roadkill.jpgFrom a local evangelical church, I recently received, via the flag on my mailbox, a bag of information. In this little baggie were three pamphlets of religious nature. One was a generic, mass produced bi-fold concerning the family-friendly, loving, caring atmosphere of the church. The second was an interesting booklet on the seven greatest questions in life; some great questions were ignored, and some that were included were unnecessary. The third was another bi-fold, this one an evangelistic tract with a call for conversion. The first was, as I said, generic and I won’t deal with it in this post. It was the other two pamphlets that disturbed me.

I’ll begin with the booklet. The answers to the questions were deflating to my hopes that the author and I would be engaged in a stimulating discussion on metaphysics.
Here are the questions and their corresponding answers listed in the booklet:
1. Why do I exist?
     Answer — You need to get saved.
2. Is there a God?
     Answer — You need to get saved.
3. Am I unique?
    Answer — You need to get saved.
4. Why is life unfair?
     Answer — You need to get saved.
5. Why do I feel so alone?
     Answer — You need to get saved.
6. Why don’t I do what I know I should?
     Answer — You need to get saved.
7. Is there life after death?
     Do I really need to tell you his answer?

Why do Christians detract from intelligently answering these questions? Honestly, I’m not sure our faithful parishioners, and even worse our church leaders, know the answers to these questions! I don’t think the church as a body really understands the impact these questions have on unbelievers’ lives and the enormous stumbling block we can be if we turn their legitimate questions into a time to throw a sermon at them. Christ never dismissed an opportunity to intelligently examine a man’s worldview before speaking to him. Francis Schaeffer said if you have 1 hour with a man, spend 50 minutes asking him questions. Instead of demonstrating love and genuine interest in their fellow humans, Christians have for so long plowed over unbelievers with evangelistic Mack Trucks, leaving them suffering and dying like forgotten roadkill 

The booklet had as its last question, “Is there life after death”- a fair question, and one that needs serious addressing in our postmodern, existential culture. The author however, instead of dealing with the question from a logical, intelligent, or even wholly Biblical stance, took the opportunity to give an answer that is not the answer to the question asked. The question asked whether an existence after physical life ceased was a reality, not whether or not we should prepare for that event. Can’t we at least agree that the church has been embarrassed enough by publicly demonstrating our ignorance?

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