Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Silent Witnessing at the Apple Store in SoHo (NYC)

During a self-directed walking tour of lower Manhattan (New York City) I stumbled upon the Apple Store in SoHo. Curious about what such a store could offer, and in need of a rest, I wandered into what quickly turned out to be a type of free Internet cafe. I wasn't sure how long one could use a computer so I set about to try different computers for no more than five or seven minutes.

Having not had access to a computer for almost a week, I accessed Adventist blogs I normally visit when at home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I briefly visited & I was careful to not spend more than five or seven minutes at each of the half dozen Apple computers I visited. As is my custom when visiting these sites and similar religious sites in public Internet cafes or restaurants, I left each blog on the screen as I walked away, hoping that the content might catch a curious person's attention, and hopefully expose them to either Christianity or Adventism, as the case may be. There was no way that I could subsequently find out how long anyone stayed at each of these Adventist blogs.

I then visited each of my own web sites or blogs, starting with my oldest blog,, so see how it would look on an Apple laptop. I then proceeded to visit the rest, but probably from the same computer. At each laptop I visited, no more than six, I left the page on the screen in case the next user in this busy showroom was vaguely curious about the pictures or titles of the blog posts. This is the probable order in which I visited the rest of my blogs:

Design your Future - Diseñe su Futuro
Desperate Christian Housewives
Christians on the Verge of a Cosmic Meltdown - Cristianos al Borde de un Desastre Cósmico

I can't be sure if I left all four at different computers, as two of the six Apple laptops I sampled were devoted to the aforementioned Adventist blogs. I left the Apple showroom after spending no more than 30 minutes.

When I returned home to Ft. Lauderdale, I accessed the website that informs me what websites were visited, from what country and for how long. I want to make it clear that the Apple showroom was very busy and that it was hard to find an empty computer for very long. I previously noted that I spent no more than seven minutes at each of the six computers I sampled. I was pleased to learn that one of the Apple laptops I had left with the following blog,, was up for a total of 26 minutes, 7 seconds. A total of 8 pages were viewed. the Exit Page was

Of course, time has a way of slipping away while browsing, but the pressure from walking showroom clerks walking around the showroom makes it unlikely that I spent no longer than 10 or 12 mintues at any one computer. There is always the slim possibility that I may have stayed longer than the 30 minutes I thought I spent in the store, or that the computer in question was vacant for a total of 26 minutes, 7 seconds, which is unlikely, as I mentioned earlier that the store was very busy.

Some modern or progressive Adventists feel that old style evangelism such as giving out religious leaflets or books or "street evangelism" consisting of walking up to a stranger and asking them if they knew the real Jeus Christ and then telling them about the saving experience of knowing and loving Christ, is passe or out-of-fashion. Nevertheless, who knows who might learn of either Christianity or Adventism by visiting Internet cafes or showrooms such as the Apple Store and after viewing a web page you intended to view anyway, of a religious nature, you simply leave the page up in hope that in this vaguely voyeuristic age of blogging and Internet websites and profiles, someone will be nosy or curious enough to take note of the previous user's web site. This is similar in some ways to what some shy Christians or Adventists, no doubt, have done by leaving Christian literature in public places, after having read them themselves, in hope that someone who accidentally, or perhaps not so accidentally, picks up the literature in question, might find something that they perhaps had no idea they were looking for.

How important whether in printing evangelistic literature or publishing religious blogs, to ask for the Holy Spirit's guidance before committing words and ideas to print or cyberspace pages.

We may never know the results of our mildly passive attempts at evangelism until the Next World.

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