Monday, May 15

Mission Impossible

I haven't seen Mission Impossible III yet, although I'd like to. I always enjoy a good action film. Explosions, car chases, near misses, and high suspense. What's not to like?

By all accounts, the movie is fun, and it has done well at the box office. But not as well as many people thought or hoped. Trying to figure out why is always speculation, but a lot of people think that at least one reason is because people think that Tom Cruise has gone off the deep end, particularly with regards to his pushing of Scientology.

I think there is a lesson here for the followers of Christ. Tom Cruise is facing a backlash because he is being perceived by the public in the same way that some (many? all?) followers of Christ are when they try to evangelize people.

Why do people complain about Tom Cruise pushing Scientology? He starts from the point of telling people who believe differently than he does that they are wrong. Unfortunately, all that does is turn people off, and makes them put up walls. Once that happens, it's hard to convince anybody anything. He doesn't do anything to build relationships with the people he is trying to affect. He seems that he thinks that people should believe him and respond accordingly simply because he says it. Typically, people want to know that you care before they care what you know. Also, he talks about Scientology at inappropriate times. When I watch an interview about a movie, I'm trying to learn something about the movie, not hear a discourse about Scientology.

As followers of Christ who want to share our faith, we can learn some lessons from watching Tom Cruise. We're never going to have everyone be willing to listen to our message about Christ. However, there are ways to make it so that people are more willing to listen to what we have to say. I think we can use the approach of Tom Cruise as an example of things to avoid when we try to share our faith.

1 comment:

Tigpan said...

I liked this. Having been raised in an evangelical world where programs and proceedures are often pushed on us to use in whatever setting we are in.
i.e. "Do you ever think about spiritual things?"
While these things may be ok in certain situations. Last time I checked...again I have been wrong "once" before. :) But last time I checked...Jesus incorporated himself into the every day lives of people. I don't think that even ONE time in the Word is it recorded that Jesus said "You are wrong." He simply said "I am right, or Here is the truth (take it or leave it)." If Jesus did not push himself on others then who are we to push Him on people. If we are living lives that are indicative of our relationship with Him our actions are going to speak so much louder, and we will be given natural opportunities to share Him with the world around us.