As I made my way into the city I couldn’t help but wonder if tonight was going to be the night that I get seriously injured. The reason for this thought was not because I had experienced some strange prophecy or because I had feelings, but rather it was because the week previous a young Muslim man came in with a couple of his mates. For the most part they were loud, hostile, but yet non-violent. However at the end of the night one of them went to pull a knife on me. He left with a promise that he would be back the following week with a gang to take me down. Ahh… the religion of “peace”.
David and I were both on the look out, but by God’s grace nothing major happened from these jihad wannabes, in fact the Muslim gang was as scarce as a pork chop in Mecca. There was no sign or Allah Akbar from them.
Now that isn’t to say the night was boring, far from it. Instead of Afghani teenage terrorists we had loud mouthed drunk atheists. While Ryan was preaching this one rough looking bloke came up and began to scream and curse. Normally hecklers like this are golden as they draw a crowd, however, this guy would yell, rant and rave but then walk away and start ranting to the crowd. So after Ryan tried to deal with him in the open air, I thought it wise to go talk to him one to one.
The drunk atheist got in my face and began yelling at me. As he yelled I found myself being covered in spit and chewed up dinner, but apart from that he wasn’t too bad. It turns out that this man had some deep hurts. His mother had died recently and his wife was tragically killed in a car accident. He wanted to know why God allowed death and suffering. When I tried to answer he just became more hostile, so I said to him, “You don’t really want an answer do you?” To which he agreed, he was just after someone to blame and God seemed like a good scapegoat. He then said Christianity didn’t have any answers and walked away calling me a coward. A title that confused me, since I was the one who came up to him and tried to answer his questions, and he is now walking away. I guess that makes one a coward…
The rest of the night was fairly tame. Ryan preached, Dave preached and Blake preached. There wasn’t much more heckling, but there were some great one to ones.
To God Be the Glory!
Saturday, 12th June, 2010
I was running late for the city tonight, but Ryan was able to cover me. Upon arrival, I found that we had a serious preaching problem. Normally we need three preachers to get us through the night, but this night we only had two. Blake had lost his voice so was unable to preach. But by God’s grace Ryan and I would be able to preach through the night.
After a bit of a discussion Ryan got up first and began to preach. Following the usual outline, Ryan preached and Wayne heckled.
Saturday, 29th May 2010
David Gee and I shared a good time of fellowship as we made our way into Brisbane city for the night of witnessing. Unfortunately we missed the team prayer and bible reading due to delays, but we were able to meet with the team at 9pm.
We were aware that once again the Brisbane Atheists were planning to visit us, it was just interesting to see that they have dwindled in numbers over the past few months. There was a time when there were many of them swamping us at once, now there only seems to be about four joining for the heckle-fest. I was disappointed to see that Steve their leader was not present and neither was the former “Christian” both of whom have shown themselves to be very close minded when claiming to be open. I am looking forward to talking to them again to see why Steve hasn’t contacted me in order to examine evidence for God (as he said he would) and to see why the former “Christian” destroyed a DVD when he promised to view it. One would almost think they are not interested in being free-thinkers.
So here is the scene. We are setting up and getting ready to preach, and then strolling up towards us was Alex and his merry men. They were looking for a heckle and we were willing to try and answer their questions.
The first preacher up was Blake, he started by presenting Christ and what He did on the cross for sinners. Before long some Muslims (two of which were homosexual) began to heckle, but as usual, when challenged they left.
Now it was time for Alex to enter the fray.
As usual he led in with his denouncing of all things related to God, although I am yet to see how by just asserting that we are lying and that there is no God actually proves his case. He began his usual tirade claiming that 1 plus negative 1 equals nothing, and that somehow proves there is no God. I for one am confused, that if we have to add something to get nothing, then surely there was something to begin with.
Alex then began to misrepresent Christianity by claiming that we believe the world was created by magic by some cosmic magician. To this comment his atheist mates laughed. But, I didn’t hear a rebuttal to what Ryan Hemelaar called out. Ryan called out to Alex, “At least we have a first cause, you have the world coming about by magic, but with no magician.”
