Farah: Christians Don’t Proselytize Enough


Joseph Farah of the Worldnutdaily is trying to help his readers understand why Christians are “losing the culture.” He offers several reasons why this is allegedly so (if only!), starting with the fact that Christians in the United States just don’t proselytize enough:

There are many reasons Christians are losing the culture.

They don’t evangelize: The first-century followers of Jesus turned the world upside down because they lived their faith boldly, confronting the pagan culture even in the face of certain death. They did this out of love for sinners so they would have a chance to repent and avoid hell. As a consequence, they saved many from hell on earth. Nothing could stop them from telling others the good news. Today, most people who claim to be Christians are too afraid to evangelize – not because they will be killed, but because they might offend someone!

Yeah, I’m sure that must be it. We sinners just need to be reminded more often that they think we’re going to hell and that Jesus died for our sins. If they’d just tell us that more often, they’d still have total control of the country and the culture.

Comments

  1. raven says

    Farah:

    They don’t evangelize:

    Actually they spend huge amounts of time and money evangelizing.

    It’s just that fundie xianity has morphed into Right Wing Extremism with a few crosses stuck on for show.

    So they spend huge amounts of time and money trying to convert people to right wing extremism.

    US xianity is dying, killed by its own hand.

    1. 2-3 million people leave the US churches every year.

    2. The fundie version of xianity has died from the inside out. It hollowed itself out and died from within without anyone noticing or caring. It’s intellectually and morally bankrupt and just a Zombie these days.

  2. hunter says

    Do you suppose it’s because I threatened to call a cop the last time someone tried to “proselytize” me in a subway station?

  3. says

    My Friday lunch group used to include a token right-wing Christian (he had drifted from his saner younger days but maintained several long-time friendships). Occasionally he could not resist the impulse to proselytize our group of liberals and secularists. “People need to hear the good news about Jesus,” he’d say. Someone would reply, “Everybody has. Some don’t buy it.” That always seemed to perplex him, because his brain couldn’t process the notion that folks could hear the “good news” and not embrace it.

    Farah has the same blind spot. Of course, he also had the added benefit of being as stupid as a post.

  4. Childermass says

    In a perverse way, I actually agree with the dodo.

    Fundamentalist Christians don’t proselytize enough. If everyone who is not a fundamentalist Christian really is going to be tortured forever when they die, it is a holocaust that makes anything Hitler did seem infinitely minor. (Of course, this is a good reason to suppose that the God of fundamentalist Christianity is evil, but that is another comment.)

    If fundamentalist Christians really do believe their own doctrine then then they are morally required to proselytize. To do otherwise is to allow people to be tortured forever. The vast majority of them are not engaged in evangelism whatsoever. Why? It is like they are acting like their own beliefs are false.

    I don’t think I had as much as three people come to my door to proselytize in the last decade. None argued when I said no thank you. Last year, I had one come up to me when I was walking and again simple statement that I was not interested was enough to disengage. Yeah there are bill boards and junk mail but I am free to ignore them.

    They can do more, and if really had the courage of their convictions they would. The vast majority of them are not actively witnessing. Their religion should be harshly judged on this fact.

  5. dingojack says

    zeno – just ‘some’? I’d say, almost no-one at all. That’s why the organised religions are hemorrhaging members (see Raven’s repeated claim).
    Dingo

  6. Rodney Nelson says

    “People need to hear the good news about Jesus”

    Actually we don’t. We don’t need to hear it, certain Christians need to say it. It’s not about us and our needs and desires. It’s about them and their need to get brownie points from Jesus.

  7. sunsangnim says

    I agree with Childermass, if you truly believe you can save someone from the lake of fire, you have an obligation to tell that person about Jesus. But who doesn’t know about Jesus? Even if you go to remote parts of Africa, you’ll find you weren’t the first Christian to go there. Just look at the crazy Christians in Uganda.

    Everybody’s already heard the “good news” and some of us just don’t want any part of it.

  8. says

    The first-century followers of Jesus turned the world upside down be cause they lived their faith boldly …

    Um … know that fish symbol? It was a secret sign to show where fellow Christians were. Yes, Xians were butally persecuted and, if Xian history is to be believed, they withstood it … er … Stoically. But they were not bold about it, for good reason.

