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I just heard about some peeps in Vancouver, doing some interesting Evangelism through Vandalism.

Seems like a pretty awesome way to bring light to a darkened world.

Press on guys, this is exciting stuff.

p.s. Look forward to having you in our territory Steve and Danielle 🙂



17 thoughts on “E-Vandalism

  1. Ummm, isn’t vandalism illegal? Not very Christ-like to break the law in order to evangelize, is it? Although, as far as I know, I’ve never heard of laws banning sidewalk chalking, so that would probably be okay.

    Posted by Anon | February 6, 2007, 4:23 am
  2. i have a testimony on my blog about an australian who chalk drew evangelism and it became the sign on the harbour bridge one new year… perhaps the 2000 new year… so God can use the simple…

    Posted by Claire | February 6, 2007, 8:19 am
  3. here is the link if u want… http://fireball.lifewithchrist.org/permalink/27169

    Posted by Claire | February 6, 2007, 8:23 am
  4. yep, “Eternity”.

    The sidewalk chalk is fully washable 🙂

    go here http://olivia-munn.blogspot.com/2007/02/our-children.html to read more about their methods.

    Posted by Kathleen Pearce | February 6, 2007, 5:44 pm
  5. [i]”Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. ‘We gave you strict not to teach in this name,’ he said. ‘Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.’

    Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men!'”[/i]
    (Acts 5:28, 29)

    Blatant breaking of the law to evangelise!

    Posted by Shaw Coleman | February 11, 2007, 1:04 am
  6. Shaw, do you genuinely think that Acts 5 applies here?

    Posted by graham | February 11, 2007, 3:47 am
  7. I can understand everyone’s concerns with this, and would love to continue the conversation, but can I remind you to read the original blog; I don’t sum up properly the account of what happened and why.

    Also, read [url=http://armybarmyremix.blogspot.com/2007/02/e-vandalism.html]Danielle’s take on the idea[/url].

    Posted by Kathleen Pearce | February 11, 2007, 3:58 am
  8. hey kat…

    i read the original blog, as well as the other one you linked to there. i have to admit, i’m still disturbed by this. it says that they had several conversations about it, and only one hostile. it then goes on to say that a manager of a store they were writing on came out angry. some of the pictures i find very cool, and artful… but it just seems to me this hurts the witness much more than it would help. there isn’t much detail as far as what other people thought about it, but it sounds like those that were upset weren’t upset by the message of the gospel, but by the actions of those attempting to present it.

    the entire thing seems to me to have an “us vs. them” feel to it. sort of a “hey, look, we can vandalize for Jesus! then they’ll have no choice but to read what we’re forcing down their throats!” now don’t get me wrong, i know they are going about this with the proper attitude, but it seems to me thats how it tends to come off instead.

    and to me it seems contrary to what the salvation army was all about when it was started. correct me if i’m wrong, but didn’t the history of the movement come out of a desire to serve and love the less fortunate in such a way that they see God in their lives? but instead, through this action people are seeing a bunch of those “Christian kids with nothing better to do than annoy us.”

    i hope this doesn’t come off overly negative, but instead as i intend it, which is to rethink the attitudes toward evangelism, and to move towards the methods that are much more difficult, but seem to be much more effective.

    much love,


    Posted by tuffy | February 11, 2007, 5:12 am
  9. Maybe it would be more effective if they went around cleaning up vandalism? That strikes me as far more creative.

    It reminds me of people near where I used to live on the South Coast of England who would spray-paint bridges and walls with “God Loves You”. A local preacher rightly suggested that we show the love of God to people more effectively by caring for them and their environment.

    Without wanting to sound to harsh, I actually have a hard time seeing how this is evangelism in any meaningful sense.

    Posted by graham | February 11, 2007, 5:33 am
  10. [quote]Maybe it would be more effective if they went around cleaning up vandalism?[/quote]

    i love that idea. just think how differently the interaction with the shop keeper would have gone.

    Posted by tuffy | February 11, 2007, 5:35 am
  11. Kat,
    Nice discussion starter…
    I think this sort of thing is cool, its great the way that graf allows people to have a voice.
    We think that public space cant be used unless it is bought (ie billboard advertising). What a load of rubbish…
    There is an artist by the name of banksy that does all sorts of Christ-like stuff in his approach to social issues (google him, he’s great). He has gone to the wall being built between the Jews & Palestinians and done some amazing stuff.
    In an age where individual rights about free speech are strongly jeopodised, and the voices of Christ are already hard to hear, I think this kind of creativity is welcome.

    Posted by j-Ho | February 11, 2007, 6:44 pm
  12. j-Ho, I guess the difference between this and Banksy would be:

    1) It’s artistically creative
    2) It addresses serious social concerns
    3) It makes a place look better, not simply more deprived

    I’m not quite sure how the images here gave anyone a ‘voice’ who didn’t previously have one.

    I’m also not sure that this is ‘public space’ in the way that you’ve employed that concept.

    Posted by graham | February 12, 2007, 4:07 am
  13. 1. It’s chalk, it’s gone after a rainy day.

