How could we have such a low view of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we have to manipulate men psychologically to get them to come down and pray a prayer? ... How many times have I heard evangelists say, "It'll only take five minutes."? No my dear friend, it will take your life""all of it!
It was my duty to give them the best show possible. Say you've got a timid little preacher in North Carolina or somewhere. He'll bring in visiting evangelists to keep his church going. We'd come in and hit the crowd up and we were superstars. It's the charisma of the evangelist that the audience believes in and comes to see.
By what route do otherwise sane men come to believe such palpable nonsense? How is it possible for a human brain to be divided into two insulated halves, one functioning normally, naturallyand even brilliantly, and the other capable only of such ghastly balderdash which issues from the minds of Baptist evangelists?
H. L. Mencken
If its individual citizens, to a man, are to be believed, it always is depressed, and always is stagnated, and always is at an alarming crisis, and never was otherwise; though as a body, they are ready to make oath upon the Evangelists, at any hour of the day or night, that it is the most thriving and prosperous of all countries on the habitable globe.
How dare we, all these stupid evangelists walking around telling men after they've made some little prayer that they need to write their name in the back of their Bible, and put the date and if the devil ever comes to them, they need to show him that. That is Roman superstition, it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. You see, we've turned the gospel into a flu-shot.
The greatest moments of Native History lie ahead of us if a great spiritual renewal and wakening should take place. The Native American has been a sleeping giant. He is awakening. The original Americans could become the evangelists who will help win America for Christ! Remember these forgotten people!
How admirable and beautiful is the simplicity of the Evangelists! They never speak injuriously of the enemies of Jesus Christ, of His judges, nor of His executioners. They report the facts without a single reflection. They comment neither on their Master's mildness when He was smitten, nor on His constancy in the hour of His ignominious death, which they thus describe: "And they crucified Jesus.
America's founding fathers did not intend to take religion out of education. Many of the nation's greatest universities were founded by evangelists and religious leaders; but many of these have lost the founders concept and become secular institutions. Because of this attitude, secular education is stumbling and floundering.
The foundation of our belief is a basis of fact - the fact of the birth, ministry, miracles, death, resurrection by the Evangelists as having actually occurred, within their own personal knowledge it was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually rose from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.
Carnal reason is an enemy to faith: it is ever crossing and contradicting it. It will never be well with thee, Christian, so long as thou art swayed by carnal reason, and you rely more upon thy five senses, than upon the four Evangelists. As the body lives by breathing, so the soul lives by believing.
It is the philosophers, theologians, and evangelists who are said to be filled with pride and bigotry due to the strong convictions that they represent. On the contrary, teachings can be either taken or dismissed; whereas voting is the only thing the average person can do to force everyone to live how they would prefer. A simple vote is among the largest yet most acceptable forms of bigotry, and that is because people play the card only when they feel that in doing so it conveniences themselves.
Introverted seekers need introverted evangelists. It's not that extroverts can't communicate the gospel, either verbally or nonverbally, in ways that introverts find appealing, it's that introverted seekers need to know and see that it's possible to lead the Christian life as themselves. It's imperative for them to understand that becoming a Christian is not tantamount with becoming an extrovert.
Adam S. McHugh
The promoters of big data would like us to believe that behind the lines of code and vast databases lie objective and universal insights into patterns of human behavior, be it consumer spending, criminal or terrorist acts, healthy habits, or employee productivity. But many big-data evangelists avoid taking a hard look at the weaknesses.
The designation of the locality in one excludes the appearances narrated by the rest; the determination of time in another leaves no space for the narratives of his fellow-evangelists; the enumeration of a third is given without any regard to the events reported by his predecessors; lastly, among several appearances recounted by various narrators, each claims to be the last, and yet has nothing in common with the others. Hence nothing but wilful blindness can prevent the perception that no one of the narrators knew and presupposed what another records.
David Friedrich Strauss
In childhood our credulity serves us well. It helps us to pack, with extraordinary rapidity, our skulls full of the wisdom of our parents and our ancestors. But if we don't grow out of it in the fullness of time, our ... nature makes us a sitting target for astrologers, mediums, gurus, evangelists, and quacks. We need to replace the automatic credulity of childhood with the constructive skepticism of adult science.
