Jason at The Wild Hunt publishes an excellent web log of Pagan news and philosophy. He's as serious as I am frivolous, so I therefore visit him often just for a reality check.
On May 3, Jason wrote a post about an upcoming evangelical conference being held at Trinity International University. The title of the conference is:
"Trinity Consultation on Post-Christendom Spiritualities: The New Unreached People Groups."
Here's the description, in case you want to make a reservation:
"The conference will be a gathering of practitioners and scholars addressing the decline of Christianity in the West and the concomitant growth of new unreached people groups expressed in religions and spiritualities such as modern Paganism, New Age, and other alternative spiritualities. Plenary sessions and parallel workshops will address the topics of the future of religion in the West, the make up of the alternative religious marketplace and approaches in engaging adherents of alternative spiritualities."
I've had some pejoratives hurled at me now and again, but I don't think I've ever been as insulted as to hear myself styled a member of an "unreached people group."
Well gee. This is the 21st century. "Unreached people group" sounds so user-friendly. Pagans are only "adherents of alternative spiritualities" because they're unreached. If you just reach them, they'll jump on the Jesus train, glad to have been reached, just as some poor miner stuck in a collapse would be glad to be reached. Just as some dear granny stuck in a burning rowhouse would be glad to be reached. Just as you can't wait for your destination to be reached after a long road trip.
EXHIBIT A: UNREACHED
One of our pet peeves here at TGAB is the untiring Christian missionary who ventures to the far corners of the globe to bring the message of Jesus Christ to the "unreached." Where have these missionaries not gone? Who in the Wide, Wide World of Sports has never been reached by the information on Christianity?
With all due respect, Trinity Consultation, I am indeed a member of an alternative spirituality. But I find it hard to consider myself unreached. I was baptized a Christian (by immersion), I spent the first 40 years of my life a Christian, I led my children to Christianity just as my parents had led me. It's not a reach to say I got reached.
Then what happened? Other deities proved to have a better reach, at least for me. Do you want to hear about my deities, Trinity Consultation? Why? Could it be that you're trying to figure out how to make my faith more compatible to your One and Only Yahweh business? Don't waste your time. That's how you got Christmas and Easter.
I think there's one possibility we can rule out with the Trinity Consultation. They aren't trying to understand alternative spiritualities as viable alternatives to Christianity. Otherwise they wouldn't call people "unreached."
If you folks at Trinity truly wanted to open a dialogue with the Pagan community, you sure dropped the punt. What's the difference between calling me "unreached" and calling me a sinner? Trust me, I find the former more offensive than the latter, especially considering how "sensitive" it's trying to be.
One final rant to Trinity: Your book of revealed religion specifically warns you not to engage in any dialogue with any other religious group. Now, don't try to tell me that Jesus was more touchy-feely about this sort of thing. Here's your New Testament Chapter and Verse:
"But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed."
So Trinity, save yourselves from being cursed! Give up this dialogue stuff before you piss off your deity! He's afraid you might find out that he's got worthy competition on many fronts, and some of that competition doesn't like being told their praise and worship teams are "unreached!"
Unreached. Twelve churches in this town of mine, and I'm unreached. Sorry, I can't get over this one, because even the people I owe money to can reach me if they keep trying.
If you want to reach me, I have an email. See my profile.
Can you believe it? That Cindy Jacobs book on the occult was helpful! I got the Bible quote from one of its chapters!