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Old 10-27-2007, 09:35 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, 03:50 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, 03:58 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, 07:45 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, 09:28 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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Old 10-27-2007, 10:09 PM   #106
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While I think homemaking is an undervalued set of skills, and that should women choose this path for themselves, they should be supported, it saddens me that this is happening. It should be a joyful choice, not a duty owed to men.
Exactly. There are so many scriptures in the Bible that seem blatantly sexist, but people have to remember that those were based in a completely different culture. God has worked through so many female pastors, evangelists, and what-have-you by now that such notions can be considered outdated. It bothers me that some women are still grasping onto that. I find it incredibly puzzling. Similarly, women aren't slaves to men in the household either (unless they want to be ).

About evangelizing, I can really understand where some of you are coming from. We're just doing what the Bible tells us, and it's suppose to seem strange. Believe me, I've had my share of "conversion" attempts pushed on me by complete strangers on the street or whatever (Jehovah's Witnesses included), and it is invasive. But I do give them a little credit; I've never had the balls to do it myself.

And yes, I know that sounded dirty. Bite me.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:20 PM   #107
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You're right. Starting with Miriam, Queen Esther, Ruth, Rahab, Deborah, etc. in the Old Testament, God always used women in different ways to serve His people. It was the culture that had a problem with women. God never did. I'm afraid that some people that might not be Believers might not see that. As for evangelizing, I personally don't see a place for street missions in this world. We've (the body of Christ, in general) have done so much to discredit our faith by the way we treat each other and those outside the church (today I would say this applies the most to gay individuals, but I get too angry about this to continue that thought here). The best way to share our faith is how we live with each other and how we treat people on a daily basis, not our cute little morals or shouting about Jesus on the street. I might envy the boldness they have, as boldness, but in terms of sharing their faith; I pity that. They're turning far more people away from Jesus than they could ever turn to Him, and that is the real tragedy. This isn't directed at you, LM, I was just expounding upon what you'd written.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:27 PM   #108
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Originally posted by U2isthebest
You're right. Starting with Miriam, Queen Esther, Ruth, Rahab, Deborah, etc. in the Old Testament, God always used women in different ways to serve His people. It was the culture that had a problem with women. God never did. I'm afraid that some people that might not be Believers might not see that. As for evangelizing, I personally don't see a place for street missions in this world. We've (the body of Christ, in general) have done so much to discredit our faith by the way we treat each other and those outside the church (today I would say this applies the most to gay individuals, but I get too angry about this to continue that thought here). The best way to share our faith is how we live with each other and how we treat people on a daily basis, not our cute little morals or shouting about Jesus on the street. I might envy the boldness they have, as boldness, but in terms of sharing their faith; I pity that. They're turning far more people away from Jesus than they could ever turn to Him, and that is the real tragedy. This isn't directed at you, LM, I was just expounding upon what you'd written.
Ah, yes, you've brought up something I'd like to mention.

Back when I was younger, I went to this church for several years that my whole family got heavily involved in. It wanted to be a "church without walls" and reach out to the community. That's all well and good of course, but the problem is that the entire spiritual foundation crumbled because of internal problems between the members. The whole church split apart because it spent too much time focusing on others, and not enough on itself. I know some folks from there that didn't go back to any church again for years.

Kind of sums up your point.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:31 PM   #109
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Ah, yes, you've brought up something I'd like to mention.

Back when I was younger, I went to this church for several years that my whole family got heavily involved in. It wanted to be a "church without walls" and reach out to the community. That's all well and good of course, but the problem is that the entire spiritual foundation crumbled because of internal problems between the members. The whole church split apart because it spent too much time focusing on others, and not enough on itself. I know some folks from there that didn't go back to any church again for years.

Kind of sums up your point.

