I told you I thought this would be a humbling experience and it was. Not because of the people we talked to, but because I was not able to start a single conversation with anyone. Perhaps it was my shyness, I know that was a part of it. Perhaps it was some kind of pride that I had or feeling of worrying about what other people thought of me. Whatever it is it has to go. We are going back out Sunday and hopfully I'll be a little more bold.
Anyway I did fine with talking to people once the conversation was started by Jeff. It was a blessing to go with him. He was able to push me out of my comfort zone and that was good.
We talked to one guy who was giving out documentaries about how 9/11 was caused by the government (they planted a bomb in the twin towers and it blew up internally) I told him that I promise I would watch his documentary if he would watch The Biggest Question. He said he would and hopefully he will. He talked a lot about how evil the government was and I tried to ask him where he thought that evil originated from and he went off into such a fog that I couldn't understand what he was saying. Anyway he believed that Jesus came to set us free...from the government of course. We shared the Gospel with him but I'm not sure we had much of an impact, but hopefully he will watch The Biggest Question. He was very polite and gentlemanly.
Jeff talked a little bit to a teenager who believed in reincarnation. His mom came up and they left. Jeff gave him a tract but he gave it back when he left.
We also talked to a homeless man who said that he recieved Jesus as his saviour last year. He said he was listening to a street preacher and what he was saying pierced his heart and he knew that what he was saying was true. He said that he had read through the bible 4 times. He also said that he tried to go to church but was so confused by what people were telling him. (evangelical goobly-goop and some Pentecostal stuff that confused him as well.) We told him to keep studying his bible so that he could know what was true and what was not. He also said that he was having trouble with sin, he said that he tries so hard to be good, he tries to be respectful to woman and not lust in his heart and he tries to be good to other people but he keeps failing (he quoted Romans 7). We told him that God doesn't accept us because of how good we are but because of what Jesus did for us. We told him that he shouldn't try to do good to be a christian or to increase his standing with God but because Jesus was so kind to save him he should obey out of love for what he did. We told him that no one is perfect and Christians still sin (tried to explain sanctification.) We prayed for him--we couldn't give him The Biggest Question with him being homeless and all, but I hope that we helped him some. I wish I would have thought to give him the name of our church or another one that he could go to and get biblical council and teaching.
It just made me think of all the people out there looking for answers, the Christians looking to grow, the heathen wondering what happens when they die, and they go into church and get mixed messages and confusion. We need to have our doctrine down and have it clear. This homeless man could care less how cool the worship music is, or how relevant the preacher is. This guy is looking for answers, he wants to know why he still sins as a Christian, he wants to know how he was able to get the Holy Spirit so he could stop sinning (he was told he had to tarry for it, whatever that means).
We had short conversations with other people and handed out The Biggest Question.
There were several of these street preachers out on street corners preaching away. Not all were this way, well actually I just felt this way about one group in Pritchard Park, but I stopped and listened to them for a while and it confused me to death so I know that the other people there weren't getting anything. Perhaps I'm wrong, but although the things they were saying were true, I got the feeling that I get when I watch a Westboro Baptist protest. I know that these people were well intentioned but the feeling I got from them was anger, I know that the unsaved thought that too. I listened to the comments made by people walking by or standing and listening, and it was all negative and hateful. (of course this will happen any time you preach the Gospel). Even the 5 or 6 or more police officers that were there to keep peace were mocking the preachers amongst themselves. I'm not saying that method of preaching is bad, it can be done very well and I didn't get this feeling about the other preachers that were there but this one group gave off that feeling and I'm not sure why.
These are old pictures from a few years ago, I didn't take them.
Apparently every year these preachers get assaulted and hippies get arrested.
Everyone we talked to commented on how much more polite and nice we were than "those guys in the park". Now we didn't sugar coat anything, we told them they were sinners and we told them about hell. I take it as a compliment that we were "better protesters than those other guys".