    The notion that, despite all the televangelists, the millions of dollars spent in proselytizing (not to mention campaign advertizing) by Dobson, Robertson, Graham et al., et al. and, indeed, WingNutDaily itself, that there is a dearth of evangelizing in America is just another example of some people’s inability to wake up and smell the coffee.

  9. raven says

    We’ve all heard the “Good News” about jesus.

    It’s not Good.

    It’s not News either.

    Due to demographic changes, most atheists are ex-Xians.

  10. says

    One point I made a while back: They’re fighting two battles with people like me. First, they have to prove their god exists. Second, they have to convince me he’s worth associating with.

  11. marcus says

    I do believe that the christers are “loosing the culture” not quickly enough, but still, it is going to happen, barring any unforeseen catastrophes. The weight of progress and science are ultimately against them.

  12. thalwen says

    Funny, it was the conversion and confrontation from “true” Christians that convinced me, when I was leaning towards religion, to reject it altogether. Somehow, insulting people and telling them they are going to go to hell unless they adopt some antiquated lifestyle and give up their civil rights isn’t an appealing message.

  13. lamacher says

    Farah knows little about early Christianity. It’s true that they prosetelysed, but among their own circles. Even at the onset of the 4th C they made up not more than 10% of the Mediterranean population. They were persecuted at times, severely by Diocletian, but after the Edict of Milan in the early 4th C., persecution ceased – indeed, they enjoyed a priveleged position. Fact was, most of their neighbors and acquaintances simply were not interested – until it became politically advantageous to convert, as it did later on. Joe should spruce up his ‘facts’.

  14. kantalope says

    And then after that lots of evangelizing came at the point of a sword – not that Farah would object to that.

  15. raven says

    Xianity took over the Pagan religions the way they all do.

    They persecuted the Pagans as much as they could until there weren’t very many of them left.

    Then they destroyed all their shrines and temples and killed the few that remained. It took a few centuries.

  16. says

    hunter,

    Do you suppose it’s because I threatened to call a cop the last time someone tried to “proselytize” me in a subway station?

    The cop would probably call you an idiot (or want to) and tell you to quit wasting his time, given that it is not illegal for an adult to approach another adult and attempt to start a conversation. At least in the US.

    Bronze Dog,

    One point I made a while back: They’re fighting two battles with people like me. First, they have to prove their god exists. Second, they have to convince me he’s worth associating with.

    No we don’t. We are commanded to present the gospel, not to prove that god exists (impossible) or to convince you that he’s worth associating with (also impossible.) It is all about the message, not about about the response. We are not “fighting battles with people like you” (whatever you mean by “people like me”), none at all. You flatter yourself.

  17. dan4 says

    “As a consequence, they saved many from hell on earth.”

    Given the larger context of the column (where Farrah is clearly talking about “hell” in the form of the afterlife), I don’t understand the “on earth” inclusion in that sentence.

  18. Larry says

    He’s right. Its time to break out the God Hates Fags and God Hates Liberals and God Hates Atheists and God Hates Scientists messaging to show God’s love.

  19. Michael Heath says

    heddle writes:

    We are commanded to present the gospel, not to prove that god exists (impossible)

    I agree. But that alone tells us why no reasonable person should believe in the Christian understanding of the existence and nature of God; specifically because we exist in a reality where we can confidently understand things yet there’s no evidence for this god and arguably, any god.

    I think, and it’s mere speculation, this is why Christians are more eager to proselytize primitive cultures or the uneducated and vulnerable among us. I also think is why Christianity and other religions succeed best in societies where there’s more financial insecurity and more expressions of hatred and fear.

    A more educated secure society more readily and frequently dispenses with God, simply because the dishonest tactics which avoid the lack of evidence are less compelling when there’s less reason to hate and fear.

  20. raven says

    Joseph Farah of the Worldnutdaily is trying to help his readers understand why Christians are “losing the culture.”

    What Farah means here is Real True Xians.

    They are all old white people, right wing extremists, hate science, creationists, hate everybody but their tribal group, and think George Bush was a raving liberal. They especially hate Fake Xians.

    Fake Xians vote for Democrats and send their kids to college.

    The followers of Farah’s sockpuppet god aren’t losing the culture. They were never more than a very large lunatic fringe based in the south and central USA.

  21. Michael Heath says

    I wonder what the ratings would be for a reality-TV show where Christians proselytized scientists who are experts in scientific methodology and also prepared for such efforts.