    2. When The Salvation Army was started, it was not as a charity to ‘help poor people,’ it was as an efficient, productive, effective tool for saving the world from damnation, starting with those who had no other access to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, namely the poor, those steeped in misery and crime and depravity. St. Paul said, ‘I have become all things to all men, that I might win some,’ and that is what these young Salvationists are doing. They are taking the very language of the people they are trying to reach, and using it to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that is accessible to them.

    3. The written Word of God is powerful, especially when is covers the walls and ‘public spaces’ of a broken community. Words of life.

    4. People were saved! Halleljuah! If these people hadn’t written on the ground with chalk, they might well have gone to Hell.

    As Christians, is our task not to get the most people saved by the best possible Salvation, by the best possible methods in the most efficient manner?

    Posted by Shaw Coleman | February 12, 2007, 5:49 am
  14. 1) I’m not sure that the fact it washes away makes it okay to vandalise in the first place.

    Nevertheless, that kinda undermines your other points. If the rest of what you say is true, why not user permanent paint?

    2) [quote]that is what these young Salvationists are doing. They are taking the very language of the people they are trying to reach, and using it to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that is accessible to them.[/quote]

    I’m not sure that ‘vandalism’ is the language of the people they are trying to reach. I suspect that genuine person-to-person contact would speak louder. Failing that, overalls and a bucket of warm water might be preferable.

    3) [quote]The written Word of God is powerful, especially when is covers the walls and ‘public spaces’ of a broken community.[/quote]

    Yes, the written word is powerful (though, I’m not sure that you really mean it is ‘more’ powerful when displayed like this? :-?). However, that is no warrant to go and write it wherever we please.

    The written word is powerful, but I didn’t see anyone spray-painting people’s Car, so even these folks recognise that there are limits to how we apply that principle.

    4) Praise God! However, I think you do the Lord our Saviour a great disservice when you imply that they wouldn’t have been saved if these young people hadn’t vandalised the already damaged streets. I suspects God’s arm is not quite so short.

    Nevertheless, remarkably, people have been saved by offensive preachers, arrogant evangelists, violent crusaders and misguided leaders as well. The fact that God graciously chooses to work through them does not necessarily authenticate such means.

    [quote]As Christians, is our task not to get the most people saved by the best possible Salvation, by the best possible methods in the most efficient manner?[/quote] Well, I wouldn’t quite put it like that, but even if I would how do you know this did that? There’s no way to evaluate that. Unless they tried cleaning up graffitti the previous week and found it less effective?

    Sorry if I sound a little harsh, but I live in an area that is considered run-down and many of us have had our houses vandalised, as well as most buildings and public spaces you can see. Most people don’t notice what is written – scripture or not. All it does is reinforce their sense of living in a place that is so devalued by others that it is used as a canvas at best, or a deserted dump at worst.

    Perhaps I’m no longer cool or radical enough, but such easy hit-and-run “evangelism” no longer impresses me.

    Posted by graham | February 12, 2007, 6:27 am
  15. hey–

    so i’m the chick who organized the whole thing, and blogged the original post.

    this was in place of our weekly open air meeting. usually we stand at a crowded corner while singing and preaching. we decided to make an effort to try more creative approaches– the apparently infamous sidewalk chalf experiment, free footwashing, things like that.

    Shaw– i agree with you…but i am loathe to confess– no one got saved during it. sigh.

    basically, as i said, it was an experiment. i certainly don’t think that it is the most effective form of evangelism. i should clarify– the War College students who were assigned this task also live in this area, and have deep relationships with their neighbors. the most effective evangelism that they do is spend time with the residents of the Downtown Eastside.

    still, we don’t only try that one form of evangelism.

    we want to see people saved. that’s why we’re here. whatever works, we’re going to do it, because that is our passion. so, sidewalk chalk is not necessarily the best way of getting that done, but it was worth a try.

    a key thing is this– it was chalk, which washes away in the rain (which happens a lot in Vancouver), and we never wrote on store fronts or anything like that. we wrote in the alleys (which are regularly decorated with spray paint), and on the sidewalks (like little kids).

    good idea to clean off graff. i might use that.

    “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Eph 4:4-6

    i have the same purpose as you all. the world for God.

    fight on.

    Posted by olivia | February 13, 2007, 8:33 am
  16. I wonder if this post and been titled differently. If the opening statement had been [i]”I just heard about some peeps in Vancouver, doing some interesting Evangelism through [u]Chalk Drawing[/u].”[/i]

    Talking of “evangelism though vandalism” sounds the same to me as “evangelism through wanton destruction.” It simply evokes a completely different set of feelings than “chalk drawings!”

    Posted by Burt | February 13, 2007, 9:07 am
  17. You’d think I’d learn to type…

    My opening sentence above should have read:
    I wonder if this comment thread may have gone in a different direction if it had simply been titled differently and if…

    Posted by Burt | February 13, 2007, 9:09 am

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Kathleen Johansson

We shall win.

"The decree has gone forth that the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ and that He shall reign whose right it is from the River to the ends of the earth. We shall win. It is only a question of time. I believe that this Movement shall inaugurate the final conquest of our Lord Jesus Christ."
- General Catherine Booth

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