Why is no Christian evangelising me, asked German journalist


Christian Life

Martin Schlorke, Pro

Alexander Krex. Photo Sandra Stein

Alexander Krex is a journalist who does not believe in God. In an article, he asked why no one was proselytising on him. For that reason, he received the "Golden compass" media award from the Christian media magazine Pro. Pro interviewed Krex about the background of his article.

Mr Krex, you wrote an article for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit. It was called "Why isn't anyone proselytising on me?" Why would you want to be evangelised at all?

Alexander Krex: “I'm not all the way sure whether I actually want it. Rather, the question itself moved me because of two reasons. Firstly, as an East Berliner, I had little to do with the church. Therefore, it is a personal interest to find out why the church does not play a role in my life or why I've never really been in contact with it.

Secondly, I was driven by journalistic curiosity. In our everyday life, we are constantly confronted with advertisements and hear continually about what we should buy, for example. But I don't see anything from the church.”

In your opinion, how can the church improve the advertisement of its content?

“It is not easy to say which missionary actions I would respond to positively.”

What type of offers would you ignore?

“One of the protagonists in my text, Bishop Christian Stäblein (Bishop of the Protestant Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia, ed.), used the beautiful term "spiritual jostling". He said that that should be avoided. He spoke of finding the right word at the right time. A bump can mean something flat or invasive. That would pass me by like a dull advertisement. I ignore something like that before I even look at it closely.”

Can you give an example?

“For me, for example, these are interchangeable statements. When someone approaches me on the street, and I know that he will say the same thing to me as he does to the next 100 people that pass by, I get the feeling that he puts no effort into winning me for the church.”

So, for you, a good missionary should be creative and authentic?

“During my research, I also visited a free church. At first glance, it looked like a café from the outside. Some people might go in there first because they think there will be coffee and cake. Only at a second glance did I recognise the rooms as places of worship. And, of course, the music was different. In terms of content, the sermon could have been held in the national church, I think. I didn't notice any difference there.”

Should churches present themselves more like a café or at least offer coffee?

“I believe diversity is good. Personally, I find this concept very exciting. Nevertheless, for me, the church is also something impressive, something that has grown historically and that is mystical. For others, however, a large, cool sanctuary may seem intimidating. For them, a place of worship that looks like a café is probably more accessible.”

You visited several church representatives yourself. From your point of view, is mission a one-sided action, or should interested people also approach the church to see what it has to offer?

“It would be too easy to sit back and wait for the church to come into action. However, the question then arises whether it is still missionary work in the proper sense. I understand mission as the church's sense of mission, so it starts from within the church. Nevertheless, if someone is interested, he or she should also show a certain amount of initiative. In the internet age, it is not complicated to find out about what churches offer.”

Were the church representatives able to explain why no one is evangelizing you?

“Each of the people I spoke to emphasise a different reason. For example, Pastor Julika Wilcke explained that, in her opinion, the mission must come from God. According to her, the church is only commissioned to support Him. Bishop Christian Stäblein told me that he always tries to preach in such a way that everyone can understand.”

Are the answers sufficient for you?

“The conversations were really enlightening. And I've met people who not only believe but are also very smart, people who have a lot of knowledge about the Bible and can also pass it on to others.”

Even if you do not believe in God, is it worth studying the Bible?

“It never hurts to study God, whether you believe in Him or not. It's just a huge topic because there's a millennia-old story behind it, even if you don't feel it with your heart, but only understand it with your mind. It is almost impossible to be interested in the world and people without being interested in God.”

Is God a possible fact or an idea of man?

“Both are true. Who am I to say there is no God? It doesn't mean I believe in Him, but I have to allow that possibility. Just as I can't rule out that there is life outside of the earth, I can't rule out that God exists.”

Spiegel journalist Anna Claus rediscovered her faith after reading aloud from the children's Bible to her little son, who was interested in it. Do you wish that for your daughter as well?

“I wish my daughter all the support she can have in life. However, I would not answer the question with a clear "yes". If she found faith, it would be a challenge for me because we would no longer look at religion from the same point of view. We would have to find a way of talking to each other about it. But if she saw something positive in faith, I would not be sad in any case.”

Would you read the Bible to your daughter?

“If that's what she wants, I would. But we have already spoken about God in this way. For example, God appears in an evening song that we sing. We don't have a children's Bible, but I find the Bible stories interesting and educational. The morality it conveys doesn't bother me. Morality also exists in fairy tales.”

Can conversion work without a church?

“I don't think a church is needed for conversion. However, when the spark of faith is kindled, it has to stay alive somehow. Church structures certainly help a lot. I learned from the conversations that one definition of mission is that believers show what they love. Of course, faith is something personal, but every Christian can talk about his faith, that is, about what he loves. People who have never come into contact with Christianity before would recognize how different Christians can be. That would definitely destroy fixed and perhaps negative images.”

This article is a translation of an interview previously published in the Germany media magazine Pro in Fall 2021.



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