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View Full Version : How old should a child be before s/he witnesses for Christ



Saint Fool
08-23-2006, 07:47 AM
Irritated pagan here who needs some feedback on my behavior. The following is a true story from the back roads of western North Carolina.

On my nightly walk, I often see two brothers. One is excited about entering first grade so I'm assuming that he is six. His older brother is 10.

Tonight they both tried to give me tracts entitled "Will you spend eternity in hell?" I was polite but I said "no, I don't want a tract." Even after the 10-year old pulled his bike in front of me, stopped, flipped open the box strapped onto the back of the seat and said "Are you sure you don't want a tract?" I was still polite, looked him right in the eye, and said "No, thank you. And you should know that I've already heard about Jesus." He nodded. I went on my way. He went on his.

My neighbor said that since they are kids, I should have taken the tracts and thrown them away later as she did. Another said that I should have warned the kids and their parents (who were nowhere in sight) that the kids were putting themselves at risk by approaching strangers they did not know. Personally, I think kids should learn about rejection and danger early. It builds character, don't you know?

To be serious, I don't think that young kids should be passing out Chick tracts to strangers (or at least to 50-year old pagans like myself.) But I'm curious: how old do you think someone should be before they witness about their faith to others?

And for the most part, should they witness to their own peer group or is any age fair game once the child has accepted Christ as his/her savior?

And yes, I have a "No soliciters of any persuasion - including religion - please" sign on my door. If I opened it to find cute little pagan kids giving away "Raven Silverwolf tracts (excuse me while I go bleach that image out of my brain) I'd still send them to the curb.

Shwebb
08-23-2006, 08:07 AM
Chick tracts? They're hi-larious! But sad, so sad.

www.chick.com (http://www.chick.com)

If a kid is going to take it upon himself to "witness" I should think he should be accompanied by an adult. And also taught some basic manners.

Not to mention that Chick tracts should be used for entertainment purposes only. I can't imagine a Chick tract as being responsible for anyone having a positive reaction to Christianity.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
08-23-2006, 08:42 AM
If I opened it to find cute little pagan kids giving away "Raven Silverwolf tracts (excuse me while I go bleach that image out of my brain) I'd still send them to the curb.Wow. Does that even happen? I want vids! ;)

You're probably looking for Christian opinions on the matter, since you posted it under the Christian Writing forum, but I've got a related gripe that maybe we can throw up for discussion:

Parents who use their kids for evangelizing.

I mean, if a grown adult came up to you with tracts, it's a lot easier to say No, no thanks, never, I'm quite happy being Wiccan, thank you, goodbye. But if that grown adult comes up to you with his/her kids, and the kids hand you the tracts, there's a lot more societal pressure to make nice because You Don't Correct Someone Else's Children, That's The Parents' Job, and also How Dare You Make My Baby Cry? and what's more I Can't Believe You Mentioned Non-Christian Religions In Front Of My Child Now S/He's Going To Ask Me Awkward Questions And It's All Your Fault You Demon Temptress You!

The use of children as a societal body shield to protect a proselytizing adult from others' natural reactions to such rudeness annoys the living daylights out of me. Even if I'm not quite so susceptible to the pressures enumerated above.

Of late, thankfully, my experiences have been mild. For a while, every Sunday morning Watchtower tracts would show up on our apartment building's laundry machines. I'd throw them away. One morning I was up and dressed in time to hear the patter of little feet in dress shoes running up the parking lot and into our back door. I came out in time to hand the tracts back to Mama, who was driving, and tell her "We don't want them. We only end up throwing them away. We'd rather you use your own garbage service," in front of her adorable little tract-delivering daughter.

I admit, I also resent the fact of little children being raised to proselytize, but I understand that such is the parent's choice. It's not mine to complain about. Fine. But I do feel I have every right to complain when one attempts to use the child's presence to make the intended v/i/c/t/i/m/ er, recipient feel less free and able to respond to religious a/t/t/a/c/k/s/ I mean proselytization.

Lyra Jean
08-23-2006, 08:59 AM
I think children should be able to witness to people whenever they feel comfortable enough to do so.

1. They should not be forced, cajoled, or bribed into doing it.
2. They should be taught how to do it. Proper time, place, and manner. So your story S'fool would make me want to walk those kids home and talk to their parents.
3. Should probably be left to people their own age groups. NO Human shields please.

