Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Conversation Starters

A friend, speaking of the inconclusive detention of relatives accused of being part of the Marxist conspiracy, said she did not see why any one would choose to suffer and lose their careers or the comfort of home for their ideals. Mired in a generation whose heroes were those who died for what they believed in, such a contrary conviction was a great shock to the system. Recounting this to someone, I was greatly encouraged when his first response went along the lines of: what would she think if she knew that someone had died for her?

Ya Kun Nokia E71 Coffee Conversation Starter
The next day, this Nokia E71 ad taking up space on a Ya Kun takeaway cup was a good non-contextual reminder that if part and parcel of human life is ascribing meaning to events and objects, then our interpretation of such things must be dictated by our worldview and beliefs. So if we not only say with our lips that we agree with the Christian creed but actually believe in our hearts that there are only two ways to live and two eternities, then our conversations must surely, for a large part, come out either on the side of edification or evangelism.

There are many self-help books in the market and motivation courses that purport to teach conversation turning skills or inspire people to go out and evangelise. Churches set aside funds to print "encouragement cards" or to host programmes for these sorts of things. But as was pointed out, people who are passionate to the point of idiocy about their "causes" need no such books or courses or special programmes; a greenie is naturally sensitive to all sorts of obscure things he is convinced will conspire to destroy poor old Mother Gaia and really needs no push in that area.

Does our need for all these crutches then tell us something about our purported passion for the truth and seeing people in proper relationship with God? Perhaps Hollywood celebrities adopting children as 2006's fashion accessory exhibited more sincerity?

PS:
Conversation starter?
How's this tanned muscled geriatric in all his figure-hugging whitey-white glory for a conversation starter?

Post-it to self: to investigate further - biblical importance (or not) of distinguishing between "mission" and "evangelism"


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