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Fundies in the Park with Jesus


tinuviel

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Hello from a mostly lurker!

I have delightful fundie-lite ministry stories.

Today I was sitting in the park in my big godless city listening to a jazz band and watching the people go by. I started noticing a large number of teenagers in matching tee-shirts that had little "86:12" logos on the front. It turned out that the logo stood for Psalms 86:12, but someone no doubt thought plain old numbers would make a cool and edgy group name.

They wandered around feeding pigeons and taking pictures with their phones for a while, and eventually got up as a group and sang praise and worship music about their love and longing for Jesus. Lots of sexy Jesus faces... you know the look.

A couple of kids did banjo solos and a cigarette hippie walked by and yelled "that's the devil's music!" and giggled to himself. A young kid on a scooter heard it, laughed, and said to his friend "yo, that dude who said that's the 'devil's music', ha! That was fucked up, 'cause that was a CHURCH!"

I didn't stick around long enough to hear whether anyone preached the plan of salvation at the end, but it was a Texas megachurch group, so I assume it happened at some point. I'm really curious about whether they handed out tracts or anything like that.

This kind of thing rubs me the wrong way. The kids are told that they're doing God's work, witnessing in spiritual dark places like my beloved godless city. But really, who the hell is going to change their religious ideas because of happy clappy praise music sung by a passing horde of tourists? And do they really think that people in 21st century America are unaware of Christianity? Is it really news?

One young guy from the group stood up between songs and said the following: So, our name is 86:!2 which stands for Psalms 86:12 which is about continually praising God. And one thing I kinda wanted to point out is that you can praise God all the time. You don't just have to be singing or whatever. You can worship God by like, helping an old lady--er--a person--a , homeless person across the street or on the stairs or the trains or something as a way of showing love for God. So, yeah, you can worship with your whole life.

That's all well and good, but what about being kind to people, just for their own sake or because it's a good thing to do? If someone is kind to me just because they're trying to show God they love him, then it seems like I just get lost somewhere in the middle. If the kind intention isn't really directed at the person toward whom you're acting, then it seems somehow less than fully kind.

Anyway, I can just imagine that when the kids go home they're going to talk about being a shining witness for God with their music, and they'll talk about how even places in America can be mission fields. They'll probably cite the hippie kid as an instance of persecution against Christians, and they might show pictures of sad hipsters to illustrate spiritual darkness while some poor girl cries about how the Lord worked in her heart during the trip.

Soooooo snarkable.

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"The devil's music!" LOL. And yes, I'm sure what homeless people need is to be walked across the street.

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Opening doors for someone with a bunch of packages, helping a mom with kids unload a cart full of groceries into her trunk. Jesus said there are angels among us, like the folks who offered to trade seats in the shade for our field level ones at an Angels game so my mom wouldn't pass out from the heat. I think doing good works without calling attention to yourself is much more in line with what Jesus taught than standing in a circle and ignoring the world around you... (hear that Maxwells?)

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Hey, you never know -- there might be someone in the crowd who thinks "God? Jesus? I never heard of this! I must know more!" :lol:

Your subject now has me singing "Finishing the Hat." :D

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Stuff like this does pull people in.

I remember a coworker who I guess believed in God and Christianity in a casual, non-churchgoing way, and then went to this rock and roll worship service for young people (this woman was close to 40, but whatever). The next day she talked about how inspiring the place was. She talked abuot the music, the energy, the "truth" that was portrayed in the sketches.

She wasn't sucked in. She didn't get saved that night. The effect wore off, but some people get really caught up in crap like that and do end up having a conversion. Who knows? Someone in real emotional pain could walk by and in their desperation latch on to this group.

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One of the most effective campaigns I ever saw was a bunch of kids standing with signs near a really nasty merge. The signs and shirts were the standard "jesus" fare, but there were a few that said "be a witness for god - let someone in" and "God loves those who let others merge."

It actually worked because whenever they were there, there was less honking and people actually let cars in. Talk about being an angel...

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