I'm a christian. I think chick tracts and most tracts in general are stupid but I know a few people and it got them thinking about Jesus, not out and out saved, but they started thinking about it. I think tracts are a waste of time.

I went to a church once. Later that week the pastor and his wife came unnannounced. My house was a mess and I wasn't really dressed for company (hiphugger jeans and a tank top) okay not pastoral company. In one 20 minute conversation the pastor's wife asked me three times if I was saved. I told her yes all three times. It got very annoying and I won't be returning to that church.

SeanDSchaffer
08-23-2006, 11:46 AM
The first time I witnessed to anyone about Christ, I think I was 10 years old. It was to a fellow kid, on a baseball field at the school I went to as a fifth grader. I just yelled the Gospel across the field to the other kid and he got saved.

Now, do I advocate this for kids? Probably not, as I later found out that the school yard is not the proper place to witness to others, if only because a child in a baseball game could get his head smacked by a fly ball if he's too busy paying attention to another kid's antics.

I agree with Rosemerry that a child should be instructed how to talk to people, and that they should stay within their own age group. To many adults, a child telling them about religion can be considered an insult, even if the child means well. Besides that, the average child is more likely to listen to one of his or her own age group about the Gospel than to anyone else, in my opinion.

Roger J Carlson
08-23-2006, 04:36 PM
I disapprove of tracts and door-to-door witnessing largely because they are ineffective. They had their day, but mostly they annoy people now. Few churches actually do that anymore, except for Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and some more conservative churches.

(However, I don't think most people bring kids with them to intimidate, but rather to teach them how to witness. If you think kids should be taught how to witness, how can you do that unless you bring them along?)

People today are looking for relationships in a church rather than "fire insurance". A Methodist church in my neighborhood has a pig roast for the whole neighborhood every year. It's a low-key, "Hey we'd like to get to know you" for the neighborhood. This has a better chance of attracting people.

For similar reasons, I don't think children should be handing out tracts to adults. Their safety is an addition reason. It could very well be, however, that the boy's parents had no idea they were doing that. Kids get strange ideas in their heads. I could see myself at that age grabbing a bunch of tracts from the foyer of the church and handing them out on a street corner.

Soccer Mom
08-23-2006, 05:34 PM
I agree with Roger. I would be worried about the children's safety. I would never tell my kids to approach adults. I try to teach mine that the best way to spread the Gospel is to first show by example the love of Christ and then to share with other kids at appropriate times. Kids can witness, but they need to understand that salvation is something that is offered, not forced on people.

PattiTheWicked
08-23-2006, 05:56 PM
Yeah, I think for me the biggest concern would be safety issues. I don't think a six year old should be approaching an adult unsupervised for ANY reason, whether it's witnessing or selling wrapping paper or petting the puppy or whatever.

That having been said, I think there are various degrees of "witnessing", and not all of them fall under the heading of Obnoxious Behavior. If you're strong in your faith -- whatever it may be -- naturally, you want your children to feel the same way you do. It's entirely possible for kids to have that same strong sense of faith without being offensive to non-beleivers. My BIL is a born again Christian, and we've even gone to his church to watch his band play. No one preached to us, not a single "Hey, pagan woman, you need to get saved!", no pestering about anything. It was just a nice group of people -- adults and kids -- who happened to love their god, but didn't feel a need to force us into loving him too.

Years ago, when my oldest was in preschool, we had an issue with another child who kept wanting to talk to her about Jesus. My kid just plain wasnt' interested, and it got annoying. She was more offended by the relentless nagging -- when she'd already said No Thanks -- than the subject matter itself.

Ultimately, if kids are shown by the actions of the adults around them how a "good [insert religion here]" behaves, then they will learn from that. There's a fine line between witnessing and being pushy, and hopefully kids will pick up on that.

FalconDance
08-23-2006, 06:07 PM
Personally, I am more swayed by how a person acts in everyday life than by what they say in a deliberate attempt to "save" me. (I always ask what it is I'm being saved for or from -- no no, don't answer, please. I know the answer, but it's so much more fun to ask the question.) But children these days, moreso than ever, should be taught to be wary of strangers, not to walk right up and start a conversation.

Children should not be used to advance an agenda, period. But they are because it's much harder to tell a child no than it is an adult.

