Christian Union conduct provokes anger from students on social media

The St Andrews Christian Union (SACU) has been the subject of controversy in the past week as many students have taken to social media to express their annoyance at the Union’s conduct while promoting itself and its events.

In the past week the group has been handing out flyers and talking to people about their work and events for several days in a row in front of several major university locations, such as the library and the North Haugh.

However their tactics have led to many students expressing their anger at the group over social media sites such as Yik Yak.

One user complained of their, “constant flyer distribution, forcing people to stop and then on top being told our religious choice is wrong and to think again.”

Another also expressed anger, saying, “’Cause [sic] then when we tell them we’re not interested or not Christian they condescendingly tell us to think again.”

“If this was Muslims there would be a lot more complaints. It’s ridiculous and if anything has turned me off the Christian Union more,” another stated.

One irate user said, “They act as if they’re smarter than anyone else that disagrees with them and feel the need to stop you and explain why your own ideas are wrong and theirs are right. It’s just plain rude and unnecessary.”

“It’s not to do with security in belief. If people wanted to talk to them then they would.

“No need to stop everyone they see. It’s just plain annoying. One person would be okay but it’s constant.”

However, the condemnation was not universal, with another user defending the group saying, “Look guys, the CU are not being aggressive, they’re just handing out flyers. Why does that bother you so much? Telling people about Jesus is their job description they’re not forcing you to listen.”

In defence of the group’s actions, the SACU’s president, speaking to The Saint, said, “Our fellow students are really important to us and if any of them felt disrespected, or felt that they received too much information about our events, that was not our intention.

“We simply wanted to give as many people as possible the opportunity to hear about and engage with what we believe to be truly life-changing news.”

9 thoughts on “Christian Union conduct provokes anger from students on social media

  • February 17, 2016 at 2:37 pm
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    Love that the SACU president refers to Christanity as “news”… Where’ve you been the last 2016 years?

    Reply
  • February 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm
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    A basic principle of Christian discipleship is evangelism. It’s plain in black and white there in the Bible (St Mark 16:15) for anyone who wants to inform themselves of the perspective of the CU before thinking themself qualified enough to make a comment. Whatever you think of Christianity or Christians, you cannot ignore the fact that they see this as their duty.

    If anything, the focus of this article should be the way Yik Yak and other social media leave people feeling empowered to make underinformed or frankly unfair statements, to vent before giving their words five seconds of consideration. I’m not the greatest fan of evangelistic Christianity, but at least I can appreciate where they’re coming from. Perhaps other people should follow that lead.

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    • February 17, 2016 at 7:41 pm
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      The Markan instruction is to inform people of Christ. If members of the CU wish the travel to a remote part of the world, whose inhabitants have never heard of Christ, and give people the ‘good news’ then they are most welcome to. However since everyone in St Andrews will be quite aware of the basis premise of Christianity, it is unnecessary and condescending to attempt to convert people; especially when almost everyone in the CU has a very poor theological understanding (even several of those studying theology). And yes, I am more than ‘qualified’ to comment on this.

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      • February 18, 2016 at 7:04 pm
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        “…almost everyone in the CU has a very poor theological understanding.”
        Any basis for this claim?

        “…it is unnecessary and condescending to attempt to convert people…”
        Standard Christian belief is that those who aren’t saved are going to hell. You can’t blame them for trying to convert when when they believe this.

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      • March 6, 2016 at 6:40 pm
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        Well said. Painfully condescending.

        On the occasions I’ve been stopped it’s very surprising that they don’t want to hear my well-based views that there (a) isn’t likely a god in the way they think there is or (b) if there is he’s a gigantic ass-hat.

        If it was a man preaching the Earth was flat and handing out flyers I’m sure he wouldn’t have been permitted to stand around as long. Though I wonder if I called the Police and reported such a nuisance, if I would be the one “wasting time”.

        Call me bitter in my old age but I’m perfectly happy really and wish young things would stop trying to chat to me about “a better way”.

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  • February 17, 2016 at 5:40 pm
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    We could write an article like this about so many St Andrews events. SHAG Week, Xavier Ball, FS, Welly Ball, all have been criticised profusely on Yik Yak for various reasons. I’m not sure it’s fair that the CU is the only one whose criticism on this forum the Saint deems newsworthy.

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  • February 17, 2016 at 7:36 pm
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    So many mistakes in this article, does not seem to have been written properly. Interesting that the only social media referred to was yikyak, makes it feel as if writer was desperately trying to think about a topic to write about.

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    • May 5, 2016 at 10:21 pm
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      So many mistakes in this comment. It’s as if the commentor was more interested finding mistakes than he/she was in actually commenting on the topic.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 10:19 pm
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    Even as a Christian I don’t like a religious group knocking on my door on Saturday morning. I know they’re just learning, but events like pot lucks and cookouts do much more than fliers. This way they get to know the person first.

    Reply

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