Article re-printed with permission from Changing the Face of Christianity.
A few months ago, I picked up a religious “Tract” that was left by a person with very good intentions…to “save” a soul.
For those of you who’ve never heard of “Tracts” or never seen one, it’s a small pamphlet that talks about Jesus and why we should confess our sins and accept His free gift of salvation and eternal life. Sounds harmless…and I think some are.
In this case, the tract was “over the top”. It was Scare tactics 101 – basically “you are a SINNER! and you WILL burn in a torturous and fiery eternal hell unless you repent right now!” It only gets worse from there.
After I read the Tract, I was seized by the question “Is this Good or Bad for Christianity’s reputation?” And, “Isn’t there a better way?”
Since stumbling upon that tract, I’ve discussed it on Facebook, chatted with friends, and tweeted about it. What I’ve heard is that YES…it does occasionally save people…no doubt about it.
However, the overwhelming majority of people I’ve talked to are repelled by such Tracts. As I’ve discussed such things with non-believers, it’s Tracts such as these that give Christianity a bad name, and a bad stereotype. It positions US as if we are in the judgment seat.
Instead of coming across as loving, we come across as judgmental…even hateful. Instead of showing God for the loving God that He his, we position Him as exclusively wrathful and angry. Non-believers are repulsed by such attempts to “save their soul”.
My opinion is these Tracts do more harm than good. Remember, it’s not about our “intent”. Non-believers are turned OFF by these…not turned ON. So much better is to relate to people in your circles of influence in a personal and real way…and show the Love of Christ.
But hey, we want to hear what you think!
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