Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Charity Promotion Becomes Surprisingly Thorough Analogy for Responses to the Gospel

At my work, we have a promotion where people can make a small donation to a charity, and receive an item to present at any future purchase for the rest of the year and receive a free food item with their purchase. Some of the responses have struck me as really lacking, as far as good excuses go, and after enough of these, it provoked me to analogize these excuses to people's rejections of the Gospel.

There are three categories. Some people have no 'promo item' and don't want one. Others don't, and do. Others have them, and either want more or don't want more. These represent, metaphorically, rejection of the Gospel, acceptance of the Gospel--and thereby salvation, and acceptance or refusal of ongoing sanctification by the Holy Spirit.

The free item represents salvation, the small donation represents the cost of repentance and submission to Christ, and the further donations represent sanctification and deeper intimacy with God.

Rejection of the Gospel

-- no, I'm suspicious of the word "free." Nothing's really free. (this person doesn't understand the nature of a free gift, thinks there's something he has to do for it, and can't appreciate the gift)

--no, I'm suspicious of charity donations I don't choose myself. (this person thinks religion is personal and doesn't appreciate the absolute truth of divine revelation. He's inclined to pick a religion that feels right to him, rather than the true Gospel)

--no, I'd rather not incur the cost (this person doesn't want to give up whatever's standing in between them and their salvation--sin)

--we don't really come here that often/don't have [Restaurant] near where we live (this person can't see how a relationship with God will benefit them, so they're not interested. They're selfish. They see some benefit, but want more than they expect to get.)

--I don't really eat those (related to the above one. This person doesn't see any benefit at all, because the benefit he wants is contrary to the gift that he's offered)

--I got one of those before but never used it/lost it. (this person 'tried religion,' and it didn't work for him, so he figured it was worthless)

--I've already donated on my own time (religious. Thinks he's done enough work and deserves his reward without the cost of repentance)

--not today, another time (this person wants to keep on sinning, and thinks they'll have time later on to repent)

--I don't have the money with me (this person wants the reward, but thinks that there's other things in their life that distract them, that they think they need to be concerned with, more than salvation)

--good sales pitch, but no thanks (this person inexplicably refuses even though he clearly understands the offer and sees the benefit of it)


--well, it's for a good cause

--yes, anything for that charity!

--free for a whole [time span]? (appealing benefit: eternity)

--for just such-and-such a price? (appealing benefit: low personal cost)


--(smile) sure. (based on sales presentation)

Responses to Sanctification

--I already have one (person doesn't understand that sanctification is a continual process and they're never done growing)

--I have one with me, but I don't want to use it (why wouldn't you want God to sanctify you?)

--I have one, let me use it now (person responds willingly to discipline or other sanctification)

--I do have one, and let me get another (person gladly looks forward to the refining fire of sanctification)

--yes, I got one last promotional season, and let me get another this time

--let me get several, to give to my kids or grandkids

I think minimal interpretation makes most sense; everybody can draw the most out of reading this by considering it with their own mind.

~ Rak Chazak

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