How Did Contradict Movement Begin?
Hi, my name is Andy Wrasman.
Contradict Movement was birthed from evangelism at University of California Irvine (UCI). From many trial and error attempts at initiating Christ-centered conversations on the campus, I found that the best method for my personality is to set-up a table and draw people in to talk with a catchy poster on a table. My first attempt was a Led Zeppelin poster with a sign saying free bootleg CDs. I actually had purchased some bootleg CDs and was raffling them off, but, to enter the raffle the person had to take my “Stairway to Heaven” Gospel tract that I had written. They also got an invitation to a Bible study on UCI’s campus. I got a few emails this way so I could keep in contact – spamming people, if you will, about events I was hosting on campus. I never got anyone to show to those events.
Then I met a lady who was a full-time missionary at University California Los Angeles. She told me what worked best for her was hosting a “Blessing of the Brains” night every mid-term and finals week. She said students were up late studying and that she would offer them coffee and the opportunity to have their brains blessed with prayer! She would pray for them right then and there if they wanted, or just collect prayer requests in a prayer box. I did that method twice! Both times – very successful.
All of these attempts were when I was as an undergraduate student at Concordia University Irvine during the 2004-2005 and 2005-2006 school years. After a Masters degree and three years teaching in China, I was back in Orange County in the summer of 2009 and I was asked if I would kickstart evangelism for a congregation near UCI. I wanted to set-up another table with a poster that would draw people in to talk and I wanted to also offer coffee. Sort of a combination of the two best options I had done before. I had many other attempts along the way that I won’t mention. From UCLA pastor, Mark Jasa, I learned of a catchy sign approach to evangelism. He set-up a table with a poster that read, “Religion is for the Weak.” His approach was that people would see this and not know what he believed! People usually think he is an atheist, and then are caught off guard and are intrigued to hear more when they discover he is actually a Christian. He presents that everyone is going to die and religion offers a solution to the problem, yet there are really only two religions – Free and Not Free. Christianity is the only Free religion – where we are saved by grace through faith in Christ. Then the discussion begins!
Adam Stetson also saw a presentation from Pastor Jasa on his “Religion is for the Weak” method of starting an evangelism conversation. Together we bought a table and went to UCI’s Freedom of Speech Area. We started with small print-out pages that said “Religion is for the Weak” and other slogans we came up with. The only one I still remember is the one that I made up which was “Christianity is not a way of life.” If someone asked what it meant I’d share, “Christianity is life given to you for free by the work of Jesus. It’s not a list of rules you must obey to be saved. Therefore it is not a way of life, it is life.” We also had a big poster board that said, “Got Prayer?” We did a lot of stuff like that. It was a smorgasbord of little flyers taped to everything on the table. People would get coffee and as they shook their sugar into their cup, they’d ask what the message meant on the sugar container. It was quite comical.
One week, Adam said, he wanted to make a Contradict sign to counter Co-exist. I thought it was ingenious! I found a few designs already created that were online and we started to use them on the table too. It became my go to discussion starter every time someone asked why were on campus giving out free coffee. Adam and the others with us began to gravitate towards it too. Eventually Adam had a Contradict poster made! And then we ditched everything else and just used a Contradict poster exclusively, taped to the front of the table.
After three years of weekly evangelism at UCI, I wanted to package Contradict in a way that others could also use it for evangelism. Before I could launch Contradict Movement online, I needed to my own Contradict logo that I had the rights to use. My friend Danny Martinez took the religious symbols I had in mind for each letter and created an excellent design. I launched the website in 2012 only selling stickers, but soon Gospel tracts were added to aid in evangelism.
With the Contradict Movement mission of "Equipping Christians to Share and Defend the Good News of Jesus Christ", I focused energy on creating Youtube videos countering false religious bumper stickers and videos that compared and contrasted Christianity with other religions. I spent two years writing my first book, Contradict - They Can't All Be True, which is what I consider the complete Contradict Movement message. It was published in 2014 by WestBow Press. In 2015, I launched a weekly Podcast called, Reconnect, which now has 100 episodes dedicated to sharing and defending the good news of Jesus Christ.
It's now 2017 and Contradict Movement's logo has been featured on multiple Christian television programs, sermon series around the world, a plethora of blog posts and podcast shows, in Sunday school, Bible classes, and Christian clubs across denominational lines, and has been used to share the Gospel on college campuses in numerous American states.
"Thus far the LORD has helped us." - 1 Samuel 7:12