Alex once again turned his attention to Blake and began to heckle more. Normally involving much insult and very little intellect. Alex then pulled out his argument against Blake, “You haven’t study science so you cannot argue science.” To which we asked Alex if he has study science, he replied by saying, “A scientist is one who uses scientific method to reach a conclusion.” That was his argument to justify his ability to use science, when asked if that same definition extended to Christians he refused to answer. And just for the records. The atheists claim that I used this argument on Alex, saying that since he isn’t a scientist he can’t argue science. I never would use such an argument. He was the one which entered that line of reasoning into the discussion not us. And if you atheists still don’t believe me, I am sure the audio recording of the open air will show testimony to the fact that it was Alex who argues that way.
Somehow Alex ended up in a discussion with Ryan, Bekk and I. Once again he was arguing his 1 plus negative 1 equals nothing. But he is never fully able to explain it. He then changed arguments to include monkeys. He then went on about seeing evidence for and against monkeys in a crate and then concluding by subtract the anti-monkey from the monkey we can say there were no monkeys. At this point I was just stuck on the absurdity of the anti-monkey.
Alex during this time made a boast that within 100 years Christianity would be wiped out. And later in the night he hinted that violent force may be used by the atheists to achieve that end. That should make for interesting listening if and when we make available the audio for download.
It was around this time that the atheists decided it was beer o’clock, so they headed off to get some grog.
Blake finished up his preaching then it was time for Ryan to preach. He did a fairly short stint tonight and in his 30 minute preach he didn’t seem to get any really decent hecklers. But he did do a great job of preaching the Gospel.
After Ryan finished preaching, it was my turn to preach. So I stood up and began to proclaim the gospel. As I did from up the mall came Alex and his merry men again (this time even more merry as they had just boozed up).
Alex and another atheist (I believe his name was Steve, if not sorry) began to heckle. Steve asked a good question to which I answered and asked him a question, but before he could answer, Alex came running in to think for him. I had to keep Alex from answering for Steve. It must be that Alex doesn’t think Steve is capable for thinking for himself.
Some of the questions thrown at Steve he couldn’t answer, so once again Alex would jump in and begin to speak. Then he asked a question which he claims knocks out the Bible (he has even made a YouTube video about it), the question he puts forward is, “If the Bible is true, why are there only marsupials here in Australia and not anywhere else in the world? How did they get here?”
My answer first was, “How do you know they are only in Australia? And, they could have gotten here by two means, first migration or they could have gotten here the same way the cane toad did. And that is by people bringing them.”
To my answer Alex just laughed and mocked. I knew Australia was not the only place marsupials were found, so decided to call out David Gee, who is a veterinarian doctor and asked him where else they are found. Dave told the crowd and Alex that marsupials are found also in Papua New Guinea and South America. Plus just because we don’t see them in other parts of the world doesn’t prove they weren’t there before (for instance lions in some parts of middle east and Europe etc).
Dave produced evidence, but would Alex concede? NO! He changed arguments but wouldn’t admit he was wrong. His whole argument, and his whole premise for attacking Christianity was built upon a misunderstanding, if he had done a little bit of research he would have found out he was mistaken. But an atheist isn’t interested in fact, they are interested in suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. They are interested in hiding behind any false argument in order so that they don’t have to acknowledge the Sovereign God who rules over them.
It was approaching midnight at this stage so I wrapped up the open air by preaching the Gospel once again. The atheists need to hear this message as does anyone else. Christ Jesus died in the place of sinners, He suffered the death that we deserve, then three days later He arose again from the dead, and now He can offer forgiveness of sin to all those who would seek Christ with a repentant heart and trust in His finished work on the cross.
Praise God for the Gospel and Praise God for the honour of being able to proclaim it.
Saturday, 5th June 2010
Another great night and yet another chance to make Christ known. The team rallied as per usual in King George Square for a time of prayer, Bible reading and fellowship. At 9pm we made out way up to the Queen Street Mall where we began to get ready for the night of preaching. We were a bit delayed in setting up the Bible table etc tonight, so we didn’t start preaching until 9:30pm.
Andre was the first preacher up and he did a great job in proclaiming Christ. Soon in to his open air he had a large crowd and a few good hecklers. The heckling centred around the biblical teaching of wives submitting to their husbands and women preaching in the church.
