I promise, I was planning on completing this final part of this blog tomorrow. But the combination of too many thoughts running through my mind and my husband snoring like the world will end any moment now, is not conducive to a good night sleep at the moment. I can usually sleep through his snoring, if I’m nearly passed out when he starts. Tonight, no so much.
Anyways, I wanted to focus on why Bible tracts fail to make much of an impact, based on their contents.
Now, I understand that most versions of tracts want to remain simple. This cuts down on paper, someone is more likely to read a smaller pamphlet, and you don’t really have to be super smart to understand the bullet points. However, the pamphlet I found today, made the attempt to use reason and logic as to why one should accept Jesus as their Savior. They failed miserably.
I know that I am not always the majority, but I do believe there are many people out there who will say that if you want to argue a point, at least attempt to come up with intelligent and nearly sound arguments. Otherwise, I simply don’t even want to bother trying to figure out what you mean and how it could possibly make sense in your head. It is not that I’m trying to judge you, but I have over time developed a strong passion for debates. Civil ones, but debates nonetheless. I am willing to listen to and hear out your different opinions if you are willing to not personally attack me and sound like a complete moron who does not know how to logically come up with conclusive arguments for your side. Even if those two things don’t happen, I’m cool enough I’ll probably listen anyways, and then when I get home just bash my head against the wall and wonder where you learned to argue.
Back on track here.
I am lucky enough to have taken a philosophy of religions class that really got my gears going regarding formulating arguments. I had a good idea, but with religion it can be difficult to decipher where to begin sometimes because everything is cyclical reasoning to an extent. I attempted to give this pamphlet the benefit that for the convenience of space, time, and understanding of their audience that they wanted to make their reasoning simple. And while I get that, I beg to differ that they succeeded in attracting an audience dying to finish reading if they even started in the first place.
The three witnesses they try to claim prove the existence of a God are:
- the universe and life itself
- the word of God–written and living
- conscience and moral law
The first two points are sort of valid.
I do think there might be a case for creation of man indicating that there is a God. However, science has fought with this for centuries, and maybe if you are trying to convince me that there is God, this point should not be put in there for length and common sense. I say this because evolution could have been used by God (in my opinion), but we’ll never know. Trying to convince someone who is a non-believer to have faith does not begin with attempting to make them believe the world they live in was made by someone. Though this could be argued for. So, while this argument is more sound (a little more waterproof) than the last one, it is not an amazing one.
The second point is a little more logical than the first. If the statistics are true, it is difficult to think that a book that has no supernatural abilities throughout human life could have had so many prophetic signs come true. I will let this one slide, even though again I find it tough to convince someone stout in their beliefs that a man rose from the dead. We debated stuff like this in my philosophy class this semester and I’m pretty sure some people there were making fun of me behind my back because they felt the Christian viewpoint held no water whatsoever. Whatever, I can choose what to believe.
The third argument the tract tried to explain is pathetic at best, to be honest. It states at the top of this section that. “Every man knows in his heart that it is wrong to murder, it is wrong to steal, it’s wrong to lie, and it’s wrong to have another man’s wife.” Wait, really? Do they? EVERY man? It goes on to attempt to claim that because every man knows this God exists. So basically, because I don’t murder someone there is a Supreme Being. It holds no water. If maybe they had attempted to use some sort of logic to word that statement better I would not have laughed myself all the way home today after reading that. The paragraph after that quote states that God is the ultimate judge and He will judge you for your sins. Yep, nice try but you’ve now shut down at least half of your audience because they don’t want to follow someone who smacks them every time they make a mistake. Most people are aware that if there is a God, he is a judge. They know that if there is one, they will probably be punished for their poor actions. Therefore, there is no need to include in a tract that is attempting to save someone’s soul the fact that we should accept God because of moral reasoning and our sins. That’s called promoting fire insurance, and it does not promote a true and genuine relationship with God. When people attempt to convince others to believe in God solely on the fact of their sins, they might begin to believe they are not worthy of His love (and while we really aren’t, we are in a sense, because even if only one person existed in this world, He would have still died for us).
I guess all I’m trying to say in this post is, that if you decide you must write or pass out tracts, make sure it is one that’s contents speak volumes logically.
The last thing I wanted to comment on is the last page of the tract that started listing quotes from other faiths and why they were invalid. I found that offensive. I know why they did it, and what the intention was, but you will not turn a crowd to listen if you are slamming their faith. I know this opinion is not going to be the popular vote here, but I am very much a person who believes in coexisting with others. We wonder why there are religious wars all over the place, yet we are not even willing to get along with others unless they are converts of our faith. I will save my entire rant on this for another post another time, as I do intend to write a post about why religion is such a scary war force.
Just please, consider the way we argue, and how we word things to those we know do not believe. Love them instead. Let God work to speak in their lives, and leave the convincing to Him.