[thechat] Army chaplain offers baptisms, baths

Michele Wandrei michele at inthree.com
Mon Apr 7 20:53:43 CDT 2003

> Providing food and water for the hungry and thirsty
> makes them appreciative, and allows them to
> concentrate on your sales pitch - which is why the
> time-share salesman gives you coffee and donuts
> before he begins his sales pitch.
> But if that's why you do it, it's a piss-poor religion.
> You provide food and water for the hungry and
> thirsty because it's the right thing to do.

You are correct.  No, that's not why we do it. And we do provide
food, clothing, etc.  The church is a part of a local rescue

> > People like this give the rest of us a bad name.
> But I can say the same thing about your pastor -
> assuming you've presented him fairly.

Wow, reading my own comments after the fact I can see how
arrogant I sounded.  Not at all the way I meant it.

My pastor is a pretty level headed guy.  There's no "Bible
thumping" going on.  The mission serves meals to whoever comes
for food.  There's no evangelizing with the meal.  There is also
a year-long program for the homeless, usually recovering addicts.
If someone chooses to join the year long program they have to
understand that it's a Christian program.  It's completely
voluntary.  There are other shelters available, but most people
who come to the mission do so because they want a Christian

> Then why assume that someone
> who has physical needs - food, water, shelter - is
> lacking spiritually as well

It's not an assumption that anyone is lacking spiritually.  I'm
truly amazed at how much I've learned from my friends at the
mission (and they truly are my friends).  They are the most
spiritual people I've ever known.  It's not trading food for
spirituality -- it's more like inviting someone onto the bus.
We're all from different places, but we're on for the same ride.
And THEY invited ME onto that bus.

The church itself is very cool.  There are wealthy members and
homeless members, and members of every imaginable color.  There
isn't much distinction between people -- everyone (and I do mean
everyone) is accepted there.  Hey, they even accept me.

> If your religion is good enough, you don't have to sell
> it like Amway. You can simply be a Coke machine.
> Live your religion. If it serves you well, people will
> notice your glow. People will punch your buttons to
> the make a purchase, and that's when you deliver
> the product.

I really like your analogy.  I teach a few classes at the mission
and plan to use this to illustrate a point, if you don't mind.
Very well said.  Again, I think you're absolutely correct.
That's the only way to truly influence someone.  If they want
what you have (or what you radiate), they will ask.  If not, they
will stay away.  I can't force my faith on anyone.

Thanks for the insight.
Michele Wandrei
inThree Design

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