I was an irreligious 21-year-old walking through Inverness one day in the Scottish highlands returning from a movie at the Cinema. A Christian preacher approaches me and says ”Jesus Loves you”. It does not affect me whatsoever, but I was kind enough to take a leaflet from him while my associate at the time did not show the same enthusiasm for respect.
The problem with saying Jesus loves you to a person already distant from the Lord, and whose soul lacks familiarity is that it does not affect them. There’s going to be no incredible on the street conversion having said it nor are you even planting any seed. It’s similar to going up and saying to me, ”Linda loves you”. I’d be like ”huh? Who’s Linda? You’re crazy.” I don’t know who Linda is, so how can such a statement ever make any significant impact upon me?
Conversion is a mixed bag of tricks, yet I do believe some strategies are universal and operate better than others. Men don’t respond well to being approached with the soft stuff and told they’re ”loved.” The reason for this is because we are a bunch of hard asses who don’t like showing emotion in public as it makes us look weak. We have not yet discovered that love is much deeper than a simple display of emotions, realizing that love is a state of being.
As human beings, both men and women have been conditioned and programmed like robots by secular society. The secular culture has given us this version of love which is about satisfying emotions and feelings only. Therefore, when someone approaches them and says that ”Jesus loves them”, depending upon the person, immediately their conditioning kicks in. They associate such love (especially men) as being sexual. They don’t know it, but that conditioning deep inside the subconscious is the reason for either their laughter, or behaviour that manifests itself in anger towards the preacher. It is not the only reason but one component of many other factors that play a role in the rejection. One other thorn tied to the twig of reasons why people reject the message is because it pricks their conscience. They want to bury what exposes their sinful state with insults and laughter.
Is there a better way to approach people with the Gospel message than standing around telling them that Jesus loves them? You can’t love what you don’t know, so first things first. We need to instil within people a desire to identify themselves. Understanding why we think the way we do and behave in the manner we currently behave, will often set a person on an adventure, a sort of quest. Men are slaves to the experience and the adventurous. Approach them without religion at first. Probe them to at least look at their existing psychological and spiritual makeup. You will discover that it can lead them to question the possibility of two forces in the world, one out for their destruction and the other their gain.
The second thing we need to do is introduce them to Christ in such a way that mirrors them. Christ was a man, not a wimp who appealed to ”feelings” or ”emotions” that belong to this world. Men are interested in hearing heroic tales of self-sacrifice and love that transcend the human one of wimpy passive emotions. It only makes sense, then, that once we’ve set them on the adventure, we introduce to them to the hero of it all. Nailing oneself and all those impurities they’ve just learned about themselves to the Cross is an exciting prospect. Offer them a vision of Jesus on the Cross as someone who rebelled against the force in the world that conditioned them.
Tell them heroic tales of Saints who, in the face of evil, overcame it and suffered great tortures as a result. St.Ignatius of Loyola is a perfect example of an Alpha male. He was a solider from the 16th century and more masculine than we could imagine. Like any other soldier he was interested in the tales of the heroic. While lying in hospital bed with a wounded leg from cannon fire, he picked up the lives of the Saints. These heroic tales inspired him to change his life around and meet the God behind all these heroic and brave rebellious acts of love. See? doesn’t matter what age we live in, some men just never change. Men are also the most important ones to convert especially if they’re fathers. The reason they’re of high importance is because children always follow the example of the Father. If the father does not pray, the entire family will suffer and the children grow up without God in their lives.
Furthermore, showing them the force that was out for their destruction and prevention of knowing the truth, will spark within them a flaming desire for the renewal of the mind. Men love a good challenge! Challenge men to be something more significant. Do this by showing them they’re weaker than they think, and it will be of great benefit in aiding an interest in Christ. Very few have success with saying ”Jesus loves you.” The reason for this is because you can’t love someone you don’t know. The idea of love is warped, so you find the prospect you could love someone you don’t know humourous. It means something to a Christian who has already established the relationship and is working at it. It does not say anything to someone whose extremely distant from God.
When it comes to leading a person to Christ, languid steps are necessary. Putting the horse before the chariot, telling them Jesus loves them only makes a surety your failure to lead a man to the Kingdom of God.