Tag Archives: Hare Krishna

Offense or defense? Both.

Many evangelistic endeavors seek to bring people out of false religions and cults.  Those are very important and have accomplished great things. 

But their value isn’t just in getting people out of bad things, it is in keeping people from entering them to begin with.

You may be able to count how many people  a group converted from Mormonism, for example, and it may seem like a small number.  But keep in mind that good teaching may have prevented many more people from entering Mormonism to begin with.  It is just that the defensive numbers don’t lend themselves to tracking as well as the offensive ones do.  But both are important.

In the same way, apologetics may seem focused on getting people out of cults and other religions and converting them from atheism.  But it can help keep people from leaving the church (many of whom are unsaved).  I’m not disputing the “once saved, always saved” teaching that I hold to.  I’m just saying that you can’t just assume people are saved because they show up at church wearing nice clothes (I know that of which I speak, as I used to be one of those nicely dressed pagans sitting in the pew). 

So my strategy is to spread sound teachings far and wide and play both offense and defense.

Evangelism experiences 3

As noted in the overview, this is part of a series of evangelism experiences I want to share. Please feel free to add your own.

This is about “drive-by evangelism” – unavoidably brief but significant encounters where you share what you can.  I don’t recommend this as a normal practice.

I was in the Denver airport with my family once.  We were temporarily in different spots (gathering luggage and such) when I was approached by a Hare Krishna member.  I literally had 45 seconds to talk. 

Without thinking I gave the shortest Gospel presentation I ever have.  It was very clear and direct.  I basically told the guy (in a nice, calm voice) that he was in a false belief system, who Satan was, who Jesus was, why he needed Jesus and that I would be praying for his soul. 

I wish I could describe the look in his eyes.  He was desparate and seemed to realize he was trapped in a cult.  He sincerely said, “Yes, please pray for me.”  I walked with him over to his companion and repeated myself, and again he asked me to pray for him.

I prayed for him many times during that vacation and whenever I think of him (like now).  I prayed in general and also specifically that God would send others with a more robust explanation of the Gospel – along the lines of Matthew 9:38: “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  When I get to Heaven I’ll learn how God worked it all out.

Sometimes you get a chance to rehearse what you want to say and sometimes you don’t.  But I encourage you to always be open to opportunities. 

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Speaking of Hare Krishnas, I had a less dramatic encounter once coming back from a business trip in the Far East.  I was going through LAX and was exhausted.  I must have looked like a great target, because a Hare Krishna lady made a beeline for me.  She was most eager for me to read some books she was carrying.

As tired as I was, an idea hit me.  I reached down and pulled out my Bible (it was a full-sized one), smiled and told her she should read my book first.  She laughed and noted that my book was much bigger than hers.  She realized I wasn’t likely to convert and begged off.

Moral of the story: Always travel with a Bible.  Best case scenario, you convert the cultists.  Worst case, you chase them off.  It’s win-win.