Some Tips on Personal Evangelism
Use humor. When you stand on your dignity and lose your sense of humor you show lack of confidence in what you believe.
The argumentative defense of any proposition is inversely proportional to the truth contained.
Don’t become involved in argument. You may have facts but not truth as concerns the principles you are dealing with. Value of persuasiveness. It adds the quality of truth to fact.
Be gentle. When truth and error are bound up closely, be careful not to dissect too harshly. Present open-mindedly, taking into consideration the attitude of person you are talking to. Bill uses “alleged” superhuman authors.
When someone says they don’t believe, ask if they have read the book. If they have read and still don’t believe it, use an answer to turn away wrath.
Use humor and wisdom. Do not arouse antagonism, sales resistance.
Don’t be concerned with errors at first. Remember Simon and fire-worshipper. (In approaching people to help them, Dr. Sadler looks for two things:
- In what way are they hunger-conscious – reaching out for something?
- Intellectual curiosity)
Refuse to discuss origin of book. When someone asks how it came to be, say: “Read it. It explains itself, better than I can.”
Sample conversation with someone just starting:
“Do you believe that?”
“Isn’t that the damnedest thing?”
”Do you believe?”
“Yes, I do, but I’m sure you don’t now. But read it. It’s a beautiful book and I think you’ll like it. Look at the table of contents.”
Someone just starting: “This is the work of the devil.” Use great good humor and good nature. Remember: We have no proprietary interest in the kingdom of heaven. We just work here. Be humble.
Impress people with the way you live. “And it will not be so much by the words…” Jesus in Swiss lakes.
Five Steps of Salesmanship:
- Establish need
- State proposition
- Offer proof
- Point out profitability
- Ask for order
Someone who has read the book and still says: “Work of the devil.” Smile at him and say: “I would disagree. I’m sure you are sincere. Then please respect my sincerity.” Then withdraw the book. Don’t argue. Have faith in Spirit of Truth, Holy Spirit, and Thought Adjuster. Besides, you don’t have to believe this book to get to the mansion worlds.
On publication of the book, friends who knew we came to Forum will ask about it. How relate ourselves to previous experience? “Yes, it’s relation to the Forum. Look at the date. What do you think we’ve been reading all these years? How would you like to read it?”
Some additional considerations:
- A soft answer turneth away wrath. Humor, good-nature. Humor presents a curved surface to the barb of ridicule. Square fortresses, round towers.
- I have married a wife, etc. Jesus’ story of how affairs of this earth sometimes interfere with kingdom of heaven. Kingdom won’t wait. Rich man who made a feast and invited friends. All gave excuses. Invited others. Jesus told story to illustrate “might miss the boat”.
People just too busy to listen or care. Occupied with good (!) things, like better unions, production, government, etc. This is getting close to the social gospel.
Our great problem – indifference. Seed that falls on barren or stony ground. “I’ve got a religion. I’m happy. Don’t bother me.”
- What’s good enough for Pop is good enough for me. Self-contentment.
Dr. Lena’s experience: “If it’s about religion, I don’t want to hear it. I’m settled in my religion. I don’t wish to be concerned.” Smug. Too satisfied.
We live in civilization full of material things – newspapers, radios, bill boards. Conversation languishing. Meditative thinking diminishing. No time. Everything diverts human mind away from inner life. This life is full for many people. Soil on which we intend to scatter seeds is in many places packed hard by the impact of material entertainment.
One of the bitterest experiences we will encounter is that of dealing with the man in the street who is not aware of the fact that he is spiritually hungry. We won’t even have a chance to use humor or avoid argument. He just won’t care. Will be too preoccupied. God’s a long way off. His boss is close and will raise his pay.
- Neither hot or cold – indifferent. Not hungry for light nor afraid of darkness.
The people under the last three groups will give us no strong opposition. They will subject the members of our group to the cruelest trial of all – indifference. We will be stimulated by the first two groups.
The thing that was hardest on the apostles was when nothing happened – monotony is hardest to bear.
We’ll find ourselves in a vacuum. Frustrated. Won’t have a chance to argue or use humor. We’ll get set to pitch and discover there’s no batter; no plate; no one wants to play.
We must learn to identify “swine” – that you don’t cast pearls before. Don’t spread a banquet before those who aren’t spiritually hungry.
We are a new type of seed-sewers. We snatch no brands from any burning. All forms of worship are acceptable. It is attitude of soul that is important – not forms or names.
We can avoid the fury of the fanatic who hammers on tables screaming, “You house is on fire.” The house may be faulty, but at least we know he has a house. And if he has built sincerely, it is enough. We can be sorry for a man who has married a wife. And for man who is not hot or cold, and we can follow Jesus’ example when he did not waste words on the young man in Swiss Lakes.
Two ripening conditions:
- Time and experience.
- Might intrigue him with manner of living.
It’s your life that matters. Jesus’ life is greater than his teachings.
If you want to intrigue the last three groups, live in a way that intrigues them. Lives are stronger than words. More compelling, more inspiring than words.
