Friday Night Notes
Saturday, May 28, 2011
the folly of vain and false religion...
It rained all day, but just around 6pm, the Lord put a stop to it; so Pastor Tim and I got the Bible signs out, and made our way downtown to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Despite the wet, cold weather the market was quite busy (far more than I would have expected)
. By God's grace, we were able to present the Gospel to hundreds of souls in just about three hours of open-air evangelism. The Lord use our efforts as he sees fit.
Sadly, there isn't a whole lot to report by way of positive outcomes to our preaching. There were a few kind souls that gladly received our literature, and I did have a short conversation with a young man who works at a restaurant just across our preaching spot (I believe he is a nominal Muslim... please pray that the Lord would use our weekly conversations to save him)
. Other than that, however, it was all pretty bad.
There are nights of evangelism when I really feel just how flagrantly we evangelists stick out, and how absolutely incomprehensible we are to the wicked world around us. People have one look at us and show forth perplexed faces, angry expressions, some curse and blaspheme, others mock and laugh at us. It always reminds me of the section of John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress":
"Now, Christian and Faithful, as I said, must needs go through this fair. Well, so they did; but as they entered into the fair, all the people were moved and the town itself, as it were, in a hubbub about them, and that for several reasons; for their garments were very different from the kind sold at the fair; their speech was also strange since they spoke the language of Canaan. But, most of all the pilgrims took no interest in the goods offered for sale. They would not even look at them, and when called upon to buy, they would put their fingers in their ears, and cry, Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity, and look upward, signifying that their trade and traffic were in heaven.
One trader mockingly said unto them, What will you buy? But they, looking gravely upon him, said, We buy the truth. At that the pilgrims were taunted and mocked and some even threatened to strike them."
The followers of false religions were out tonight, with all their hypocrisy in plain view. A young Muslim came by after reading my John 3:36
Bible sign. He immediately told me that he didn't believe Jesus was the Son of God, and wanted to know where that left him. I told him that left him under God's wrath. He disagreed, claiming God was going to save everyone. Then he walked back into the bar he had previously walked out of.
Moment later, both Pastor Tim and I had a wonderful time dealing with this very unhappy Romanist. What exactly was the source of his unhappiness? Why... us, of course! How dare we stand on street corners and preach the Gospel! He repeatedly asked if we thought we were better than the pope... LOL. He charged us with causing offense to other faiths by our preaching, a charge I gladly owned up to!"Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." (1 Peter 2:7-8)
On several occasions, both Pastor and I made it clear to this very angry man that we had no interest in arguing of fighting with him. If he didn't care much for our evangelism, then he would best just walk away. The man wasn't at all interested in letting things go, he was going to show us how wrong and foolish we were, and how the "great Catholic faith" was the only true way. Well, after a few minutes of listening to his folly, I pointed out that he was wearing a big idol around his neck (some kind of patron saint medallion),
and Pastor Tim pointed out that last week, when he last saw the man, he was so drunk he couldn't walk straight (yes, the man is a marketplace regular, often walking the streets drunk out of his mind)
. This infuriated the man who slowly, but surely started walking away, clearly angry at being called out for the hypocrite he was, but at the same time, too ashamed to stick around to defend himself. The Lord have mercy on the poor, lost soul.
Finally, before our night of evangelism came to an end, a group of young people walked by. Some were holding jars filled with lollipops, and all were wearing bright uniforms. They were all laughing at me, but one of them asked me if I would support "Shinerama". When I asked the fellow what "Shinerama" was, he replied it was a fund raising effort for the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
"I would love to give whatever change I have to the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation," I replied.
At that point, all the young people who had laughed at me, were obviously uncomfortable. I never looked at them, nor showed them up, I just gave roughly $2.50 in change that I had in my pocked and took 4 lollipops out of one of the jars they were carrying (one for each of my children)
. The young man I was dealing with thanked me, not once, but twice.
I found out, moments later, that people who donated to this "Shinerama" had their choice of a lollipop, a hug from one of the scantily clad women involved in the charity, or a condom. Yes, a condom. Those choices weren't explained to me. I wonder why?
How base our society has become. Even charity is now laced with immorality.
The Rapture can't get here fast enough!
Ps: A sister-in-the-Lord last week e-mailed me with a request that I be more careful in some of the language I use in writing my posts, especially in describing some of the immorality I see on any given Friday. I plan to be to do just that, but please, all of you who read my posts to your families or who post my writings in church lobbies: use some discretion. I see and hear alot of awful and evil things on any given Friday Night (believe me, many of you have no idea...)
. Some of it will come through in my writing. One way or another. Reader discretion is advised.
Labels: Friday evangelism
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Sorry for the delay, dear readers. I'm currently a long way from home, visiting family. Lord willing, I will be back at my post next week!
God bless you!
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, May 14, 2011
avoiding the rain... Wasn't sure if I'd be at my post tonight for our customary night of street evangelism. It had been a really busy week at work, Saturday would also be quite busy, and seasonal allergies was dragging me down. As if that wasn't enough, the weather forecast was calling for rain. By the dinner time however, with no raindrops falling, I called Pastor Tim and convinced him to go out preaching with me earlier than our usual time; that way, I'd be back home early enough to rest and recuperate, and by God's grace, we'd put in a few hours of evangelism before the rain arrived.
