Evangelism: The Idiot

Be warned.  This is a rant.  

This guy is an idiot.

But there is more.  His congregants defend his anti-gay tirade.

“”The Bible says they are worthy of death. He only preaches the word…God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

And

“Sometimes you’ve got to be scared straight. He is trying to save those people from going to hell.”

Other than the obvious dehumanization of the LGBTQ community, something else struck me as I have been poking at evangelism the last little while…

The idiot is sharing his faith.  Whether he knows it or not, even though he is preaching to his own tribe, his words became public.  This has become the Christian voice creeping back into our world.

It’s evangelism.  He’s sharing that the god he worships and follows wants those from the LGBTQ community to be locked up behind electric fences.

The problem is people are listening to something that is not gospel.  As I write this the above video is well over 550,000 views.  The Huffington Post and NBC have spread this across their networks.  It’s gone mini-viral reaching the many with a voice of judgement, hatred, and poor biblical exegesis.

It’s a reminder that the alternative is important.  It’s a reminder that Jesus does need new public relations (see the Jesus needs new PR blog, great stuff). It’s a call to come to people in the same manner that Jesus did.  Over a meal, with some wine, talking about life and building relationship.  It’s a simple recognition of humanity.  It’s mind blowing how difficult that can be for some people and how it somehow gets connected to the gospel.

What do you think?  How should we frame the message of Jesus to our world in light of this preachers comments?  What are the implications of defining ourselves by what we are not?

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11 comments

  1. Karina · May 24, 2012

    Has he heard the gospel? Did he miss the part where Jesus says love your neighbour? Love your enemy?
    Can you imagine Jesus saying to his disciples, “go out and build a fence, and gather all the homosexuals and and put them in there, and feed them. They will eventually die and there will be no more homosexuals after that. Problem solved. Then I’ll go and die on a cross for the people I love.”

    • chris lenshyn · May 24, 2012

      It is deeply frustrating!

      Mostly because it seems like it postures the Christian community to define itself by what it is not rather than what it is… We are (mostly) not like this guy, but because it gets so much play in our society it’s as if we need to say extensively that we are not that…

      Ugh.

  2. littlelaughingprincess · May 24, 2012

    “I’m not going to vote for a baby killer and a lover of homosexuals” He seems to have missed the fact that God is a deep lover of all humanity.

    • chris lenshyn · May 24, 2012

      Ya. His rant is quite unfortunate. His angry anti-LGBTQ posture is going to define Christianity for some. I find myself frustrated as many in the Christian faith community seek to define themselves by what they are not as a way of distancing from rants like this… Ugh!

  3. Andi · May 24, 2012

    Jesus hung out with the lowest of low in the Jewish and Gentile society in his day. Where do you think He would be preaching the gospels to if He had come back in our generation? Certainly not in this Guy’s church!

    • chris lenshyn · May 24, 2012

      Ya, it’s frustrating to hear this guy preach this way. Alas it is comforting to know that many whom follow Jesus ground themselves in a relational love to their neighbours…

  4. Leonard Hjalmarson · May 25, 2012

    Thank God for an alternate witness.
    Thank God for every preacher who defends the oppressed.
    Thank God for every Christian teacher who stands against prejudice in the name of Jesus.
    Thank God for every community that witnesses in its shared life to the true gospel of God’s grace!
    “Come all you stumblers who believe love rules..”

  5. Janet Ann Collins · May 27, 2012

    The Bible says we’re not supposed to pass judgement on others.

    • chris lenshyn · May 27, 2012

      Hi Janet.

      You are absolute right it does! This pastor passes judgement on those from the LGBTQ community. I’m passing judgement by calling him an idiot. I will own up to that…

      But your comment also got me thinking about something that is helpful to my bigger question. When we judge we are positioning ourselves against something. Like this gentleman with the LGTBQ community, and myself against this gentleman who I called an idiot… the perspective changes. Particularly with evangelism. Merely judging creates a stance of what one is against, not about what one is for… Hmmm.

      Thanks for the comment!

  6. Pingback: Evangelism: On Humility and Judgement « anabaptistly

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