poll: scare-tactic evangelism…

personally i have issues with scare-tactic evangelism. salvation shouldn’t be a get out of jail free card. i feel like when we scare youth or children into accepting Christ out of fear and fear of consequence we are crippling them.

watch this and answer: is scare-tactic evangelism good or bad? i would love to begin a discussion on this topic. i think there are many opinions and they are all accepted here. so explain your reason too!


  1. I actually think this would be good to be shown to people who are saved. Like to make people “think” about it…and then maybe open up a discussion so then how could “we” go out and talk to our friends about it, and further the relationships we are in. But in watching this video, I don’t think I would be like “sign me up”…but then again, God could and does use many random things.

  2. of course it had to do with a houseful of boys… all my really good adventure stories do… And I’ll throw a few more words out at you to peak your interest… me josh making out woods… see you’re dying to know aren’t you….

  3. Getting people’s attention isn’t easy. There is a definite message here pointed at folks who may think they’re saved but really aren’t. There were people in the congregation who were at the worship service but were left behind. IMPORTANT –>> They were in church but NOT SAVED. Good deeds, being nice and going to church WILL NOT save you. Yes, God expects these things of us as Christians, HOWEVER, you have to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior to be saved. Human nature is sinful and very stubborn. Sometimes you have to proverbially slap people upside the head to get their attention. If this video is considered a “scare tactic” and just one person truly gets saved because of it, Hallelujah!

    Not sure if you are saved? Go here: http://www.austinloveministries.org/Salvation.html

  4. Hmmm… I’m going to try to keep this real short, which is really difficult for a verbose guy like me! Forgive me in advance if I should use any Scriptures out of context… it’s not my intent to do so, but that might happen as I’m not looking at a Bible as I formulate my response. I’m not going to talk so much about the video, as I’m going to wrestle with the notion of “scare-tactic evangelism.”

    Let’s define exactly what we mean by “scare-tactic evangelism”. I’m going to assume the following definition as part of my response: “scare-tactic” evangelism is a type of evangelism that seeks to persuade spirutual prospects to come to Christ through means intended to induce fear in said prospects.

    Alright, if this sounds like an acceptable definition to everyone, let’s now evaluate its legitimacy, if it has any, in service to the cause of Christ.

    Why would someone support this form of evangelism? Let’s consider some underlying assumptions.

    Fear is considered a powerful motivator. It has been said by others that self-preservation is the highest individual priority. Supposedly, if given a choice between life and death, people will usually choose to preserve their lives. In general, people fear death because of the uncertainty of any life after death. Additionally, people, in general, prefer comfort over fear. Thus, anything that can guarantee comfort and alleviate fear is deemed desirable. There is also the assumption that God is to be feared, as He has the power to punish someone eternally for not accepting His provision for salvation.

    So the evangelist who uses this method, in most cases, operates under the previous assumptions (along with others I’m sure).

    Yet, how effective can this method be? Like some other spiritual questions, it depends.

    Fear can be manipulative. Witness Johann Tetzel. He sold indulgences on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) in the early 16th century, using fear as a means to compel (dare I say) the ignorant to fork over funds to the RCC. It was this very practice of indulgences that greatly moved Martin Luther to assemble and post his 95 theses. So can the usage of fear, supposedly for a good cause, be manipulative? Of course. And just in case it’s not clear, Tetzel’s practice was deplorable, misinformed, and manipulative, with no precedent for its reality within Holy Scripture.

    Yet, we now have another shade of gray to consider. Let’s assume the intent of the evangelist is not to manipulate. Here, I define “manipulate” as “to assert control over some subject for selfish ends.” The evangelist has a pure motive: he wants to see people truly come to God through Christ. Assuming this is the case, (1) do the ends justify the means? (2) Does God care only about people getting into the kingdom, and not how they got there? (3) Furthermore, can fear produce sincere believers?

    For the sake of time, I’m going to leave the first two questions open. Let me quickly deal with third one so as to get out of here.

    If we answer the third question in the affirmative, we’d have to assume fear can be used and has been used to produce believers. Of course, we know that it is the Holy Spirit who ultimately convicts and convinces the soul of truth, bringing the dead soul to life to receive Christ (so I believe that regeneration precedes salvation). If fear is just the plain truth of the Gospel, then everytime I share the Gospel, I am, of necessity, inducing some level of fear. Yet, fear is not and cannot be the only means of compelling others to come to Christ. The Gospel is about the greatness of God’s Love as well. Balance must be present in sharing the Gospel. There is fear, but there is a love that can drive out that fear. There is law, but there is a divine grace that can satisfy the demands and penalties of that law.

    In closing (finally!), love can be manipulative too. I think much of what I hear these days concerning the Gospel seems so watered down. For the sake of not offending others, the teeth of the Gospel have been removed. Consequently, I think some are being manipulated by the “love” emotions, seeing God as living for and desperate for the creature, as opposed to the other way around. Even with extremes, the Spirit can still produce true believers in Christ. Fear has a place in the evangelism process, but it must be tempered with the rest of the story (i.e., love, law, and grace). Fear, when left alone, often produces resentment and, subsequently, rebellion. When God’s authority, sovereignty, beauty, and superiority are absent from the Gospel, God becomes just another bully, another means of control to be resisted.

    Ok, I have rambled enough.

  5. I really don’t like this video. I mean. I really. Don’t like. This video. A take-off of “Left Behind” much? Also a bad movie(s).
    What concerns me is that the overall message in this video seems to be- get saved or get left behind during the Rapture. Um, that’s not why the Gospel is preached. IF, and it is a BIG IF, there is going to be a pre-tribulational rapture, the tribulation is temporary. Hell is not. So if people feel they need to use a scare tactic, which is debateable, why not get the facts straight on why we need to be saved in the first place?

Leave a Reply