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Another Red Herring

Those who assert that Pentecost was the day of the first evangelistic crusade are quite correct, and I will not waste time or space to belabor the obvious.  My beef will be with the belief that this event is significant, both in general and for our purpose in particular.

First, the particular.  For our purpose of opposing Darwin Day, pushing Pentecost because it was the first evangelistic crusade suffers from the error of confusing purpose with goals.  The goal is to get people to become Christians, but the reason for becoming a Christian isn't to become a Christian.   The question "Why do you want to be a Christian?" is a good question to ask any candidate for membership, but "because I want to be a Christian" is not a good answer.  What we want and expect to hear is something more along the lines of  "because I'm a sinner and Jesus saved me," or "I love Jesus and want to obey what he said to do," or "I need help to live the way God wants me to live," or "I love Jesus and want to join those who love him too," or "Jesus is the Son of God, and I'm joining with those who agree with me."  Joining just to join is to ask for trouble and heartbreak further down the line.  Joining just to join is a great reason for joining a club, but a bad reason for going to the hospital.

Those pushing Darwin Day also want to win "converts" to evolution, and they know that a good answer to the question of "why should I believe evolution?" is "Because evolution happened, and here's the proof and here are the benefits," not "because we want you to join us."  Pushing Pentecost to oppose Darwin Day means answering the question "why should I become a Christian?" with "Because X happened, and here's the proof and here are the benefits," not "because a bunch of people a long time ago joined the church on this day, and we want you to join us too."  For Christmas, "X" is the Incarnation, and the Ressurrection for Easter.  If the "X" for Pentecost is "it was the first evangelistic crusade", then our response becomes "Because a bunch of people a long time ago joined the church, and here's the proof and here are the benefits."  Bad answer, for the logical response is going to be "Why should I believe that those religious ignoramuses back then were right?  How do I benefit if I waste a weekend morning every week listening to someone chew me out whose salary is paid by the money coming out of my pocket?" 

Now I will address the more general objection to holding the event of the first evangelistic crusade as significant enough to warrant celebration of Pentecost as a worthy contender against Darwin Day: it is unworthy spiritually. 

We must remember that the alternative candidate was Easter, the day of the resurrection.  We are essentially ranking something the church did against something God did.  The "X" of Easter is the resurrection, making our response be  "Because a mortal man who died came back to life again, and demonstrated the acquisition of powers and abilities afterwards that are superior to current human capabilities, including being able to live forever in fellowship with God.  Here's the proof and here are the benefits.  If that isn't REAL evolution, then what is?"

Compare the two answers that are highlighted above by mentally posing each one in turn to someone who believes in evolution enough to celebrate Darwin Day.  Which response would make them laugh, and which would provoke a hissy fit and the start of a vigorous debate?  My friends, if you shoot a gun in the jungle and there is no response, then you can only say that your gun made some noise, having only blanks in it.  If you hear a loud roar of anguished pain, then I'd say that you not only hit something, but also proved that your gun had real bullets in it.

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