Reconnect Episode 6: Contradict – Campus Evangelism

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Andy Wrasman, George Allen III, and Adam Stetson discuss how they came to use a Contradict poster for evangelism at University California Irvine.  What were their previous evangelism efforts?  Why did they decide the Contradict evangelism table method was their favorite? How do they use the poster to spring into sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ? What tips do they have to share from their outings?  What are their most memorable encounters and relationships formed via their Contradict outings?  What do they appreciate the most about each others’ personality and approach to sharing the Gospel?  Answering all of these questions, they hope to inspire and encourage you to consider a similar approach to sharing the Gospel in public spaces.

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Contradict evangelism table at Saddleback Community College.
Contradict evangelism table at Saddleback Community College.

Many Different Contradict Stickers – Which is the best?

Contradict Movement was born through weekly evangelism outings at University California Irvine (UCI).  Our method of engaging in conversation was to setup a folding table with a few camping chairs at UCI’s Freedom of Speech Zone. We’d have some Starbuck coffee in a “traveler” with creams, sugar, cups, and stir sticks.  We would then use various signs and posters laying on the table or taped to the front of the table that were designed to spark conversation that would allow us to introduce the Gospel.  One night, Adam Stetson, suggested creating a poster that spelled Contradict using religious symbols.  That idea profoundly struck me as the best idea I had ever heard.  It’s a perfect conversation starter: “All religions can’t be true because they contradict each other in their teachings.  Logically, they could all be false, but how would we know that?”  We then could spring into why we believe Christianity to be true!

Upon returning home, I instantly searched for Contradict bumper sticker online.  The following are the two images that I found online:

Image #1: This Contradict image doesn’t strictly use religious symbols and it has no tagline of explanation.

Contradict Bumper Sticker
This was the first Contradict image that I found. And if my memory serves me correctly, this was the image that I used to print off a little sign to use on our coffee table evangelism outings at UCI.

Image #2: This Contradict image was also online at the time and being sold by someone who clearly wasn’t Christian.  The tagline really makes no sense!  I think the sticker is calling for us to go against all religions because all religions are just forms of social slavery.

Contradict Sticker
The other Contradict image that I found online around 2009-10 for use in evangelism. I believe I did print this one for evangelism, but I had to cut out the tagline.

After using these two as small printed pages on the top of the table, Adam had a friend paint an original Contradict design on a poster to tape to the front of the table.  Once we had that poster, Contradict became are constant (only) go to sign for kickstarting evangelism conversations.

After a couple of year at UCI, I wanted to write a book laying out the Contradict message I would share with someone from start to finish, if they gave me five hours of their time.  I also I wanted the book to serve as a tool to help spur others onto college campus and public spaces with a similar approach to evangelism.  To help raise awareness for the book, I wanted to create bumper stickers and a website.  If I was to sell bumper stickers and sell a Contradict design on the front cover a book, I’d need to own the copyright of the image, those I sat down and made a list of religious symbols I would use to spell Contradict and I hired a friend, Danny Martinez, to put it together for me.  I own the copyright and now I also own the trademark to the Contradict Movement logo:

Image #3: The Contradict Movement version of Contradict!

Contradict Sticker
You can order these stickers with a black background or a white background at http://www.contradictmovement.org. I also offer tracts and my book, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True, at the website.  Click the image to go to Contradict Movement.

At the time I launched Contradict Movement as a website, I saw that another Contradict image had emerged:

Image #4: That I could tell the person who made this image was Christian and had a Facebook page named Contradict, but no stickers of this image were being sold.  Later, Cross Examined, started to sell this image with the same tagline with their website url on it.  I don’t think Cross Examined sells this image anymore.

I don't like this tagline as well as mine, but I do really like the design.  I still prefer my design though, because all the letters in this one are not religious symbols.
I don’t like this tagline as well as mine, but I do really like the design. I still prefer my design though, because all the letters in this one are not religious symbols.

