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The Psychology of Evangelism: Different World-views

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posted on May, 28 2013 @ 04:49 PM
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I have noticed the tendency of current day Western Evangelists to assume a position of authority while presenting their message.

By evangelist, I mean, a person who feels that he or she has some mission to present an all important message to those who don't share belief in that message. Evangelism is, then, a mission of message.

But what is it about some evangelists that causes them to assume that they can merely quote a Bible verse and those who don't immediately bow down to the authority of the verse, or the superiority of the speaker are somehow doomed? Which leads to the question: Just what World do they think they are in?

I. The Falling Away (Apostasy) World-view

In this World-view there was some point in time in which all truth was known and agreed upon. Since that time, apostasies and heresies have crept in to obscure this truth. Depending upon which faith-group the evangelist belongs to, this point in time could be:
1)Exodus with Moses 2)The United Kingdom Period of Isarel 3)The Preaching of Jesus 4)The Apostles 5)The Ante-Nicene Fathers 6)The Post-Nicene period 7)Augustine 8)Papal Supremacy Era 9)The Protestant Reformation 10)The Anabaptist Movements 11) The reciting of Qur'an to Mohammed(possibly under III below).

Within this World-view, the evangelist is saying: "Look! I have the truth that was known from before it was lost and/or distorted. I'm calling you back to the truth once delivered. If you refuse my message then you are confirming your rebellion. Less than pleasant things are in store for you."

An example would be a Protestant saying that the Papacy was the great falling away from the Apostles. Another would be the Anabaptist who says that the Papist and Protestant both have fallen away from the Ante-Nicene Fathers.

II. The Degeneration from Perfection World-view

In this World-view it is "understood" that a Creator-deity made a perfect World, complete with perfect humans. From that time right up to the present, the World and humanity have been degenerating as a result of atrophy. This is usually seen as a fall from perfection, usually the human's fault(original sin).

A variation of this World-view would be a dualist view (Plato, gnostic) in which physical creation is the fall.

The evangelist's mission is then to present a message that provides, or at least speaks of, a solution to this degeneration.

An example would be the Christian claiming that Jesus fixed the problem(guilt-wise), went away, and will return to fix the physical atrophy, usually with a new World. A New Age(neo-Gnostic) evangelist will urge people to ignore the physical World and focus on the spiritual(idea) which has not suffered degeneration.

III. The Progression of Revelation World-view

In this World-view it is generally understood by the adherents that there is a deity whose nature, attributes, and expectations are still yet to be fully understood. As human mentality, abstract thought processes, and language have progressed, the deity has been more clearly understood.

Though the deity remains the same; as far as human understanding goes, She/He has progressed from the most primitive of animistic nature, to polytheistic division of attributes, and on into either Monotheistic, Dualistic, or Trinitarian attributes.

The evangelist's task then is to interpret the cruder notions about the deity in such a way as to keep them true, but also translate them into what is relevant to human society as it stands today; all the while keeping in tension the understanding that we don't completely know yet.

An example of this would be a popular Jewish rabbi explaining that the Flood story, when taken literally reveals a horrid perpetration of collective punishment (all those babies and animals that hadn't committed any immoral act). When allegory is used instead, the deity becomes seen as a humorous character(though I doubt that many people get the joke).

IV. The Synthesis of Two or More World-views

I had the great good fortune of being raised within a religious group that had all three of the above World-views operating simultaneously. It's only taken me a few decades to untangle the various strands and threads that have been at work in my own mind.

I hope this will be of some benefit to someone.

The lesson I get from this is that no one, no matter how motivated she/he feels to present a message is justified in assuming a position of authority. In reality, we do not share the same World-views. We should assume that this World is a free market place for competing views. Therefore, the seekers may pick and choose between what is presented, keep what makes sense, shelve for later consideration those things that almost make sense, and ignore those things that make no sense.

edit on 28-5-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 28 2013 @ 09:46 PM
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reply to post by pthena
 

Just what World do they think they are in?
Were you on a web site that says, "I don't believe in religion, I believe in Jesus"?
I guess that would be the revelatory world.
I was on a site where someone asked my how you could touch a spirit.
Well, you don't literally.
If you have this person, Jesus, what is he?
Is he a spirit become flesh, or is he the walking talking manifestation of what the spirit would say and do if it was a person, meaning a substantial material being.
Well, he wasn't a manifestation, he was a real person moved by the spirit.
So this would be looking from the "world" where people like John and Paul knew what the true nature of what happened, was.
The "revelatory world" would be virtually nonexistent because it is irrelevant in that there are no needs for this "god" from us but is giving what another person would, if he had all the capabilities necessary to do that, but where ordinary people invariably fall short.
edit on 28-5-2013 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 10:26 PM
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reply to post by pthena
 

Gosh, what a thesis.