We got to our usual preaching spot around 6:30pm, and got to work, preaching the Gospel of Jesus and giving out Bible tracts. The marketplace was packed with people; without a doubt, the warm season is upon us! Thousands of souls walked passed us and our Bible signs, hearing or reading the Word of God. O that the Lord would save through the preaching of His Word tonight!"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
The first hour of evangelism was quite good, with many Christians coming by, offering kind words and encouragement. I recall one man driving by me in his car, rolling down his window and with a "thumb up" saying: "God bless you, my brother, keep up the good work!" Pastor Tim also received a number of hand shakes from souls obviously favourable to our efforts.
The second hour was a bit more challenging. Inevitably, the mockers and scorners came, offering everything from the one-finger-salute to loudly blaspheming the Lord and His Gospel with vile words. There were also the ungodly women, who despite the temperature barely touching 17 degrees Celsius (or 62 Fahrenheit)
, were out in short-shorts, and their breasts practically bursting out of their tiny, tight tops. The only two decently dressed women I dealt with tonight were nominal Muslims (no hijabs, lots of makeup, and definitely up to no good in the market)
, and they wasted my time trying to convince me of the merits of the Islamic faith (a faith they obviously didn't have much time for in any practical sense)
. What a mess.
Hour three was a bit of an improvement. I had a long conversation with two men; one a complete fool, the other seemed opened to the Scriptures. I did my best to ignore the nonsense ravings of the one, while answering the good and honest questions of the other. The curious and kind man's name was Michael. He took a Bible tract and apologized for the folly of his friend, and thanked me for speaking with him. I pray that the Lord will reveal Himself to Michael, if He wills.
As my conversation with Michael came to end, the rain started pouring. With three hours of street evangelism done, we made our way home. The Lord use our work as He sees fit.
On my way to catch the bus home, I saw and spoke to some brothers who were also preaching the Gospel downtown. These were the Open-Air Campaigners, an organized evangelistic group (sadly, fairly arminian)
who labour across Canada and the United States. The man who heads up this ministry in my city, Brother Layton, is a good man. Remember him and his friends in your prayers, dear saints.
Have a blessed weekend, and a glorious Lord's Day...
Labels: Friday evangelism
Hey brother! Good to see you were able to make it out there to share the Gospel despite the impending weather.
I will be praying for you on Friday nights while I am at work. I will set up a reminder on my work calendar.
God bless you Rand. And TM and the children also!
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, May 07, 2011
the cursed vanity fair...
It has been a difficult week, and I went into tonight's street preaching endeavour already spent and wearied. Knowing this, I thought it wise to focus as little as possible on my surroundings. "Just preach, offer tracts, answer questions," I thought, "no need to mind the mockery or any of the wickedness that will undoubtedly upset you." I gave up trying after our first half hour of evangelism.
I remember a church pastor joining Pastor Tim and I on one of our Friday nights of evangelism a few years back, and his concluding remark about the marketplace was: "Oh yeah, this is a hell hole." Well, it was, and I can confirm that it still is. There is so much evil spoken and done, that one feels like he is swimming through sin.
There were a couple of positive exchanges in the three hours we were out there preaching the Gospel, like receiving some encouragement from an old friend and handing out Gospel literature to kind souls, who were obviously interested. That being said, these were but a few rare pearls among a very large pile of oysters. Consider:
- Two young men wasted a good 10 minutes of my time, questioning me on everything from "Gay Marriage" to "Original Sin". I say the time was wasted because the young men were just trying to belittle the Faith; they had no interest in learning. Unable to resist my Biblical and logical answers, they kept switching subjects, trying to find fault in something, anything I said. After 10 minutes, I walked away.
- When Pastor Tim was preaching the Gospel, a man came out of a nearby restaurant and after hearing part of the good preacher's message, he turned to his woman and said: "For Christ's sake!" I quietly replied: "Exactly."
- Spring weather has arrived in our corner of the globe, which means that in my ungodly culture, the women skirts are going higher, and their tops are going lower. It's sad really, they no doubt do this to get attention... a means to feel valued and/or desired. Yet ultimately, no matter how you look at it, the practice is degrading.
- Two young men (though considering their behaviour, I'm not sure calling them "men" is accurate)
had fun destroying some of our Bible tracts. They kept walking by and whenever they got a chance to put their hands on some of our literature, in wound up ripped and thrown to the ground. They were around all night and were a real nuisance. They threatened us on a number of occasions, but never made good on their threats.
- As I made my way home after our work was done, I walked by a crowded bus stop where a couple of youths were pummeling and kicking a man lying on the ground, doing his best to protect himself. By the time I saw was going on, the men walked away, no doubt knowing that the authorities would soon be coming. It all looked gang related; territory, drugs, owed money... any of these were probably the cause of the violence. What a mess."And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." (Galatians 6:9)
I'm doing my best, but it sure is hard not to be weary, and not faint. The Lord help me.
God bless you, dear readers.
Labels: Friday evangelism