Saturday, June 17, 2006Hi! Yo! Silver! Away!!!
Yep, I "lone rangered" tonight. My pastor has been away all week, so it was up to me to carry on with our Friday night street evangelism. I laboured for a good three hours; half of that time actually street preaching, the other half I distributed Bible tracts and walked around with a Gospel sign.
It was quite a night. The marketplace was buzzing with activity tonight. I was thanked, mocked, questioned, insulted, blessed and cursed. It was a truly a night of contrasts. I was quite nervous when I first went out (because I was by myself) but Lord be praised, I was kept safe and sound throughout the night. No violence, no threats whatsoever.
I have to say though, there really is an intimidation factor to deal with when I go out preaching alone. It really is me vs. THE WORLD!!! Now most of the time, I go out with only one other man, but there is a good measure of comfort in knowing that there is another soul around that is with you. It wasn't so tonight. I remember walking through an alley tonight with the Gospel sign... hundreds of people all around... all of them staring at me... most laughing and mocking... others with perplexed looks on their faces... I really felt... small.
Anyway, alot has happened tonight (and I mean A LOT). There is no way I can summarize it all, so I'll share with you a few events of the night:
On my way to the marketplace, I walked passed a Romanist building. On the front lawn, there was a man fixing up some flowers which circled an abominable "virgin-mary-idol".
"Excuse me sir," I started, "I have a question about that statue you are working around... can you read a Bible verse for me?"
I pulled out my Bible and turned to Exodus 20:4-5. The man read the verses and when he was done I said:
"Are these verses not clearly saying that you shouldn't be using ANY IMAGES for the purpose of worship?"
"Yeah, I see what you are saying," the man began, "but..."
The man then began to make all sorts of excuses why it was good for him to pray and worship in front of Romanist images, despite the clear teaching of the Second Commandment of Moses (which he, in no uncertain terms, confessed was actually saying he shouldn't make or make use of any graven images). So in summary, the man agreed that in God's Word, there was indeed a passage teaching that making graven images for the purpose of worship was an abomination, but in the end, it didn't matter, because he believes it is still profitable.
The man was effectively saying: "I know what God says, but I know better."
I dealt with yet another Romanist tonight. His name was Michael and he made it clear that he believed was I was doing was 100% right (my street evangelism). Afterwards, he declared:
"I'm a catholic, so I'm Christian."
"Really?" I said. "Tell me, do you know what the Second Commandment of Moses says, my friend?"
He wasn't too certain, so I re-opened my Bible, and showed him the exact same passage in Exodus. After reading the commandment, he said:
"Oh yeah! I remember that. I asked my priest about that and he said that it was okay to use images as long as it helped us remember God and His people."
"Well, that's sounds nice, Michael," I said, "but God in the commandment you just read said DON"T MAKE THE IMAGES. He doesn't say DON"T MAKE IMAGES, BUT IT'S OKAY IF THEY HELP YOU REMEMBER GOD AND HIS PEOPLE!"
He saw my point, and agreed that he had probably taken his priest's "explanation" a little too hastily. I gave him a Bible tract with our church address on the back. He said he might come out to one of our meetings.
Three guys walked passed me as I was holding the Gospel sign by the side of the road. They mocked me with extreme vulgarity, and walked away. Seconds later, the guys are back:
"Rand?" one the the men inquires. "Do you remember me?"
"Sorry friend, I don't." I answered.
The second he said his name, I recognized him. He was a little boy I babysat from time to time in my home town.
"What are you up to, Andrew?" I inquired.
"Oh, we're going to an Irish pub here in the market," he answered embarrassingly.
Feeling quite embarrassed at how he had treated me before he recognized me, and feeling doubly embarrassed at admitting that he was up to no good, he asked me where my church was again and said he would try to make it out soon. After this, he took off with his friends.
I won't be holding my breath, but I really hope the-now-not-so-little-Andrew will come to church. It would sadden me to think of him wasting his life away in alcoholism, in the company of friends that curse all things holy.
That's it, I'm too tired to type anymore. I have a lot more to say, but it'll have to be for another day. I'm off to bed now.
Good night, and God bless you all, dear readers,