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Author: Matthew

The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.

Sanctity of Life Quotes

“I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life . . .”
~ Deuteronomy 30:19

“We hold these truths to be self-evident . . . that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, and among these life . . .”
~ Declaration of Independence

“Thou shall not kill.”
~ God

“There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
~ Albert Einstein

Abortion Quotes

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”
~ Blessed Mother Teresa

“Nothing we do to defend the human person, no matter how small, is ever unfruitful or forgotten. Our actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world. Don’t ever underestimate the beauty and power of the witness you give in your pro-life work.”
~ Archbishop Charles Chaput

“Pro-choice and pro-life activists live in different worlds, and the scope of their lives, as both adults and children, fortifies them in their belief that their own views on abortion are the more correct, the more moral, and more reasonable. When added to this is the fact that should ‘the other side’ win, one group of women will see the very real devaluation of their lives and life resources, it is not surprising that the abortion debate has generated so much heat and so little light.”
~ Kristin Luker

“An abortion kills the life of the baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health.”
~ Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 1952 (see the pamphlet)

Capital Punishment Quotes

“We oppose the death penalty not just for what it does to those guilty of heinous crimes, but for what it does to all of us, it offers the tragic illusion that we can defend life by taking life.”
~ Most Rev. Joseph A. Fiorenza

“You can’t save a man if he’s dead.”
~ Unknown

Respect Quotes

“That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong.”
~ William J. H. Boetcker

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
~ Jackie Robinson

“Men are respectable only as they respect.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Suicide Quotes

“Here in the bathroom with me are razor blades. Here is iodine to drink. Here are sleeping pills to swallow. You have a choice. Live or die. Every breath is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be. Every time you don’t throw yourself down the stairs, that’s a choice. Every time you don’t crash your car, you reenlist.”
~ Chuck Palahniuk

“Suicide sometimes proceeds from cowardice, but not always; for cowardice sometimes prevents it; since as many live because they are afraid to die, as die because they are afraid to live.”
~ Charles Caleb Colton

“Settle down, precious. I know what you’re going through. Ten minutes before you got here, I was gonna jump too.”
~ Unknown

“The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.”
~ Ben Okri

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
~ Phil Donahue

“Anyone desperate enough for suicide…should be desperate enough to go to creative extremes to solve problems: elope at midnight, stow away on the boat to New Zealand and start over, do what they always wanted to do but were afraid to try.”
~ Richard Bach

“To make yourself something less than you can be – that too is a form of suicide.”
~ Benjamin Lichtenberg

“All healthy men have thought of their own suicide.”
~ Albert Camus

“The only reason I don’t end it all is because I keep waiting for it to get better, to make friends, and be prettier.”
~ Unknown

“No one ever lacks a good reason for suicide.”
~ Cesare Pavese

“Nine men in ten are would-be suicides.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

War Quotes

“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.”
~ Albert Einstein

“Patriots always talk of dying for their country and never of killing for their country.”
~ Bertrand Russell

“The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.”
~ David Friedman

“There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.”
~ Sun Tzu

“There is nothing that war has ever achieved that we could not better achieve without it.”
~ Henry Ellis

“There was never a good war, or a bad peace.”
~ Benjamin Franklin

“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”
~ John F. Kennedy

“What is the use of physicians like myself trying to help parents to bring up children healthy and happy, to have them killed in such numbers for a cause that is ignoble?”
~ Benjamin Spock

“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”
~ Jeannette Rankin

“Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder.”
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

“Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.”
~ John F. Kennedy

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”
~ Voltaire

“All wars are civil wars, because all men are brothers.”
~ Francois Fenelon

“An unjust peace is better than a just war.”
~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

“I’m fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.”
~ George McGovern

“If it’s natural to kill, how come men have to go into training to learn how?”
~ Joan Baez

“If we don’t end war, war will end us.”
~ H. G. Wells

“In modern war… you will die like a dog for no good reason.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

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martin luther king jr pro-life

A Fight for the Unheard Minority by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This sanctity of life video employs a powerful message delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his stand against the Vietnam war. Dr. King was adamantly against abortion and denounced it as a form of genocide on numerous occasions.

“Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
April 4, 1967

Given at Riverside Church, New York City, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s address as delivered to the Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. The short excerpt used in this video:

“I come to this magnificent house of worship tonight because my conscience leaves me no other choice. I join you in this meeting because I am in deepest agreement with the aims and work of the organization which has brought us together, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam. The recent statements of your executive committee are the sentiments of my own heart, and I found myself in full accord when I read its opening lines: ‘A time comes when silence is betrayal.’ That time has come for us in relation to Vietnam.

“The truth of these words is beyond doubt, but the mission to which they call us is a most difficult one. Even when pressed by the demands of inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their government’s policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of conformist thought within one’s own bosom and in the surrounding world. Moreover, when the issues at hand seem as perplexing as they often do in the case of this dreadful conflict, we are always on the verge of being mesmerized by uncertainty. But we must move on.

“Some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited vision, but we must speak.”


References

Rev. Martin Luther King, Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence, http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/058.html, retrieved November 10, 2011.

Image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/68/Martin_Luther_King%2C_Jr_-_NARA_-_559202.jpg

(Originally posted at prosanctityoflife.com on November 10, 2011.)

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Planned Parenthood Admits Abortion Kills the Life of a Baby

In the beginning, it appears everyone was on the same page. Below is a Planned Parenthood pamphlet on family planning, as printed in 1952. Quote:

Is it an abortion?

Definitely not. An abortion requires an operation. It kills the life of a baby after it has begun. It is dangerous to your life and health. It may make you sterile so that when you want a child you cannot have it. Birth control merely postpones the beginning of life.

Planned Parenthood pamphlet admits abortion is killing a baby

 

(Originally posted at prosanctityoflife.com on November 11, 2011.)

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born crucified by l.e. maxwell

Born Crucified (Free PDF)

Born Crucified“, written by American-born Canadian educator and minister, L.E Maxwell (1895–1984), can probably be best summed up in this excerpt from chapter 3, The Secret of Victory Over Sin:

“If Christ died to rid me of sin, should I not rather die than retain it? But if we are not yet sick enough of sin to be rid of sin, we can only bow, and bleed, and hug our chains, until we are “sick unto death” of sinful self. We must be driven out of our unholy duplicity and made to own our double-mindedness.

“But God is good. Christ is a jealous lover. He wants every believer delivered. He will not shrink from reducing you to shame and despair if only you may be exposed to the power generated on your behalf at Calvary. You must learn by kindness or by terror. God’s sword of providence may be laid successively to every tic that binds you to self and sin. Wealth, and health, and friends, may fall before that sword. The inward fabric of your life will go to pieces. Your joy will depart. Smitten within and without, burned and peeled and blasted, you may finally, amidst the dreadful baptism, be driven from the sinful inconsistency of living for yourself. You may at length be disposed (blessed word–sweet compulsion) to yield self over to the victory and undoing of Calvary. Oh, the glorious power of the Cross! How can we longer hold out against it? All the power generated at Calvary is at your disposal.”

Download free “Born Crucified” PDF


References

L. E. Maxwell. Wikipedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._E._Maxwell.

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email marketing is better than using the pony express

3 Key Benchmarks in Church Email Marketing

Every year, an email newsletter company named Constant Contact, gathers together statistics from over 200 million emails sent through their system and posts the data in their knowledgebase. The resulting chart of averages offers a benchmark for how your email outreach efforts are performing when compared to other competitors and partners in your niche.

The list ranges across 35 different industry categories, from accountants to animal services, from restaurants and bars to real estate. Here I’ve selected the following industries for a relatable comparison to the church-going audience.

  • Health & Social Services (ex. hospital, elder care, adoption services)
  • Civic/Social Memberships (ex. associations, chambers, clubs)
  • Religious Organizations

In this discussion, we’re primarily going to focus on unsubscribe rates, click-through rates (CTR) and open rates. Bounce rates are included in the chart, but simply offer an idea on how many of your emails are actually getting through. Bounce rates can be affected by company firewalls, incorrect email addresses, people moving to other jobs, etc., so we’re not going to dwell on them here.

Here are the statistics on those three categories and an additional three, for comparison.