If a child (for these purposes, I'll define that arbitrarilly as less than 16 yrs old) approaches me and starts ranting and/or carrying on about <insert religion here> (although Christianity is hands-down the largest 'culprit'), then chances are I will - the first time - ask the child to stop. If he or she continues, I will be a bit more firm.

Of course, I have been known to approach the adults in the car (Jehovah's Witnesses) after the children nervously (looking back at the adults) don't accept my first 'no thank you' and tell them exactly how blatantly un-Christian like their own behaviour is (in using the children).

Provrb1810meggy
08-23-2006, 06:26 PM
Little children approaching adults is not a good way to witness. I think anybody approaching random strangers on the street and telling them they're going to hell is a bad way to witness, though. Witnessing is through relationships, in my opinion. You have to form a relationship and show that you're different from the rest. You have to set an example of Christ-like behavior, and if you're close friends, you can have open discussions about religion with them, without it feeling awkward or weird. Of course, the person should be your friend because you like them and like talking to them, not just as a project.

FalconDance
08-23-2006, 07:13 PM
Exactly!

Pat~
08-23-2006, 08:08 PM
What Roger, Soccer Mom, and Patti said. :) (In fact, all of you have covered the bases pretty well.) I generally find that whether child or adult, witnessing is best accomplished through relationship. It's a bit of soul-sharing that comes naturally as relationships deepen. I would not want to encourage children in this day and age to approach strangers; if they have a desire to share Christ, they can do so naturally with their friends. Sometimes children have strong feelings about 'saving' their friends; they should be reminded that God does the convicting, and should be taught in this area as any other not to be obnoxious about their views.

Generally I'm not big on tracts, with one exception. I used a well-written Spanish one down in Peru while visiting with people in a small rural town. My Spanish is good, but not extensive, so it was an aid. And I didn't have enough Spanish/English Bibles to go around, so at least everyone could get something.

Lyra Jean
08-23-2006, 08:21 PM
Yeah pretty much what everyone else said.

Another thing I don't like and for some reason this happened to me. Holiday dinners. How some churches give a holiday dinner the whole turkey works to some less fortunate family in the church. First they are all want to be your friend and nice and then after the holidays it's like you don't exist. My dad never took the dinnners. My stepmom accepted one once and my dad took it back to the church and told them we didn't need it.

NicoleJLeBoeuf
08-24-2006, 05:22 AM
(However, I don't think most people bring kids with them to intimidate, but rather to teach them how to witness. If you think kids should be taught how to witness, how can you do that unless you bring them along?)Hmm. You have a point here. If a parent wants to teach his/her child how to witness, having them along to witness the witnessing :) makes sense.

But.

The presence of the child still creates unfair pressure on the "witnessee" to be nice and conciliatory in front of the child. Think how careful we are around other people's children, especially around strangers' children. We curb our vocabulary, we bite our tongues--it goes beyond just being polite and into the implication that certain conversational content is off-limits. Don't question the parent's rightness in front of his child! Don't mention religions the parent would rather the child not know about at this age! Etc.

Like I said, I don't give in to that pressure easily. But it has made parents mad at me, because I will engage in dialogue. I will ask questions the parents apparently don't want occurring to their kids. I will point out that I am quite as strong in my own faith as the Christian is in his/hers, and as such I'm no more likely to convert then they are. And I'll say what my faith is. This has made Christian parents angry at me for broaching these subjects around their kids. At which point, regardless of whether they started out with the intention to do so, they are trying to use their child's presence to shut me up, which isn't fair considering they started the conversation.

What to do? I am assuming that those of you who would teach your child how to witness do care about whether you are putting your audience in an unfair position. How do you avoid doing that if you bring your kids along? The societal pressure on the "witnessee" to self-censor is there without your having to do a thing.

I guess all you can do is make sure, before you bring your child along, that you're OK with your child hearing anything the "witnessee" might say in response. And you'll tell your audience to please feel free to discuss, because anything they could possibly bring up you've already discussed ahead of time with your child. Right? Because you don't want to put your audience in an unfair position. Right?

HoosierCowgirl
08-24-2006, 06:07 AM
I agree that kids should *not* be approaching adults, unsupervised. Why is the drop-dead-faint smiley here?

