A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
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02-05-2017, 09:08 AM
A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
Ran across this opinion piece this morning and it reminds me that evangelical Christians do not necessarily believe in buttonholing you for Jesus.

The TL;DR version is that the Great Command (love one another and/or the golden rule) trumps the Great Commission, and that the best way to win people to the faith is to love them unconditionally. Also, you're being a dick by trying to drive the topic of conversation, because that makes it all about you and your agenda. This is actually simple common courtesy / common sense and doesn't even require a religious dogma for backing.

Indeed, one of the strongest things that draws people to any religious faith-system, and that keeps them there (sometimes long after they have ceased to actually believe in its key doctrines) is the sense of community -- and if that community is truly respectful, supportive and loving, so much the better.

My particular sub-sect of fundamentalism was mostly like this, we seldom, if ever, talked about doctrine in personal relationships unless asked about it. We did not canvass door-to-door (and would not have engaged in its modern equivalent, drive-by exhibitionist FaceBook religious meme posts).

The next time some troll comes through here dispensing hellfire and brimstone or just impertinent / dishonest apologetics and/or stereotypes about unbelief, I suggest just saying, "how embarrassing it must be to Jesus how your actions fail to model his lovingkindness for those of us outside the fold" and leave it at that. If that doesn't shame them into thinking twice, they are too far gone to be helped anyway. Assholes for Jesus / Liars for Jesus have a mostly bullshit self-aggrandizing agenda, but reasonably good people (in spite of their religious beliefs) are much rarer and can be appealed to based on simple moral / ethical principles that might allow for actual dialog.
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02-05-2017, 09:51 AM
RE: A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
That's awesome!

I agree that leading by example is the best way to change peoples' minds most of the time. Browbeating them is generally counter-productive as people seem to naturally rebel against it.

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02-05-2017, 10:01 AM
RE: A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
I love one comment below the article about how it's more about them feeling dominant over you than it is about jesus.

"If you don't have a seat at the table, you're probably on the menu."

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02-05-2017, 10:03 AM
RE: A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
Yeah, I think it's all about them. It's not about the recipient at all. They're just a toy. A prop to score points from.

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02-05-2017, 10:15 AM
RE: A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
John 13:35
"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

If they actually DID that, they wouldn't have to do anything else.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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02-05-2017, 11:24 AM
RE: A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
duplicate post

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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02-05-2017, 11:25 AM
RE: A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
(02-05-2017 09:08 AM)mordant Wrote:  Ran across this opinion piece this morning and it reminds me that evangelical Christians do not necessarily believe in buttonholing you for Jesus.

The TL;DR version is that the Great Command (love one another and/or the golden rule) trumps the Great Commission, and that the best way to win people to the faith is to love them unconditionally. Also, you're being a dick by trying to drive the topic of conversation, because that makes it all about you and your agenda. This is actually simple common courtesy / common sense and doesn't even require a religious dogma for backing.

Indeed, one of the strongest things that draws people to any religious faith-system, and that keeps them there (sometimes long after they have ceased to actually believe in its key doctrines) is the sense of community -- and if that community is truly respectful, supportive and loving, so much the better.

My particular sub-sect of fundamentalism was mostly like this, we seldom, if ever, talked about doctrine in personal relationships unless asked about it. We did not canvass door-to-door (and would not have engaged in its modern equivalent, drive-by exhibitionist FaceBook religious meme posts).

The next time some troll comes through here dispensing hellfire and brimstone or just impertinent / dishonest apologetics and/or stereotypes about unbelief, I suggest just saying, "how embarrassing it must be to Jesus how your actions fail to model his lovingkindness for those of us outside the fold" and leave it at that. If that doesn't shame them into thinking twice, they are too far gone to be helped anyway. Assholes for Jesus / Liars for Jesus have a mostly bullshit self-aggrandizing agenda, but reasonably good people (in spite of their religious beliefs) are much rarer and can be appealed to based on simple moral / ethical principles that might allow for actual dialog.

If the goal here is to win over the most amount of followers, being just a nice, loving, friendly Christian wouldn't be sufficient. It's perhaps why societies that often embrace the sort of non-intrusive liberal minded forms of Christianity, see the steepest declines in participants. This would be a very bad business strategy.

While the western world might have reached the point of diminishing returns when it comes to the growth of Christianity, the rest of world will likely make up for it. Christianity’s rapid growth in China, in spite of attempts by the state to suppress it, is a testament to the power of evangelism.

It should also be said that not everyone’s attitude towards evangelism is equal, your culture, environment etc.. is likely to shape them. White westerners who have acquired a very averse attitude towards religions are likely not be as welcoming, as African Americans, Keralites, etc.. whose attitudes might be more positive or neutral.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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02-05-2017, 02:24 PM
RE: A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
(02-05-2017 11:25 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If the goal here is to win over the most amount of followers, being just a nice, loving, friendly Christian wouldn't be sufficient. It's perhaps why societies that often embrace the sort of non-intrusive liberal minded forms of Christianity, see the steepest declines in participants. This would be a very bad business strategy.

References required for all your ASSertions.

So religion is a business now, and the activities of the Sprit are dependent on the advertising strategy ?

Facepalm

What are you doing here, after your previous revelations ?
Troll

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02-05-2017, 02:41 PM
RE: A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
(02-05-2017 11:25 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  If the goal here is to win over the most amount of followers, being just a nice, loving, friendly Christian wouldn't be sufficient. It's perhaps why societies that often embrace the sort of non-intrusive liberal minded forms of Christianity, see the steepest declines in participants. This would be a very bad business strategy.
Well if you're advocating conversion by force -- whether by the sword, or by legal / social duress -- I'd imagine that in societies with insufficient separation between state and religious institutions and the weakest protections for freedom of speech and freedom of association and conscience, sure, you'd get the highest numbers of professing followers, though I'd argue you would have their minds, not their hearts.

In open / progressive societies with substantial freedom of speech and conscience, though, you are forced to persuade people respectfully and actually convince them of the tenets of your faith. I know that's a lot more work, and probably too much to ask.
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02-05-2017, 02:49 PM
RE: A Christian Argument Against Proselytizing
(02-05-2017 11:25 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  It should also be said that not everyone’s attitude towards evangelism is equal, your culture, environment etc.. is likely to shape them. White westerners who have acquired a very averse attitude towards religions are likely not be as welcoming, as African Americans, Keralites, etc.. whose attitudes might be more positive or neutral.

What you're basically saying is that the greater access to education people have, the more chance they'll be atheist Laughat Way to make a Christian argument, Mr Faithful Big Grin

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If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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