Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Evangelist HOW TO GUIDE for Conversing with YOU, PAGAN!

Glocal Christianity, a blog by Matt Stone, has created quite the stirring throughout the online Pagan world over a recent post titled Tips for Conversations with PagansThe blog post kicks off with a slide show displaying Pagans engaging in what the Evangelist must consider to be our normal, everyday behavior -- hailing the directions at Stonehenge, running through fires in our birthday suits, banging drums and the like.  

I don't know about YOU, but I am exhausted today after last night's flaming romp through Edinburgh, Scotland [in between making dinner, switching the witchy laundry and running my son from karate to swimming].  Good times.  Good times.

Below this "here's how to recognize a Pagan" slideshow [if you can get passed it, mind you], you'll find Matt Stone's Dos and Donts for religious discussions with a Pagan. 


"Do … clarify what are the most important questions...
Conversations can easily ramble on all over the place if we’re not careful, never getting to the meaty stuff. Try to go deeper. Find out what really divides each of you" Stone writes.  Perhaps he fails to realize that one's intentions to convert a Pagan would likely be the MAIN obstacle dividing you.  When you charge into a conversation with the goal of changing a person's faith, you clearly show a complete lack of respect for the things that are important to that individual's heart.  You might well not waste your breath in the first place.
"Don't … expect others to find the Bible as authoritative as you...
Not only should you not expect Pagans to take the bible as authoritative as you do, you should not expect them to take any scripture as authoritative as you do."  While I agree with this most obvious statement, I also have to laugh.  Tee hee hee.  I find it hilarious because on occasions when I've found myself discussing religion with these "my way is the only way" sorts, it usually happens that I know more about their holy book than they do!  If you really want to reach someone, try discussing what your faith means to you personally instead of throwing quotes into the air. 

While I might appreciate someone who genuinely promotes a respectful dialog between people of differing faiths, when it is blatantly clear that such conversations are sought solely for the purpose of conversion, any lingering respect is lost in translation.  Matt Stone states "don’t just listen to what they [Pagans] say; listen also to what they do."  Matt, you will never truly be an active listener if, at the back of your mind, you carry an alternate agenda.


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