In order to deceive others, it is necessary also to deceive oneself. The actor playing Hamlet must indeed believe that he is the Prince of Denmark, though when he leaves the stage he will usually remember who he really is. On the other hand, when someone's entire life is based on pretense, they will seldom if ever return to reality. That is the secret of successful politicians, evangelists and confidence tricksters-they believe that they are telling the truth, even when they know that they have faked the evidence. Sincerity, my dear Julia, is a quality not to be trusted.
The gifts that Yeshua left in the earth realm to enforce His authority were apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, and evangelists. The gift that gets controlled or stopped, which hinders the others from coming into fullness, is the prophet's gift and authority. Apostles will attempt to build a pattern without present revelation, and end up building man's model.
None but praying leaders can have praying followers. A praying pulpit will beget praying pews. We do greatly need pastors and evangelists who will set the saints to this business of praying. We are not a generation of praying saints. Who will restore this breach? The greatest will he be of reformers who can set the Church to praying.
Edward McKendree Bounds
Much is now being said about evangelism; but before we get effective evangelism, we have to get effective evangelists. Evangelism is useless unless it is the work of one devoted to God, willing and glad to suffer all things for God, penetrated by the attractiveness of God. New machinery, adaptations and adjustments, are not the first need... but more devoted, adoring, sacrificial souls.
In Celtic Ireland the name Leo was Lugh, another solar hero and mystic. In Wales he was Llew, to the Romans Lugus, to the Sumerians Lughal. Its not the same dude on walkabout, it's the Astrological sign of Leo. In the Christian iconography we have one of the Evangelists represented by a Lion. In the Nativity scenes we see 4 animals around the cradle of the Son/Sun king. One of these is also a Lion. Christians probably believe that there was one in the area and just happened to wander into the inn to take a peek at sleeping Jesus. Good thing it wasn't very hungry.
I am a Christian - but sometimes I feel very removed from Christianity. The Jesus Christ that I believe in was the man who turned over the tables in the temple and threw the money-changers out - substitute T.V. evangelists if you like... why in the West, do we spend so much money on extending the arms race instead of wiping out malaria, which could be eradicated given ten minutes worth of the world's arm budget? To me, we are living in the most un-Christian times. When I see these racketeers, the snake-oil salesmen on these right-winged television stations, asking for not your $20.00, or your $50.00, but your $100.00 in the name of Jesus Christ, I just want to throw up!!
If a queen comes to America, crowds fill the station squares, and attendant British journalists rejoice, 'You see: the American Cousins are as respectful to Royalty as we are.' But the Americans have read of queens since babyhood. they want to see one queen, once, and if another came to town next week, with twice as handsome a crown, she would not draw more than two small boys and an Anglophile. Americans want to see one movie star, one giraffe, one jet plance, one murder, but only one. They run up a skyscraper or the fame of generals and evangelists and playwrights in one week and tear them all down in an hour, and the mark of excellence everywhere is 'under new management'.
On Saturday night, I would see men lusting after half-naked girls dancing at the carnival, and on Sunday morning when I was playing organ for tent-show evangelists at the other end of the carnival lot, I would see these same men sitting in the pews with their wives and children, asking God to forgive them and purge them of carnal desires. And the next Saturday they'd be back at the carnival or some other place of indulgence. I knew then that the Christian church thrives on hypocrisy, and that man's carnal nature will out no matter how much it is purged or scoured by any white-light religion.
Anton Szandor LaVey
Much of modern preaching is anaemic, with the life-blood of God's nature absent from the message. Evangelists centre their message upon the man. Man has sinned and missed a great blessing. If man wants to retrieve his immense loss he must act thus and so. But the Gospel of Christ is very different. It begins with God and His glory. It tells men that they have offended a holy God, who will by no means pass by sin. It reminds sinners that the only hope of salvation is to be found in the grace and power of this same God. Christ's Gospel sends men to beg pardon of the Holy One.