It's a lot simpler than that. They believe they're doing God's will, with an authority conferred upon them by the Son of God Himself. See Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 10:33 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
 


Astyanax!!!

I haven't argued with you in a long time.

I hope you are well!



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by pthena
 

I think there's also the Messianic expectation type of evangelism, imploring us to get involved in what might be thought of as a participatory eschatology, not as a particularized Jesus flying in from any particular direction ("no one will be able to point and say there he is, or to himself and say 'I am he'"), but as a type of cosmological or universal realization involving man re-discovering his true place in the creation as son of a loving God wherein God comes to make his home with mankind "with we his people and he our God" (Revelation of John).


Messianism originated in the Western world with Judaism. Martin Buber, generally considered the greatest Jewish philosopher of the 20th century, believed messianism was Judaism's "most profoundly original idea" (Lowy 47-70) The "coming of the Messiah," understood literally by Jewish people for centuries, was for Buber, a non-observant but pious Jew and a socialist, a metaphor for the advent of the messianic age, to be brought about by God and man. As Buber saw it messianism was Judaism's gift to humanity

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessey, a Christian philosopher (a Jewish convert) and contemporary of Buber's, described the emergence of the messianic sensibility, "Unlike other tribal or imperial people the Jews broke with the narrative that life and death, peace and war were inevitable cycles. Instead of merely longing for a lost golden age, they staked their entire existence on a future reign of righteousness and peace" (Cristuado 247). The historian of religion Mircea Eliade has noted that human beings from the beginning of history have been haunted by the mythical remembrance of a pre-historical happiness, a golden age -- thus we harbor an abiding nostalgia for paradise. Judaism was the first religion to convert this nostalgia into the belief that this mythical paradise will be realized in history as the Kingdom of God on earth. History is the realm of redemption.

According to messianic thinkers, both Jewish and Christian, our state of conflict with the world, our mortality and suffering is not a permanent human condition but is a result of our historical estrangement from God. The Kingdom of God, the reunion of God and humanity, is the remedy: "For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9). Buber emphasized that this was not a matter of gradual progress but something "sudden and immense" (Lowy 52). In Isaiah God says, "I create new heavens and a new earth." The long awaited age of peace and happiness is called the "day without evening" in Eastern Christianity, thus connoting a state of immortality. Even in the Indian Vedas we find evidence of the messianic longing in the symbol of a new beginning also connoting immortality, "the eternal dawn." The messianic age is universally described as the union of heaven and earth.

More than any other religious Jewish thinker, Buber placed the active participation of human beings -- as God's partners -- at the heart of messianism.

"God has no wish for any other means of perfecting his creation than by our help. He will not reveal his Kingdom until we have laid its foundations" (Farber 90). In the early 1920s Buber stated, "We are living in an unsaved world, and we are waiting for redemption in which we have been called upon to participate in a most unfathomable way"

Ref: Eco-Doom or Redemption: The Mad Movement and the Sixties' Counter-Culture Project.

For me, it's the only thing that makes any rational sense being both absolutely idealistic and eminently practical.

"Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is still close at hand!" (said with a shout like a voice crying out in the wilderness to prepare a way for the Lord).

You will never, ever count me among the cynics and the naysayers. Never. I am and will remain as long as I am in any form, the eternal optimist, because nothing else is reasonable no matter how unreasonable it may seem.

Best regards,

NAM


edit on 28-5-2013 by NewAgeMan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 11:39 PM
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reply to post by jmdewey60


Were you on a web site that says, "I don't believe in religion, I believe in Jesus"?

I looked at a website linked from someone who claims that. It seemed a standard religious organizational site. I was mainly looking to see what their doctrinal position was with regards to the Old Testament.


The "revelatory world" would be virtually nonexistent because it is irrelevant in that there are no needs for this "god" from us but is giving what another person would, if he had all the capabilities necessary to do that, but where ordinary people invariably fall short.

