PG looked out the window, and saw two men wearing neckties. They were walking up the driveway. PG put a shirt on, and arrived at the front door at the same time as the knock.
The African American stood closer to the door. He had a pamphlet in his hand. He said he was talking to the people in the neighborhood, and he had a question. Where can you go to find truth?
PG looked at the man, and did not smile. I don’t mean to be rude, but when I see you walking back down that driveway, that will be truth. Good bye.
The large man had a nervous laugh. He left without protest. The two men walked away, followed by a large African American woman wearing a long dress.
This is wrong on so many levels. Religion is a highly personal matter. At the very least, you should not go knocking on doors, pushing your opinions about a sensitive matter on strangers. The heathen hunter knew nothing about PG. He did not know, and probably did not care, about the festering wounds he was pouring salt in.
It is not possible to live in the United States without hearing about Jesus, and the scheme for life after death. PG has heard about “salvation” thousands of times, and has made the painful decision not to agree. This heathen hunter thinks that he will be so special. He thinks that hearing this obnoxious message for the ten thousand and first time will make be different. Jesus should give this man the gift of humility, and respect for his neighbor.
The jist of the post below is the need for trust and respect. If the person who you are preaching to does not trust you, then you are speaking in vain. Period, end of story. For this stranger to show up uninvited, and assume that he is trusted, is a gesture of disrespect.
There is also the race of the messenger to consider. PG is a Georgia white person, and has been around black people all his life. His attitudes about race have been criticized by anti black racists, anti white racists, and anti racism racists. PG tries to treat people with fairness and kindness. He also keeps an eye on his back. It does not make PG feel less violated to have a black man deliver an offensive message to his front door.
The person who taught PG the most about Jesus is the Bully for Jesus at Redo Blue. For seven years, PG worked across the room from this man. There were dozens of temper tantrums, hundreds of missed pickups, and thousands of hours, on company time, devoted to conducting a ministry. After a while, PG wished nothing more than to never hear the word Jesus again. It is highly relevant to today’s discussion to note that the Bully for Jesus is African American.
The third commandment says to not use the name of G-d “in vain”. There is a post from August of 2008 that deals with this issue. It will be repeated as part two of this post. Ironically, PG was reviewing posts from August when the heathen hunters appeared. The idea was to find posts, and pictures, that could be repeated when PG was too lazy to write anything new. Religion has long been a source of unhappiness for PG, and there is a lot of material.
In his unpaid role as resident non Jesus Worshiper, PG left the following comment at Twenty Two Words yesterday. ” I sometimes feel that I am the only non believer that comments here. You might consider that not everyone is impressed by your religion. Many shortcomings…selfishness, meanness, lack of respect for others … can be found in thoughtless, inappropriate preaching. Just because you are doing it for Jesus does not make it any less offensive. It also reflects poorly on Jesus”
To which another reader replied: “@Chamblee: You’re right, preachers can taint their own message. Can you expand on what you mean by thoughtless, inappropriate preaching?” Oh my. This is going to take more than twenty two words. Twenty two volumes might not cover it all.
There are two quotes that help. One is from a motivational speaker: “You need to sell yourself first, your company second, and your product third.” The second is the third commandment: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy G-d in Vain…”
Anyone can read to you from the Bible. Not everyone that does this has worthy motives. Some are crooks and thieves. For a person to preach to another, there needs to be TRUST. If you do not trust the person who is preaching to you, then that person is speaking in vain.
Trust has a brother named RESPECT. When you preach to a person who does not care for your message, you are showing disrespect to that person. When you preach without mutual respect you are speaking in vain. The third commandment is more than G-d’s last name.
This is not just the person you are talking to. It is everyone who comes in contact with your message. This is not just the words you speak, but your actions, the chrome fish on your car, the catchy phrase on your t shirt, and the Bible you make a show of carrying around.
We are all G-d’s children. When you disrespect the children of G-d, you disrespect G-d. And when you preach without trust and respect, you bring shame to Jesus.
Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.
This was written like David Foster Wallace.