Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Closest I'll Get

slacktivist, evangelical, evangelism, witness, christian, christianity, atheism, atheist, ray, comfort, fundy, jesus,
You know who gets me the closest to being Christian? Not because I believe or anything, but because I want to be more like him?

The Slacktivist.

I mention this because immediately after letting through a comment from a very angry Christian about my "post modernism*" and "intollerance" [sic], I read the Slactivist's latest post.

Ray Comfort and his cohorts stay up at night to think of new ways to insult and denigrate atheists, while the Slacktivist evangelizes with wit, wisdom and ultimately, kindness. The Slacktivist is, and you only need to read one post to see this, truly a good man. He truly cares for the homeless, the poor, the sick, the lonely. I imagine that if the Slacktivist were given three wishes, not a one of them would be selfish. He really would wish for world peace, and end to hunger, an end to disease.**

The Slacktivist is exactly what I imagined Jesus to be back when I believed.

Why do I mention this? Because his latest post is about exactly the form of evangelism Ray and others like him practice.

If you're worried about making friends then you'll wind up more concerned with what others think of you than you are with your duty and you won't be as single-mindedly focused as you need to be in witnessing at them. And let's face it, if you're at all concerned about how others perceive you, then you'll never find the courage to be as off-putting as this duty requires you to be. Treating others as friends, real or potential, involves treating them as subjects rather than how you ought to be treating them -- as objects of your evangelism. So stop acting like you're in some kind of popularity contest and get busy proving that you're not ashamed of the gospel.

That's not the most charitable paraphrase of this stock sermon, but it's accurate.

And anyway I'm not inclined to view this particular sermon charitably. It's pointless and ineffective, for one thing. It doesn't work. The poor souls subjected to some variation of this lecture week after week do not go forth to boldy proclaim the gospel in the way the speaker describes. And that's probably a good thing, too, since if they did that wouldn't work. It encourages a form -- and a spirit -- of evangelism that is far more likely to repel than to attract. It offers no motivation other than guilt, and guilt is just a lousy, lousy motivator. Anything we do because of guilt we do, by definition, begrudgingly. There are very few things one can do begrudgingly and still do well. Guilt also tends to produce a self-defensive resentment of those who provoke or remind us of it. You can see that dynamic in the hostility some people display toward the homeless. This sermon sometimes prompts a similar guiltily hostile form of evangelism.

Hostility and evangelism don't mix well.

Yeah, Slacktivist, I've noticed.

Anyway, since I apparently can't convince the fundys that calling me a fool, and railing about my post modernism and intollerance [sic], is very unlikely to convert me, maybe the words of an evangelical Christian will help.

*What is post modernism in this context? I can never tell.

**I would wish for myself not to be sick anymore, to be beautiful and for the Eagles to win the next Superbowl. Not necessarily in that order.


  1. You know... it may seem weird, but I love posting on your trolls' blogs. They usually have some horrible apologetics up.

    Your latest consists of a single entry that could have been summed up in a subject line and content of "Pascal's wager bitchez"

  2. It's like watching cops- no matter how bad my life gets, at least I don't think Pascal's Wager is the height of logic.

    My one sentence reply to Pascal's? "Can't fake belief, bitchez!"

  3. I wish you weren't so intollerant of alternative spelling! Damn atheists, I'm going to start my own school of thought called Intelligent Grammar.

  4. nonono! you have to word the wish properly! (yes, ok, too many years of D&D with EVIL GMs and too many years of chronic pain)

    it is worded thusly: "I wish to be, now until my natural death, to be completely and totally healthy *as i view healthy*" (that last bit? totally important. a cavity isn't exactly healthy, but teeth are designed to have cavities and fall out, so not exactly UNhealthy - but because *I* think of it is unhealthy it now is. likewise pregnancy, or cancer - i mean, many people have DNA that proscribes cancer. and you and i both have porphyria, which at some point was a healthy alternative to *something* or it wouldn't be a dominate genetic disease. like sickle cell anemia, which is a disease, but those who have it have a much better chance of fighting off malaria... but i sure as hell don't want it. so, *as i view healthy* :)

    hope that helps :D. always ALWAYS add "as i view it" to any wish, otherwise your Djinn/Leprachaun/Ninunihea/whatever will try to cheat you on the meaning lol.

    (yes, yes, i have too much damned time on my hands. school starts monday. and apparantly they LIED about the library being available agian. sigh)

  5. Oh, I've seen enough Djinn stories to know that the only safe wish is wish for the Djinn to go back in the bottle.

    As for the school of Inteliigent Grammar, at this point, you'd just be joining it.

  6. Accidental misspelling, but it makes more sense that way, doesn't it?

  7. As for the school of Inteliigent Grammar, at this point, you'd just be joining it.

    The extra 'i' is for 'intelligent'.

  8. So intelligent, it needed 2 "i"s! (wait for it . . .)

  9. So intelligent, it needed 2 "i"s! (wait for it . . .)

    Compound? Eh? Eh?

  10. The way I spelled it there were 3 "i"s.

    I once lived on Edgemere Blvd. I ordered pizza, and the guy asked, "Is that one 'e', or two?" I replied "Four", and there was this really long pause.

    I realized that he then thought "Edgemere" was spelled "Edgemeeeer".

  11. See now you're just being pedantic!

    BTW, is that gun from Gears of War?

  12. Yes, it's the Lancer. I really want one. What could be cooler, or more practical, than a fully automatic assault rifle with a carbide tipped chainsaw attached?

  13. Actually it would be quite unpractical. There is an EGM going over the practicality of video game weapons with someone who designs and uses weapons for a living. The Lancer was his lowest rated weapon. *Hint* Chainsaws don't work like that.

    The Slacktivist is one of my favorite blogs too read, not just for Left Behind Fridays (although that is why I started reading it, plus I can now tell my mom I did read those horrible books, sort of). I agree with you I wish more Christians were like Fred.

  14. but if they did work like that, i wouldn't need two different tools for revolution and yardwork.

    that's how i started reading the slacktivist! eventually, i started reading his regular posts, and fell in love.

  15. I've gotta be honest, I'd think the chainsaw would make the gun extremely unbalanced and muzzle heavy. Plus running around with it I'd be paranoid of stabbing myself (if it wasn't on) or shredding myself to pieces (if it was). In terms of most unpractical weapons though, the knife in the early Resident Evil games pissed me off the most. Honestly, it would have been more effective to scratch at the zombies with your finger nails.


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