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PRAGMATIC PROSELYTIZERS

 

 

 

By Paul Proctor

September 9, 2004

NewsWithViews.com

The Baptist Press is proud to announce that the new evangelism is really catching on here in Tennessee. In an article entitled �Evangelist uses fans' passion to share his passion for Christ,� they had this to say:

�In the shadow of the Bristol Motor Speedway, just across from a booth selling Dale Jr. T-shirts and down from a fried Oreo stand, Ronnie Hill was making his pitch. �Get your free chance to win a Harley! All you gotta do is listen to me for 10 minutes.�

Like a carnival caller, Hill beckoned, �Bring your beer, I don't care. Get your hairy belly in here. It's a Harley! It's free! Come on, boys, get on in here and win you a Harley!�

�At the conclusion of his short sermon, Hill asked everyone to fill out the ticket with a name, address and phone number. If they prayed the prayer of salvation for the first time, they were to check the box at the bottom. He assured them that checking the box would not give them a better chance at winning the motorcycle.�

I don�t know why the Apostles didn�t think of this 2000 years ago! I guess they just weren�t as savvy as we are now, huh? Sure, they didn�t have Harleys back then but don�t you think a nice donkey or an unblemished lamb would have worked just as well? Guess we've come a long way, haven�t we? Come to think of it, there were those moneychangers Jesus chased away from the temple with a whip. But then, I�m sure He wouldn�t have done that if they had been hawking their critters in His name and shared a little of the action. (wink-wink)

How�s this for "Kingdom Building:"

In the August 22nd online edition, the L.A. Times reports that a �Church Earns Mileage With a Gas Subsidy.�

�In an effort to get people � figuratively and literally � pumped for Christ, the Main Place Christian Fellowship offered $1.67-a-gallon gasoline at a Tustin service station Saturday, 40 cents off the regular price.

"It's a win-win situation for God, for our customers and for us," Hovnanian said. "And in that order."

Over the last five weeks, church members raised $5,000 for the event. On Friday, the church handed over a check, enough to cover the 40-cent difference for more than 12,000 gallons of gas.

They said the subsidized gas campaign is a way to spread the word while promoting their 500-plus-member church.

Church youth director Leanne Grant said the No. 1 question was why they were doing this. Her answer: "This is a practical way to show Jesus' love and meet the needs of the community.�

I�ll bet the tears of remorse just flowed like gasoline�

Now, for those of you with a sweet tooth, the BBC reports this, in a piece entitled, �Sweet temptation back to worship:�

�A Manchester bishop is trying to tempt former churchgoers back to worship - with a gift pack of chocolate.�

The Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch is supporting the �Back to Church Sunday� campaign�

Newcomers to the church will be given a special copy of newsletter Crux and a free bar of Co-op fair trade chocolate.

Mr. McCulloch said in Crux: �We are all brothers and sisters in Christ... I wonder, have you ever thought of coming back to join us?�"

Maybe the prodigal son wouldn�t have stayed away so long if his father had just sweet-talked him home with something scrumptious.

You see, the underlying message of the pragmatic proselytizer is this:

If the Word of God and the Holy Spirit don�t turn sinners to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith, maybe entertainment, covetousness, materialism and carnal appetite will. Sure it doesn�t look good but times have changed; so, let�s not sweat the small stuff, OK?

I mean, after all; they ARE coming to Jesus, aren�t they?�WELL, AREN'T THEY?

�This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves�Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.� 2nd Timothy 3:1-2a & 5-7

Related articles:

Evangelist uses fans' passion to share his passion for Christ.
Church Earns Mileage With a Gas Subsidy.
Sweet temptation back to worship.

� 2004 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved

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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at [email protected]

 


 

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If the Word of God and the Holy Spirit don�t turn sinners to Jesus Christ in repentance and faith, maybe entertainment, covetousness, materialism and carnal appetite will. Sure it doesn�t look good but times have changed...