  22. johnhodges says

    I once went through the four gospels to collect everything Jesus is reported to have said about what his followers should DO. I learned that Jesus expected Judgment Day and the end of the world Real Soon Now, maybe next Thursday, certainly within the lifetime of the people standing there hearing him speak. He taught that people should take drastic measures to rack up as much credit as possible in the limited time remaining, in the hope of being among the few who would be saved. Sell everything you own and use the money to do good works. Follow the entire Law of Moses, down to the last iota. Practice strict nonviolent pacifism… do not resist evil, do not strike back, turn the other cheek, do good to those who hate you. Abandon all your Earthy ambitions, abandon your Earthly family, dedicate yourself to doing good works, purifying your own character, and spreading the gospel. Seek to “be perfect, even as your father in Heaven is perfect.”

    According to Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus did not say you would be saved by BELIEVING this or that, he said you might be saved by DOING this, and this, and this, and this, and this also, and that.

    Chapter and verse on all of this at
    http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/the-ethics-of-jesus

  23. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    We are commanded to present the gospel, not to prove that god exists (impossible) or to convince you that he’s worth associating with (also impossible.) It is all about the message, not about about the response.

    So, save yourselves some time so you can do more interesting and rewarding actions. Make a tape and set it to repeat.

    Message is spread. Even though one would be hard pressed to find people who have not heard the message.

    Funny line though about flattering one’s self.

    Oh! I get it, heddle just now witnessed for his god!

    Good job, heddle. Your god is so happy that you are spreading the message.

  24. Michael Heath says

    Janine: Hallucinating Liar,

    What do you hope to achieve with your label? When I read heddle’s last post I thought he was describing you with what follows ‘Janine’, and then I looked up at your post and you describe yourself this way. Why smack yourself in the face prior to even writing your post?

  25. says

    Janine: Hallucinating Liar,

    Heddle does not like me. What shall I do?

    I suggest you seek validation that you are cool and smart from other people seeking validation that they are cool and smart–that’s the pharynguloid raison d’être. It is surprising that you have to ask.

  26. Janine: Hallucinating Liar says

    Micheal Heath, I change my moniker frequently. Usually, they are insults that have been thrown my way. Sorry that you think I am “smacking myself in the face”.

    I will stop now. I am afraid I derailed this.

  27. tonysnark says

    I am happy for them to proselytize to me. I’d be delighted to see if I can induce them to feel an appropriate level of shame for their willful stupidity. It’ll be good practice!

  28. says

    We are commanded to present the gospel, not to prove that god exists (impossible) or to convince you that he’s worth associating with (also impossible.)

    Given that you have stated that it’s impossible to achieve anything (other than annoying people) by blithering at them about Jesus, what exactly is the point of doing so? Do you get some kind of bizarre thrill by annoying people? Or are you simply that devoted to following the instructions of a collection of long-dead preachers like an automaton, without regard to context of consistency?

  29. says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Given that you have stated that it’s impossible to achieve anything

    I never said it was impossible to achieve anything. Please go re-read.

    Your blatantly false premise aside, there are many answers to your question. If you are seriously interested, which of course your are not, I’d suggest the easy read Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. Just one important reason to evangelize is not to reach the lost, but to reach the converted who have no context for their conversion. The great commission (Matt 28:16-20) is not to go forth and make converts (that’s what is impossible), but to make disciples. Evangelism is not a call to be an obstetrician, but to be a paediatrician.

  30. says

    schweinhundt,

    Good luck with that.

    Thanks. I am always amazed at how high the success rate is, especially recently–although “luck” and “success rate” are words that apply to the appearances only.

  31. baal says

    The great commission (Matt 28:16-20) is not to go forth and make converts (that’s what is impossible), but to make disciples.

    Fogging the flock or seeking purity or whipping (political usage) immoral. It’s not ok when one Canadian FTB blogger does it to another Canadian FTB blogger* and it’s not ok when you xtians do it amongst yourselves. Life is messy and with lots of person specific problems that depend on the context of just that person. By putting the group first or applying one-size-fits-all solutions, you harm the individuals because it’s not possible to tailor a group message to all its members. Worse, you’re preventing them from rationally considering the items that should have the highest priorities by constantly inserting your pet hobby horse.

    Creating disciples or commandos or activists is bad.

    *oddly, Crommunist seems to get the most flack for non-adherence from other bloggers. Taslima is second but she’s episodically nutty.

