Recently on the Official Dragon*Con Facebook group someone asked if anyone had seen religious protesters at the con. Of course those people have been there, but the're obviously different than FFC. During the discussion our ministry came up. While that may be a little scary as not everyone receives Christianity well, the people who commented had only positive things to say!
I've seen some fliers for a Christian Fandom group. Seems positive and supporting, but I didn't actually meet people.
There are some that protest, supposedly, but I've never seen them, and I live in Atlanta and have attended since 1996. I have seen the Fans for Christ at the con, having as great a time as anyone.
I'm a Pagan, but I can respect Fans for Christ. They all pay their own way like everyone else and aren't pushy. They're obviously proud of their beliefs, but they don't force them on anyone.
Tony, yeah I know he wasn't from your group. My daughter is Christian and we attended your service. You guys are cool; he acted like he was better than everybody ... decidedly NOT cool.
Tony, I've come across Fans Of Christ, they held church services at the hotel I was staying in. I was invited to attend, but I declined. Nice people though, a few were steampunks. I'm Pagan, but a part of me wishes that I had attended. A service with people in costume would have been pretty awesome
Fans for Christ are good people--they're not pushy, they're there to be supportive.
Fans for Christ are precisely that: FANS who happen to be of the Christian faith and all around decent folks from what I've seen. The people I've seen protesting are pretty much trolls to anything outside their little clique.
Chad, you and Tony seem to be the kind of Christians I like, whereas the protesters are the kind that makes me wary of Christians. My mom was a Christian, but she was also a hippy that was big into sci fi, fantasy and vampires. Hell we went to see Interview With The Vampire together when it first came out. She also marched for civil rights, did AIDS walks, had friends of different races, religions and sexual orientations. She went to the local con. I think she would have wanted to join your group.
Renee, there are Christians (people who try to be like Jesus - if he existed, I myself am not a believer - and who realize that he seemed to be an approachable person who looked for the good in others and tried to get them to grow that goodness in their lives), and then there are Christ-namers (ones who read verses about non-believers going to a Lake of Fire, and readily damn them without ever trying to speak to them or touch their lives at all).
Ron, you're thinking logically and with compassion. Like I mentioned before, there are Christians and there are Christ-namers. FFC are Christians. Even as a Pagan, I can respect them because they have given me something to respect. They have engaged me, been kind to me, and never been hateful. They are Christians because they act like Jesus (if he really existed). The ones that come specifically to judge and tell people they're going to hell, on the other hand, are fixated on damnation, and aren't anything like the Jesus that is written about in the 'gospels'. Quite the opposite. They're the ones he preached AGAINST, because they're more interested in rules and consequence than changing people for the better, and that is why I smile when fans (literally) come together and block their way so they can't bother other people.
The comments for the Christian protesters were not so nice. It's obvious that the ones holding signs and saying that con-attendees are going to Hell are turning people away, not drawing them to Christ.
We in FFC don't condone sin and do believe that without accepting Jesus a person will end up in Hell. However, shouting that message isn't working, especially at a con. We strive to emulate the attitude of Jesus, who loved people into salvation. Yes, he talked about Hell and damnation, but he showed sinners love and compassion. It's obvious to us that this is the way to take the Gospel into cons.
I don't condemn the people with the bullhorns and signs. But I would love to ask them a question. Who talks to more con-goers...them or us? And who is more likely to show people a Jesus they want to know?
Seeds are being planted and the Holy Spirit will water them. It's great to know that our efforts as a ministry are being noticed.