Selling The Gospel

As you watch the first couple minutes of this, imagine that you’re being taught how to sell life insurance or Amway to the person instead of Jesus. Remove the “Holy Spirit” verbiage and it’s scary how closely it fits.

33 thoughts on “Selling The Gospel”

  1. Sure feels a LOT like the big ABC – Always Be Closing speech in Glengary Glen Ross. BLECH.

  2. 1. Insinuate yourself into their life — not because you have a genuine interest in them as a person but rather because you want their soul.

    2. Reduce the entire Gospel to being about avoiding judgment for sin. “Find a need and fill it.”

    3. Make sure not to cloud the issue by actually addressing stuff like worldview, religious background, or anything resembling one of the ‘big questions’ of philosophy. Also avoid defining your terms too closely.

    4. Walk them through a formula. Get that prayer said!

    5. Carve another notch on your Bible.

  3. He mentions that people might begin acting uncomfortable when you ask whether they know where they’ll spend eternity. He says this discomfort is psychological, because no one likes contemplating that they may be bound for Hell. He fails to realize that some people may be uncomfortable because a stranger they found lurking in Subway has suddenly begun pressing them for intimate details about their religious life.

  4. I wonder how he would react if a Mormon or JW started trying to witness to him in line at Subway.

  5. I know someone who does this and it makes me irritated. He was selling Jesus to a JW, and he got the JW to say a prayer. Then he precedes to say “Well he may be still doctrinally confused, but at least the devil doesn’t have his soul.” Then he leaves, never talking to him again.

  6. I had a rather unpleasant experience earlier this year of being witnessed to on an airplane. I was completely exhausted and had been looking forward sleeping and getting a little reading done on the flight. Most people take the hint when you make yourself comfortable (well, as comfortable as you can get in coach!) and close your eyes or pull out a book. Not this guy. He didn’t know how to shut the heck up. I was *extremely* uncomfortable, not because of any sense of conviction, but because I was tired and NOT in the mood to have some random stranger prying into my spiritual life. If I hadn’t already been a Christian I would have been seriously turned off to the gospel after hearing his presentation, and he wasn’t even a fundy!

    I’m not the type to open up and spill my guts to random strangers; that level of intimacy is reserved for a handful of close friends and family members only, and not even all of them have full access to my thoughts and feelings. I was very annoyed and a little creeped out recently when some guy in church who I’d never even spoken to before asked me if there was anything he could pray about, and kept prying when I gave him a noncommittal answer. If you want to know the intimate details of my life, get to know me first!

    Sorry for the rant, but this is something that REALLY pisses me off! Now back to your regularly scheduled commenting…

  7. but Darrell, the Mormons and the JW’s are not using his perfected method and are not selling his brand of truth. They are not under his MLM tier either so they are not helping him get his “Platinum Club” Lexus to drive around heaven. (storing up treasure don’t you know…)

    Seriously I can’t help but think about Matthew 23:15 when I see these “Brother Love Traveling Salvation Show” performers.

  8. Darrell’s summary is quite good.

    I wonder how he deals with people who are already saved. Would I be considered apostate that I don’t give my life story to a strange mormon-looking guy in a suit on a subway? Would I become fodder for his next sermon on the apostasy of America?

    Yep, I would.

  9. Who is to say you dont have a genuine interest in thier lives and who is to say they are doing it for a “Notch”. Darrel Why are you judging their motives? are you, yourself a christian? How is this site edifying to the body of christ my friend? i used to love this site and i am by no way, shape or form a fundamentalist but i see that a lot of the things said and done on this site cause unbelievers and believers alike to hate Christ, and his people.

  10. a lot of the things said and done on this site cause unbelievers and believers alike to hate Christ, and his people.

    A lot of things done and said by Christians out in public cause unbelievers and believers alike to hate Christ period. You know what isn’t edifying? Pretending those things don’t exist and refusing to acknowledge when Christians (and so-called Christians) are doing themselves and the cause of Christ more harm than good.

  11. @Antonio

    Who is to say you dont have a genuine interest in thier lives and who is to say they are doing it for a “Notch”.

    The number one reason why we can sit and make judgements about junk like that is because many if not most of us in our former fundy lives have played that game. We know hit-n-run, man centered, bate and switch evangelism when we see it. This style of evangelism is not biblical and is all about the numbers and the works one can claim.

  12. Who is to say you dont have a genuine interest in thier lives

    From my experience, if one really had a genuine interest in an individual’s life, then there would be relationship with the person. I was in a church that did this exact thing. I did this. I know plenty of churches where the pastor has gone “soulwinning” every day of the week for the past 3 or 4 years, with at least one soul won to Jesus every day. If they truely cared about the individual, then these churches would be overflowing with people. In fact one of them posts on facebook everyday the number of people won to Jesus, and the number of conscutive days he has been soulwinning. If you think its not about the numbers, then you should look a bit harder.

  13. When I went to a fundy college I worked as a telemarketer to pay my way through. During the mandatory soulwinning time, I’d sometimes catch myself slipping into the script from work.