Andre tried to answer their questions but the hecklers wouldn’t listen. By now two very vocal feminists were going nuts claiming the Bible supported treating women as second class citizens and that it supports the rape of a parents daughter.
By now Andre’s voice was going so he tagged me in. I immediately called out the most vocal feminist and insisted she bring some support to her claims. She couldn’t and even admitted to not knowing the Bible. So I asked her, how do you know the Bible says these things if you don’t know the book?
I then swung it around and explained how the Bible commands men to treat their wives. And I used (as Paul does) the example of Christ laying down His life for His bride. Well they didn’t like that, they got even angrier and maintained that we treated women as sub-human. Yet, whenever I would show them from the Scripture their error they would just move to another ill-informed argument.
By now one Asian feminist was screaming hate at me, and saying, “Give me a bible, it supports rape of daughters!” So we gave her a Bible and asked her to show us. She was referencing Lot and his daughters in Genesis, but she couldn’t find it. One of the team came over and helped her find the verse. She then started to claim victory so I asked her to read it to the crowd. As she did the crowd erupted saying, “See, rape is OK according to the Bible, men rape women!” The problem is they didn’t know the text very well.
I replied by saying, just because something is in the Bible doesn’t mean it is allowed. For instance God records David committing adultery, it records the sin and failings of people. Just because it does that doesn’t give one permission to do it.
Then I asked a question to a really vocal feminist who was trying to whip the crowd into a frenzy. “Let me put a scenario to you. If someone goes to a pub and gets another person drunk and makes it so they are out of it. Then that person has sex with the person who is drunk and not with it, are they guilty of rape?” The woman yelled the person who does that is a rapist! So I asked, “Should the victim be called a rapist and blamed for it?” She yelled NO! Then I pointed to the text to show that Lot wasn’t the one raping, but rather it was the daughters that got him drunk and then slept with him. I asked her who was the rapist in that situation? She stormed off.
Another man took up the heckling maintain that we were in error. This time he argued that the Bible is full of contradictions, to which I asked him to show me just one. He couldn’t, but maintained that he had been informed that there were errors, but he had never read the Bible. I asked him to show proof for his claims, but he just said, “Educated people said it, so I believe it.” I pointed out that educated people would disagree, so would he believe them, he said he wouldn’t as those that believe the Bible have a bias. To which I answered, so do those that don’t believe. He was fairly silent after that, but I wouldn’t let him go.
I kept targeting his central argument and used that as a springboard to preach the gospel. By the end the man looked like he was wanting to get out of there. But, I think it was clearly demonstrated that Christianity has the answers to the questions people ask.
I’d been preaching for about 90 minutes when I decided to wrap it up and hand it over to Blake. Blake then proceeded to preach for a further thirty minutes and mopped up the last hecklers. It must be said that Blake is becoming a brilliant preacher, he is growing in confidence and he deals very well with hecklers.
Praise God for an awesome evening.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Once again we faced the cold, oh joys of evangelism in winter. But, we had a big team and we were ready to reach as many as possible with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
My plan for the night was not to open air preach, my reasoning behind this was because for the past week I had been battling a cold. So I thought, I’ll just hand out tracts and talk to people.
The first preacher up for the night was Alex, as he preached three teenage girls began to heckle. But they were poor hecklers, they would just talk about random things, not engage the preacher and generally just be a nuisance. Alex engaged them on a one to one basis while Ryan took over the preaching.
As Ryan preached, Wayne began to heckle. As usual the arguments of Wayne were built of a false understanding of Christianity. He quite regularly tries to argue, but the problem is he doesn’t understand the reformed evangelical position.
Once Ryan finished preaching Alex got back up and preached some more. He did a good job in engaging with people and presenting Jesus Christ. One thing I love about the preaching of Alex is that he will engage in apologetics and also the gospel. This proves to be very fruitful in the open air.
After Alex finished preaching, Blake jumped up and began to thunder out the Gospel. A few people stopped to listen as for about 40 minutes he expounded on who Christ is and what He has done.
By the time he stood down, it was about 11:20pm, so John got up to preach. Wayne circled in and began to heckle. At some points it appeared as if John was about to be swamped, so I tagged in and began to engage Wayne.
