Monday, April 18

Evangelize them, my A**

My blood pressure has just skyrocketed. So instead of flaming somebody on their blog (a thought I may entertain, but would never do), I am going to discuss and work through this here in my little space. I need to think this through.

Signing up with TypeBlogs has exposed to a good number of blogs that I would have otherwise missed. I really enjoy peaking in at the blogs of people knowing their personality type and how their type differs from mine. However, since the same person who set up TypeBlogs has a personal blog, which is respected and well-read among the Christian community, most of the early sign ups are also Christians. Some of the sites are a little too indoctrinated for me to appreciate. However, many of them are faithful, thoughtful people that are at peace with the world and I enjoy reading their blogs.

Well, I went onto one of these sites today and it really got my dander up. While discussing the assimilation of Muslim immigrants in the US, she says, "I believe we should evangelize the Muslim population. I think we should boldly share the gospel and offer the salvation in Christ Jesus." They have a perfectly good religion. They are good people. It works for them. Why can't you just leave them alone?

I believe that religion is a social construct, formed by humans to make humans feel better about the world and to offer social control. I see God as a worldview, a perspective, not a reality. Believe what you want. Let your beliefs make you be a better and stronger person. Share it with those that express interest, but plotting to convert them isn't about faith it's about power. Luring them in with good works and trapping them, as this person discusses, is despicable.

However, one of the whole reasons behind the practice of reading strangers blogs is to see how different people experience and view the world. I guess that somebody who takes their religion literally and seriously on faith is no more able to understand my perspective then I am to understand theirs.

I guess that that was my lesson for the day is that people strategically convert, just like they strategically sell. I don't approve of that either. It's all just deception and coercion and I guess I hold the Church to a higher standard.

5 comments:

Ellen said...

Lora,

First of all, a disclaimer: I haven't read the blog thread that you're referring to, so I don't know if I condone what was being said or not.

Anyway, I appreciate you post. As a Christian, I'm coming from an entirely different perspective. I repect that you don't believe the same things that I do, and this obviously affects the way we view evangelizism.

To help you understand where Christians are coming from, let me say that our faith commands us to evangelize. Jesus told us to share the good news of his death and resurrection for the payment of sins. For us to NOT share what we believe would be like sitting on the best news we've ever heard, not telling anyone. It'd be like a girl who just got engaged not telling anyone that the love of her life has proposed and wants to be with her for the rest of her life. It'd be like if we knew about 9/11 in advance and then didn't warn the people in the twin towers.

I don't, however, believe in ramming my faith down anyone's throat. If someone wants to know what I believe, if they want to know the reason I have purpose in my life, I want to tell them. If someone has no interest in hearing about my beliefs, that's perfectly within their right and I'm not going to tie them to a chair and make them listen.

I don't do good works to coerce people into hearing about my faith, I do them as an act of obedience. If someone wants to hear about Who I'm obeying and why I want to obey Him, great. If not, it's no skin off my back.

I've probably rambled on far too long here, but I just wanted to maybe offer you a glimpse of why we evangelize and what I, at least, mean when I talk about evangelism.

Lora said...

Ellen,

First of all, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to comment about my post and to give me a well reasoned Christian perspective.

I realize that I am extremely sensitive to the conversion efforts of made by Christians. So one of my hot buttons had been pushed. As I wrote about it became easier for me to see the Christian perspective and my original anger dissipated, which really is why I wrote to begin with. I grew up in the Methodist Church. I left because I do not believe in the church and what it teaches. Without faith there was no sense in being there, although, my values are still in line with what I was raised with.

After I left the church I felt like everybody was trying to convert me/ to save me. Many of them were like little terriers nipping at my heals. I left me with a very negative opinion of Christian conversion efforts. I understand that one of the tenets of the Christian faith is to spread the word (sorry, if I don't have it worded quite right). And that to judge all Christians by the negative experience that I had over a decade ago is not fair. But many people are not as reasonable and as courteous as you are. To stick with my sales analogy, it's like I walked in on the sales meeting of a scheming sales manager talking to his troops. I'm suspicious of the hard sell, it makes me question the sales person's belief in their product.

By the way, your blog is one that is new to me and that I really enjoy reading. Your faith is evident and you live what you believe. I admire that.

Ellen said...

I can certainly understand why evangelism is a "button" for you given your history.  Thanks for graciously reading my long-winded response to your post. By the way, I dislike pushy salepeople myself.  I worked in retail in college and they always wanted us to sell, sell, sell.  My philosophy was that if someone wants a belt, I'm happy to show them where they are and offer an opinion on them, but I'm not going to try to convince someone who doesn't need a belt that they really, really ought to have one.  I guess my philosophy on evangelism is the same...sorry you got burned by people who are more agressive.

Thanks for visiting my blog, and I'm glad that we were able to connect via TypeBlogs!  (Oh, as an aside, I'm glad you joined even though so far it is largely Christians who know Marla's site.  It's not always easy to be in the minority.  I admire your honesty about who you are and what you believe.)

~Ellen

Lora said...

Thank you for respecting them.

tapestrygirl said...

just got warm fuzzies reading all of this. good smile for my day.