Recently, I checked online and I have seen that numerous other Contradict designs have been created and they are now being sold online as bumper stickers!   Here they are:

Image # 5: This was the first obviously Christian Contradict image I saw being sold online (besides the Cross Examined one I mentioned above that is now no longer being sold at the Cross Examined store, Impact Apologetics).  This one is being sold on Zazzle.

I really like this design!  The tagline is good too. It's a shout out to John 14:6, the same verse that I simply cited.
I really like this design! The tagline is good too. It’s a shout out to John 14:6, the same verse that I simply cited.

Image # 6: Here’s a variation of the one above that is also being sold on Zazzle.

I prefer the one with the bubble letters behind the symbols.
I prefer the one with the bubble letters behind the symbols.

Image #7: This is the current Cross Examined Contradict image being sold through their Impact Apologetics online store.

I really like this design.  I think the R with Kokopelli is very creative.
I really like this design. I think the R with Kokopelli is very creative.

I suspect that the clearly Christian Contradict images created after I launched Contradict Movement were working off my Contradict image.  I suggest this because the common theme is the Shinto torri gate for the letter N, but I could be wrong!  They might not have seen my image first.

Two questions:

1.  Which Contradict tagline do you think is the best? 

“They Can’t All Be True – John 14:6”
“Only 1 is Truth, Life eternal, and the Way”
“Don’t be a Contradiction.  There can only be ONE Truth.” 

2.  Which sticker do you think would be the one best suited to go platinum, “Coexist status”, and why? 

If you think it should be mine, please, share http://www.contradictmovement.org with all your friends and family.  Order extra stickers and help distribute them.

Here’s why I think my sticker is best situated for sharing the Gospel!  It has the url to my website, big and clear for people to visit.  The home page has a video that details the message of Contradict by sharing the importance of Coexistence and Tolerance, while also sharing that Tolerance can’t be taken to mean that all religions are true.  I then share examples of religious contradictions and close by sharing the Gospel and why we can trust that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  From a stand alone point of view, the one with the tagline, “Only 1 is Truth, Life Eternal, and the Way” clearly shows a Christian message.  The Cross Examined tagline, “Don’t be a Contradiction, There can only be ONE Truth”, does not clearly demonstrate that it is a Christian bumper sticker, however, the name of their website’s url does indicate this.  When visiting their website though, you are not instantly greeted with the message of their Contradict sticker.  With my tagline, “They Can’t All Be True – John 14:6”, interested parties could be forced to go to a Bible and look up John 14:6 to know why all religions can’t be true.  If interested parties go to Contradict Movement, they will only find links to my blog, the Contradict Facebook page, my Youtube channel, and my book.  All of these sites are very much Contradict themed!

Every sticker I sell comes with a Contradict folding tract as well as a printed page of explanation.  The goal is that if anyone is interested in knowing more about the message of Contradict when seeing a person’s sticker, the Christian has something to hand interested parties on the spot.  It has been my experience that when people are caught starting at your Contradict sticker, they usually don’t want to talk long in the parking lot.

If you do appreciate my work with Contradict Movement, help share my image online and through print.  Right now, images to my page do not always display as prominently as these others, so people may not find my page.  Cross Examined is way more known and popular than Contradict Movement, my blog, or my book.  If their sticker takes off and becomes the one everyone sees and knows, that’s great, because they certainly proclaim the Gospel and do a great job defending it, but if you think the Contradict Movement platform is better due to more specialized focus, again, share Contradict Movement with everyone you know by selecting some key blog articles, Youtube videos, or Facebook posts that you find helpful for sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Thanks so much!

Peace in Christ,
Andy Wrasman

Overview of Contradict – They Can’t All Be True

table of contents2My first published book is entitled, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True.  In case you have been wondering what’s inside the book before taking the plunge to order your copy, I have provided a brief overview of the book in this blog post:


Ch. 1 – The State of Pluralism

America’s state of religious pluralism stems from Hindu influence that crept in via the transcendental movement and came full force in the 60s counter-culture movement. The New Age Movement has direct parallels to Hindu beliefs, both of which lead to forms of religious pluralism. I share that the heart behind the movement is love, but that truth and love is lost in pluralism.

