Sunday, June 03, 2012

Matt Redmond on the Ultimate Bait and Switch

I hate the bait and switch. Inside the church and outside. I don't like any kind of tricks of the trade. And I love Paul's statement to the people of Corinth -

"But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God."
The strategy/attitude of many believers, especially leaders - vocational and otherwise - is this:

Woo the unbeliever through acts of kindness and winsome discussion. Listen to their concerns. Take their arguments and concerns and past hurts seriously. Or at least pretend to. Go the extra mile. Concede non-germane points. Find common ground. Make no issue of their theological disagreements.

And then when you have them, when they finally convert - tell them what they should be doing. No need to really listen anymore. It is their turn now to listen. Their arguments and concerns are now crowded out by the plain fact of ecclesiastical authority and their need to submit to that authority.

Now we can start yelling at you from the pulpit.

This is what you bought. This is what you get.

Forget the invite to a pizza party for young people which is really an evangelistic service, this is the ultimate bait and switch. 


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