I must admit, I am a relatively new reader to the comic strip Get Fuzzy. It wasn't in my paper growing up, although for the brief time we subscribed to the Boston Globe I read it. I truly became a fan my senior year in college, when a friend pointed it out to me. I immediately became an avid reader; one of the few strips that I make a point to read every single day.
These strips that always make me laugh, but more often than not I read a strip that also makes me think. Today's Get Fuzzy strip from my one-a-day calendar
falls into that category. So from time to time I will be posting strips that are thought-provoking for me (hence the "First Installment" in the title).
Unfortunately, I think that this characterization of door-to-door evangelists is all too often the truth. These folks might care about the people they are evangelizing (and given their context I'm sure they believe they do), but it seems that they are also after something more tangible: your money, or the confirmation that your soul is going to heaven and the commitment to attend their particular denomination's church. They aren't really there for your benefit; they're there to get something from you.
Door-to-door evangelism needs to be revived and renewed in the United Methodist Church. We should be out there, meeting individuals in our communities so that we can better serve our neighbors. We shouldn't be out there to beat the Bible over someone's head, or to ask them to pledge money for our new building, or to ask them "do you know where you will go?" We should be out there discovering what people need - talking to them to find out how we can serve them and not ourselves.
I think the other truth that this strip unveils is: in what people are placing their hope? Not God. Satchel's response to the question "do you believe in an infallible power?" ("You mean like Google?"), while funny, is revealing. Even we as Christians all too often place our hope and trust in other things above God: technology, popular culture, the media, the government...sex, alcohol, and other addictions, (and I know far too many Christians who inappropriately appeal to these three), and the list goes on from there.
So we need to remember first of all where our ultimate hope, trust, and faith lies - with God revealed in the person and ministry of Jesus Christ. Secondly, the Church needs to serve our communities as opposed to being self-serving. Through serving others (by actually asking what their needs are!) we are showing and sharing the love of Christ with our neighbors.