Here is a great account of a Pastor’s wife and how God directed her to bring lost sheep back into the fold. It is a beautiful example of Christianity in action.
I’ve always thought is was best not to preach in order to get people closer to your world, because for some reason, if you bring religion into the picture, non-believers will have the tendency to be disdained by it and ignore you (fatal mistake made by Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and evangelicals who knock on every door in town; with all due respect).
Instead, people need to show their personal, human but secretly God-given compassion. That way, those who are helped won’t be bothered by such a sensitive topic such as religion, will feel closer to the religious individuals helping them, and will see the good side of them, as did the stripper in the article. She saw that these Christians behaved like Christians: feed the poor, spend your money on charity, aid the helpless, and so on, not as preachers (pejorative term): hellfire, God’s wrath, etc.
Kudos to both the feeders and the ex-stripper(s).
This is actually how the missionaries reached out to the various tribes in areas of the world unexplored by the West.
What conclusion are we to draw from this article, that giving strippers expensive Mary Kay cosmetics is an effective evangelization tool?
I would hope that the broader message is that friendship must often precede evangelization.
I was not aware of that.
Also, what often happens when missionaries preach their beliefs and their proselytism is successful is the emergence syncretic folk religions like Santeria or Haitian Voodoo, which combine Catholicism with an indigenous, traditional spirituality; something easily condemned by the parent church. Naturally, when leaving a tradition, one has the desire to bring some of it with them, which is what happened at the dawn of these folk religions.
I’m from the Spinozan school of thought (was it Spinoza who said this?) that morality precedes creed or belief. This is why we have both horrible and grandiose people of nearly all religions and beliefs throughout history.
So yes, kindness and friendship definitely should precede evangelization. Superficial and yes, materialistic actions such as purchasing cosmetics for someone is definitely a starting point, especially if they’re the superficial and materialistic type (not that the stripper in the article was).
yes and also when they heard God’s will they acted on it which is something most people don’t do. Also, the pastor’s wife had hope for her - saving her a seat for 3 weeks - these are no small things. She reached out to an sinner and gently and patiently allowed God to do His work. She went to school and another church member found her a job so it was the combined efforts of several people that helped her change her life. I hope these lessons didn’t pass you by - there is a lot, I think, to be learned from this story. This has become a national ministry for women in this line of work - God’s hand is certainly obvious in it.
What a heartwarming story. Thank you for sharing, I really enjoyed that
Haitian Voudon has more to do with the viscous oppression by the French colonists than what the missionaries taught. When the average life expectancy of the imported slave was 15 years, nobody paid much attention to what they did during their limited free time.
This says to me something very important to evangelizers. . . namely, there may be VERY blind spots in our eyes.
It’s EASY to visit the sick, prisoners, the atheists, children, those of other faiths. . . but actual sinners might be even harder to effectively learn to communicate with.
Especially those involved in sexual sin. Or hardcore drug abuse, for that matter.