Monday, October 7, 2013

Poor Evangelist. Poor Evangelism.

"Dear Neighbor:My name is May. I am a Bible student engaged in a worldwide volunteer service."

So began the letter to my late partner - misaddressed and two years too late. It was obviously gotten from some old list, but May's handwriting was pristine and the form letter was on not on any logo-headed stationary. It contained a Jehovah's Witness tract.

"God's 'right to rule' must be resolved. After that important issue has been resolved, humans will once again experience worldwide peace and tranquility."

I began to wonder if May experienced any peace or tranquility while sending this piece of evangelism. Of all the Christian sects, Jehovah's Witnesses are the most controlling: the righteous arrogance of the "one truth" forces believers to adhere to a very rigid code of conduct.

I began to feel sorry for May: if she is young, then she is in for years of benign contempt from other Christians if, indeed, they even consider her Christian. Righteous arrogance from within and contempt from without. That does not make for an existence of "peace and tranquility." Another reason for sympathy: May is dealing with the type of evangelism that is no longer effective: direct mailings and door-to-door proselytizing are considered nuisances - intrusions on daily living that involve Facebook, Twitter, YouTube ... and immediacy. If anything, proselytizing is scheduled - through televangelist programs and the local church blog.

And Fundamentalism is on the wane, unless you live in Uganda or Russia. 

"The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it." That promise will be fulfilled.

I don't think so, May. Certainly not the ones who told you to do this kind of evangelizing.

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