Saturday, 8 November, 2008
As I sat in my study this afternoon, I couldn’t help but notice the fact that way out across the western skyline there was a band of long dark storm clouds, this is never an encouraging sign when you do street evangelism. So I quickly logged onto the internet and checked out the weather, and all this did was confirm my thoughts, we were in for a wet night in Brisbane city.
Since rain was inbound, I thought it wise to go check the back of my car to see if we had umbrellas and a tarp to cover our stuff. Wet weather evangelism, never fun, but the gospel will still go forth.
As I arrived in Brisbane the heavens began to open up and some light rain began to fall, while it wasn’t enough to stop anything, it was enough to be annoying. So we took shelter under the local buss stop, and it was there that we held our time of Bible reading and team prayer.
As 9pm rolled around we headed up the Queen Street Mall, which was now being hammered hard by rain, but we set up anyway, and decided that we would preach under umbrellas, which is quite hard as you can’t hear anything a heckler says.
People generally stop when a preacher is preaching in the rain, as they want to know why some bloke is standing in the wet talking, and since both sides of the mall are undercover people can stand in the dry to listen.
Andrew Hsu was the first preacher up for the night, he preached a long but solid message, expounding on the holiness of God and His demands. During the time a couple of hecklers yelled out, but due to the rain it was near on impossible to make out what they actually said.
While, Andrew was preaching there were may tracts being handed out, and also many one to one conversations occurring. People seemed to want to know about why the preacher was standing in the rain and what he was saying.
After Hsusy finished preaching, we spent some time just doing one to one and tract work. This was a beneficial time as many people were interested in talking. After doing this for some time, we put Ryan up to continue the preaching for the night.
Then, while Ryan was preaching in the pouring rain something strange began to happen… hecklers began to emerge from the safety of the dry and started to heckle. “THERE IS NO GOD!” Yelled Alex the agnostic, “JESUS COPIED HORUS!” He yelled again. Riley was also in the mix, but was a little bit more subdued that Alex, “Evolution is a fact, you are brainwashed” he chimed into the discussion. Ryan held his ground and proceeded to dismantle the arguments as presented by the atheists.
This week we had to focus more on attacking in the intellect, and show that Christianity is not just based on emotions. The reason for this was because two weeks ago, two Pentecostals came to where were preaching, and began to tell all the atheists about a miracle that God had just done. One of them claimed to have been bushwalking, and while bushwalking a black snake came out of the scrub and bit him on the leg. Both of them claimed to have seen this snake, and as evidence of the bite, they showed us the marks on his leg. My advice was to go to the hospital, but they refused as they were claiming their healing by “faith”. They went from person to person and told this tale of the snake and the healing. All the atheists came up to ask afterwards and asked if they were serious or not, all I could do was point out they weren’t with us, and that I had advised them to seek medical attention.
This display of “miraculous” healing is something that set back the Christian cause, as it makes us all look like a bunch of kooks, now don’t get me wrong, I believe that God heals, but, to run around saying “This proves God exists” is rather silly, as you don’t see any biblical precedent for it.
Anyway, this week they both returned, and one of them (not the one who claimed to have been bitten) came up to me, and said that they had been to the doctors and they told him about the snake bite, upon examination the doctor said that the mark was from a leech not a snake bite, and that the “symptoms” he experienced were nothing more than psychological. Well, didn’t the atheists have a laugh at this, and I must admit I found it rather amusing as well. So, I questioned them about it, and asked them to explain how come they both claimed to have seen the snake latch onto him. The reply they gave was “See our eyes can fool us!” Instead of just admitting to lying about the incident they proceeded to justify their sin, and last time I checked a leech and a snake look completely different.
The reason I include this in the weekly report is because one of them decided to get into a screaming match at Alex, and at one point began to try and cast out demons from him. Now, if an atheist or someone from any other religion said or did something wrong, I would go after them, and it is no different when a professing Christian does it also. So I broke them up, apologized to the atheists and pointed out that he is not with us. Which they accepted. Then, I turned my attention to the professing Christian and spoke to him from Romans 2. The sad thing is he refused to listen and even said “Don’t reason with me from the Scripture!” He was basing his argument on “the spirit rising up” within him. The problem is, what he was doing and the conduct he was showing was not something a spirit filled Christian would do. He refused the rebuke and left raging.
So once again, I wish to extend an apology to Alex, Riley and any other atheist who had the misfortune to have to deal with this man. Let me stress that what he portrayed is not biblical Christianity.
The rest of the night was spent handing out tracts and talking to people, all in all it was a good night, with many people hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ.