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Passions in Poetry

Evangelism?

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Local Rebel
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0 posted 04-01-2004 06:56 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

A church I drive past every day has a marquis sign out front upon which is usually posted the topic for the next sermon, an inspirational thought, a scripture, etc.

Today the message read;

quote:

April 1st is National Atheist Day



I'd thought American Christianity had progressed over the last 50 years.
Sunshine
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1 posted 04-01-2004 07:14 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


And here I see the joke...

Denise
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2 posted 04-01-2004 09:51 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Very sad. No, I wouldn't call that evangelism. More like a cheap shot, if you ask me.
Brad
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3 posted 04-01-2004 11:52 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Personally, I'm impressed.

This actually required thought.

Severn
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4 posted 04-02-2004 01:19 AM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

something about casting stones springs to mind..

snicker...

how cute

K
Balladeer
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5 posted 04-02-2004 07:57 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I've tried but I'm having a hard time attaching any importance to this. I'm with Brad....it showed a little creativity. So it was a dig at atheists done in a comical way...so what? The Christians can find it funny and the atheists ignore it....or even smile at it. I don't see anything so wrong with this type of banter. Believe it or not, there was a time in this country where opposing sides DID take lighthearted digs at each other and nobody got outraged or saddened or threatened to sue. I didn't get mad at Billy in kindergarten even if my mother DID wear army boots! I don't see anything so unhealthy about it or so maddening, frightful or saddening to promote the types of responses displayed here. "Very sad...cheap shot...I thought Christianity had progressed...". Geez! When did humanity lose half it's skin?? It was a cutesy little dig and that's all. Atheist say that religious wars are fights between two groups to see who has the best imaginary friend. I haven't see Christians revolt againt, or even pay any attention to the comment. Why are people so quick to get offended? Have we gotten so politically correct that NOTHING can be said in jest? Yes, I know, there are those who will say "Ok, then. What about white/black slurs, American/non-American slurs, men/women slurs. You can take this one little attempt at getting a smile and blow it up into anything you want. That seems to be the norm these days anyway.

Actually, LR, with all due respect I'm a little surprised you would initiate this thread. I am more surprised that you would take a thought a member, or pastor, in one small church out of tens of thousands came up with and paint all of Christianity with it with your closing sentence. ..just doesn't strike me as your style.

Ok, I'm grabbing my ankles....

Local Rebel
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6 posted 04-02-2004 08:28 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Well Deer.. that won't be necessary!  

I'm not mad at all.  

If anything I'm disappointed.  Why?  Because when I was growing up (in a Christian church) there were First and Second this's and Holier Than Thou that's and the First Federal Mortgage and Salvation church's on every corner -- arguing about whether it was better to take a bath or a shower, whether Jesus was God or if they were two different persons, whether or not they were saved by faith or works, or faith and works, whether or not they could play a (sic)pieannie in the church or if they had to sing acapulco... etc. etc. etc.

The whole idea of evangelism was to try and steal each other's members once a year at revival time.

Since I'm an agnostic and officially out of the loop I don't really keep up with what's going on inside the Churches too awful much -- but I do get exposed to books, television, and the occasional knock on the door.

I thought maybe the thrust of Evangelism was finally moving toward trying to help and include the disenfranchised and the disadvantaged -- even the unchurched.  

This little sign just reminded me that probably the bulk of em still just want to pat themselves on the back for being 'right'.

Thats all.
Local Rebel
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7 posted 04-02-2004 08:50 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I should probably add that a couple of weeks ago I was unable to escape hearing a conversation in a customer's business between two members of the same church in which one of them described his recent visit to another congregation that apparantly had a lot of money and a lot of people and listened to him run it down for it's fancy choir and fancy this's and that's but their little church had more spirit in their little fingers, yadda yadda yadda.

Sure, it's just human nature.

Does it mean all church's are like that?  No.

I'm not presenting a logical argument here though -- I'm just ranting in the alley...

If that's not my style then that's probably a good thing

but every once in a while even Spock had to ... um... scream.
Balladeer
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8 posted 04-02-2004 08:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

That's more like it. I was hoping I was simply guilty of misinterpretation...shoulda known.
Christopher
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9 posted 04-02-2004 09:26 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

heh. i too like it... clever.

beats the worn-out fish eating evolved fish being eaten by bigger fish... bumper attachments
Midnitesun
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10 posted 04-02-2004 11:01 PM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

ROTFL at Christopher's reply.
As for the sign, guess I'd have to go ask the one who put it up what their intent was before jumping to (or fishing for) conclusions as to the meaning. Though if it really went up on April 1st? Don't you have to chuckle a tiny bit? A catchy sign to catch an unwary passerby and tempt them to
"come on down"
Local Rebel
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11 posted 04-02-2004 11:10 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Certainly one wants to catch attention with advertising -- but then one wants to be on message.

What's the target market for this particular sign?  There are plenty of funny ads that sell nothing.

Are you guys telling me that you want to go to this church because of this sign?

(and weren't there two people just a couple of days ago complaining about rhetoric vs. dialog in another thread somewhere?   )
Local Rebel
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12 posted 04-02-2004 11:47 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

A couple of more questions;

Assuming that this sign was accompanied by a major Protestant brand (it was)... what if it said;

April 1st is National Catholic Day?

