The War on Easter
Here's an interesting bit of guerilla evangelism with some tongue in cheek humor. Brian Fleming, the maker of the film The God Who Wasn't There, has set up a group to promote what they call the War on Easter, a rip off from Bill O Reilly's language.
They've been having folks leaflet churches around the country and when possible hide copies of the movie, The God Who Wasn't There in the pews or on the church grounds. It copies the tactics of many evangelicals in spreading the word, which is why in the end the effort will only serve to alienate people.
Think the golden rule. Don't do what you would not want done to you. The same reason that anonymous leaflets, brochures, and confrontational evangelism is annoying when done to atheists will likewise be annoying when done to fundamentalists.
Some will say it's payback but one shouldn't be fooled into thinking that a conversation will begin which such tactics. It's more meant for the edification of the leafleter in the case of fundamentalist evangelists and atheist evangelists, than with the one being targeted.
The film itself is a criticism of fundamentalism, with a mix of some scholars which doubt the existence of Jesus historically. Such a view point, is rare in NT scholarship, though such a debate doesn't have as much bearing on the Christian religion as some might imagine.
Because the incarnational moment is likely to be larger than a person, it's a whole complex set of events which led to the formation of ideas, practices, and religious communities of which we are a product of today. Can such a thing do some good in the world? That and not the history question is key.
I have not had a chance to watch the whole film yet. But the good folks who made the movie are sending me and our campus ministry a copy for free. I don't get the indication that any of them are familiar with liberal or mainline protestantism.
I'll be curious if the film addresses this, since it's not the background of the film maker. It's not as if we in the churches don't read the Jesus Seminar, don't have many of the same ethical and social values which animate these folks.
Reading their war on Easter site, they pick any and all churches in their evangelism efforts. One example is Central United Methodist in Winona, MN. A congregation that links the reconciling movement, a group working for gay and lesbian inclusion in the church.
If you want to start a dialogue, then do the things which you would find engaging yourself instead of what you'd find alientating. And recognize that you do have allies in the churches and other religions who share some of the same values. Some common work might make things happen on this front, will this campaign aid that?