I think that I would agree with that, but I'm not sure that I understand exactly what you're saying.



posted on May, 28 2013 @ 11:53 PM
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reply to post by Astyanax
Thank you,

I missed that one. I was mostly speaking of World-views that I had personal experience with. In my experience, everyone that I was attempting to evangelize had already heard of the Bible and Jesus, so I was never introducing the ideas for the first time.


It's a lot simpler than that. They believe they're doing God's will, with an authority conferred upon them by the Son of God Himself. See Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15.

V. The Apostolic World-view

The World-view in which the evangelist is breaking new ground. In this World, the evangelist is speaking for the deity directly. See 2 Corinthians 5:20


We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.
New International Version (©2011)



posted on May, 29 2013 @ 12:38 AM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan

I think that I would probably put that as a variation of II.

From the piece you quoted from:

The historian of religion Mircea Eliade has noted that human beings from the beginning of history have been haunted by the mythical remembrance of a pre-historical happiness, a golden age -- thus we harbor an abiding nostalgia for paradise. Judaism was the first religion to convert this nostalgia into the belief that this mythical paradise will be realized in history as the Kingdom of God on earth. History is the realm of redemption.


I know that some will argue that Snorri Sturluson was at least a nominal Christian at the time he wrote the Eddas, and may have intentionally made Baldr seem more Christlike, but the core idea of his rising from Hel at the end of Ragnarök (as final restoration) may also be very similar to weeping for Tammuz(as seasonal).

I'm of the opinion that the Jewish calendar got the month Tammuz from Babylonian god, and not vice-a-versa.

On the other hand, I have yet to hear anyone evangelizing about Baldr or Tammuz. However, I hear no end of people praising the primacy of Judaic-Messianism..


In Eliade's view, traditional man sees time as an endless repetition of mythical archetypes. In contrast, modern man has abandoned mythical archetypes and entered linear, historical time—in this context, unlike many other religions, Christianity attributes value to historical time. Thus, Eliade concludes, "Christianity incontestably proves to be the religion of 'fallen man'", of modern man who has lost "the paradise of archetypes and repetition".
(Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return, p.162)
Mircea Eliade - Christianity and the "salvation" of History

Thanks for your contribution.

Actually, thank you very much. From the article you linked to:

In 1926 Buber wrote that the Jewish people were "the human community" that is the carrier of "the messianic expectation . . . this belief in the still-to-be-accomplished . . . world redemption" (Lowy 53). But today it is not the Jews who hold this expectation. Sadly Jews betrayed their claim to be the messianic people when they substituted the tribalist project of the creation of the Jewish state of Israel for the universal reign of peace and justice (Farber, 2005).
Eco-Doom or Redemption: The Mad Movement and the Sixties' Counter-Culture Project



edit on 29-5-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-5-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2013 @ 07:17 AM
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reply to post by pthena
 

I think that I would agree with that, but I'm not sure that I understand exactly what you're saying.
I was reading the beginning of 1 John about his familiarity with the Logos.
Someone would ask, why didn't he just say, Jesus?
He doesn't and is talking about what I believe is the spirit of Prophecy.
So is Jesus the person then irrelevant? Do we worship Jesus?
Uh, apparently not, from reading John.
What if you knew Jeremiah? Would you worship him since he was consistently giving out the Word of The Lord?
I don't think so. I doubt any of his contemporaries considered worshipping him.



posted on May, 29 2013 @ 07:38 AM
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reply to post by jmdewey60


So is Jesus the person then irrelevant? Do we worship Jesus?

To tell you the truth, I don't even know what worship is anymore. I do know that I cannot sit in a church and sing their hymns. I think that's how they worship.

The person of Jesus is far from irrelevant. He's as relevant as any other through whom the unknowable God worked. I think that personal relevance is a personal matter.
edit on 29-5-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-5-2013 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 29 2013 @ 08:50 AM
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reply to post by pthena
 

The person of Jesus is far from irrelevant. He's as relevant as any other through whom the unknowable God worked.
It may just be in the context that the writer of 1 John was dealing with, that naming Jesus was not important, since it may have been just a given that everything was about him.



posted on May, 29 2013 @ 12:56 PM
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Originally posted by jmdewey60
reply to post by pthena
 

The person of Jesus is far from irrelevant. He's as relevant as any other through whom the unknowable God worked.
It may just be in the context that the writer of 1 John was dealing with, that naming Jesus was not important, since it may have been just a given that everything was about him.