Witnessing can become one of those "good works" that mean nothing to the Lord if done in the wrong spirit -- of zeal without wisdom, or winning an argument, or making someone do things your way. That's why it needs to grow out of our lifestyle and relationships instead of trying to make something happen.

Ann

Lyra Jean
08-24-2006, 06:21 AM
Freedom of Speech Nicole. If I were door to door witnessing (which I don't do) and I brought my children (which I don't have). I would still have the person I am speaking with ask me any questions they felt needed asking. You just have to explain to the children that the people you are speaking with probably do not believe in the same as they do. If parents are afraid of what questions a person they are witnessing too asks maybe they shouldn't be witnessing in that manner.

Saint Fool
08-24-2006, 06:23 AM
Thanks for all of the comments!

As for children witnessing along with parents, I understand Roger's point but in my opinion it sets up an odd dynamic between Christian as witnesser and Christian as parent.

Nicholle, re "the Raven Silverwolf tracts" comment, I'll post something on the pagan board this weekend. I'll just say that it has been my experience that you can take the pagan out of the RC/Protestant/GO/other belief system of your choice but you can't necessarily take the RC/Protestant/GO/other belief system of your choice out of the pagan, but that's a discussion that needs to happen on that board rather than this one.

SeanDSchaffer
08-24-2006, 07:29 PM
Personally, I am more swayed by how a person acts in everyday life than by what they say in a deliberate attempt to "save" me. (I always ask what it is I'm being saved for or from -- no no, don't answer, please. I know the answer, but it's so much more fun to ask the question.)


Agreed. If a person is not going to be a Christian in front of their non-Christian friends, how do they expect their friends to become Christians? How a person acts in everyday life is a better sermon than any spoken one.


But children these days, moreso than ever, should be taught to be wary of strangers, not to walk right up and start a conversation.


You make a good point. For all the people who might get saved, there are as many people who might abuse the child. A parent who tries to get a child to talk to a total stranger about their faith, needs to remember that even though such a person may or may not need Christ, they're still a stranger.

james1611
08-24-2006, 08:32 PM
There is nothing wrong with a child of any age sharing their faith with others. However, children should not be out without adults in the times we live in, especially not at the age you stated.

I personally like chick tracts, but I understand why many don't like them. They are very straightforward and lay out biblical salvation in no uncertain terms--but so does the bible. Anyway, when I was lost, I was led toward christianity by them, and I've read many testimonies of people recieving Christ after having read them.

I would not send my child out to evangelize anyone, but if they share what the Lord has done for them with others in the context of a given situation (Which I or my wife would most certainly be present in) then I say "Way to go" kids.

Too few adults are afraid to share their faith...no wonder Jesus said "Unless ye become as little children...and be converted...ye shall in no wise enter the kingdom of God."

--James

Sheryl Nantus
08-24-2006, 09:36 PM
the fact that you approve of hate-mongering and scare tactics via the Chick tracts to "bring people to the Lord" frightens me to no end.

I'd like to think my salvation lies a bit beyond being scared witness by the threat of Hell.

of course, I'm a Catholic/Baptist, so I'm covered... or am I?

:D

HoosierCowgirl
08-25-2006, 06:27 AM
I think Chick tracts are kind of a mixed bag.

Ann

Betty W01
08-25-2006, 09:06 PM
Nicely phrased, Cowgirl <grin>. I agree with pretty much everything here. Tracts can be useful to get people thinking about things they don't normally think about, and I do know a few folks saved by questions raised by a Chick tract (which in the main, I disagree with), but mostly I think people come to know God/get saved/are born again through relationships with others. Look at the people of the NT - most of them were brought to Jesus by someone else's life/comment/physically dragging them to meet Him. I think it's pretty much the same today. Yeah, I believe God could use a tract (a TV show, a radio broadcast, a book) to bring someone to Him, but I think His usual method involves His children: us.

And I'd never let my kids go door-to-door for any reason. Too many wackos out there!

johnnysannie
08-25-2006, 09:30 PM
I do not like or approve of Chick tracts in any form. In my opinion, they are the lowest form of religious propaganda and as such are something that Christ himself would (and likely does) loathe.

I also am not fond of door-to-door witnessing because my experience has been that such individuals seldom want to accept a polite "No". Nor does the common assumption that the appearance on the doorstep of someone wishing to inflict their particular brand of religious belief upon me should be welcome meet my approval.

