Today’s holidays: The Three Weeks (Judaism), Thursday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time (Roman Catholicism), Feast Day of St. Dr. Doom/St. Thulsa Doom (Church of the SubGenius), Lucaria (ancient Roman religion), Feast Day of the Magi: Krishna (Thelema).
I know two posts in one day is very unusual for me, but I just read an article and started to complain about it on Facebook, and I realized my commentary was turning into a mini-article of its own. So I just decided to post here instead and let it get automagically reposted to Facebook.
The article in question is “Christians Flood Knesset with ‘New Judaism’”, which deals with members of the Keneseth finding literature promoting the New Testament from the “Bible Society of Israel”, a Christian/Jewish-rite Christianity (“Messianic Jewish”) group, in their mailboxes.
This is a textbook lesson of how not to make converts. As such, I am presenting rules for would-be missionaries to follow whenever trying to make converts.
WARNING: There is no way to be gentle about this, so the rules are extremely blunt and are guaranteed (to the extent that one can reliably predict future) to offend missionaries. Here we go:
THE OFFICIAL COMMONSENSE RULES FOR MISSIONARIES
Rule 1: Never try to convert people who are hostile to you trying to convert them. (E.g., knowledgable Jews are generally hostile to attempts by Christians to convert them.) They are practically guaranteed to be offended and not listen.
Rule 2: Never try to imply to people that you know their religion better than they do. That may sometimes be true, but it is a very easy way to cause offense and ruin your chances for making converts. If you are unlucky or foolish enough to deal with people who know their own religion better than you do, you will just end up looking like an idiot and make no converts.
Rule 3: Do not ask people who may be offended and think you are an idiot to help you in your quest to make converts. They most certainly will not, and the level of the offense automatically is increased.
Rule 4: Do not act surprised when people get offended and think you are an idiot and try to apologize for causing offense. No one with any sense will believe it, and since the offense was completely predictable, you end up looking even more like an idiot.
Rule 5: Expect people who are offended by missionaries to act against you. Some intelligent, knowledgeable people will enjoy rhetorically cutting your arguments to pieces. If you are really unlucky, the offended party may become physically violent.
Rule 6: Never do anything that will offend people in power and make you look like an idiot in their eyes. They may decide to make your life harder or shut you down completely.