4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion... shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine therefore candidly what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis as the earth does, should have stopped, should not by that sudden stoppage have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time have resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in furee¢... Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you... In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it... I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost... [Letter to his nephew, Peter Carr, advising him in matters of religion, 1787]
What I'd like to read is a scientific review, by a scientific psychologist-if any exists-of 'A Scientific Man and the Bible'. By what route do otherwise sane men come to believe such palpable nonsense? How is it possible for a human brain to be divided into two insulated halves, one functioning normally, naturally and even brilliantly, and the other capable only of such ghastly balderdash which issues from the minds of Baptist evangelists? Such balderdash takes various forms, but it is at its worst when it is religious. Why should this be so? What is there in religion that completely flabbergasts the wits of those who believe in it? I see no logical necessity for that flabbergasting. Religion, after all, is nothing but an hypothesis framed to account for what is evidentially unaccounted for. In other fields such hypotheses are common, and yet they do no apparent damage to those who incline to them. But in the religious field they quickly rush the believer to the intellectual Bad Lands. He not only becomes anaesthetic to objective fact; he becomes a violent enemy of objective fact. It annoys and irritates him. He sweeps it away as something somehow evil...
Not to grow up properly is to retain our 'caterpillar' quality from childhood (where it is a virtue) into adulthood (where it becomes a vice). In childhood our credulity serves us well. It helps us to pack, with extraordinary rapidity, our skulls full of the wisdom of our parents and our ancestors. But if we don't grow out of it in the fullness of time, our caterpillar nature makes us a sitting target for astrologers, mediums, gurus, evangelists and quacks. The genius of the human child, mental caterpillar extraordinary, is for soaking up information and ideas, not for criticizing them. If critical faculties later grow it will be in spite of, not because of, the inclinations of childhood. The blotting paper of the child's brain is the unpromising seedbed, the base upon which later the sceptical attitude, like a struggling mustard plant, may possibly grow. We need to replace the automatic credulity of childhood with the constructive scepticism of adult science.
The real bible is not the work of inspired men, nor prophets, nor apostles, nor evangelists, nor of Christs. Every man who finds a fact, adds, as it were, a word to this great book. It is not attested by prophecy, by miracles or signs. It makes no appeal to faith, to ignorance, to credulity or fear. It has no punishment for unbelief, and no reward for hypocrisy. It appeals to man in the name of demonstration. It has nothing to conceal. It has no fear of being read, of being contradicted, of being investigated and understood. It does not pretend to be holy, or sacred; it simply claims to be true. It challenges the scrutiny of all, and implores every reader to verify every line for himself. It is incapable of being blasphemed. This book appeals to all the surroundings of man. Each thing that exists testifies of its perfection. The earth, with its forests and plains, its rocks and seas; with its every wave and cloud; with its every leaf and bud and flower, confirms its every word, and the solemn stars, shining in the infinite abysses, are the eternal witnesses of its truth.
Robert G. Ingersoll
With this light that is given to the eye of the intellect, Thomas Aquinas saw Me, wherefore he acquired the light of much science; also Augustine, Jerome, and the doctors, and my saints. They were illuminated by My Truth to know and understand My Truth in darkness. By My Truth I mean the Holy Scripture, which seemed dark because it was not understood; not through any defect of the Scriptures, but of them who heard them, and did not understand them. Wherefore I sent this light to illuminate the blind and course understanding, uplifting the eye of the intellect to know the Truth. And I, Fire, Acceptor of sacrifices, ravishing away from them their darkness, give the light; not a natural light, but a supernatural, so that, though in darkness, they know the Truth. Wherefore that, which at first appeared to be dark, now appears with the most perfect light, to the gross or subtle mind; and every one receives according as he is capable or disposed to know Me, for I do not despise dispositions. So thou seest that the eye of the intellect has received supernatural light, infused by grace, by which the doctors and saints knew light in darkness, and of darkness made light. The intellect was, before the Scriptures were formed, wherefore, form the intellect came science, because in seeing they discerned. It was thus that the holy prophets and fathers understood, who prophesied of the coming and death of My Son, and the Apostles, after the coming of the Holy Spirit, which gave them that supernatural light. The evangelists, doctors, professors, virgins, and martyrs were all likewise illuminated by the aforesaid perfect light. And every one has had the illumination of this light according as he needed it