Three Examples of Email Performance for Social Do-Gooders

Health & Social Services (ex. hospital, elder care, adoption services)
Open Rate: 19.86% | Bounce: 9.66% | CTR: 9.08% | Unsubscribe: 0.19%

Civic/Social Memberships (ex. associations, chambers, clubs)
Open Rate: 21.68% | Bounce: 11.01% | CTR: 8.07% | Unsubscribe: 0.08%

Religious Organizations
Open Rate: 25.50% | Bounce: 7.00% | CTR: 7.75% | Unsubscribe: 0.08%

For Comparison, A Few Alternative Examples

Consultant, Training (ex. marketing, management)
Open Rate: 16.28% | Bounce: 9.67% | CTR: 7.50% | Unsubscribe: 0.12%

Marketing, Advertising, PR
Open Rate: 10.63% | Bounce: 7.59% | CTR: 5.62% | Unsubscribe: 0.09%

Technology (ex. web developer)
Open Rate: 11.85% | Bounce: 11.27% | CTR: 6.02% | Unsubscribe: 0.16%

Metric #3. How Often Are They Leaving Your List? (a.k.a. Unsubscribes)

Interesting to note: Out of all 35 industry categories, religious organizations and civil/social membership groups had the lowest unsubscribe rates (0.08% for both), bested only by the publishing industry at 0.06%.

So, does this mean the greater the social mission, the greater loyalty you’ll enjoy from your list? Maybe there is guilt associated with unsubscribing from your church’s newsletter. Like somehow you’re turning your back on God, right?

Are the text-addicted (authors, publishers, book promoters, voracious readers and whomever else may fall into Contact’s “Publishing” category) even able to unsubscribe? Are there compulsive tendencies at play here? Do logophiles hoard electronic newsletters like they do books? Hmm..

Metric #2. Do You Compel Them to Read More? (a.k.a. Click-Through Rates)

Publishing also led the pack with click-through rate (CTR) over 13% (only three industries achieved double-digit CTR).

With the lowest contestant (beauty salons, tanning salons and barbers) pitching a dismal 4.18% CTR and publishing leading with 13%, all three of our altruistic subjects fell somewhere in the middle of the bell curve. Religious organizations ranked lowest of our three focus groups at 7.75%. This means for every 100 people who actually opened the email, only about eight of them were actually caught by the headlines and hook paragraphs you used.

Wait.. “Hook” Paragraphs?

And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
(Matthew 4:19)

Now, let’s face it. Oftentimes, enewsletter owners don’t even use hook paragraphs (a brief introduction to the article that compels people to click through and read more.) They often fall back to the old way of stuffing all their content into the newsletter like they used to do when they printed, sealed, stamped and sent.

This misses one of the big advantages of enewsletters: bringing your audience to you. If hook paragraphs are not being used, this could certainly kill your click-through rate. You might have a higher read rate, but alas, you’ll never know because there is currently no way to track if they read your whole email or if their mail client simply showed them a preview as they were hitting the delete key.

Metric #1. Do They Pretend Not to See You? (a.k.a. Open Rates)

Constant Contact breaks out open rates into three subcategories: mobile, desktop and tablet. For the sake of this discussion, let’s just focus on the overall open rate. (In case you’re wondering, tablets are the least-popular platform by far, with desktop and mobile being fairly balanced and the most widely-used.)

Religious organizations are the champions of the open rate, capturing a stunning 25.50%. Brilliant. I would say this probably points to the hearts of the subscriber-base. If they are plugged into your church enough to have joined your mailing list, they’re invested—for the moment. Their commitment to you may wane or build, but it depends upon your engagement efforts and certainly, the Holy Spirit.

Again, keep in mind “open rate” does not mean “read rate”, so if your open rate seems high but your click-through rate is low, there may be room for improvement. You may want to study how to write better headlines for your articles.

You may also consider segmenting your email list according to your click-through activity. Look for trends in interest. If you put out an article on Christian apologetics and an article on the history of the Protestant Reformation, look to see which article received the highest CTR. If apologetic teaching received the most clicks, you know you may want to produce more teaching and analysis on defending the faith.

