A Resting Place

"It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me."

Sunday, June 12, 2005

scripted evangelism

We showed up to a church last Sunday having found online the theme for the service for last week - "Interview with a Pagan." The proposed idea was that the pastor was going to model for the congregation how to converse with people of different beliefs by loving them instead of tearing them apart.

Almost the entirety of the service consisted of the pastor interviewing an old friend from high school who was a self-identified pagan. I thought we were in for a real treat. The "pagan" man had grown up Catholic, but when his particular church offered no real answers for his frustrations with the Vietnam War, the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., he bailed. The conversation was set up beautifully for an opportunity to ask questions about, "What was it that Christianity didn't provide that paganism did?" Or, "What exactly are your beliefs and how do you find comfort in them?" Or any other thing that would have told us something other than, "I call myself a pagan, and I was dissatisfied with the church."

Then it happened. Rather than finding out anything at all about who this guy actually was, the pastor left all of that and moved immediately into a "Lord, Liar, or Lunatic" line of questioning.

1. Would you admit the Bible is historically accurate? ("Sure," answers the pagan).
2. Given that you admit to the historically accurate nature of the Bible, and given that Jesus claimed x, y, and z, would it not then stand to reason that He was either a lunatic, a liar, or who He said He was?


We left quite frustrated. I just don't see how you can walk around with a scripted presentation to jam into any and every conversation and call that loving. People who love care to listen to what other people have to say. I get the feeling C.S. Lewis would not be thrilled with this use of his apologetic.

If you're going to love people, you have to be interested in them. You don't have to agree with them, and you can think their beliefs are quite dangerous. But you can't simply ignore what's important to them.


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