Advice on evangelicals, please
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03-11-2012, 04:45 PM
Advice on evangelicals, please
Hi. I'm new to this forum and I have a few questions, but they don't seem to fit any of the major discussion categories. So I've chosen to post my query here in the casual coffeehouse.

First, here's the general situation. I live overseas. Nearby there's an expat (American-led) missionary group that runs an evangelical outdoor mission. In years past, the group was somewhat more upfront about the fact that they are missionaries: the word "missionaries" used to be part of the organization's name and web address, and their webpage contained overt Christian language. Lately, they have deleted overt references (although a few evangelical 'codewords' still appear on the site's top page). Still, the group's avowed goal is to bring people, particularly young people in this overwhelmingly non-Christian country, to Christ. The difference is that they are now doing it more surreptitiously.
As I mentioned above, the group runs an outdoor mission: they provide fun outdoor adventures for young people, and use that activity to lure in unsuspecting people to be evangelized. It's not a hard-sell type of missionary activity. But still they are using what I see as an intentionally deceptive approach -- attracting paying customers to their fun-looking outdoor adventure program with a true goal of evangelizing them.
I want to find out more about this kind of deceptive evangelism.
My questions: Has someone investigated the extent to which such deceptive evangelism takes place among overseas missionary groups? Does anyone have specific information (book titles, journal article titles, links to specific discussion threads, links to other websites, etc) that will help me explore this kind of activity? Also, is there a good name for it? (It reminds me, in a way, of the "flirty fishing" that one cult used to employ to lure in people through sex.)
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03-11-2012, 05:13 PM
RE: Advice on evangelicals, please
(03-11-2012 04:45 PM)TheHappiestGuy Wrote:  Hi. I'm new to this forum and I have a few questions, but they don't seem to fit any of the major discussion categories. So I've chosen to post my query here in the casual coffeehouse.

First, here's the general situation. I live overseas. Nearby there's an expat (American-led) missionary group that runs an evangelical outdoor mission. In years past, the group was somewhat more upfront about the fact that they are missionaries: the word "missionaries" used to be part of the organization's name and web address, and their webpage contained overt Christian language. Lately, they have deleted overt references (although a few evangelical 'codewords' still appear on the site's top page). Still, the group's avowed goal is to bring people, particularly young people in this overwhelmingly non-Christian country, to Christ. The difference is that they are now doing it more surreptitiously.
As I mentioned above, the group runs an outdoor mission: they provide fun outdoor adventures for young people, and use that activity to lure in unsuspecting people to be evangelized. It's not a hard-sell type of missionary activity. But still they are using what I see as an intentionally deceptive approach -- attracting paying customers to their fun-looking outdoor adventure program with a true goal of evangelizing them.
I want to find out more about this kind of deceptive evangelism.
My questions: Has someone investigated the extent to which such deceptive evangelism takes place among overseas missionary groups? Does anyone have specific information (book titles, journal article titles, links to specific discussion threads, links to other websites, etc) that will help me explore this kind of activity? Also, is there a good name for it? (It reminds me, in a way, of the "flirty fishing" that one cult used to employ to lure in people through sex.)
What is the URL of the site?

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03-11-2012, 05:15 PM
RE: Advice on evangelicals, please
Advice on evangelicals, please.

Just shoot 'em.
Ask questions later.

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03-11-2012, 05:18 PM
Advice on evangelicals, please
Welcome.

Since it's in a non-Christian nation, it's possible their stance on overt proselytizing has changed and the Christees had to ease back on the advertising.

But, it could also be a marketing ploy. Assuming these are sincere folks, it's not that they're trying to be deceptive by hiding their name. They're trying to be relevant. A lot of churches in America are dropping their denomination names from things like Presbyterian Church to things like Community Church, or even dropping the word church for a funky name like Mosaic. The reasoning is that the old terms aren't relevant in a post-modern society, but they believe their message still is.

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04-11-2012, 09:47 PM
RE: Advice on evangelicals, please
Quote:>What is the URL of the site?


I can understand your curiosity, but I'm not going to go there.

My questions, again: Has someone investigated the extent to which such deceptive evangelism takes place among overseas missionary groups? Does anyone have specific information (book titles, journal article titles, links to specific discussion threads, links to other websites, etc) that will help me explore this kind of activity? Also, is there a good name for it?
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04-11-2012, 11:57 PM
Advice on evangelicals, please
Again, it's not necessarily a deception, but a marketing ploy. Few people want to go to church. But some people might be willing to go to a "positive community outreach."

You'll get this kind of info from just about any church planting literature. Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Church" is the only title I can remember off the top of my head. There's a lot of talk about meeting people's felt needs rather than preaching at them a bunch of stuff that goes in one ear and out the other. We'd probably call it "Killing them with kindness." They call it reaching out to the lost in the same way Jesus allegedly did. Hang out with sinners and low-lifes. Show them you care and maybe they'll want to drink the Jesus kool-aid too.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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05-11-2012, 01:31 AM
RE: Advice on evangelicals, please
He he he... how about a book on deceptive evangelism? Clicky

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Are they breaking any local laws there? What country are you in? If they are just soft selling then I personally wouldn't have a problem with them I guess.

Is this the church?

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05-11-2012, 02:26 AM
RE: Advice on evangelicals, please
what country?

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05-11-2012, 09:54 AM
RE: Advice on evangelicals, please
(03-11-2012 04:45 PM)TheHappiestGuy Wrote:  I want to find out more about this kind of deceptive evangelism.
Do they still identify themselves as being Christian? If they do they aren't being deceptive. Anyone who follows Christ is supposed to be an evangelist because he commanded us to preach the gospel to everyone. It doesn't matter whether we are part of a missionary organization or not.

Are there any restrictions on Christian activity in the country you are in? It is possible they might have had to make some changes to avoid getting in trouble with the law.

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05-11-2012, 10:03 AM
RE: Advice on evangelicals, please
Ohmy

Lookit who has risen from the dead. Welcome back, theo. Long time no see.

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