Saturday, December 01, 2007

Lead By Example, Not Yelling - Daily Bruin

This is an article that came out in the UCLA Daily Bruin on Friday :) It's about what our students in Passion Church are doing to counteract the preachers on our universities who bash and condemn people by preaching and living out the opposite, LOVE.

I'm proud of our student leaders in PC at UCLA, they boldly go out and preach the Gospel with the true heart of Christ every week on Bruin Walk. Now, what they are doing is having impact on students not just at UCLA, but campuses everywhere by showing us that love is the better way :) Read below...right on!


Lead by example, not yelling

* Lana Yoo, Bruin columnist
* Published: Friday, November 30, 2007

I’d never before imagined that I’d be called a whore, especially in public – and by a priest.

But, indeed, in his pious eyes, I am dirty and immoral, deserving to roast in hell.

I am also a poor, lost soul in need of salvation and pity. Or so I have felt when being approached by other evangelists on campus.

Never mind that we actually share the same religion.

Unfortunately, such antagonistic ways of evangelizing only minimize their cause by spreading misconceptions of religion. The fact is that true evangelism does not entail pity, defamation or accusation. There are more effective, respectful ways of spreading religious messages by alternative methods, such as passivity, which is simply living by example.

Such efforts are visible every Tuesday on Bruin Walk, where students from Passion Church hold up signs stating, “I am sorry for every Christian who has judged instead of loved,” and “Jesus thinks you’re beautiful.” Instead of arguing with passersby or patronizing potential converts, they peacefully stand, clutching the signs. Other evangelists on campus such as Jehovah’s Witnesses take a similar approach by making pamphlets and information available to interested passersby, as opposed to approaching them aggressively or launching into loud tirades.

Ironically, such unusual passivity in evangelical efforts only makes them more effective.

In addition, others feel more encouraged to approach these passive evangelists out of curiosity or interest, because they do not face the common experiences of being judged or pitied by more outspoken Christian believers.

Such is how I felt when I talked to Passion Church members out of curiosity. What did they hope to achieve by apologizing for the actions of other Christians?

“We want to counteract what other preachers are saying, condemning, judging and yelling,” said Myles Hamby, second-year global studies student. “There are a lot of hostilities and stereotypes towards Christians, and we want to break them down.”

“We want people to be attracted to (Christianity), not be scared to believe in it,” he added.

Daniela Garcia, fourth-year psychology student, said that common stereotypes are that “Christians are judgmental and feel self-righteous. People look at that as a slap in the face.”

The most interesting part of this conversation was finding out how some of the evangelists actually used to despise religion.

“I hated religion. I thought it was a waste of time, caused wars, and that we were better without it,” said Paula Wu, first-year neuroscience student.

She became attracted to the religion not by others pushing their beliefs upon her, but through her own accord.

“I noticed something different about them. They had kindness and patience that nobody could echo,” Wu said.

For Makoto Tachibana, fifth-year sociology student, this lack of judgment, sense of superiority and coercion turned his life around.

Previously, he had been involved in activities that he now regrets. He talked about how even though he started dropping into church and continued those regrettable activities and his church friends knew about them, they were neither condescending nor accusatory.

Tachibana reflected on how if they had in fact judged him in the stereotypical “Christian” way, he would have rejected the religion. However, it was their openness that encouraged him to follow the religion and eventually to abandon his previous lifestyle by his own choice.

In fact, it may be that people view religions such as Buddhism with less repulsion compared to religions such as Christianity because of the former’s lack of emphasis on invasive evangelism.

Similarly, both Tachibana and Wu became followers not because others forced them to do so, but because others gave them the freedom to choose to do so. They became believers because others proved that they were only human, too, and not any better than anyone else.

After all, talking the talk means nothing if you don’t walk the walk. And in religion, you don’t even need to talk the talk – only by walking the walk in your own life will others notice, join and believe.

If you have defensive tactics against preachers on campus, e-mail Yoo at jyoo@media.ucla.edu.

4 Comments:

At 12/01/2007 06:06:00 PM , Anonymous Some1 said...

i have to admit i agree 100 pct of wat is written. thanks this is gona be an encouragement

 
At 12/02/2007 05:47:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Passion Church! Way to testify!

-Paul Watson
www.pauldwatson.com

 
At 12/03/2007 06:51:00 PM , Anonymous S from Austin said...

what did the people in the article do to provide an open, nonjudmental attitude?

what do you do when people are offended by you and see you as trying to hard and possibly being unauthentic?

 
At 12/04/2007 10:35:00 AM , Blogger Jasmine said...

Hm. I haven't seen the people who go around and yell and comdemn others on my campus in person yet, but when I hear about it from my friend who also goes here, I feel so sad. It's just so heartbreaking how they use God in such a harsh way when in reality, it's not even like that. This post was really powerful when I read it just now. Thank you, Jaeson.

 

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