Building Your Email List (a.k.a. Your Call to Arms)

In your digital evangelism efforts, building up your followers (in both quantity and in spiritual maturity) and communicating to your followers is the life’s blood of your outreach efforts. Being able to communicate to paid staff, your army of volunteers, and your congregation at a moment’s notice is only the starting point. Whether you’re educating for truth, entertaining for fun, promoting the next fundraiser or sending an emergency broadcast to your community, arming your organization with the knowledge and tools to push news and updates into inboxes is a powerful way to get the Word out.

Aweber logoDon’t have a good email marketing system? You’re not currently collecting email addresses from your website, you say? We recommend Aweber for its reporting and the ability to automatically send out weekly newsletters based upon your blog posts. Let us know if you need help getting set up or if you have questions about the service.

matt signature

 

References

Constant Contact. Average Industry Rates. Retrieved from
https://knowledgebase.constantcontact.com/articles/KnowledgeBase/5409-average-industry-rates


About the Author

A recovering marketing professional, Matthew Schoenherr has been moved from building his own kingdom to advancing thee Kingdom. Matthew provides digital evangelism training and solutions to Christian churches and faith-based non-profits. He may be reached through the Levaire website.

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millennial evangelism

The Case for Millennial Evangelism

Recently, I stumbled upon a Facebook post by an organization named echurch. They were marketing an ebook called “The Ultimate Guide for Reaching Millennials.” Of course, they were giving the ebook away in exchange for your contact details (known as a tripwire in digital marketing vernacular) whereby echurch invited you to receive a demo of their mobile tithing platform with the hopes of getting your business.

While the guide itself was ‘fine’—which is somewhere between ‘meh’ and ‘holy cats, that was brilliant’—it was, by no means, ‘ultimate’. Though 26 pages in length, there was only about 15 pages of content, once you got past the front and back covers, the author bio, table of contents, a big call-to-action and several half-filled pages. A little slow to start, I was pleased when they eventually pointed to some hard research around declining millennial church attendance and giving.

All in all, I was smarter about the millennial generation than when I started.

But this post isn’t about how well the echurch ebook did or didn’t do its job.

Marketing Myopia in the Church

This post is about the myopic reaction by Christians to an ebook intended to better equip the Church in evangelizing the millennial generation.

The post was initially promoted on Facebook, and after about a week of hanging out there, negative comments began to filter in. Unfortunately, instead of holding a dialog with the dissenting opinion-holders, echurch simply hid the post from their feed. Too bad, as I think they have a strong case and really could have used the opportunity to engage their audience.

Let’s dive into some of the comments. (Typos have been allowed to remain.)

Facebook Folly Follows

millennial church marketing

I guess this would include millennials?

Romans 1:16-17 ~ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

This comment seems to miss the mark. The guide discusses how to reach millennials. Reaching people is the step before growing people in boldness and faith.

I haven’t read this book, but Hasn’t God already written a book with the answer to reaching all of mankind?

Waitwaitwait.. so you’re chiming in on something you haven’t even investigated? Awesome.

Actually, I think the Word is more about Jesus and our identity in Him than a playbook for reaching all mankind. If it was an answer to reaching all mankind, no one would ever reject the Gospel, and yet we know many do. In fact, the Pharisees and Sadducees knew the Old Testament by heart. They should have been better positioned than anyone to recognize the Messiah. Yet, the Messiah of prophesy actually stood before them in the flesh—teaching and working miracles before their very eyes—and they nailed Him to a Roman cross.

If the word of God don’t reach millennials we in big trouble yaw. Just preach the word. It’s irrefutable, it’s infallible and its inerrant.

Here someone spoke up. Tom P said, “Correct, but they need to hear it first…

Right?

Try this simple experiment. From the comfort of your home office, play an audio recording of someone reading the Bible. Leave your office and close the door behind you. Let this symbolize the Church.

Now, invite a bunch of people over but never invite them into your office where the Bible audio is playing. Instead, have a party, with food and drinks and games and much socializing. Listen to music. Watch a movie. The rest of your home represents the world.

At the end of the evening, after everyone goes home, how many decisions for Christ happened while the Word was playing away in your office? What? None, you say? But the Word was preached the entire time!