In the past, I've been visited by a variety of denomational folk (I do live within the Bible Belt) who can't seem to grasp that the neighborhood where I live is not peopled with godless sinners who are just waiting for someone to come along to reveal the Gospel mysteries.

As a Catholic from a mixed family - we have within the branches of our family tree limbs that range from Jewish to Baptist - I've heard the Good News in several variations.

As for children witnessing, as a child I was preyed upon by well meaning Protestants (adults as well as children) who insisted that I would go to hell because I was a dreadful Catholic unless I recanted and repented to find salvation. That was in grade school in a city where there are and were many Catholics. Things only declined after moving to an area where Catholics were the minority. My children have been subjected to the same well meaning tactics (including being handed Chick tracts on the playground) and I don't care for it at all.

Let us all remember that the road to hell is paved with good intentions! Or, to put it more blunt, you go to your church (or not) and I'll go to mine - or not.

sassandgroove
08-26-2006, 12:43 AM
The presence of the child still creates unfair pressure on the "witnessee" to be nice and conciliatory in front of the child. Think how careful we are around other people's children, especially around strangers' children. We curb our vocabulary, we bite our tongues--it goes beyond just being polite and into the implication that certain conversational content is off-limits. Don't question the parent's rightness in front of his child! Don't mention religions the parent would rather the child not know about at this age! Etc.

Like I said, I don't give in to that pressure easily. But it has made parents mad at me, because I will engage in dialogue. I will ask questions the parents apparently don't want occurring to their kids. I will point out that I am quite as strong in my own faith as the Christian is in his/hers, and as such I'm no more likely to convert then they are. And I'll say what my faith is. This has made Christian parents angry at me for broaching these subjects around their kids. At which point, regardless of whether they started out with the intention to do so, they are trying to use their child's presence to shut me up, which isn't fair considering they started the conversation.

emphasis mine

Nicole, I am glad you posted here. We all need to listen to her. If a parent approaches a 'non believer' with their child to 'witness' and is not prepared for the possible responses, it is the fault of the parent. It is the responsibility of the person 'witnessing' to have ready responses, and be prepared for the 'non believer' to respond with their own beliefs/views/disinterest. I say tell them what you think, Nicole, and don't worry if they get mad.

Many have already said this, but how you live your life is the greatest witness you can make. I can say this from experience. If you walk the walk, people will see it.

I am strong in my faith, and I tire of people like my aunt who attends a protestant church but a different denomination than I do, and therefore assumes I am going to hell. She will not accept that I have been saved. I love her, but just when I start to soften to her, she'll do something like send me one of those **** tracks. Arrgh!

sassandgroove
08-26-2006, 12:49 AM
I personally like chick tracts, but I understand why many don't like them. They are very straightforward and lay out biblical salvation in no uncertain terms--but so does the bible. Anyway, when I was lost, I was led toward christianity by them, and I've read many testimonies of people recieving Christ after having read them.
--James
That explains a lot.

James, maybe you came across a good one, but you can't lump them all together. Many are not straightforward, and are not biblically sound. And for that, the bible can be interpreted many different ways. I bet you and many of those people who recieved christ after reading them were also in dialogue with a person. It is the person, not the track. I bet you. I'll give you that a track might possibly be a good conversation starter, but only if the giver reads it with the receiver and engages in a dialogue. Handing them out without discussion is little better then throwing them in the trash. In most cases, anyway.

Peggy
08-26-2006, 01:48 AM
I have to agree with what people have said here: the kids certainly shouldn't be approaching adults for any reason.

I also don't think it's a good idea for young kids to be passing out tracts for the simple reason that I don't think they can really understand what the tracts mean, beyond the fact that they are approved by their parents or their church. As sincere as they may be, I'm not interested in trying to discuss theology with a 1st grader.

As for Chick tracts, I find them (the ones I've seen anyway) to be ridiculous and overly simplistic, and clearly not a starting point for any sort of discussion. They all seem to run along the lines of "if you do or believe X you are going to hell", no ifs, ands or buts - and anyone who disagrees is in league with Satan. I assume anyone who is passing them out is not at all interested in my point of view. It would sadden me to see a child distributing such material.

HoosierCowgirl
08-26-2006, 02:21 AM
I *think* Chick tracts are or were at one time self-published.

