There’s a portion of Jesus’ teaching that is commonly referred to as the “Seven Woes” where he lambastes the religious leaders of Israel for continually “missing the point.” Jesus calls them all sorts of nasty names and ridicules them in front a large crowd or people who have gathered to hear him speak. It’s pretty ugly stuff.
At one point he criticizes them for making people slaves to legalism and religious culture through their “evangelistic” efforts. “You hypocrites,” he says, “you travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are!”
Jesus isn’t much fun to talk to when he’s pissed off. And in the gospels Jesus seems to be pissed off at the religious folks the most.
A couple weeks ago, Rob Bell gave a sermon that was (loosely) based on this passage. It compared the “convince and conquer” method of evangelism to the ways Jesus shared his ideas about faith. While some may seek to win religious arguments with apologetics and debate, Jesus spoke softly of faith through metaphor. Quite the contrast.
Rob Bell – Converts to Hell