A Buddhist views an evangelistic event

Jeremy Myers has an interesting post on the reaction of a Buddhist friend who he took along to a supposedly evangelistic event put on by Christians – not so much about the content but about the culture. This was the Buddhist’s conclusion:

It just a big show…a production. I thought Jesus was about serving and helping other people, not about lights and loud speakers, and trying to act like Britney Spears. I’ve spent many years investigating all religions, and tonight had convinced me further that Christianity has nothing I want.

Are the evangelistic events we put on (yes, we can include Todd Bentley here) similarly full of Christian culture and foreign to those who we claim to be trying to reach? Jeremy concludes:

Have you ever tried so hard to do something for people who are not Christians, only to find out that only Christian come, and those few non-Christians who do come don’t stick around long? Maybe you should step back and take a look at what you are doing and how it might look to someone who has not grown up in the church. It truly is a bewildering spectacle.

0 thoughts on “A Buddhist views an evangelistic event

  1. We can’t apply a template for evangelism across all cultures. Church in Dallas, TX shouldn’t look like church in Kuwait and probably not the other way around either. We have to reach our culture and contextualize our evangelism. So I accept this critique as an important piece to Christians not creating our own subculture. But we also don’t want to say, we shouldn’t ever use lights and loud speakers either. We should use whatever is most effective for the culture and community we’re trying to reach. Sounds like this particular event might have done a poor job reaching the Buddhist community, but that doesn’t appear to be the target either.

  2. Kyle,

    I see what you’re saying, but I would argue that in America, this “concert style Christianity” can still be very oft-putting to many. On the other hand, there are definitely non-Christians who enjoy it, but too often I find that seems to be related to the fact that it imitates the world…and I don’t see God wanting us (Christians) to be a “cleaned up version” of the world. Lights and speakers in and of themselves aren’t bad, but we also don’t need them. Too often our message seems to get lost in our desire to put on a rock concert.

  3. Indeed, Kyle. I’m sure lights and loudspeakers are very appropriate in many circumstances, although I can’t think of appropriate ones for Jesus T-shirts and overpriced water bottles. But we do need to think about these things, and if the target is people who are not Christians, whether Buddhists or not, we need to realise that their culture is often quite different from ours.

  4. Rhea, I don’t want to be negative about Christian rock concerts. They are often good ways of reaching certain audiences, especially youth. But we need to use them with care.

  5. Pingback: evangelistic event

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