I kinda dig the artwork, but, even as a charismatic-fundamentalist-Anabaptist with Quaker roots -- they scared me as a kid and I was steeped in the culture, if you will.

Ann

Peggy
08-26-2006, 02:38 AM
I *think* Chick tracts are or were at one time self-published. Well, I believe they are published by the Chick Publishing Company, so they are self published by Mr. Chick. I suspect he has a stable of writers/cartoonists these days, based on their prolific output.

HoosierCowgirl
08-26-2006, 06:25 AM
Ya think? I wonder if they are hiring!

Ann

Peggy
08-26-2006, 06:38 AM
Ya think? I wonder if they are hiring!

Ann If you've got something in Chick style, it can't hurt to query :)

SeanDSchaffer
08-26-2006, 11:20 AM
of course, I'm a Catholic/Baptist, so I'm covered... or am I?

:D



Kind of a 'Captist', eh?

(With apologies to Ray Stevens.)


I think some of the Chick tracts are okay. There's a number of them I cannot stand, but I know of a couple that I really enjoy. The issue is getting the right one to the right person: how do you know which one is going to lead someone to Christ, and which one is going to push the same person away? Like was pointed out before, it really is a mixed bag.

Sheryl Nantus
08-26-2006, 05:44 PM
I like the one that has all D&D players turn into Satanists.

:D

SeanDSchaffer
08-26-2006, 08:32 PM
I like the one that has all D&D players turn into Satanists.

:D


Ugh! That one gave me the shivers.

And it's a good reason not to have kids handing stuff like that out. I can only imagine what a child will think if they read some of the stuff in one of those things for themselves. I think the scare tactics in some of those tracts really do go overboard.

PattiTheWicked
08-26-2006, 09:20 PM
Hee hee! My favorite Chick tract is the one that talks about pagans worshipping the evil Druid god, Sam Hain. That makes me snork every time I think of it.

The problem with Chick tracts, as I see it, is that while a few people may enjoy the message of Christianity that is apparently portrayed in them, the fact is that most of them are downright offensive to anyone who beleives otherwise. Not because they preach the word of God, but because they're full of hatemongering, bigotry and prejudice, and fear tactics.

Again, I think the best way to demonstrate one's faith is by actions, rather than handing random strangers little slips of paper.

SeanDSchaffer
08-27-2006, 03:17 AM
Snipped....
Again, I think the best way to demonstrate one's faith is by actions, rather than handing random strangers little slips of paper.


Good point. Sometimes random little slips of paper work, but like the old saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words". It's better to see someone's faith in action than just read about it.

Tying this in to the original topic of this thread, I think one of the reasons children continue to witness to other people--adults included--is that they think it's the best way of proving to Christ that they love Him. The thought in and of itself is not bothersome to me, but a child should really be wary of strangers these days. Who's to say what kind of person they'll be running into?

It's not a situation children should be put into, even if they are trying to show Christ they love Him. There are many other ways they can witness to people besides confronting them with a tract and "Are you saved?".

Besides, a child should know that Christ loves them unconditionally, not just because they do stuff for Him. That's why Jesus said, "Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not." He loves all people regardless of what they do for Him.

mrsrgm
08-29-2006, 04:24 PM
I am a Born Again Christian and I find the entire concept of 'in your face' witnessing to be offensive. For children to do it is appalling. At such a young age, they don't know their own true feelings, much less have the experience of life necessary to guide another. The people who 'Stress Witness' are the Cousin Eddy's of the Christian world. They annoy me.

I find the Chick tracts hilarious. They are like Horror Comic Books. Spooky and Goofy at the same time. I have never met a soul that takes them seriously, and rightly so, but they provide some laughs so where's the harm?

I do not 'witness' to people in the typical sense of the word. I live my life. When people get curious they ask questions and I answer them from the heart. Most of the questions I get are along the line of: "YOU'RE having a drink? I thought you were a Christian!" or "YOU like that music? I thought you were a Christian!" I always explain that I am a Christian, just not 'that kind' of Christian.

I'm the kind of Christian that accepted Jesus into my heart because I believed in the love that He had to offer. I learned of that love through 'Young Life' parties and reading the Bible for myself. I have never gotten anything positive from church and, after many failed attempts, do not attend. I do attend a weekly Bible Study with a group of ladies that I love and trust. I know I can be myself with them - which is rare in the church community.

