Thoughts on Proselytizing

A Facebook friend (who is IFB) posted something about seeing the Osteens on the news this morning. She said they were discussing the need to forgive the Boston bombers to prevent bitterness. But, she was very disappointed that they didn’t make a point of saying Jesus was the answer. No mention of salvation. What a tragedy for non-Christians everywhere who were looking to the Osteens for answers.

It is taking a lot of self control to keep me from making a comment. The statements she made make me laugh and then feel angry. I think some of my anger stems from the fact that I once would have agreed with her and “liked” her status. The other bit of anger comes from using a news story about a time of crisis to proselytize those watching. If we want religion, if we’re looking for your god, we will come to church and ask you for more information. Shouting the name of Jesus from the rooftops doesn’t make me want to go ask you questions. It makes me laugh at you/be scared of you and think you’re a deranged lunatic. Quiet testimonies are the most effective. Live a good life, show people kindness, give to the needy and show me that what you claim to believe carries over into your everyday life. Then, I might be willing to ask you questions and listen to what you have to say. But don’t yell at me on the street; don’t shove tracks into my hands; don’t preach at me while I watch the news; don’t go into public school’s and try to proselytize vulnerable children with your bloody stories of sin and guilt.
I don’t care how right you think you are. I don’t care that you assume I’m going to Hell for not believing the same way you do. You do not have the right to force your beliefs on me or my children. This is not a theocracy. There is no state religion. Christianity does not get a free pass into legislation that effects EVERYONE, because not everyone is a Christian or wants to live by your Christian rules.
If you are so worshipful of Jesus, then start following his words yourself. If people come to you to hear what you have to say (as they did to Jesus – he didn’t impose himself upon people), fine. In the meantime, start demonstrating this great love you speak of in ways other than proselytizing.

What do you think?

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