Sunday, 3 April 2011

Evangelical visiting

As its the first Sunday I have not preached for a very long time  there could be a danger of a sermon coming on!
  I had a most unexpected pair of callers yesterday. In Essex we had frequent visitors from various churches trying to bring us into the fold. No excuse,  such as my personal commitment to the C of E   was accepted. One lot came back over and over again. Had I not been a committed Christian this might well have turned me in the opposite direction.
They came mob handed and were very insistent. I listened to one lot several times before I  told them that I objected to to people on my doorstep trying to sell me Jesus as though it was a new brand of soap powder.
The two old men looked me up and down and then one of them said,
"Time of the month dearie?"
They had the sense to move off fairly smartly then....it could have got nasty.
Afterwards I phoned their chapel and asked the pastor if I could be taken off their visiting list. He said he would try but he could make no promises!
 Here in Cornwall I live in almost splendid isolation.  There is only one other house that is lived in for quite a long way so when I opened the door to two pleasant women yesterday I was surprised when one of them said, "We are calling on all the houses in the district today" She thrust a leaflet into my hands and said. "Take that as your personal invitation to come and find Jesus."
They second lady nudged her. She had noticed my dog collar.
There was a certain amount of nervous laughter....and I accepted the leaflet with thanks.
As they moved off one of them said to the other. "Well how was I to know it was a vicar!" The cross on my gate might have been a clue.
Anyway full marks for being adventurous. And they were both pleasant ladies. No one could have taken exception to them   but I did point out that the invitation was for a Sunday and that I worked on Sundays.
I have never been an evangelical...the thought of going out to accost a stranger to pass on the word of God does not come easily to me and yet I know that without the first Christians doing just that the church would never have happened.
I suppose its the approach.   My testimony to Christ is by smiling at people, never judging them and always being helpful. Hopefully this is my way of converting people to  possibly being sufficiently interested and coming to church to see for them selves.  They can see for themselves that being a Christian makes me happy.   And so possibly might do the same for them. It has worked in a few cases.

3 comments:

  1. Let me know (@Gurdur) if you like the offending church involved in the two men/"Time of the month dearie?" incident, and I will be quite happy as an atheist to blog on them, and I am sure the public feedback will eventually get back to whoever is running that setup.

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  2. Like you Jean I prefer to see my religion lived rather than 'loud-hailered' and buy nothing at all at the doorstep.
    My late father a communist had an infallible method of sending Jehovah's Witnesses running as if from the devil himself.
    He would agree to accept their newspaper as long as they would accept his copy of "The Morning Star", in those days still The Daily Worker.
    It worked every time.

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  3. It's strange that I am uncomfortable with this type of Evangelical visit to my home, particularly if they are insistent after I explain that I do not need to find God as he has already found me. Just perhaps not with their particular brand.

    We have a Jehavah's Witness Temple or Citadel quite near us and they are quite Evangelical, but seem to use their trainee's in our streets, who think that a polite no is not sufficient to allow them to go to the next house. But on the whole, they seem to be pleasant enough when they realise that their efforts will be wasted at this address.

    A couple of weeks ago, someone from a New 'Free Church' rang our bell and took the aggressive approach of thrusting a leaflet into my hand and asking me if I would like to know God. She was most insistent and although I was my usual polite, thanks-but-no thanks self, she felt that I really needed to come and see for myself. In the end it was simpler to take the leaflet and invitation and wish them well in their ministry and close the door.

    I later read in our local press, that they had been refused retrospective planning permission for their church, which had taken over a disused small business in a residential cul-de-sac due to the noise, disruption and parking obstructions they had caused since they opened. They have now moved elsewhere, hopefully to a better site for their church.

    That is perhaps Evangelism done badly.

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