Saturday, September 04, 2004you KNOW the devil is on you when...
We are part of a small fellowship, a church planting endeavor from another church about an hour away. My pastor has been laboring for the establishment of this work for over a decade. And when I say "labor", I mean LABOR! The man works full time to support himself, he counts HOURS of open-air evangelism and he prepares 4 sermons a week.
Through his many years of toiling, slowly, people are beginning to take notice of our little fellowship. Well...it would seem the devil doesn't like that idea, listen to this story:
Couple of months back, we received word that another Baptist church in town was going through a pretty nasty split. The split occurred of differences between the pastor and the associate-pastor. We were told that the whole sad story was pretty carnal.
So the people who left that church formed a home church (just like "my" church), and they decided to name their church the same name as "my" church. My pastor appealed to these people that it would be confusing to have 2 home church-planting works, with the exact same name, in the exact same city. The answer amounted to: "Well...that's just tough!"
Now that isn't my gripe (I'm more mature than that). My gripe is this: yesterday, on the front page of one of the most popular and widely distributed newpapers in the city:
"The Church, The Police and the Pedophile"
Yep, you guessed it, the associate pastor who had caused the split and had started a work like ours (with the same name I remind you) is a convicted child rapist. Yay!
Now, imagine being Rand for a second.
Yesterday, Rand was preparing to go out into the city marketplace to do open-air evangelism. By nature, Rand is pretty nervous (not to say petrified) about such evangelistic efforts but he feels it's biblical and important, so he goes. But you see, added to the stress of having people mocking/jeering/hating him for the Gospel's sake, now he has to prepare for questions like:
"Hey! isn't that the pedophile's church?"
I know, I know, if this is happening, then it's in the Lord's perfect design and will. But man! Adversity I got, how I would love to have, as Paul said "a great and effectual door opened unto me" with it!
Friday Night Notes: Preached in the Market for about 3 hours. We had a good conversation with a woman named Cathy. I gave her a Bible and she promised she's read the Gospel of John. Please pray for her. I also met the pastor who married my wife and I. He was out for a walk with his wife. It was nice seeing him again. All and all, it was a good, quiet night. I thank the Lord for the opportunity to serve and for His continued protection.