And yet Jesus made it all about US. That's the true marvel and secret understanding of Jesus' logic/logos because it was a logos of love. Of himself he made himself a nothing. What an utterly awesome dude.



posted on May, 29 2013 @ 02:15 PM
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reply to post by NewAgeMan


And yet Jesus made it all about US. That's the true marvel and secret understanding of Jesus' logic/logos because it was a logos of love. Of himself he made himself a nothing. What an utterly awesome dude.

That's what I think too. Us means everybody, not some elite group. The extra mile is taking the time and energy to understand where someone is coming from, before trying to tell him where to go.



posted on Jun, 1 2013 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by pthena
reply to post by NewAgeMan


And yet Jesus made it all about US. That's the true marvel and secret understanding of Jesus' logic/logos because it was a logos of love. Of himself he made himself a nothing. What an utterly awesome dude.

That's what I think too. Us means everybody, not some elite group. The extra mile is taking the time and energy to understand where someone is coming from, before trying to tell him where to go.



In order to recieve a gift it requires a persons acceptance of said gift. A gift can be refused, but it can never be forced on a person or it is not a gift. The gift is life, the option to refuse is death but it is each person's own right to choose for themselves wether or not they accept his gift or refuse it. If by "elite" group then you mean those who choose to accept his gift then yes, it is exclusive to those "elite". He never forced anyone to accept him, he just gave them his evangelistic message, and let them decide for themselves their own fates.



posted on Jun, 1 2013 @ 03:37 PM
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Originally posted by pthena
I have noticed the tendency of current day Western Evangelists to assume a position of authority while presenting their message.

By evangelist, I mean, a person who feels that he or she has some mission to present an all important message to those who don't share belief in that message. Evangelism is, then, a mission of message.


It is the nature of belief, to assert your belief, isn't it?

I mean, nobody believes something, and then says "I'm guessing this could be so."

No man can know who will hear and understand the words. So when you speak to people who don't seem to share the belief, if one of them hears and understands, and is converted, then the message is successful. If the other 99 remain unbelieving, nothing is lost.

Regardless of how reasonable we think we are, or compassionate, or tactful, we all "impose" our beliefs on each other.

The nicest way is just to let people hear our words. But, some desire to go further and suppress the word altogether. Some people do not want to hear certain things being said. They don't believe in freedom of speech. They may think they do, but always you can find something they'd rather not hear. They want only their views to be presented. Only the things they agree with to be spoken in their environments.

So, they have rules. Say this, but don't say that.

We create all these rules. It gives us a comfort zone. If nobody is saying certain things, then we cannot be contradicted in our own opinions. We can then imagine the world to be whatever we'd like.

The preacher has a view, that is often contrary to what the people want to do. The preacher says A,B,C are sins. But, people don't want to hear that. They want to hear, A,B,C, are fun, good things, blessings even.

As soon as you find it necessary to silence a voice, a truth has been spoken.

Jesus came, spoke the truth, and was silenced.

Men haven't changed.

If Jesus came back, he'd be silenced again.

We don''t mind people who are ignorant, because they are harmless. They don't have knowledge. They don't know truth. They can babble on all day, and nobody will bother with them. But, reveal a truth, and see how much opposition appears.

Why is it, that when some truth is leaked to the newspapers, and the news media reveals it, there's so much backlash, from those who would like the truth kept secret? Why do they try to silence the source?

If the information leaked were false, there would be no need to silence people, you'd simply counter the story with the truth instead.

As soon as you find yourself pushing the Silence button, ask yourself why you think the speech can't be effectively countered by other opposing speech, and must be silenced.

There's absolutely nothing that humans say, that can't be countered by another human speaking his/her mind, if the original speech is in some way false. So, ignorance can be countered, but truth must be silenced.








edit on 1-6-2013 by KingErik because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2013 @ 03:49 PM
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reply to post by lonewolf19792000

As a general note: I started this thread in the Psychology sub-forum intending for it to be an objective examination. However, it soon became apparent that certain prejudices and biases were very much in operation still, so now that it's in the Religion sub-forum I'll just go ahead with my prejudice and bias.

Hey lonewolf,


The gift is life, the option to refuse is death
. . .
If by "elite" group then you mean those who choose to accept his gift then yes, it is exclusive to those "elite".
. . .
he just gave them his evangelistic message,

We had kind of gotten into 1 John. I got side-tracked in the intervening days onto other subjects.