  32. bradleybetts says

    “The first-century followers of Jesus turned the world upside down because they lived their faith boldly, confronting the pagan culture even in the face of certain death.”

    I think you’ll find, Joey, that the original Christians were mainly confronting the Jews, albeit with a generous side helping of the admittedly pagan Romans. But of course admitting that would endanger acceptance of the pathological Pro-Israeli stance that seems to go hand in hand with the U.S. Evangelical Nutjob worldview these days.

  33. says

    We are commanded to present the gospel, not to prove that god exists (impossible) or to convince you that he’s worth associating with (also impossible.)

    Given that the central tenets of the Gospel require that a person believe in the existence of a loving god, your statement is contradictory. A person cannot “accept Jesus” with being convinced both that he exists and that he loves you. If you believe that it is impossible to convince someone that both of those ideas are true, the evangelism becomes nothing but a pointless masturbatory exercise.

  34. says

    d.c.wilson ,

    Given that the central tenets of the Gospel require that a person believe in the existence of a loving god, your statement is contradictory.

    No, it isn’t contradictory. It might be wrong, but it is entirely self-consistent. The marquee reformers: Luther, Calvin and Zwingli –they each taught (and claimed the bible taught) that a person is first converted (saved) and then then they quickly or eventually come to believe–not the other way around. So it is not a central tenet (as you claim) of Reformed Protestantism or Roman Catholicism (which claims that baptism can save). It is only a central tenet of non-Calvinistic Protestantism. And even they discard it when it comes to dead babies.

  35. frog says

    Christians aren’t proselytizing enough? Does anyone else proselytize? I think maybe there are some Muslim proselytizers in the African American community (I’m white), but, you know, that’s pretty obviously tracing from the Christian roots (both of Islam as a faith and of African Americans in general).

    The world would be a hell of a lot better off if people would shut the hell up more often.

  36. says

    Just one important reason to evangelize is not to reach the lost, but to reach the converted who have no context for their conversion.

    Two points: First, this is total gibberish. It’s quite impossible to be converted to any religious faith without first being aware of it; there were no Christians in the Americas before the 1490s, and there are none among the Jawara today, as no Christian missionaries have ever set foot upon their island. Second, you have stated elsewhere that according to your religion neither belief nor behaviour has any bearing on whether god will let you into heaven or not. Thus, evangelizing remains entirely without purpose, even according to your own stated belief system. So, it looks like the answer to my initial question is (b), machinelike following of the instructions of long-dead preachers without consideration for context or reality, which leads to my next question: Why do you slavishly follow the ravings of millenia-dead zealots and rebels?

  37. says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy ,

    It’s quite impossible to be converted to any religious faith without first being aware of it; there were no Christians in the Americas before the 1490s, and there are none among the Jawara today,

    That is begging the question. If Calvinism, for example, is correct then it is entirely possible that people are converted without being aware of it. They just wouldn’t know what they were converted to or how to express it. Again, virtually all Christian sects believe that dead babies at least might be converted without being “aware of it,” as well and the mentally handicapped. You are simply stating “that can’t happen because it can’t happen.”

    Second, you have stated elsewhere that according to your religion neither belief nor behaviour has any bearing on whether god will let you into heaven or not. Thus, evangelizing remains entirely without purpose

    I just told you one of the purposes–which is to place someone’s conversion into context. There are others, but one is sufficient to refute your claim that it is without purpose. All you can say is that that purpose I have given, (and others that I could give) doesn’t, for some reason, count. And again begging the question. If the only reason is to increase the population of heaven, then yes there is no point. But not only is that not the only reason–it is not even one of the reasons.

  38. says

    If Calvinism, for example, is correct then it is entirely possible that people are converted without being aware of it.

    That’s a very big if, and one for which you’ve provided not a shred of evidence. Further, as with so much of your theology, it’s incoherent. How does one believe something without knowing what one believes? What is the actual content of such a belief? I might as well say that you’ve converted to Hinduism, you just don’t know it because you haven’t got the right context.

    All you can say is that that purpose I have given, (and others that I could give) doesn’t, for some reason, count.

    The reasons you’ve given are incoherent and circular.

  39. says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    How does one believe something without knowing what one believes?

    I didn’t say they believe, I said they were converted (saved.) That is the whole point–they have no context to place their conversion. (They do have creation–which by itself provides a sufficient though incomplete context.) They never heard of Jesus–so of course they do not “believe” in Jesus. Dead babies don’t/didn’t believe in Jesus either.