Although, I would say that a church who's main focus isn't on people, in general, (after it's goal to worship God, of course) isn't on course. I'm not talking about evangelizing and saving all the nasty unbelievers from the fiery pits. There may be a place for that, but if we're really following Jesus, we're just going to love people for who they are with no agenda.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:33 PM   #110
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Originally posted by U2isthebest



Although, I would say that a church who's main focus isn't on people, in general, (after it's goal to worship God, of course) isn't on course. I'm not talking about evangelizing and saving all the nasty unbelievers from the fiery pits. There may be a place for that, but if we're really following Jesus, we're just going to love people for who they are with no agenda.
We have to fit Matthew 7:5 in here somewhere:

"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:37 PM   #111
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We have to fit Matthew 7:5 in here somewhere:

"You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."
Can I ask you what you are trying to establish with this point? It definitely fits, I'm just wondering!
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:39 PM   #112
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Can I ask you what you are trying to establish with this point? It definitely fits, I'm just wondering!
Quote:
Originally posted by U2isthebest
We've (the body of Christ, in general) have done so much to discredit our faith by the way we treat each other and those outside the church (today I would say this applies the most to gay individuals, but I get too angry about this to continue that thought here). The best way to share our faith is how we live with each other and how we treat people on a daily basis, not our cute little morals or shouting about Jesus on the street.
Just thought it fit snugly right there. It's always nice to have Jesus back up your point.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:44 PM   #113
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Just thought it fit snugly right there. It's always nice to have Jesus back up your point.
That's what I thought! I get a little nervous when that verse is brought up sometimes, because I've heard people twist it as an excuse to try and manipulate the behavior of others and become "kingdom monitors", as Mike Yaconelli, the great man behind my sig, calls them. I don't care how "sin-free" a person might think he or she is., I see no room to judge or criticize another person.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:46 PM   #114
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That's what I thought! I get a little nervous when that verse is brought up sometimes, because I've heard people twist it as an excuse to try and manipulate the behavior of others and become "kingdom monitors", as Mike Yaconelli, the great man behind my sig, calls them. I don't care how "sin-free" a person might think he or she is., I see no room to judge or criticize another person.
BTW, I love that quote in your signature. Very appropriate.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:48 PM   #115
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BTW, I love that quote in your signature. Very appropriate.
Thanks!
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:26 PM   #116
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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???"
To be frank, I don't think that door to door canvassing would be the best way to raise awareness about global warming either. Nor would asking "well dont you WANT to save the planet?" be a particularly effective response to someone's repeated indications that they don't buy global warming as any kind or reality or crisis. I was just trying to help people understand the urgency that motivates many evangelists.

As to why so many Christians are stuck on these type of methodologies, I really don't know. I see it in my own church and I just really don't get it--why so many people are so certain that this is THE way to "reach" people.

I concede though that I'm not entirely noble in my resistance to evangelizing. I big part of it,I confess, is that I'm really not that interested in most of the strangers around me, and even reaching out and just being friendly and taking a genuine interest--whatever that may mean--is not something that I often do easily or willingly.

We talk easily about loving other people but honestly, I'm pretty selfish a lot of the time.
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:32 PM   #117
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Offering someone 'medicine' is only welcome if they agree they're diseased. .
Excellent point. And it is exactly why I think the global warming analogy IS apt, because you can only convince someone to make changes for the sake of the planet if they agree that the planet is in danger.

Again my point was to take something that most of us agree is a real and dire concern and use it to help people understand the kind of thinking that motivates many Christian proselytizers. The fact that many people think any worries about eternity or heaven or hell is an utter crock prevents that from understanding how very real it may be to believers. I thought taking something that we DO see as real and dire (and that we know some other people DON'T believe in) might help people understand at least where the motivation is coming from, if not the methodology.

As I've already said, I don't understand the methodology either.
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Old 10-27-2007, 11:34 PM   #118
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We talk easily about loving other people but honestly, I'm pretty selfish a lot of the time.
You hit the nail on the head! I think more than soul-winning, definitely more than building programs, etc. we as the church in general, need to focus on and teach, the unconditional love of Jesus and how we can display it as His followers.
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Old 10-28-2007, 10:32 PM   #119
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I love Paula Deen. I think she's frickin' adorable.


i do too. Memphis loves her even more.
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:07 AM   #120
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I think that spinning the mysogeny of man made religion into the accident of culture but not Gods real feelings is a cop out, women should invent their own religion.
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