Now, if you are a Christian you already believed that, so it’s not so shocking, eh?
If you aren’t a Christian, you don’t believe it anyway.
In either case, don’t you feel the article’s title makes this post bait-and-switch? You were promised something amazing and got quite the opposite. You have every reason to be annoyed.
Clickbait came to mind because of a recent article in The Atlantic, “It’s Everywhere, the Clickbait.”
Personally, I find clickbait extremely disturbing, especially when done by what I would otherwise consider a legitimate site. If you want me to read your article, don’t trick me into it (or leave some important fact out of the link so I have to click through to find out if I actually care). In my opinion that isn’t just deceptive to me, but also to all the advertisers you are billing based on the impressions my visit records…since I can assure you I am not going to take any time to look at the ads on a page that misled me and/or wasted my time.
So, why all this about a bad, popular Internet approach on a Christian blog?
Because I believe we Christians sometimes do the same thing in how we present Jesus. Because we know that many have an aversion to the faith, we figure out enticing ways to get their interest or attention, and later reveal our real agenda. We can claim that only cults deceive people like that, but we are too often just as guilty, whether it be how we advertise a preaching series or create a tract. (Have you ever seen the tracts that look like someone forgot money, a wallet, etcetera?)
I would suggest every time we do that we are denying the power of the Holy Spirit to draw and change hearts. Like He needs us to help Him by tricking people into listening, instead of just faithfully, and openly, preaching the gospel and trusting God to bring them into His family.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying we should jump right into the hardest things with a non-believer (or new believer). Jesus met people where they were, and so should we.
But let’s stop the evangelical clickbait and stop acting ashamed of the glorious message with which we’ve been entrusted. The only truly shocking thing about our God is that He still puts up with us even though we so often muddy His name… 🙂
The image above is of an actual tract available at Living Waters. As a whole I have a lot of respect for that ministry, but I would suggest the top comment on the item (when I grabbed the image from the Living Waters Store) proves exactly what I was saying: “My personal favorite tract if I am just going to leave it somewhere. It always gets picked up.”