The fact that Jesus dwells in my heart has not affected my physical world, financially or emotionally. I have the same problems that I had before - money, in-laws, kids - I don't handle them with any less stress. I am human. The difference for me is knowing that there will be something better in the future.

I tell people who ask that I don't believe in 'fairy tales' and I don't spread them. Life is hard. God is good. I'll tell anybody that, anytime, anywhere - but, they'll have to ask what makes me different before I do. Scripture says that God knows who will be saved and who will not. If He uses me to help someone to know Him, that's great. Otherwise, I'll leave that to Him. He knows. I don't. The love of Christ is stress-free!

sassandgroove
08-29-2006, 06:40 PM
Hee hee! My favorite Chick tract is the one that talks about pagans worshipping the evil Druid god, Sam Hain. That makes me snork every time I think of it.


Jeez, do some research....


This is why I distrust all those things.

Soccer Mom
08-30-2006, 12:13 AM
I understand what some here are saying about the pressure. My brother-i- law is a different sect of protestantism and never ceases trying to convert us. This drives me and my husband crazy. We've belonged to our church for many years and I am on the staff at the church. ANd yet he still persists in trying to change us to his sect (which he discovered a few years ago.).

Aaaarg. And he wonders why we don't visit more and politely decline the invite to stay at his house. :D

HoosierCowgirl
08-30-2006, 07:29 AM
A missionary spoke to our church, talking about starting sports programs in inner city schools. He said (if I recall) "Before you touch a heart, you've got to hold a hand." Meaning it all had to do with relationships.

My DD is friends with a girl whose family belongs to the Jehovah Witness group. She feels sorry for her friend, who has to miss out on all parties and celebrations at school, as well as sports, 4-H, and socializing with friends away from school. So we've had a lot of talks about Truth, and praying for her friend and the family -- but also about boundaries, treating her friend and family like we'd want to be treated.

Ann

Ralyks
09-08-2006, 09:07 PM
My neighbor said that since they are kids, I should have taken the tracts and thrown them away later as she did.

I do this, usually, but I know there is no reason I should. It's just a waste of paper.


Personally, I think kids should learn about rejection and danger early. It builds character, don't you know?

Rejection, yes. Danger--only in the abstract. I will do everything in my power to protect my kids from learning about it in the particular at a young age.


To be serious, I don't think that young kids should be passing out Chick tracts to strangers (or at least to 50-year old pagans like myself.) But I'm curious: how old do you think someone should be before they witness about their faith to others?

Birth? Children can witness in a thousand ways that don't involve handing out tracts. But it is a free country, and if thier belief moves them to hand out tracts, then I don't think there should be any age limit on it--provided they are accompanied by their parents.

Personally, I don't know anyone who has ever, ever, converted to Christianity because they received a tract. I suppose it has happened, but if so, I don't know anyone. I think this is a largely useless way to witness. But people should feel free to share thier faith in any nonviolent way they feel moved to share it, and people who reject it should attempt to do so politely.


And for the most part, should they witness to their own peer group or is any age fair game once the child has accepted Christ as his/her savior?

Christ isn't bound by age, gender, race, or culture, so I don't see why His witnesses should be (except where safety or efficiency dictate).


And yes, I have a "No soliciters of any persuasion - including religion - please" sign on my door. If I opened it to find cute little pagan kids giving away "Raven Silverwolf tracts (excuse me while I go bleach that image out of my brain) I'd still send them to the curb.

I like to be polite to anyone, because I know how much courage it takes to share your beliefs with others, and I know that believers do it because they truly believe others will have a better life if they adopt those beliefs. It is not an act of affrontery or offense or hatred--quite the opposite. If you believe someone is going to hell, and you don't give a %&@# if they burn for eternity, then that's hatred. So I am always polite to those who try to convert me. Perhaps I am too polite. The Jehovah's Witnesses came three times before I finally said, "Look, just so you know, I'm a Protestant, and I'm not converting, and I really don't want you to waste your time and efforts anymore." The Mormons didn't come back after I invited them in for coffee. Just kidding. They didn't come back after they asked me if I believed God could reveal Himself in these latter times and I answered, "Yes, I think He can, but I don't believe He did so through Joseph Smith, and I have read the Book of Mormon."