    The reasons you’ve given are incoherent and circular.

    No they aren’t, just because you say so. The reason that “it places their conversion in context” may be wrong, but it is neither incoherent nor circular.

  40. says

    Your description of ‘conversion’ is what’s incoherent. You apparently can’t describe what you mean by someone who is ‘converted without context’ in a meaningful way. Incidentally, the ‘dead babies are saved even though they didn’t believe’ isn’t something worth continuing with to make whatever passes for your point; it’s not any more coherent than any other part of theology.

  41. says

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy,

    Let’s agree that your response to everything is a well-thought out “it’s incoherent.” We can now stop wasting pixels.

  42. says

    It’s not my fault you’ve devoted your life to nonsense, heddle. You can stop absolutely any time. I already know all of your arguments, because you never change them; I’m just blowing off a bit of steam prodding at them, because it amuses me to watch you scurry around trying to justify your gibberish. Looks like I’ve just about exhausted this round, though, since you’ve decided to stomp off in a huff. See you around.

  43. says

    It might be wrong, but it is entirely self-consistent. The marquee reformers: Luther, Calvin and Zwingli –they each taught (and claimed the bible taught) that a person is first converted (saved) and then then they quickly or eventually come to believe–not the other way around.

    That makes absolutely no sense. How can you convert to a religion before you believe in it?

    I admit it’s been a long time since I set foot inside a Lutheran church, but I do remember that joining required a profession of faith. The key doctrine that Luther taught (he was pre-Calvin) was justification by faith alone. In other words, you are saved only by having faith in Jesus and the forgiveness of sins. Good works do not get you into heaven. Only through believing in the existence of a loving god can you be “saved”.

    So yes, according to the guy who kicked off the entire Protestant Reformation, you have to be convinced that god exists and that he is a loving god. So, back to your original point, if you believe it is impossible to convince someone that a benevolent god exists, then proselytizing is a useless, masturbatory action.

  44. says

    d.c.wilson,

    You are all mixed up

    Lutheran churches, because of a quirk in history,follow Philipp Melancthon more than Martin Luther.

    But that is an aside.

    In other words, you are saved only by having faith in Jesus and the forgiveness of sins.

    That is true.But he also taught, a la Eph 2:8, that the faith is a gift from god–and that you were dead before god granted that faith. He did not teach that you had to muster the faith and if you did you would be saved.

    but I do remember that joining required a profession of faith.

    Most churches are probably all evangelical churches require a profession of faith before joining. But they also do not (the mainstream churches,anyway) say that you are saved by joining the church. The profession is seen as evidence that you are saved. This is consistent with what I said–belief is correlated with being saved–but as an effect rather than a cause. Luther taught this. Calvin taught this. Zwingli taught this. The Lutheran church does not teach this.

    How can you convert to a religion before you believe in it?

    You can’t. I never said you converted to a religion–religions are man made. I said you were converted. This is a theological term more or less synonymous with being saved. It means that you have been changed by god–what is commonly called “born again.”

    if you believe it is impossible to convince someone that a benevolent god exists, then proselytizing is a useless, masturbatory action.

    No–if you actually take the time to understand what Luther taught,you will see that it is useless in terms of saving people, but not useless in terms of helping those god has saved–and for other reasons.

    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    because it amuses me to watch you scurry around trying to justify your gibberish.

    Sorry. Some people know enough to make me scurry (for answers) –but not you. You are totally bush league. But if your fantasy that you make me scurry amuses me–have at it.

  45. says

    I suppose it must be easier to argue when you don’t bother with logic or evidence. Just memorize your half-dozen favorite arguments from authority, and pretend you can play with the big kids. If you don’t want bush-league response, try bringing a serious game.

  46. dingojack says

    Heddle – let me see if I’ve got this right:

    “Most churches are probably all evangelical churches require a profession of faith before joining. But they also do not (the mainstream churches,anyway) say that you are saved by joining the church. The profession is seen as evidence that you are saved.”

    a) Profession of faith is requirement of joining a church*.
    b) Joining the church doesn’t mean you are saved.
    c) Profession of faith is evidence that you are saved.

    So in order to join you have to profess faith (a), which is evidence of being saved (c), except it isn’t evidence of being saved (b).

    Dingo
    —–
    * not in general, but specifically

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