Monday, February 23, 2009

On Evangelism

Evangelism (from Merriam Webster online)
1: the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ
2: militant or crusading zeal

Sometimes they start off with an easy question, "Do you believe in God?" Sometimes they come at you from the side, "Do you go to church?" Sometimes they try to be your friend and sneak in from behind, "What are you doing this Sunday?" Sometimes they wear little black suits and come knocking down your door around dinnertime... (okay, those last ones are a whole different breed of evangelists).

These people are trying to convert you and me. They're trying to get us to think like they do, walk and talk like they do, and to go out and make more disciples just like they're doing. I hear mainline Protestants and even some Catholics bashing Mormons for their evangelizing tactics, but Christians are just as bad as Mormons--and even worse sometimes! Instead of calling during dinnertime and you being able to hang up on them, your Christian friends slowly start to whittle you down until every conversation revolves around your salvation, your beliefs, your thoughts about God and current hot-button issues... and because they're your friends and family, you can't just turn them off. In the act of trying to create a disciple, your friend or family member has suddenly made you dislike religion, especially whatever religion they happen to be.

I understand the Great Commission. I know Christians have been told to go and make disciples of all nations. And I know that sometimes you have to use dynamite to make a point or difference in someone's life. For me, though, one of the biggest turn-offs to Protestantism is the constant evangelizing. People don't know when to let go. Catholics, on the other hand, haven't made a single peep about believing or converting until I brought the subject up. Not once (to me anyway). Maybe it's because there are over a billion Catholics belonging to a church that has been around two thousand years while there are only a few hundred million Protestants that have only been around a few hundred years (and they need to recruit in order to gain footing against the evil RCC). I don't really know what the deal is, but I do know how to handle evangelists: try to convert them to whatever you believe in. It's the most effective way I've found to get people off my back about the whole subject.

Because, obviously, a person with an entire blog dedicated to the topic and purpose of exploring religion and faith needs to be evangelized. That person needs militant and zealous pursuit *dripping sarcasm.*

1 comment:

chris farrell said...

I totally agree with you here. The one thing that makes me run is people coming up and trying to convert me. The people at St. Mary's never tried to do that, which is why I keep coming back. I'm definitely headed in the direction of going the whole nine yards, getting baptized, etc. But no rush.