--my wife was annoyed just to find a tract by another denomination left under our door--and yet that's exactly what we do to others?

But I suppose the argument may be made that there may be people out there who actually are dissatisfied with whatever current spiritual path they are on and are "waiting" for someone to show up at the door . . .I just don't happen to want to be the one wading through a bunch of awkward "no's" to find that one person (the AMWAY analogy is really apt here). I think too, the fact that I don't necessarily presume that anyone who doesn't believe as I do won't be going to heaven takes away a lot of the motivation that other church members feel (and are encouraged to feel).

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
what if i were compelled to tell each evangelical person i meet that God doesn't exist just so i feel better about myself?
Hmmm. . . well, it wouldn't bother me. . .but then I'm one of those weirdos that LIKE to debate and discuss religious points of view. (THat's why I'm always on FYM! ). I actually spent a couple of weeks "studying" with the Mormon missionaries that came to my door some years back, not because I felt a need to be polite but because I enjoyed it (and didn't feel threatened by their making their "pitch" so to speak). But I realize I'm unusual (particularly unusual in that I don't mind people coming to my door but hate going to the doors of others) in that regard.

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i get the point of it, and i understand where the impulse comes from, but to many people, a blissful look and rhapsodizing about what the Holy Spirit does for you looks little different to me than when Paula Deen tastes one of her super-buttery rich desserts and makes her "O" face and says, "you know what, y'all? you've GOT to try this."
I probably feel more like Paula Deen does. . .Many of my fellow Christians--in and out of my denomination--think more along the lines that "you've GOT to try this or you're going to literally die. " That's really hard for people outside of the faith to understand sometimes that for many Christians their faith is not so much about a super-delicious dessert and more about a life saving medicine. If you really think that people are going to die (or worse go to some place of eternal torment) on your watch, if you've got any kind of compassion, it can be quite motivating. After all, is it really any more rude than warning people about the consequences of say, global warming?

In any case, I'm personally not convinced that's how salvation works so I think it kills a lot of that kind of motivation for me. However, the dessert is pretty darn good. . .IMHO. . .
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:35 AM   #101
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Originally posted by maycocksean

After all, is it really any more rude than warning people about the consequences of say, global warming?
Well I don't really have people continuously knocking on the door of my house during dinner time with pamphlets and newsletters about global warming and then trying to convince me of its merits even after I've said no thank you. Likewise, I've never had any environmentalist tell me I'm going to go to hell and so on, like the Christian campus group who looked me and my roommate square in the face after we declined their pamphlet and point blank asked us, "well don't you WANT to be saved???"
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:50 PM   #102
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I once had a conversation with an evangelist that went something like this:

"Don't you want to know why the grass is green?"

"Well, no, since they covered that in 8th grad science."

"Don't you want to know who made the grass green?"

"No, I don't= particularly care."

And they prattled on and on about how wonderful God is, and all that crap. I think I fell asleep halfway through the testimony. I was like, really, now, I'm just here for the studying we're supposed to be doing for art history. Really.

Evangelicals /bother/ me. Literally. I must have 666 written on my forehead. If not, maybe I ought to tattoo it there, see where it gets me.
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:58 PM   #103
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Granted he penned several of my favorite scriptures.
He wrote some beautiful stuff. And he certainly was prolific.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:45 PM   #104
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I've never been much bothered by evangelizing, I think mostly because I grew up around it (Southern Baptists). There are a few forms of it which stick in my craw--e.g. the sort of pitch that begins with "Now you Jews believe such-and-such, but our Good News is..." (with 'such-and-such' invariably being something wildly distorted, unsurprisingly since it's been developed to complement a self-promoting polemical framework, not to describe actual observed reality). And like most everyone else, I tend to find any aggressively persistent approach offputting. But for the most part I'm used to it and not bothered by it. I do think one of the main reasons evangelizing is such a turnoff to many people is because they simply can't relate to the conviction that it's good and important to do it--it isn't part of their religious background, and so seems alien and improper and invasive (insofar as it directly affects others). I don't really think the global warming analogy is all that apt, because people who are committed to 'awareness-raising' about global warming don't appeal to a justification that they're doing some favor to the particular individuals they're addressing. Offering someone 'medicine' is only welcome if they agree they're diseased. I can understand wanting to 'share my joy' to a point, because faith is a source of and occasion for joy in my life too, but then again I know plenty of apparently joyous nonreligious people, and plenty of not-at-all-joyous religious folks. I'm certainly not always joyous myself.

I've never had a particularly rewarding or interesting discussion (for me, that is) result from evangelizing. All the richest moments of interreligious dialogue I've enjoyed have been in open-ended discussions where the mutual goal was to learn and to share, with no spirit of rhetorical 'brinksmanship' or apologetics thrusting-and-parrying being present. That means not starting out from the standpoint that you're there to 'prove the truth' of your own religion, and also keeping in mind that just because you studied your fellow participants' religions in World Religions 101 back in college doesn't make you an authority on what they believe. For those who want it, there can certainly be a time and place for that kind of dialogue, but it's not one to force on any and every instance of interfaith discussion.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:28 PM   #105
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i get the point of it, and i understand where the impulse comes from, but to many people, a blissful look and rhapsodizing about what the Holy Spirit does for you looks little different to me than when Paula Deen tastes one of her super-buttery rich desserts and makes her "O" face and says, "you know what, y'all? you've GOT to try this."
I love Paula Deen. I think she's frickin' adorable.

I have nothing relevant toadd to this discussion any longer. I just had to state my random and meaningless opinion.
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