Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Alternative "Evangelization"

Several weeks ago as I was exiting a large grocery store downtown, I was handed this flyer promoting healthy living by an older Asian woman . I didn't have time to look at it until I came home. The pathetic clipart animals and their manipulative messages at the top made me laugh and shake my head in wonder. After doing some online research, I found the flyer connected to a sect of Buddahists who practice the Quan Yin Method,which is Meditation on the Inner Light and Sound, as taught by Supreme Master Ching Hai. If you spend even a little time reading the articles and links, you will find that this religion is inclusive, meaning anyone of any religion can participate. What is left out is that their beliefs, not surprisingly, directly oppose Christianity and our God. So really, if you do hold to other religious beliefs, you ultimately will not be able to practice their forms of Meditation and thus achieve their stated goal of an "omnipresent" being capable of relieving global suffering without leaving your home.
Later as I thought about this flyer, I found myself comparing it to some of the gospel tracts I have seen over the years. The corny quotient for some, leaves one wondering, is it wrong to be embarrassed by such a low-minded pitch? I have certainly experienced embarrassment over some tracts, followed by guilt that I should have that attitude towards an evangelistic tool. Without making this an attempt to explain away my feelings, I will say that our presentation of the gospel in any medium should contain both integrity in method and relevancy in content. Sharing the gospel requires discernment and an understanding of the seriousness of the topic, no matter the target audience. This flyer like some evangelistic tools fail in both categories making them difficult to be successful. Thankfully, it is God who is responsible for turning hearts to Him and not the gimmickry so prevalent in our culture today.

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