Bait your hook. Intrigue people by being un-argumentative and by being good-humored. But you really intrigue them by how you live.
Case history – Two men…
- Older, kindly, spiritually minded.
- Younger, cynical.
“Evolution of Soul” to each. Older didn’t take it. Never mentioned it. Younger too hook, line, and sinker. Asked a lot of questions. Seed didn’t take root where it looked likely. Can’t be sure until you’ve tried. Sower parable. “You can’t tell by looking at soil.”
Dr. Sadler’s story of meeting Callahan, detective, on train in Europe. Sister cabled: “Brother died yesterday. His last words: ‘Tell Dr. Sadler I’m gambling the fate of my immortal soul on the truth of our conversation.’ ” Dr. doesn’t know what he said. But said right thing at right time.
Jesus said – in emergency, Spirit of Truth will speak through you. If you are humble and live truth, there is no reason shy you can’t become a channel for truth.
Passage in papers: “As Jesus passed by.” Normal, casual, natural, not pre-arranged, rehearsed. Dr. Sadler: “Worry doesn’t make seeds sprout.”
Salt the episodes with faith and truth.
Charlie Rawson: He liked elevator starters – get people started up. Where they get off is God’s business.
We must be diligent. Must work at the business of the Kingdom. Must be in dead earnest.
Remember rich man on mansion worlds. Three questions about money. We may have to give an accounting too. An accounting of our stewardship. We have been given much light. May have to show how we used it.
Parable of talents will apply. They will expect dividends. Jesus to Peter: “Feed my sheep. Be a good shepherd.” Peter had light and Jesus expected much of him. He required of Alpheus twins just as much as he asked of Peter – consecrated lives. See Page 176:03, 8-10.
An investment has been made in us and they would like the highest rate of return that this investment can pay.
Tom brown, Urantia teacher-leader, asked to go to Peoria to answer questions of a new Urantia Society.
Why does a spiritual revelation have to spend so much time on force, energy, power? Why geology? Answer: Christian religion ignores cosmology. God is in everything – not only the God of personality, but also of universes. God is love, but also controls gravity.
If you believe in God, Sermon on the Mount, Golden Rule, that’s enough. Why 2000 pages? Answer: Use analogy. The people who listened to Jesus had Moses and the prophets – why did they need new truth? All the things in the book supplement, but do not supplant the three things named in the question. Also, many people have different tastes and diets. Some need to know the relationship of God to the physical world.
I don’t understand the Unqualified Absolute. It seems an atheistic concept. What does this mean: “Unqualified Absolute is the repository, regulator, etc., of that which has Paradise as its source and origin ?” Answer: Material universes take origin in Paradise. They are not all here. Where are they? In potential, in the Unqualified Absolute. Nebulae come from them. Quote Paper 11. “Paradise is antipodal repercussion of Eternal Son. Hegel: thesis and antithesis. When the Father separated Himself from the Son, Paradise separated also. The Son is center of spiritual gravity, Paradise of material gravity. Father doesn’t do anything he can get anyone else to do.
How does Paradise have a universe location, but no position in space? Answer: Know your maps, be able to diagram it. Space is real, positive, active. Water traps it. Ice traps space and is lighter than water.
Why did Jesus make wine? Answer: The Adjuster ruled it was not against the Father’s will. Whole experience was progressive revelation in Jesus’ mind. The human Jesus hadn’t experienced creative part of his personality. Wonderful lesson in the nature of the Bestowal Son. Humanity, divinity, and unity.
This is the fulfillment of theosophy. Answer: Don’t contradict or try to prove it isn’t. Don’t take anything away from anyone. Simon and the Persian. New recruit will find out for himself.
Where did the book come from? Answer: Discuss the Adjuster and the soul, and cite passage about the Reserve Corps. Also midwayer paper. Rest your case o the references – beyond that we don’t know. Four references on contact personality – 77:08, 08; 110:05, 07; 113:02, 06; 114:07, 09.
What shall I do to be saved? Answer: Quote from paper. Jesus to apostles.
What does this tell you about identity after death? Answer: You will know who you are, and you will be known. Mansion Worlds, and Morontia Life.
What about divorced wives? Answer: Same as 1900 years ago. No longer any giving in marriage, etc.
Is there continuation of family life? Answer: Not specifically covered. Personal opinion is that attachments of family life are strongest on first Mansion World. Lessened later, but not ignored. Use Mighty Messenger example: God is more than King, He’s Father. His children like it.
Can you see any justice in child not surviving if neither parent survives? Answer: No. Don’t understand it. Probably no personality or Adjuster was present. Perhaps it’s only potential, though a physical being. The personality and Adjuster probably bestowed on someone else.
A pacifist – “Why does Urantia Book speak with favor on war? Doesn’t God love his children? Answer: You can’t win this one. Idealist is right and you’re wrong. Be good-natured, good-humored, and pull away.
A vegetarian is pleased that book endorses that and wants to put the whole Urantia Society into vegetarianism.
A Service of
The Urantia Book Fellowship