I was with our team at Huntington Beach last Saturday when I noticed some teenagers with signs that said, “FREE HUGS.” It turns out that they were a Christian group sharing “God’s love” with strangers, by giving them a hug. I asked the leader if the kids shared the gospel with the strangers they hugged. They didn’t. It was “relationship evangelism.” Yes, they were going to Hell if they died in their sins, but they didn’t want to be pushy. I encouraged him to have his team at least give out tracts to those they hugged, but he was in a hurry and had to leave before I could convince him to do so.
In a list of “Ten Ideas for Everyday Outreach,” a leading Christian magazine recently suggested praying for people “as you walk by them,” tell them you appreciate them, leave notes of encouragement, pick up trash, leave a thank you note for waiters, be friendly, etc
If that’s outreach, what are they reaching out for? Is it so that if sinners die in their sins they will think about how nice Christians were to them, and how they keep the sidewalks free of trash? They will need more than a hug, in Hell.
I couldn’t help but think of how bold a person has to be to run around with a sign that says “FREE HUGS.” Surely there must be someone in their leadership that has read “How shall they hear without a preacher,” and will steer these kids to be true and faithful witnesses. Then again, they may have got their hugs idea from the leading Christian magazine, and therefore think that they are doing the right thing.
“If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned …” – C.H. Spurgeon.