Friday, October 20, 2006

Stand Up - Speak Up - Shut Up

Well, two out of three aint bad. Tonight we had a great heckler. He got so agitated he spun himself into a fury that drew at least a hundred people over to see if he was going to blow up. It was great. A good heckler will stand up (not be scared), speak up (so the crowd can hear and be interested), and then shut up (so we can preach the gospel to everyone). Well, we need to train our heckler a little better because he really didn't want to stop speaking once he got a taste of it.

Tony was taking a young lady through the "Good Test" and in the middle of it, this guy started yelling about which Bible we were using, and how did we justify forcing our opinions on everyone. Interesting, as he was the one yelling his opinion at us. We kept an eye out for safety, as you never really know what someone is capable of. As the crowd grew, and Tony was speaking over him to make sure everyone heard the complete gospel, I started to engage this guy. I gave him the attention he wanted, and spoke softly. He came over to me so I could hear him, and I kept speaking to him moving to the side of the crowd. He followed and I ended up having a great conversation with him and his friends. One young lady whose first language was Greek said she moved over to Buddhism from Christianity, as she felt that even though she respected Jesus, she thought we all were going to have to suffer for our own mistakes. She and I saw eye to eye a little better than her heckler friend. She was able to keep him calm enough to hear me present the Gospel one more time calmly and completely. I left them shaking hands and pleading with them to consider letting Jesus pay for their sin rather than stand before a God who is angry at sin. The Bible doesn't say, "If you make mistakes, you will come back in the next life as a dishwasher so you can learn your lesson." It says that it is appointed ONCE for man to die, and then comes judgment.

As I looked up, I noticed that out of the hundred people that got to hear Tony open air preach, at least thirty or so were still around engaging those in our group in one to one conversations. I heard at the end that we passed out over five hundred gospel tracts and got bibles into the hands of many who asked.

Some other happenings of note: Spencer, who is sixteen, pictured here, got up on the box and preached to the crowd for the very first time. This is a kid who is not allowed to drive after 11pm due to California law and needed to get driven home, but was out here brave enough to preach the Gospel to a crowd of people he doesn't know. I thank God for his heart and his boldness. It is a tough skill to get up and draw a crowd and keep them standing there engaged while you present the Law and Grace.

Also, the Scientologists were next to us again. This time I engaged them very politely. They were a couple that had started into Scientology in 1974, and were very deep into it at OT3, if you know what that means. I asked them about Xenu and they feigned ignorance. I would have respected them more if they admitted knowing what I was talking about and told me it was a lie. But, they kept saying that they had no idea what I was referring to. Basically, the Xenu story explains the origins of their religion and explains that Judaism and Christianity were made up to trick people. Since they didn't admit to that story, and they contended that Scientology did not negate the possibility of Christianity being true, I explained quickly about the Law of God and His grace, and I left them with a detailed tract that they could read afterward. They were very nice and we said we would speak again if I see them in a few weeks.

Tonight, Ian and his wife got the microphone and recorded a one to one conversation with a couple who were professing Christians. They asked them how they would explain the gospel to someone who had never heard it. Listen for yourself to see how it turned out.

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