Bad food + evangelism = bad evangelism

I’ve written about some crazy evangelism techniques, like in The New Christians, wherein I highlighted the use of urinal screens with your church’s name on it.

Now Craig Goodwin points us to a fellow foodie who is questioning a door knocker that a local church hung on her knob.  In the bag were several non-offensive items.  But:

Then I got to the coupon for McDonald’s. Stapled to it was a card that read “Come visit us on Sunday… Then go for a Sundae!” and quoted the Psalms “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” I kid you not.

Craig goes on from there to ask, Is is a sin for church’s to give away McDonald’s gift cards? His response, in part:

If churches hope to connect with these folks they can’t be indifferent about food and food choices. As we’re finding with our Orthodox fast, there are rich resources in the Christian tradition to draw from in engaging issues around food. It’s not just that Christians need to get on board with the what’s popular with food, the church actually has some wonderful perspectives to add to the conversation.

  • Lock

    I thought sin went out the door with demons and angels in your belief systems, Tony? Why sin and not demons and angels?

    • Melody

      I don’t claim to speak for Tony, but I can tell you that it’s certainly possible to believe in sin without believing in a fire-and-brimstone hell. Although it’s a theologically loaded term that is uncomfortable in secular settings, I believe in sin as a crime, so to speak. For example I believe that selfishness, hate, and greed are sins, because they put the self above the needs and dignity of other people. And while I’m admittedly unsure of whether hell exists in the afterlife, I can tell you it certainly exists here on earth: in the forms of extreme poverty, life-threatening illnesses, destructive lifestyles (i.e., alcoholism and drug addiction), and hatred of people, whether as a whole, or certain groups of people. That’s just my take on the issue. Again, I can’t speak for Tony or anyone else.

      • Ethan

        I agree. Lately I’ve come to believe more strongly that the blood of Jesus could be much more powerful than we comprehend – powerful enough to redeem every human being, ever. But I still hold fast to a belief in sin, and the more I think about sin, the more I come to understand it as that which does not love well. Murder doesn’t love God or others well. Neither does stealing, or speaking lies, or destructive lifestyles, etc. In this way, sin isn’t a list of things that are arbitrarily *bad* that we need to tip-toe around. It’s way more simple – and complicated – than that. It’s whatever doesn’t love God and others well. And that can be anything. Because now it’s not a specific action, but rather it’s the heart behind the action.

  • Becky Robbins-Penniman

    I think folks tempted to go get the McDonald’s coupon should hold out for the $200 the church gives for conversions in Peter Rollins’ example (; $1 seems a such a pittance for selling one’s integrity. It might be a better bang for the church’s buck, though, come to think of it, if that’s the sort of folk the church is after.