As far as life goes, I don't think that is what 1 John is talking about so much as "Fellowship"

1 John 1:2 (and the life was revealed, and we have seen, and testify, and declare to you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us); 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us. Yes, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ.

In these verses we see
1) What the message was: "life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, "
2) The who giving the message: "and was revealed to us" "we have seen"
3) Purpose: "that you also may have fellowship with us"

So what John (traditionally thought to be the last surviving disciple of Jesus) is doing is inviting the Christians to continue in the fellowship of life that he had witnessed in Jesus. Jesus was gone but the fellowship remained.

Under (I.) of the OP we can look at what the "elitism" may be.
Nowadays we see things that could have/should have been something better than they ended up being.
Look at the quote that NewAgeMan provided:

In 1926 Buber wrote that the Jewish people were "the human community" that is the carrier of "the messianic expectation . . . this belief in the still-to-be-accomplished . . . world redemption" (Lowy 53). But today it is not the Jews who hold this expectation. Sadly Jews betrayed their claim to be the messianic people when they substituted the tribalist project of the creation of the Jewish state of Israel for the universal reign of peace and justice (Farber, 2005).
Eco-Doom or Redemption: The Mad Movement and the Sixties' Counter-Culture Project

This is an example of a sidetracking/derailment from what could have been. You can also add the Papacy or any other group you wish to the list.

Jesus is gone(may be present in Spirit), the witnesses are gone (though left some statements) and we doubt that apostolic succession really continued unbroken. What then can we do? Every new person popping up claiming to have the "restored truth" ends up being a cult figure.

I think I'm beginning to understand what sacgamer25 was telling me here in this post: www.abovetopsecret.com... , about pastors being stuck in one place, rather than progressing beyond it. The extreme would be someone having a revelation, people flock to that person, he becomes a cult personality who people expect to be doling the truth out, then he never goes on from there.

I think that at least identifies certain traps. I'm losing my train of thought. Break time.



posted on Jun, 1 2013 @ 04:34 PM
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reply to post by KingErik

Welcome KingErik,

You just registered today?
It seems lame for me to even comment on your post because yes, you understand the problems.

Regardless of how reasonable we think we are, or compassionate, or tactful, we all "impose" our beliefs on each other.

And mood swings and sometimes not understanding what the other person is saying, but rather sifting the speech through our own prejudice filter.


It gives us a comfort zone. If nobody is saying certain things, then we cannot be contradicted in our own opinions. We can then imagine the world to be whatever we'd like.

And when we shut out rather than listen to what may break up our carefully balanced house of cards which we call our doctrinal system, we prevent ourselves from changing our minds. I try to allow myself to change my mind. Sometimes easier said than done.


Jesus came, spoke the truth, and was silenced.

Men haven't changed.

If Jesus came back, he'd be silenced again.

The methods of silencing have advanced somewhat. Distraction seems to take care of a great deal. Something as banal as starting a new game show, or reality show. We seem swamped by banality.

Welcome again.
I'm not arguing against you here, just agreeing and adding a little.



posted on Jun, 1 2013 @ 04:46 PM
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reply to post by KingErik
 



Jesus came, spoke the truth, and was silenced.

Men haven't changed.

If Jesus came back, he'd be silenced again.


Not what the book of Revelation says. There it says he does return just as he said, and he splits the Mt. of Olives in two, and he fights the nations with the sword of his mouth (rebukes the nations), and the ones who try to silence him this time get the flesh dissolved from their bones, and their eyes dissolve in their sockets and their tongues dissolve in their mouths. The survivors if they want to keep surviving, worship him each year at the Temple and when they decide to rebel they die from having their flesh dissolved too. He came first as Savior, the next time he comes as a Conqueror and he is not happy when he gets here. Yeah that OT God people keep trying to say Jesus is not, shows his face again, complete with wrath and a opened can of whoop-ass.



posted on Jun, 1 2013 @ 04:55 PM
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reply to post by lonewolf19792000
 

. . . and he splits the Mt. of Olives in two . . .
That is not Revelation, that is Zechariah 14:4
and it is the Lord (YHWH in the Hebrew version), not Jesus.

. . . that OT God people keep trying to say Jesus is not . . .
Funny how they skipped that part in the Bible.
edit on 1-6-2013 by jmdewey60 because: (no reason given)



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