[CS-FSLUG] FOSS Evangelism

D.C. Parris don at blue-gnu.biz
Fri Nov 16 11:21:02 CST 2007

On Friday 16 November 2007 11:07, Ed Hurst wrote:
> On Friday 16 November 2007 08:31 Josiah Ritchie wrote:
> > I've been most successful in having opportunity to share with
> > interested individuals when I've been most heavily involved in the
> > community. It seems quality participation is the key to respect in
> > these groups. You must demonstrate worth. I'd also say that it is
> > most effective to target a few and get to know them, build that trust
> > so they can see a Christian who isn't what they expect and build a
> > bridge over the roadblock in their heart.
> That stands to reason, since it's pretty much the way evangelism really
> works in every avenue of life. If you don't first establish the
> credibility to speak, nothing you say will help, and may well serve to
> hinder the gospel by unnecessarily hardening their attitudes against
> it. I've lost count how often my whole witness in some part of my life
> was little more than repairing such damage.
> Your reminder is timely. Preach it brother!

I agree.  We need to be genuine in our relationships, which gives us the 
credibility to share our faith.  Not that that guarantees anything, but it 
helps.  From being attacked in the JustLinux forums to the somewhat hostile 
treatment of articles posted on LXer and in other venues, some people view 
us - rightly or wrongly - as simply begging for handouts, as if they owe the 
Church something.  

People expressed reservations about my ability to moderate LXer effectively as 
a Christian.  One of my greatest achievements is to have been extolled for my 
virtues as a moderator.  It may not have led anyone to Jesus, but it sure 
changed the way people looked at me - and probably helped them realize that 
not all Christians are frothing-at-the-mouth, Bible-thumping hooligans out to 
rid the world of fun and vices.

The only way to overcome inaccurate perceptions is to be who we have been 
called to be.  The same rule very much applies when overcoming cultural and 
racial barriers as well.  

D.C. Parris
Blue GNU | http://blue-gnu.biz/

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