Coercion = Corruption

“When  coercion of any kind is used in the interests of the Christian message, the message itself is corrupted.” The Gospel in a Pluralist Society (Lesslie Newbigin)

Now, don’t just think physical coercion. Think social coercion, emotional coercion. If we allow people no space to reject the message, we give them the wrong message.

5 Comments

  1. If it’s true that the vast majority of what we communicate is in “body language” what does that say about the ways people try to “evangelise”?
    People can generally sense whether somebody is being honest or caring in their conversations and interactions. A lot is transacted in ways less “obvious”.
    This also made me think that sometimes I’m guilty of coercing “myself” into “religious” posturing and practise. Sometimes we need to chill out enough to allow even our own selves to interact in a healthy way with the Gospel message… or in fact relax enough to enjoy relationship with the living God!

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  2. Body language is very important, both as individuals and communities. Its natural for people to look for how your words square with your actions, your attitude, etc. When grace is preached ungraciously people will draw their own conclusions. Of course, some have been indoctrinated that Christianity is about moral perfection and they’ll sometimes call us hypocrits for not obtaining this misconstrued ideal, irrespective of attempts on our part to deconstruct this. But we need to take care not to inadvertently reinforce the false ideal in any way.

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  3. There you go again John, casting stones without any spiritual humility on your own part. Care to account for the persistent accusations of Adi Da having sex with large numbers of devotees, drinking obsessively, abusing drugs, engaging in incidents of violence against women and financially exploiting his followers? Are you really coming from so superior a position?

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