Apparently and unintentionally, I struck some nerves by referring to a Greg Laurie Seattle Harvest event as a “whatchamacallit.” In response to yesterday’s post, some responded with questions and good push-back and I can reassure you that I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful or disparaging.
Let me explain to you where “whatchamacallit” came from. First, let me ask you this question:
How do you explain a “Seattle Harvest” to a non-Christian?
Seriously, I’d like to hear your words and thoughts:
How do you explain that?
I’m asking because I tried and I’m embarrassed to say that after stumbling through a few sentences, adjectives, and illustrations, I referred to it as a “whatchamacallit.” Again, not to be trite or disparaging but I found it really hard to explain without using the words: Harvest, Crusade, or Stadium Evangelism – all words that would normally freak out my neighbors. Kinda like a Christian taboo game.
Well, let me share three comments from yesterday’s original blog entry about Harvests and Crusades in a Post-Christendom World including two from readers.
First, a great pushback from “Rusty” –
While I understand and appreciate the pressures of time and priorities, I sense a disparaging tone as you speak of such an event (“Seattle Harvest whatchamacallit”).
What you have in this “whatchamacallit” is a man who is bringing a message of truth from God’s Word, and who is zealous to reach unbelievers with the message of salvation through Jesus Christ – eternal hope and a purposeful life with Christ, and eternal doom without Christ. I would hope that, as a pastor, the hope that some would come to faith in Christ would be enough to at least cause you to speak supportively of such an effort. Is it not true that the northwest – Seattle in particular – is the most unchristian or “pagan” area of the country?
While “. . . justice, compassion, mercy, and humility, human trafficking, prostitution, homelessness, domestic violence, access to education, and other social inequalities . . .” are important issues for Christians (Micah 6:8), they pale in comparison with the eternal destiny of people who will never die. More important than a quality education or the redistribution of wealth is the eternal security of a never-dying soul.
My simple response trying to explain “whatchamacallit”:
I can share with that there’s no tone of “disparagement” or at least, that’s not intended.
I have much respect for these pastors, leaders, and evangelists alike. If they’re not posers, scam artists, and preaching a false gospel, I’ve got respect.
While I’m not equipped with both giftings, resources, and networks to conduct such an event, I only desire much fruit knowing that there are thousands and thousands of people that would resonate with such an event. Not everyone speaks my spiritual language and that’s ok.
As for the “whatchamacallit” term, I say it to literally convey my inability in describing it to people. While I haven’t advertised it, I have had couple conversations and it’s the hardest thing to describe a “harvest” to someone that isn’t a Christian and thus = whatchamacallit.
And read this comment from ‘Andy M.’ Bam.
The question is, how many unbelievers would actually be attracted to such an event? In my experience, very few people who have not been a part of the “christian” world much or ever in their lives would be interested at all in such an event.
Being zealous to reach unbelievers does not naturally translate into actually being able to reach unbelievers. A man may be able to be very influential within churches, but that does not easily carry over into the secular world. Often, being influential among christians actually hinders the ability to influence non-christians.
To me, this is a Christian event, meant for Christian people. If it were me personally, I would not be interested because I would not be interested in being “harvested”.
And the social aspects of the Gospel do not “pale in comparison with the eternal destiny…” They are no more, and no less important. The Bible is not just about how to go to Heaven when we die, but rather it is about Heaven and Earth intersecting and the Kingdom of God coming here and now on Earth. To deny “justice, compassion, mercy, humility, human trafficking, prostitution, homelessness, domestic violence, access to education, and other social inequalities…” and their importance is to deny the Gospel itself. It is not an either/or, but both/and.