for his salvation or that of others, or for the exposition of the Scriptures. The doctors of the holy science had it, expounding the doctrine of My Truth, the preaching of the Apostles, and the Gospels of the Evangelists. The martyrs had it, declaring in their blood the Most Holy Faith, the fruit and the treasure of the Blood of the Lamb. The virgins had it in the affection of charity and purity. To the obedient ones is declared, by it, the obedience of the Word, showing them the perfection of obedience, which shines in my Truth, who for the obedience that I imposed upon Him, ran to the opprobrious death of the Cross. This light is to be seen in the Old and New Testament; in the Old, by it, were seen by the eye of the intellect, and known the prophecies of the holy prophets. In the New Testament of the evangelical life, who is the Gospel declared to the faithful? By this same light. And because the New Testament proceeded from the same light, the new law did not break the old law; rather are the two laws bound together, the imperfection of the old law, founded in fear alone, being taken from it, by the coming of the Word of My only-begotten Son, with the law of Love, completing the old law by giving it love, and replacing the fear of penalty by holy fear. And, therefore, said My Truth to the disciples, to show that He was not a breaker of laws: 'I came not to dissolve the law, but to fulfill it.' It is almost as if My Truth would say to them - The Law is now imperfect, but with My Blood I will make it perfect, and I will fill it up with what it lacks, taking away the fear of penalty, and founding it in love and holy fear. How was this declared to be the Truth? By this same supernatural light, which was and is given by grace to all, who will receive it? Every light that comes from Holy Scripture comes and came from this supernatural light. Ignorant and proud men of science were blind notwithstanding this light, because their pride and ht cloud of self-love had covered up and put out the light.
Saint Catherine of Siena
In marked contrast to the relaxed, typically Latin attitude of the Dominicans the Protestant missionaries were still proceeding at full blast with the fight for souls. These North American evangelists of strictly fundamentalist inclination combined in a curious fashion strict adhesion to the literal meaning of the Old Testament With mastery of the most modern technology. Most of them came from small towns in the Bible Belt, armed with unshakably clear consciences and a rudimentary smattering of theology, convinced that they alone were the repositories of Christian values now abolished elsewhere. Totally ignorant of the vast world, despite their transplantation, and taking the few articles of morality accepted in the rural Amenca of their childhoods to be a universal credo, they strove bravely to spread these principles of salvation all around them. Their rustic faith was well served by a flotilla of light aircraft, a powerful radio, an ultra-modern hospital and four-wheel-drive vehicles - in short, all the equipment that a battalion of crusaders dropped behind enemy lines needed.
The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages. As John Cheever said, the main emotion of the adult Northeastern American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment. Work is disappointing. In spite of all the talk about making work more creative and self-fulfilling, most people hate their jobs, and with good reason. Most work in modern technological societies is intolerably dull and repetitive. Marriage and family life are disappointing. Even among defenders of traditional family values, e.g., Christians and Jews, a certain dreariness must be inferred, if only from the average time of TV viewing. Dreary as TV is, it is evidently not as dreary as Mom talking to Dad or the kids talking to either. School is disappointing. If science is exciting and art is exhilarating, the schools and universities have achieved the not inconsiderable feat of rendering both dull. As every scientist and poet knows, one discovers both vocations in spite of, not because of, school. It takes years to recover from the stupor of being taught Shakespeare in English Lit and Wheatstone's bridge in Physics. Politics is disappointing. Most young people turn their backs on politics, not because of the lack of excitement of politics as it is practiced, but because of the shallowness, venality, and image-making as these are perceived through the media-one of the technology's greatest achievements. The churches are disappointing, even for most believers. If Christ brings us new life, it is all the more remarkable that the church, the bearer of this good news, should be among the most dispirited institutions of the age. The alternatives to the institutional churches are even more grossly disappointing, from TV evangelists with their blown-dry hairdos to California cults led by prosperous gurus ignored in India but embraced in La Jolla. Social life is disappointing. The very franticness of attempts to reestablish community and festival, by partying, by groups, by club, by touristy Mardi Gras, is the best evidence of the loss of true community and festival and of the loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection. But there remains the one unquestioned benefit of science: the longer and healthier life made possible by modern medicine, the shorter work-hours made possible by technology, hence what is perceived as the one certain reward of dreary life of home and the marketplace: recreation. Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution.