Saturday, December 14, 2013

Bribing for Jesus

I will preface this by saying I have nothing against (in principle) to spreading the word of my Faith to those who aren't believers.  However, some of the tactics used raise some questions for me.

Radio spots have been appearing in the DFW area (and I'm sure all over the country), primarily on conservative leaning stations, asking for donations.  There are two flavors I've heard.  First, contribute to buy a water filtration system for some small village in who knows where.  Second, buy a water buffalo for a poor family in some unnamed backwater country.  OK ... both of those have merit, and would certainly benefit those who receive the gifts.  I will take the organization at its word that such donations will actually get the indicated items to the intended benefactors.

What I take issue with is the second part of the message.  It states that by providing such a gift, you are creating an avenue to entice the recipient convert to Christianity.

I am all for missionaries and others delivering the message of Christ to non-believers across the world.  If a person listens to the message and truly begins to believe in God, then that is wonderful.  If a person professes to accept the hand offering Jesus Christ while seeing this wonderful gift being dangled by the other hand, then that is wrong.  It is bribery at best, coercion at worst. 

My question to the organization doing this is - if the village or family your representatives approach with the message of Christ chooses not to listen, are you going to deliver the donated gift to them anyway?  Or will your folks pack up and move on to the next potential convert?

I have no reason to believe this organization is anything but legitimate, and truly believes in what it is doing.  However, I cannot agree with this approach.  The Word of Christ is powerful enough to stand on its own.  It doesn't need to be packaged with a bribe.

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