Saturday, July 29, 2006

Surf City, USA

Wow. Today I went down to Huntington Beach, California. Ray Comfort and Scotty were doing some open air preaching. It is a very different thing to gather a crowd and preach than to speak one to one with someone. In open air preaching, one of the goals is to yell out some controversial stuff and get people to get all riled up. This draws hecklers and really draws a crowd. The one doing the yelling is usually too filled with pride to admit that the preaching makes sense. But, Ray pushes through and presents the gospel for the crowd that is standing around intensely listening.

I really saw a lot of filth today. This is basically a city that epitomizes the American Dream. This is California at it's finest. But, instead of beauty, there was lust. I saw every bit as much perversion here as I found at the West Hollywood Gay Pride Festival. As I stood close to Ray preaching, people openly spit and yelled at him. People's mouths were spewing forth curse words. I was standing there with my two daughters, who are no strangers to hearing responses from non-believers. But, people had no leash on their tongue even when people pointed out that their young ears were right there. One lady was told to stop using the F word in front of my kids and she burst into a fit that would make a sailor with Tourette's Syndrome blush.

I backed up a little to hang out around the periphory. I got to hear people walk by, listen to literally five seconds of Ray, and burst out with the F-word aimed at him. I heard many people walking away talking about what a jerk he was for standing up there and speaking. People didn't just disagree with his opinion and respect it, they openly attacked it. Their vitriol against the intolerance of the Christian message was self-refuting.

One guy who was taking a lot of pictures was telling me that Ray's narrow minded, in a small box, version of God was totally wrong. I said, "So your version is correct then." "Yes", he said, Ray won't even debate him anymore because he is too smart. "Ray can't handle it, and just stops talking with me". Wow. So he went on to tell me that I don't follow the bible and that I believe in a cruel God who just sends innocent people on remote islands to hell just for His pleasure. I said, "That sure does sound cruel, if you think that people are all good. But, when you realize you are not good, I am not good, and the natives of this island of yours are not good either, and we all in fact deserve to be punished for the filth that comes out of our mouths. When you start from that perspective and then the fact that God would even save one of us is a testament to His mercy, then it starts to make more sense."

He said, "I need to stop talking now, as I want to get some more pictures." Uh, yeah.

In closing, boy, Ray and those guys could really use your prayers. He stood out there in the hot sun for two hours preaching his heart out to a bunch of kids that really weren't receptive. I thank God for his courage and his faithfulness. He really is an inspiration to me. I pray that the Lord gives me half of his zeal for the lost.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dru.. This is Chris. I was there and I agree with pretty much everything you described. There were these three guys standing there listening and they were encouraging the hecklers and even inciting others to knock Ray off the box he was standing on. The miracle I saw there was one of the guys girlfriends started listening and when her boyfriend tried to get her to leave she refused and kept listening. After about 15 minutes her boyfriend who was one of the hecklers finally talked her into leaving. She slowly turned around in total shock with conviction written all over her face. Me and her made eye contact as I passed her a gospel tract as she walked away. I know that she was moved by Rays message and I've been praying for her today. This has brought me to tears. There was definitely a miracle that day. I saw it happen.

James Fletcher Baxter said...

"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision, for the day of the Lord is at hand in the valley of decision." Joel 3:14 KJV

The whole is the sum of its parts.

If you change a part you have a different whole.

"Choose ye this day..."

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to read the comment from Chris. That girl will likely continue to look back on that day and think about it. Maybe it will be from a point of repentance on this side rather than from regret on the other side. It certainly shows that even a hostile crowd is not a waste of time. The Holy Spirit does His work.

Dru Morgan said...

I certainly did not mean to insinuate that open air preaching was not worthwhile. I was just writing about my experience there. But, I think that the Holy Spirit uses those situations to touch the hearts of the people standing by watching the spectacle. Out of ten people yelling at Ray, there were a hundred more standing by listening to every word. God's word was definitely planted in the hearts of people there, and after the dust fell, many went home knowing the Truth, many of whom had probably never set foot in a church.

Anonymous said...

Dru said "I certainly did not mean to insinuate that open air preaching was not worthwhile".

Agreed. My comments were supportive rather than detracting. This is very encouraging.

I'm enjoying your blog here Dru. Thanks very much for posting this. I'll check back often.