A frame-lock occurs when an evangelist has successfully overlaid their own worldview onto your life, your words, your identity or reasoning. This is the purpose of evangelism. Conversion is nice, but frame-lock is easier.

But what do they seek? The answer is, anything that can get a hold of your mind or emotions.

This information can be anything:, it can be your personal name that they have overheard (and will use often), knowledge of your situation, knowledge that they managed to fish out by elicitation, or knowledge that is public and observable (such as your job, your position, ethnic background or even sexual / gender orientation).

Once they have that bit of information, they will seek to dig deeper, to gain more knowledge. Once that knowledge is gained, they can attack your psyche, putting you on the defensive by using a frame-lock.

But we need to keep in mind that a framework can be considered as the processes and methods used to solve a complex issue. It is the skeleton upon which various objects are integrated for a given solution. It dictates how you think you know what you know, and who you believe yourself to be.

In the case for evangelism, the framework is the evangelical ideology, its beliefs and its traditions. The entire equation is meant to bring forward the Great Commission, which is the belief that Jesus gave them a duty to evangelize the whole world.


So how to avoid this frame-lock? How to avoid being snared and leave them unable to continue? We have to look at the vicious circle that occurs when they have just a little information.

1) Aggression: from the evangelist.

2) Resentment or defensiveness: from the “sinner”.

3) Rebellion: from the “sinner”.

The whole circle is a loop in which they seek to keep the mark unbalanced. The aggression from the evangelist will take form of questions, accusations, and misinformation or mythology about factions or groups that are commonly held within the evangelical subculture. When they know what you are or what you believe in, they will push in that direction.

Ways to counter frame-lock

Remember the entire loop is based on getting you to go on the defensive, and to valorize their worldview. You must deny them this by denying them the point on which they are focused.

When they attack your identity, keep in mind that they will focus on it, until they get a “confession” of information. The best way to deter them is to not deter them at all, but to evade their question continuously.

Be careful as they will not deter so easily, they will use questions, boasts and taunts to get you to volunteer information and therefore locking you in their framework. In their minds, they believe that you owe them this information.

Since you cannot block their aggression, you can only redirect their approach or answer only with answers that are meant to reflect back on them. By doing so, you remove the resentment and the rebellion phase, keeping your mind calm and ready.

One should note, that denying this often makes them even more aggressive and therefore unbalanced. Hence they can fall for clever traps, word-play and puns. Hence, one is able to turn the circle against them and they stumble, making their attempts at putting a hold on you ineffective.

See Also

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