Ch. 2 – The Multiple Religious Paths

Many believe religious pluralism is true because Americans are religiously ignorant. Many of us don’t even know Christianity. So I give a 20 word glossary for Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.   If you know these 20 terms for each, you will know the basic history, teachings, and practices of the world’s five major religions.

Ch. 3 – Enacting the Law of Non-Contradiction

I then take direct quotes from the authoritative texts of each of those 5 religions and other minor religions and cults and put them under various doctrinal topics such as who God is, who man is, what mankind’s ultimate problem is, what the solution is to that problem to show the contradictions.

Ch. 4 – Finding a Religious Litmus Test

I present the historiographical tests for evaluating claims of the past and that Christianity offers a historical claim to prove or disprove the Christian faith – the resurrection.

Ch. 5 – Testing the Testable

I apply those tests to the Gospels. I present it in a way that I haven’t seen done yet in another book – so I think I’m contributing something new to the vast works that are already out there.

Ch. 6 – The Ring of Truth

I share what I call the ring of truth. The ring of truth can be found in the Bible’s details, its one unified message, its accuracy in predicting future events, and its uniqueness amongst the world’s religions.  I close this chapter by quoting Peter from Acts 2 and Jesus from Mark 16, “Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins.”

All of the book so far was in a non-Christian voice. I want anyone reading to not know where I am coming from – what I actually believe. I have not identified myself as Christian until the end of this chapter. It’s all fact based presentations. It turns me off reading most books of this nature because I don’t think my non-Christian friend would get past the first few pages in most cases the way they are written. The bias comes through too strongly in most of the books I have read making a case for the Christian faith.

Ch. 7 – Using Contradict to Share the Gospel

The Christian voice is out. This chapter focuses on sharing the Gospel using Contradict. It explains how I have used Contradict as a witnessing tool on college campuses and I explain the whole process if someone else wants to use it. I then give the 20 most asked questions after the initial conversational starter sharing that all religions can’t be true because they contradict each other, but that I believe Christianity is true and that Jesus is the son of God who died for the sins of all of mankind. Every question has several types of responses that should be utilized in the response. Validation responses show why it’s a good question and how you understand why it is being asked. Socratic method responses are questions that lead the person to the answer based on what they already know. Answer responses give multiple ways to respond to answer the question directly. Scripture responses show the verses that support the answer from God’s Word. Back the Gospel responses must always be used at the end of every answer. The Gospel saves, not our apologetics, so the answers must always be used to get back to the Gospel and often times the Gospel answers the question!

Ch. 8 – Join the Movement.

Why did I call Contradict a movement? The Holy Spirit moves each of us to action as he desires. There isn’t only one way, or method, to present the exclusive claims of Christ to be our only all-sufficient Savior. The Spirit might move some to share the Gospel exactly as I have using Contradict, but others might get other ideas on how to initiate the conversation. We might not all be led to success by the Spirit either. We might be led to persecution. Our role is simply to resign ourselves to will of God as the Spirit moves us to make disciples of all nations.

You can order my book here!

God is too big to fit into one religion – rebuttal.

This is an interesting concept.  God is too big to fit into one religion.  If this were true, it’d means that every religion is wrong about their view, or lack of a view, of the divine (God).

This is ultimately saying that God is unknowable from one religion alone, and since the teachings of the various religions contradict each other, combing them all into one God-smoothie doesn’t help matters.

Wrong #1 – Christianity, as well as some other religions, claim that God is omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent.   How can God be bigger than that?  Is it even possible for a God to exist bigger than a God that is not restricted by time, space, or matter, who is not limited in any ability to do as he wills, he has complete and perfect knowledge of everything, and always acts in ways that are wholly good?  I don’t think so.  Therefore, it’s completely possible that God can fit into one religion.

