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Friday, February 22, 2013

Evangelical Deal-Killers

The Great Commission says to go out and bring Jesus' message to all the creatures in the world, right?

The problem is that a lot of Christians fall in love with certain concepts that are sudden and certain deal-breakers for the secular world. And like moths to the flame, Christians home in on these things, as if they are making sure that the potential convert will still approach, holding his or her proverbial nose.

Here are a few, in no particular order -
  • Falling in love with Jesus - I believe in God, and that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead, et cetera, but even for me, the concept of falling in love with Jesus just sounds wrong. At best, it's an intellectual construct based on the church being the bride of Christ, and other wedding imagery; at worst, it sounds like an imaginary friend taken way too far.
  • There's little time left, these are the last days - all due respect, but people have been saying these were the last days since the first Pentecost, and most folks know this. If you can't give compelling evidence, leave this one alone.
  • You have to develop a personal relationship with Christ - a bit milder than falling in love, but still hard for many people to understand, much less feel. Give them the feeling that it's an early requirement for admission and they'll walk.
  • Numerology - the number three means this, seven means this, twelve means...well, it means that we're starting to move into New Age magic. Yes, I realize that there are theologians who put some stock into numerology, but this isn't the time to trot them out, because your potential convert will expect some crystals next, and perhaps a Vision Quest.
  • "Are you living a holy life?" - Before you ask someone this, are you living a holy life? If not, don't go here. And if you are, don't go here. Especially if your definition of holy involves "no smoking, no drinking, et cetera", none of which was mentioned by Jesus
Five's enough.

For now.

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