Tuesday, September 8, 2009
This past weekend we went to the fair. There’s always a salt of the earth kind of quality to state fairs. They draw a colorful crowd to say the very least. My favorite part is the food (actually that’s the only reason I agree to go): fried twinkies, hot scones, grilled corn on the cob, kettle corn, elephant ears, giant turkey legs, and the latest creation, chocolate covered bacon. I didn’t make that last one up.
We walked around taking in the sights, deciding which neon carnival ride would make us feel brave and daring but the least ill, and avoiding a few seedy characters I’m pretty sure I saw on America’s Most Wanted. Does anyone else wonder how safe rides operated by toothless meth users are? We toured the livestock barns, got to pet some piglets, and decided that of all the barns, the swine barn smelled the absolute worst.
Toward the end of the night, we happened upon a little trailer called the “Godmobile.” In big read letters, it read “Are you going to Heaven? Free two question test reveals the answer!” I immediately felt irritated with the Godmobile. Before I begin the rant, let me say that I’m sure that the intentions of the Godmobile creators and its staff were good. They want people to know God. I also want people to know God.
But, I have to question the basic methodology. The Godmobile isn’t coming at evangelism from a place of love or grace or relationship. It begins with a gimmicky scare tactic and a not so subtle threat of eternal condemnation. What on earth is attractive about that? I watched people walking by pointing, laughing, and shaking their heads. I could almost read their thoughts. “Another nut job Christian.” I wanted to chase after them and shout, “Not all of us are like that! Not all Christians want to judge you and condemn you! Come to my house for coffee! Let’s have a beer!” I continued to watch the Godmobile for the next 10 minutes and no one, I mean no one, got in line to take the free test.
I really believe that HOW we represent Christ matters. I’m sure the Godmobile staff entered into a few good conversations with people at the fair. But, I wonder how many more people were turned off to the idea of following Christ. How much damage was done?
Many of you who read this blog know that I’m a Christian, a pastor’s wife even. I follow Christ, not out of fear, obligation, or intimidation. I follow him because I have been profoundly changed by the grace and love I have found in my relationship with him.
So, I’m curious to know your thoughts on the Godmobile…….