I want to be like Christ.
I suppose this idea has come up many times in my time here, but I guess I've just been thinking about it recently. It seems that many Christians believe that the most effective means of evangelism is living as Christ would want them to, or attempting to be Christ-like. Obviously walking around blatantly and consistently disregarding the golden rule and being an all around heel probably wont entice anyone over to your view, and directly contradicts all that business with the "fruits". However this behavior can be easily explained away with the old Scotsman, which if Christianity is true, isn't a fallacy at all. That is to say, a Christian will necessarily and for the most part display behavior consistent with christianhood. This outward display though, hmm I tend to think that outside of all the talk about Jesus, and spirits and the other religious vernacular the behavior is indistinguishable from a mature, contemplative, kind and caring person...Or it appears that this is the ideal. I am completely open to correction, but it appears that the only things that distinguishes a Christian from that other person that I described is their beliefs about the reasons for their behavior. I suppose some Christians may believe that when they act in a christlike manner that they are actually exuding some actual supernatural power that has the ability change hearts and minds, which if that is the case , then I suppose believing that this is the best form of evangelism is in some sense reasonable. I often hear the argument that Christlike behavior indicates to nonbelievers that Jesus can actually change a person. Whether Jesus is real (or really a supernatural being) or not, I have no doubt that believing he is can change a person's behavior. I think though that this sometimes comes off as a bit dishonest. That is if a person is behaving in this way in order to give the impression that Jesus is the force that catalyzed them into behaving this way then its not really what they hope it appears to be, right? I think this is what most made me create this thread. Is showing "love" so that other people will believe that God compels or facilitates people's ability or desire to love an honest thing to do? Its not dishonest in the strictest sense, If God wants you to love in order to get more people into heaven, then it is true that you are compelled to love by God. I think though the impression that one wants to give off is that being a christian makes a person want to be better and more loving because being better and more loving is simply a better, happier more productive way to live. I guess I just think its weird that its ever given out as advice to people who hope to evangelize, because its what Christians are suppose to want to do anyway by virtue of being Christians, correct? Its akin to saying, "dont do anything that you weren't going to do anyway"...which on its face is a bit silly I think for obvious reasons....but then another less obvious one. That is unless you are being unnaturally kind (supernaturally kind, not that anyone would even know what that would look like), There isn't really any compelling reason to believe that your behavior supports a wide array of supernatural claims...it does not follow. This behavior "test" is trivial in that you cannot distinguish a natural (believing) from a supernatural (???) cause with a reasonable degree of certainty...not to mention other belief systems when stripped of their respective supernatural claims can essentially replicate this type of behavior. So, what makes people think that this is the most effective means of evangelism?
" Fellas, this visit's top secret, so no one is to know about it except the senior officers, scientists, and one conspiracy nut no one will believe. " -Probably Barack Obama