Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My experience as the Evangelized

On Sunday morning my family traveled to New Port Richey for breakfast with my parents. As we entered Aunt Sally’s, a retired woman looked at my wife and children and asked, “are you going to church?” She must of noticed the incredulous look on my wife’s face, adding “to learn about Jesus (drawn out for maximum notice).” My wife looked at her and responded, “no. we are going to breakfast, as you can see.” The woman hmmphed at my wife and walked away. It took much of breakfast for my wife to get over the exchange. I thought of all the sarcastic responses I had refrained from (that all were better off for me not sharing).

It reminded me of how abrasive we can be when compelled to share things we believe in. When I was younger I was taught that when people reject the message we present (usually in the form of an evangelistic presentations), they are rejecting the message, not us.

However, I think when people are rejecting something, we do not understand they are rejecting us, not the message, usually due to our obnoxiousness. I used to tell people that there was no such thing as American victims of persecution for their Christian beliefs. There were only obnoxious Christians that were persecuted for their lack of tact or decorum (yes, I always overstate for effect).

I did find out one thing about me, as the evangelized. I do what most people do. I ignore the person and walk away, not engaging. My wife wanted to engage and probably converse with the person regarding our faith and how it would be better to be less abrasive. However, I want to get away as quickly as possible.

6 comments:

kristi said...

actually, i felt like walking away just like you did. i was afraid i would say something rude in front of our kids. and i noticed how weird it made our kids feel too. but not like they should be in church--more like "why is this lady saying this crap?"

g13 said...

so did you convert or what?

RDF said...

Hmmmm? Evangelism with a healthy does of judgment! I seem to remember reading something about judging somewhere (probably in a Tony Robbins or Joel Oesteen book.). All I know is that I'm fighting those a lot (in my own head). Good restraint on both your parts. Something Geoff said sticks with me on that woman's type of evangelism - is what you're doing or saying bringing people closer to God or not?

I guess we can update the old adage about when you assume - you burn in hell for your judgement!

Peace,

Ron

P.S. Come to think of it - Burn in hell you old bag might have been appropriate.

Rick said...

still considering the tempting offer of the woman we ran into.

Mike Murrow said...

to be honest this seemed rather mild compared to the phone calls and emails i was getting (about 1 a week) up until just a few weeks ago from folks trying to evangelize me, or should i say, re-evangelize.

lots of reminders that i will burn in hell, that they fear that i will burn, that they feel that god just wants them to tell me that i will burn blah blah blah.

and those were the nice ones from friends.

kristi said...

ok, ron, your comment "burn in hell you old bag" had me laughing out loud. imagining saying that to her is sweet! alas, i think it would have set a bad example for the children. :)