There seems to be a notion that the Word of God is enough to bring people to conviction, confession and conversion. I wish that was the case. I do. But if that were the case, there would be no reason to separate the sheep from the goats in Matthew 25:31-46. There would be no need for the judgement. People would simply be exposed to the Word, turn from their wicked ways, and fall in love with Jesus. Evangelism could be effected by piping the Word through loud speakers atop a van rolling down the street and all within earshot would be saved.

When they (people of any age) encounter Jesus, God, Holy Spirit they will want more of Him. If the Holy Spirit is not in that church, and the Church not built under His direction it’s all man’s efforts and will come to nought. Psalm 127:1

For the record, Psalm 127:1 (KJV) says “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.”

Unless I’m missing the intention behind this comment (possible), the author is indicating once people get a taste of God, they will want more. If that was the case, what about Matthew 27:21-24, where Jesus clearly tells us not everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom? This should terrify us, right? That means there are church-going Christians who won’t see Heaven. Look up Jesus’ words to the Laodicean church in Revelation 3:14-22 and tell me those people didn’t think they were in good standing. Then recognize the seven churches described in Revelation also reflect the ages the Church will pass through prior to the end of days. The Laodicean church is in full operation today.

Reaching this demographic is easy … just give them everything they want and allow them to take no responsibility whatsoever… problem solved.

Man, I don’t think Jesus talks about us this way. If we don’t see it in Him, we’re not to see it in us.

Sounds interesting but why do they require so much personal information to get the Ebook?

Because they’re looking for the lowest conversion rate possible? Just guessing. Yes, this is a marketing mistake on their part. As was pulling this thread from their feed.

Why are millennials any different from any of the rest of mankind? We all have sinned and fallen short of the mark, and are in need of a saviour. The message has not changed, nor has God’s grace and mercy which we all are in desperate need of. The message is timeless, and sufficient.

Another comment that misses the point of the ebook being how to reach the millennial “nation”. Jesus said “go forth and make disciples of all nations,” not “build big buildings and worry about how to keep the lights on.”

Though the ebook doesn’t mention a single line of Scripture (which should be odd to us coming from an organization calling themselves “echurch” but we can recognize PushPay is secular first), the Gospel message isn’t in doubt here.

It’s our ability to deliver the Gospel message that is being assisted.

So I guess this will change with every generation? This communicates that God needs help.

Well, brother, God isn’t up there ordaining everything that happens. He did tell us to go forth and subdue the earth. We are given a sword and a shield for a reason. Jesus did tell us to go forth and make disciples of all nations, not quietly sit at home and count ourselves saved. What did Jesus do? What did He raise His apostles to do? Then I guess that’s probably what we’re called to do too, right?

No, God doesn’t need our help; we need His.

The only thing is the blood of Jesus. Anything else is Bogas!

Not sure I even need to grace this one with a response. Same misplaced defensive posture as the others.

Jesus makes them “tick”.

Once they know Him, yes. Before then, we call those folks “lost”.

This is needed.

Finally, someone gets it.

To Evangelize Who We Can, We Do What We Can

As you can tell by my commentary, by the time I read to the end of this thread, I was appalled. I asked a pastor friend of mine if his church ever did any marketing to their local community.

He said, “Oh yes. You have to.”

Just as I suspected.

Then he pointed out, “Even Jesus was heralded by John the Baptist.”

Do you get that?

Jesus had a PR guy that set the stage for His ministry. His name was John.

So if you think the Word of God will convert everyone it reaches, then you haven’t read your Bible. Israel even had God living among them and they still turned to idols. Over and over and over. Are you kidding?

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:22 “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” I think his example to us is to do what we can to reach those we can.

I challenge us to recognize the difference between delivering the Good News and receiving the Good News. The intention to reach the millennial generation is a good one.

Just as Paul spoke Greek to Greeks and Hebrew to Jews, so too must we learn our audience and do our part to connect them with the Gospel. It is by the blood of the Lamb ~and~ the word of our testimony.

Yes, all fruit comes through the Holy Spirit, but it is we—made in His image—who have been commanded to go forth and work the fields.

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