Stealth Christians

Listening to a stealth Christian radio station. The concept has always amused me. If you don’t know what I mean, these are stations that play mainstream pop music, but blend in Christian pop music with it. And when they have a news segment, they’ll report genuine news news stories, and then blend in propaganda from people like Focus on the Family or the American Family Association. The general idea is that they use somebody like John Mayer to catch your attention, and then they’ll play a Christian artist, essentially hoping to slip in the Good Word before you know it.
This practice offends me for various reasons; none of them having anything to do with it being a Christian message (whatever my mother might think, should she read this). It offends me because I don’t like it when someone tries to trick me. You don’t think I can see what you’re trying to do? Don’t insult my intelligence.
It also offends me because of my upbringing. However I may have wound up, I was raised Christian. I know the teachings of Jesus Christ. I don’t see any weakness in his teachings that would require them to be snuck under the door. You’re supposed to proclaim the Good Word (and I respect people who have the conviction to do so), not slip it in like you’ve added something illicit to the Kool-Aid.
This offends me for the same reasons that Christian soup kitchens offend me when they use the lure of food to get people to listen to their message instead of feeding people out of genuine human compassion.
It offends me for the same reasons I was horrified to hear a number of prominent Christians who, after the Hurricane Katrina disaster, saw not pain and suffering or other human beings in desparate need of assistance, but “an excellent opportunity” to proselytize.
People who think like that are twisted beyond all normal human comprehension. How valid can your faith be if it compels you seek out those who are suffering not to ease their pain but to use their vulnerability to convert them to your way of thinking? How valid is your message if you have to trick people into hearing it?
Too many Christians think it’s about the numbers, as if you’ll get a better seat in the choir in if you win more converts. Somewhere in that flurry of activity, in the zeal for their personal crusade for the Lord, they stop being a Christian and start being a salesman trying to get a bonus.
I say to these people … be quiet. Be still. Be faithful. If the light of your god is in you, then let that light shine. You are the example. Show them love and compassion, not aggressive opportunism. Be true, and you will not have to sell your faith. People will want to know more about that inner peace and serenity that is inside of you. Because if you are a flurry of activity, always searching for some way to sneak your product under the door, it will seem to most people that all the noise you’re making is just a way for you to drown out your own doubts.

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