Wrong #2 – Religions aren’t containers.  They don’t contain God.  They’re not boxes that somehow, God conveniently fits into, although some religious adherents treat their religions as such.  Religions offer revelations and explanations to who God is.  It’s committing a category error to say that “God is too big to fit into one religion.”

Contradictory Views of Mankind’s Ultimate Problem

Views of Mankind’s Ultimate Problem

The root words for religion, re (again) and lig (connect), indicate that religions are about reconnecting with something that has been lost. But what has been lost? What is causing the separation? What are the ultimate effects of this separation? How can the separation be overcome? The answers vary and they can’t all be harmonized to all be true.
  • Judaism – Adam and Eve disobeyed God and thus, their rebellion has brought mankind under a curse that involves struggle between the sexes, painful labor (both in child-bearing and work), and ultimately death.  The prophet Isaiah recognizes that such lawlessness has cut mankind off from God as he warns Israel, “Your iniquities have separated you from your God;
    your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).
  • Christianity – Romans 3:23 states that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”  Romans 6:23 teaches that the penalty of that shortcoming by stating, “the wages of sin is death.”
  • Islam – Allah knows all and sees all, nothing is hidden from him and a day is coming when Allah shall bring judgment to everyone. (Surah 69:18).  At that time, “neither one shall avail another, nor any ransom (compensation) shall be accepted from anyone, nor intercession shall benefit anyone, nor any help will be given” (Surah2:123).  Humanity’s problem is facing Allah’s judgment on the actions of their life and ensuring that the good of an individual’s life outweighs the evil, of which Allah can be the only judge.
  • Hinduism – “Who sees the many and not the ONE, wanders on from death to death.  Even by the mind this truth is to be learned: there are not many but only ONE.  Who sees variety and not the unity wanders on from death to death” (Katha Upanishad Part 4).Our minds are deceived by the illusion called Maya that keeps us from all seeing the oneness of all things, and this deception on our part causes us to live within a cycle of death and rebirth.  We must find the one path that leads to immortality and escape Samsara, the cycle of reincarnation, and of the paths there are many with karma dictating the position of one’s next life.
  • Buddhism – The reality of this life is found in the mind’s perception of what is real and what is lasting.  The world is always changing, always in flux, and our minds and bodies with their desires and cravings resist change.  If our minds can’t acknowledge and accept this constant impermanence, pain and suffering are the natural byproduct.  The origin, or cause, of this suffering is our desires for gratification and success.  The Buddha taught, “The mind is fickle and flighty, it flies after fancies wherever it likes: it is difficult indeed to restrain” (The Dhammapada 35).
  • Christian Science – Mankind’s ultimate problem is being deceived by the illusion of sin, suffering, and death.  To the question, “Is there sin,” the answer provided within Mary Baker Eddy’s Health and Science is, “All reality is in God and His creation, harmonious and eternal. That which He creates is good, and He makes all that is made. Therefore the only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring belief, until God strips off their disguise. They are not true, because they are not of God. We learn in Christian Science that all inharmony of mortal mind or body is illusion, possessing neither reality nor identity though seeming to be real and identical” (Chapter 14:472-473).
  • Atheism – If you are reading this text, you are alive, but the greatest problem you, and everyone else who is alive, is always facing in the atheistic worldview is death.  At death, you no longer exist, and that is mankind’s ultimate problem, our mortality.  Rocker, writer, and speaker, Henry Rollins expresses the atheistic view as such, “I don’t believe in an afterlife; you step on a bug, it dies; I shoot you in the face, you die, and you don’t come back.  That’s my belief.  OK?  There are no ghosts; there’s no afterlife; I’m not a spiritual person; I’m kind of a cash and carry type of guy, wash and wear.”

Henry Rollins – Joe Cole Part 1
Henry Rollins – Joe Cole Part 2