Sunday, July 21, 2013

Christians, how NOT to preach!

I have a lot of Christian friends (and non-Christian friends as well) and I have been wanting to write about this but reluctant because I am not sure if what I write would be offensive to people. But I decided I would give it a try. So here it goes:

Christians, how NOT to preach:

1. Do NOT force your faith onto someone when he/she is not ready.
I remember about three years ago, I attended a Sunday service at a church and the pastor said that "evangelism is a process, not a presentation" (listen to this sermon here). I remember I nodded my head at that line, and I started actually listening to his sermon (instead of falling asleep you know). I know that as a Christian, you are supposed to go out and share your faith and the Gospel. But if you go to a non-believer and tell he/she that "Jesus died for you for your sins and He loves you and He is awesome ... blah blah blah .... now that you know it, are you prepared to say the prayer of Salvation?". Now if your listener looks at you (and this is very likely), and says "no, thank you", please do not push him/her to say that prayer of Salvation because if anything, you are just infuriating that person if you keep doing so. It's like a salesman coming to your house to sell you a product that you don't want to buy at that moment and if that salesman keeps pushing the product into your hands, how would you feel? Similarly, if you bring a friend to church, do not force your friend to take communion.

2. Do NOT say the following to a non-believer when you preach: "You are a sinner!" or "You have never heard of Jesus? Oh, you are so deprived!"
Okay, we all know that we are no saints, of course we all have done something wrong in our lives but you don't need to yell "You are a sinner!" in someone's face, especially when you are preaching. And oh yeah "I am so deprived"? That instantly makes the other person think that you feel like you are above him/her, that you are more noble than he/she is.

3. Do NOT leave a bad tip, or worse, just a Gospel tract, when you go out to eat after Sunday service.
It's not uncommon to hear people say that Christians are the worst tippers. Some of the things that I kept hearing from Christians is that if they are giving God 10%, why should they give servers 15-20%?? In fact, a St. Louis pastor Alois Bell, infamously put a big fat zero on an automatic 18% tip receipt and left a note saying "I give God 10%, why do you get 18?". THANK YOU, pastor Alois Bell, you have just flushed Christ's reputation down the drain. There are so many verses in the Bible about generosity, and generosity that can be only be seen inside the church (tithing) is not real generosity. Now if you tip well, feel free to include that Gospel tract.

4. NOT practicing what you preach
Now we are just human. We make mistakes. We have our good days and our bad days. But everyone knows someone who is just the opposite of what he/she is preaching. What happened to "the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness" and if you are the representation of that fruit, think hard before you act.

5. Do NOT quote Bible verses constantly when you talk
Now if you are discussing certain topics related to the Christianity faith with other Christians. Go ahead and speak in this common language shared among your group. For our daily conversations, you can quote it once in a while. However, putting a Bible verse in every single thing that you talk about is very annoying, especially when you also give details down to the the book and the chapter and the exact verse. I know you have a very good memory, you are knowledgeable and you know your Bible well. But so what? And if there are non-believers and people who are not Christians when you are quoting your Bible verses, that just makes everyone very uncomfortable.

Originally published on Bubblews:

(Image Credit: Google search - labeled to be used or shared, even commercially)

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