What if it was in Ireland?  

Or -- what if it just said

April 1st is National Buddhist Day?

National Islam Day?

What's the real sale here?
steavenr
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13 posted 04-03-2004 12:48 AM       View Profile for steavenr   Email steavenr   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit steavenr's Home Page   View IP for steavenr

It was simply a clever word play on the verse from the Book of the Psalms that states,"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." (14:1 and 53:1)

Offensive...well, that's why we all have opinions, isn't it...but I would rather err in believing they thought they were being clever and not offensive...but that is my opinion  
Ron
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14 posted 04-03-2004 12:56 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
You can take this one little attempt at getting a smile and blow it up into anything you want. That seems to be the norm these days anyway.

At the risk of dissecting humor (something no one should ever do), I think it's safe to say that we laugh best when we are surprised. We expect to go from Point A to Point B, and when we unexpectedly arrive at Point J instead, the result can sometimes be funny. Surprise is an integral and probably very necessary ingredient to laughter.

Unfortunately, shock can accomplish much the same thing and is always a hell of a lot simpler. Dirty jokes and potshots at others are easy. Even, dare I say it, cheap. IMO, the cost of a smile for one person shouldn't be a tear for someone else. Not when smiles and laughter are among the very few things in this world not restricted by supply.
serenity blaze
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15 posted 04-03-2004 01:27 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I think it's clever, and cute, and rather refreshing.

I'm also sitting here scratching my head, wondering why it irks me...
serenity blaze
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16 posted 04-03-2004 01:29 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Ah...

smile.

It irked me because it was just damned rude.

Brad
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17 posted 04-03-2004 01:56 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Um, why is it rude?

Aetheism isn't really like Buddhism, Islam, or Christianity. It's the rejection of a spiritual foundation for identity or whatever.

I think most of the time, we'd rather be talking about something else.

Don't confuse heretics with aetheists.

serenity blaze
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18 posted 04-03-2004 02:07 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Okay, okay, Brad.

So you atheist types don't need my "mothering."

Um.

TOUGH.

Ron
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19 posted 04-03-2004 02:46 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Um, why is it rude?

Is there a way to call someone a fool without being rude, Brad?
Brad
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20 posted 04-03-2004 03:37 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Maybe on April First?

Local Rebel
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21 posted 04-03-2004 05:39 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Okay, now THAT's funny.  

I don't know why one shouldn't analyze humor Ron.  It's done all the time.  There are even classes in it.  And you're absolutely right -- the first element is surprise.

And I was like Blazey -- scratching my head and trying to figure out why it irked me too -- and I've really just been sort of thinking out loud about it on this thread...

And then it dawned on me why -- Rude?  yeah.. but.. the second element for comedy... it has to contain an element of truth. If they thought it was funny -- they have to think it's true.

We all know the 'just kidding' tag line is somewhat disingenuous.  And I'm not sure how far from heretics we can throw Atheists Brad.  We know the first thing America does before it goes to war with people is call them 'godless'.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion including the KKK and the Neo-Nazis.  But, hate is hate.  I suppose it is because I hold Christians, and Americans to a higher standard for some reason.  Perhaps I shouldn't.
Brad
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22 posted 04-03-2004 06:34 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Well, of course, they mean it.

Look, nine times out of ten, when you tell a believer you're an atheist, they don't really believe it anyway.  Or they see us as numbers for their next recruitment job.

I just don't see that we'll be forced to wear, I don't know, red stars or something to identify us anytime soon.

But, perhaps, just perhaps, if we are to take this seriously, the best way to deal with it is to laugh at it? Didn't anybody notice that my first comment here was just a wee bit condescending?  
nakdthoughts
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23 posted 04-03-2004 12:54 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

Ron, I loved these words...

"IMO, the cost of a smile for one person shouldn't be a tear for someone else.
especially Not when smiles and laughter are among the very few things in this world not restricted by supply."

gave me something to think about today~
Thanks
M

Local Rebel
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24 posted 04-03-2004 01:06 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Yes Brad... and that's a strategy.  But I think we have a fundamental difference in our expectations.  I have to go back to Einstein here and say that like him saying he was an 'agnostic Jew', I have to say that I'm an agnostic Christian because it is the stock that I come from.

And I have a pretty clear picture in my head of the model of a Christian from my father.  I know what he worked for in his lifetime -- and saw him, along with others, make progress in the right direction.  That doesn't mean there still isn't progress being made -- but -- as a whole I notice more and more -- and it might be my imagination -- but there seems to be a vituperant tone to America since 9/11 -- and it's showing up everywhere.

You might expect this from Christians.  I don't.  They might expect an atheist or an agnostic to dig back.  I don't.  I think you're right -- most time's we would just shirk it off.  But we don't exist in a vacuum.

It saddens me that there are a good number of Christians who seem to be missing the best parts of Christianity.

On the whole atheists aren't a contingency but a lot of individuals -- but there are those groups out there -- and you know who they are -- I constantly refer to them as fake atheists... because in my opinion they are just theists who are angry at God.  Else why gather and talk about how bad Christians are?

I'm sure this swat on a billboard was aimed at them -- or maybe at someone who has a case before the Supreme Court to take 'under God' out of the Pledge... but -- I have to ask why swat at all?  Shouldn't the message be 'Atheists Welcome Too'?
 
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