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Deceipt as an Evangelistic Tool

Discussion in 'Christianity and World Religion' started by cloudyday2, Nov 18, 2020.

  1. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    There is the saying "if you aren't cheating you're not trying." What do you think about being mildly deceptive in the promotion of Christianity in an effort to save more souls?

    I own a lot of Christian documentaries on DVD that I watch frequently. I have noticed that the narrators often make claims that are not actually justified by the interviews with historians and other experts. I assume the editors of the documentaries know that they are being deceptive, but they think it is acceptable.
     
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  2. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    No. It's a bad idea to be even mildly deceptive. But it seems some Christians are not willing to be honest about the dark periods in Christian history, or legitimate questions about the scriptures, or questions about doctrine so that they start off on the wrong foot. Honesty and a willingness to be self-critical is essential if one expects to be taken seriously, imo.
     
  3. keith99

    keith99 sola dosis facit venenum

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    Jesus said he was the way, the truth and the light.

    Lying for Him makes it a false way and darkness.
     
  4. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    This sort of thing really bothers me. It never ends well. There is saying that I picked up from an older Christian message board that said "How you win people over is what you win them over to." And I have take that to heart because, I have seen to much manipulation etc. myself.


    Lots of lots of problems with this approach in theology and mind set. Evangelism is not suppose to be some sub branch of high pressure sales where God gives the evangelist big commissions for everybody he gets to pray "the Sinner's prayer"
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2020
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  5. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Another thing to consider is that humans probably cannot know anything for certain. Our science is only a best guess that is always in flux. Factuality is impossible, so a lie is not about facts and non-facts.A lie is about manipulating another person in your own interests without consideration of the other person's interests. An evangelist would not be telling a lie if the lie results in the listener's salvation - right?
     
  6. public hermit

    public hermit social troglodyte Supporter

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    Certainty can be hard to come by, if not impossible, in many areas of human knowing, that's true. But honesty/deception is not just a matter of telling lies. It's also about treating the doubts and questions of others as legitimate and not simply casting them aside as a lack of faith, which too often is the modus operandi for some "evangelists."

    No, just no.
     
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  7. lismore

    lismore Maranatha

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    Hello cloudyday. Would you mind posting an example of what you're saying, I have no experience of this. Thanks and God Bless :)
     
  8. SigurdReginson

    SigurdReginson Active Member

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    One thing I've noticed for sure is that evidence brought forth is often not verified or fact checked before it's presented. Christian folks aren't the only ones to do this by any means, but I have noticed that it seems prevalent in the christian community.

    I've seen a lot of those documentaries as well, and a lot of them straight up lie. I remember one where a man found noah's ark and took a piece of it back to prove it's existence. The thing was tested and was proven to be stained and basted in teriyaki sauce...
     
  9. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    "Don't make claims that you can't back up" - that is the golden rule.
     
  10. SigurdReginson

    SigurdReginson Active Member

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    So deception is justified if it gets the correct result?
     
  11. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

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    Well I've noticed some easy examples. Not on evangelization but preaching, especially with Pentecostals and Charismatics. There is an emphasis on things that preach well and sound dramatic even though they may not really be that accurate as far as the facts of history, are exaggerations etc.


    I was part of a Christian Facebook group where the conversation turned to pedophilia etc. which is a noted problem in classical times especially among some of the Roman Emperors like Tiberius. The guy leading the group said that "before Christianity the Romans did not love their kids", where I actually had to dissent. He took good points etc. and just went too far with them. Their are many historical examples that would suggest that the Romans and other pagans loved their children, but even the Bible itself in the Gospels speaks of how "Evil people know how to give good gifts to their children" etc. It is really a hard case to say no love exists if you want to technical, having a flawed form of love (something that even Christians have) is different than the total absence of love.
     
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  12. Brightmoon

    Brightmoon Apes and humans are all in family Hominidae.

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    In my experience, as a Christian with a science degree, the quickest way to turn someone into an atheist is to start telling them ignorant nonsense about natural phenomena. When they find out the truth they dump the religion.
     
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  13. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    Well, it's about empowering the other person to have real choices. A lie removes choices from the other person in an attempt to leave only one choice - the choice that you want the other person to make. That is my definition of a lie.

    So, take as an example a skeptic who is too jaded to take the gamble of answering an altar call at church. That skeptic is in a state of limited choices. If an evangelist presents information selectively to make the case for Christ stronger then the evangelist is actually opening the mind of the skeptic and making more choices possible. That might be seen as the opposite of a lie even though the information is non-factual. ... And if Jesus answers the skeptic's prayers at the altar call by confirming the Christian promises then what does it matter how the skeptic was led to the altar?
     
  14. Brightmoon

    Brightmoon Apes and humans are all in family Hominidae.

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    You think lying for Jesus is acceptable, I find that it turns people off
     
  15. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    I'm having difficulty remembering the specifics. One of my favorites series of DVDs is "Ancient Secrets of the Bible" ( https://www.tvguide.com/tvshows/ancient-secrets-of-the-bible/episodes/472403/ ). I enjoy watching them before bed for the nostalgia. I believe this example comes from the episode "Biblical Authors: Who Actually Wrote the Bible". The narrator brings-up the authorship of the book of Daniel along with arguments for various dates of composition. The Dead Sea Scrolls are discussed by some experts and then the narrator makes the claim that the Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the book of Daniel was composed during the time of Nebuchadnezzar. I watch these episodes frequently so I notice things like that. I wish I could be more specific, but I would need to watch the episode again.
     
  16. cloudyday2

    cloudyday2 Generic Theist Supporter

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    There is also the saying that "honesty is the best policy"
     
  17. awitch

    awitch Retired from Christian Forums

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    But too much Truth (tm) can be equally off-putting.
     
  18. lismore

    lismore Maranatha

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    Hello cloudyday, thanks for your reply. Obviously the whole book of Daniel couldn't be composed during the time of Nebuchadnezzar as it goes on after his death. Daniel in the Den of Lions was during the reign of King Darius. God Bless :)
     
  19. SigurdReginson

    SigurdReginson Active Member

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    I find your definition of a lie to be, well, dishonest. Let's see what Mirriam Webster's definition of a lie is:

    1: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive

    2: to create a false or misleading impression

    To stretch the truth to make it fit your world view is called intellectual dishonesty. There already is a definition of what lying is. Use it. You know better.
     
  20. Zoness

    Zoness 667, neighbor of the beast Supporter

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    I've found that my experience is that its more casual than being implied; like missionaries in various churches I've been to subconsciously send their prettiest girls to meet the young men to talk about joining their church or the tendency for Christians to feign friendship to make you into a conversion project on a campus ministry or something of that variety.

    So its not so much that they are lying, its more like you're being casually influenced to make certain choices.

    I've seen some preachers essentially argue that being Christian solves all your problems like mental health, so if those problems don't go away you're not being sincere. Luckily that's been an extreme minority, but those types exist.
     
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