Your Stomach’s Personal Savior- Evangelism Follies

Today started out rough. It involved seeing my son’s breakfast, before and after it was consumed. The poor boy’s tummy was upset. Sometimes I forget about using this common remedy I have in my refrigerator. I keep it for times such as these. Sure there’s Pepto Bismol, Tums, Gravol people use as over-the-counter medicinal aids, but I have found nothing works better than a few ounces of flat ginger ale. It worked wonderfully this time too. It’s not magical, it’s the ginger.

Now, suppose I wanted everyone to save money, and time, and feel better sooner, like my family and I have, but instead of telling them my experience, and the reasoning behind the remedy, I would first try a tactic to soften them up. Have you noticed this sort of thing used for Christianity?

Maybe asking them reasonable questions would get them to think about the whole thing themselves, and it wouldn’t seem like I was actually trying to shove my beliefs down their throat. I won’t but let’s suppose I would say to them,

“As a human, you would agree that all humans have tummy aches at some point in their lives, right?

The unsuspecting, pre-convert would then reply something like, “Um, what? Um, yeah, I guess, sure.”

Then I could say, “Did you know that you will 100% lose more money, and be more sick without using ginger ale to fix your tummy aches and vomiting?”

They maybe would say, “Um, no. But I’ve never used ginger ale before, and I’m not sure it’ll work for me.”

Maybe then I would say, “Since you haven’t tried it, you really can’t say that. Would you rather risk it, and throw up for days?”

And they might respond, “Well, I’m just not sure if I can see it  your way.”

And I would say, “Listen, you have to take that first step of faith. You have to say you’ll commit to ginger ale. You have to trust it will help you. And then you have to take the steps to implement that into your life. You have to be prepared, because you never know when violent illness will spring on you. It usually comes like a thief in the night! Sounds scary doesn’t it?”

They might say, “Well, I don’t want that to happen.”

(me) “Well, it might happen that way. In fact, it’s an absolute certainty, you will, one day, get very ill.”

(them) “Oh. I never thought of it like that.”

(me) “It is an urgent matter. Would you like to commit, right now, to accepting ginger ale as your stomach’s own personal savior?

I don’t evangelize any good news this way.

I just tell the truth, and share my experience. I don’t try a tactic, trick of technique to corner my prey, I mean, listener. I don’t simply because, anything I really love and enjoy I talk about anyway. It’s not fake. It’s not a sales pitch. It’s not a way to get people to do what I do, or believe what I believe. What they wish to believe is in their control. Besides, I personally can’t stand being manipulated, so why would I subject anyone to that?

What witnessing or evangelism follies have you seen or had tried on you?


7 responses to “Your Stomach’s Personal Savior- Evangelism Follies

  1. Nice! Well done post.

  2. Cool blog. This makes me ask the question what is evangelism? Is it a lifestyle? Is really one technique better than another? And it seems that each Christian gives the “message” a different way. And each person receives the message a different way. It comes down to two different personal worldviews that connect. Will they both be compatible? Is compatibility up to us? or is the HS the ultimate translator? So, do we have more faith in an ultimate way of Evangelism or do we have more faith in the HS? How much is up to us ultimately anyway? – Just thinking out loud.

  3. lisacolondelay

    Todd: Thanks for your thoughtful response. I appreciate your thoughts, and your participation.

    As I mull over your thoughts and questions, my responses are these:
    Our faith is in God and God is in control. He (not our cleverness) is piercing the hearts/minds of those who hear him. (Which I’m sure you agree, by reading what you’ve said.) He has decided that his Word, his Incarnation, and humans should be conduits of the message. We are obedient when we share the Good News of redemption. And yes, I think, at least for an unchurch person, it may be the difference of worldviews. In that case non response may boil down to a point of one’s will clinging to what one wishes, which is *also* the case in every time where spiritual growth is not choose. Yet, God works to restore us to himself. Patient Being, indeed.

    God manages well to use us even in our weaknesses. For this I am grateful.

    As for me, anybody can tell what and who I love. I don’t use a technique to reveal it.

  4. I used to worry that God wouldn’t forgive me for all the times I didn’t witness. These days, I end up praying he’ll forgive me for all the times I did.

  5. lisacolondelay

    Brilliant, Doug.

  6. Regarding lifestyle evangelism, St Francis of Assisi said it best: “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”
    I am so convinced that evangelism must revert to the natural courses of how we live. It must be enjoyed in relationship, because we love people–and that’s the only reason. I do not believe that God pressures us to evangelize out of urgency or any other reason, except love–which cannot revert to pressuring.
    Our “methods” speak directly about what we believe about God and even Christ’s sacrifice. Christ died out of love for me, not because I (and others) were his project.
    Nor do I believe evangelism to be a strategy. As if I have to learn how to disarm people. I “disarm” people when they know that I truly am interested in them and honor their opinions.
    So let’s keep it as natural as breathing.

    • lisacolondelay

      I really have enjoyed St Francis on that quote too. Of course, in the 1st century, the gospel message was outright preached by Peter, and you know, those guys.

      Now, as you mention, in a country where Christianity has been derided, and the cultural context is pluralist and post-modern, traveling life together (the gospel lived out, as the Church and in our individual lives) can espouse a most powerful Story of the Living God.