  14. I originally thought this blog was another “Stuff ________ Like” blog, which are lighthearted blogs that poke gentle fun at their targets. This isn’t lighthearted at all. It’s blatant disdain for others.

    But this conversation has devolved into “How ANNOYING people who witness are.” I figure Paul must have been quite annoying to hear for some.

  15. You’d think we’d be tired of the same old complaints/allegations. But we’re fundamentalists and never tire of the same old tricks.

  16. I figure Paul must have been quite annoying to hear for some.

    Paul didn’t annoy people. He infuriated them through rational discussion. Compare his behavior on the Areopagus with the Subway-lurker we’ve been talking about. Moreover, the people he spoke to were willing listeners and not people he backed into a corner and badgered until they could get away.

  17. But this conversation has devolved into “How ANNOYING people who witness are.” I figure Paul must have been quite annoying to hear for some.

    No, it’s a conversation about how ANNOYING people are who sell the gospel as if it were magazine subscriptions or beauty products.

    From my reading of Scripture Paul didn’t do that.

  18. Six minutes into it, and not a word about repentance, by the way. Salvation is not “receiving”. It’s about repentance and faith.

  19. Uh-oh, SFL seems to be making martyrs for the Fundies to preach on. “Bless gid you should see how saten’s crowd is dividing the church and making fun of the 1611 KJV preaching, sin hatin’, Old Paths lovin, man of gid!

    All because we stand against a man centric presentation of the Gospel and against universalist/semi-universalist decisional regeneration.

  20. “Who is to say you dont have a genuine interest in thier lives and who is to say they are doing it for a “Notch”.”

    More often then not when the “soul winners” came back from Sat. morning “soul winning” at the fundy church we use to attned, they sat around and maligned those who didn’t “get saved” that morning. That is why I know they don’t have a genuine interest in the lives behind the doors they knock.

  21. I knocked on their door, clearly presented the gospel to them, and .. GUESS WHAT?!?! They did NOT accept Christ!

    Well, guess what? Open the door.. this is the norm, the overwhelming majority, the natural! If someone EVER gets saved, it is a rarity, a miracle… a Work of God! I perceive many fundies ignore reality.

  22. @ Lou – you said “I perceive many fundies ignore reality”

    I don’t know if it’s as much that as they create their own. So I guess you’re right in a way. It’s a different world for sure.

  23. @Darrell: You want to see some fundy “witnessing” at it’s finest? Try Dr. David Wood (David Wood Ministries) and “Operation Go”. I was at a church where they used this and every Sunday we’d hear about 8 or 10 people getting saved, for months on end. All told, 3 new people joined the church as a result of the program during that first year. I don’t know what happened to the other 98 1/2% of the folks who were speed-talked into “getting saved”, but that church is still using that program three years later.

    Of course, it’s a big money-maker for Dr. David Wood, but it has resulted in the near-ruin of the church where I saw it being used. The pastor got completely distracted by “Operation Go” to the utter abandonment of every other part of the church, and they lost almost 80% of their membership (that was as of when I left, not sure if it’s stabilized since then). But the pastor is completely blind to it and too busy worshiping Wood to even listen to people that try to point out to him what’s happening.

    Very sad, and very typical of the “get them to say the magic words” mentality of IFB soul-winning. David Wood Ministries is a sacred cow to many in IFB land, but going to Texas barbecues has taught me that no cow is to big to be properly roasted.

  24. As Tony Evans once said, “the Christian life is not 10 steps to anything.”

    I realize this statement is mainly about Sanctification. BUT – I always think about this phrase when I hear any sort of list-based “plan” to win souls.

  25. my last conversation with a fundie at the grocery store, steps 1 and 2 are complete
    fundie – “do you know where you will spend eternity, after you die”
    me – “yes of course, in the ground *smile*”
    fundie – “no no, i mean your soul, after you die, will you go to heaven or hell”
    me – “im assuming neither, but i guess i’ll find out when I get there”

    I know it wasnt right, but the look on this guys face was priceless, they didnt really put that scenario in the video, in my defense I talked to him nicely for a few minute and dexplained myself a little and he was very nice, turns out he and I go to the same University, anyway..thats my peice, i thought it was a somewhat comical situation.

  26. shirt too small so that button down collar bows out – check.
    tie with picture of a landscape on it – check.
    sermon containing no scripture – check.

  27. It drives me crazy when I hear my Fundy friends (mostly those who aren’t really aware that when I left the school I was at, I was leaving Fundyism behind) talk about how frustrating it is to become friends with someone and witness to them, only to see them not get saved. Well, if your “friend” has figured out that you are giving out friendship with an agenda, of course he/she is not going to be interested.

    How much better to genuinely be friends with someone and get to know them, then the conversation can flow naturally into philisophical discussions and perhaps the person will ask about salvation. But they’re not going to be interested once they figure out you only invited them over for dinner so you could preach at them …

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