Free Bibles for… Christians?

Begrudgingly walking out of a mandatory chapel service today (during which I tuned out to some iPod and read) I was greeted by a zealous Gideon and a tiny green New Testament. Looking around, I realized this was happening to every student leaving chapel.

The Gideons were giving students at a Christian university free Bibles.

Why?

It kept ringing in my head as I walked away. Why would they give free Bibles to students at a Christian university?

I have two comments.

First – handing out free Bibles, as I see it, is extremely ineffective. I say that with the assumption that they are after what every cookie cutter evangelist is (souls). If the goal is to increase awareness of scripture’s existence, or more likely the existence of Gideon’s handing out free Bibles, then they did a great job. But when it comes to people, real people, especially the college demographic, this just won’t cut it. Ineffective.

Secondly, these New Testaments were given to people who coud have at their disposal up to 10 versions of the entire Bible if they had only 5 minutes in which to find them. These books should be given to someone who can’t get it on their own. Isn’t that the point of free stuff? Isn’t that who we should be giving things to?

This is along the same lines as advertising your church on a Christian radio station. Ugh.

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