Last week, someone I’m friends with thanks to my wife and social networking had a posting I thought was really interesting. They were quoting an extremely popular atheist apologist who said something to the effect that it was a form of “mental child abuse” to tell a child they were going to hell for “not being good.”
My friend went on to say if anyone told her kids they were going to hell because of some “sky bully,” she would more or less go all “mama bear” on them. I get that instinct, I do.
The thing is, I don’t know a single Christian that would tell someone they’ll go to hell for not being good. I am of the opinion that not a single person would come to Christ from the scared straight approach. I do not believe telling people what will eventually happen if they don’t come to faith in Christ is an effective way to witness.
Clobbering someone with words does. Not. Show. Them. Jesus.
Rather, we should tell them what can happen if they do choose Jesus. We do this by telling them what his presence has done in our lives, and the changes the Holy Spirit has wrought in us.
It’s very true that people can argue all the livelong day about whether or not Jesus is real, or about doctrinal issues. But your story is your story. It happened to you, and if you’re honest with people about what your faith has done in your life, I believe people are more likely to respond to it than if they’re threatened with hell.
It just seems like a better way to spread the Good News.