Wayne was taking issue with the doctrine of original sin, so I began to explain the biblical position on human depravity, at this some hecklers who had been hanging out all night began to fire. One of them was a young man in really tight red jeans and the other was a young woman who claimed to be a nurse. The one claiming to be a nurse became very hostile and was threatening to hit me, it took a few of her friends to physically drag her away from me. Red pants continued his heckling, but couldn’t answer the gospel.
By now we were pushing midnight so I wrapped up and then engaged in one to one. The first person I spoke to was a solider, and it turns out he is a pastors son. He admitted that he was running and needed to come back to the truth. I spoke to him for some time and left him with a gospel tract.
Please pray for him.
Soli Deo Gloria!
A nice western breeze was blowing as we prepared for our weekly outreach. The city seemed fairly busy, which was kind of surprising since it was a fairly cold night. We met as per usual and we had a time of team prayer and bible reading. When 9pm rolled around we found ourselves setting up in the Queen Street Mall.
As I looked around at the team, I couldn’t help but notice that we were a few preachers short tonight. My mind was telling me that there was no way in which only 3 of us could preach the full three hours in the cold. But, we trusted that God would work despite the shortage of workers.
Ryan Hemelaar was the first man up for the night, and I was a bit surprised when he only preached for about 20 to 30 minutes. Normally he is much longer, but obviously God only willed for him to preach that long.
During his time of preaching he was able to deal with some interesting heckles and each time he was able to swing the questions back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
After Ryan finished preaching it was my turn to preach. I began by dealing with the issue of death and why we die. Very quickly I had some hecklers.
One of the hecklers was a really scruffy looking man and his wife. There issue was one of murder and abortion. As they heckled they soon began to ask about if abortion was a sin or not. I answered them that it was, but they didn’t like that. For the next two hours they stood and argued over the issue of baby murder.
During this time others hecklers arose, but the main reoccurring issue was that of abortion. Eventually for some reason homosexuality arose, and the ones that heckled me on it were claiming to be gay Christians. I pointed out from the Scripture that it was impossible to be gay and saved at the same time. But they didn’t care, and they openly said they didn’t believe the Bible (more fruits of them not being Christians).
At the end of the night there were many gospel conversations going on. God had been kind in bringing in a decent size crowd for the preaching.
As I finished preaching I found myself still in conversation with the woman who had admitted to 5 abortions. She then got really hostile and was threatening to attack the team. Her husband was furious and was saying how he was going to punch me out. It was at this we called the police, the couple soon left.
Please pray for him.
Soli Deo Gloria!
I was running late to the city tonight. The day had been made up of a church outreach and then sermon writing. So I found myself having to arrive in the city at 9pm. As I made my way to the city I felt strangely ill and even vomited a couple of times. I dismissed it as merely being tired and I once again focused on the outreach at hand.
The team arrived in the Queen Street Mall at the same time I did and we began to get ready for a good night of outreach. Blake was the first preacher up for the night and he did a good job on expounding the truth of the Gospel.
After Blake finished preaching I decided I should get up. I began on preaching on the frailty of human life and how we aren’t assured of tomorrow. Within seconds of beginning I had one woman begin to scream abuse. She then turned and tried to pull her pants down to flash us, but her partner dragged her away. It looked like we were in for an interesting night.
Shortly after this 5 young Muslim men began to stop and heckle. They were making the standard claims that there is only one version of the Koran and that the Bible has been changed. I quickly dealt with their objections and turned to the Gospel. After I explained salvation, they began to disagree saying that Jesus was never crucified (as the Koran teaches). I challenged them on the truthfulness of the Koran and they were adamant that Jesus never died, but rather Allah made someone appear as Jesus on the cross. To which I pointed out that Allah had deceived people, they readily agreed, then I made this statement which set them off, “If Allah deceived people then, doesn’t that make Allah a deceiver and one not to be trusted? If Allah deceived people then, how do you know you aren’t being deceived now?”
At that they went off onto to dogma and refused to engage in any more discussions. But hecklers beget hecklers and more arose to the challenge. This time the heckling gallery was made up of atheists / agnostics and a woman who claimed to be a Christian from an Assembly of God church. The atheists made the same claims as usual without any backing and many of them tried to attack the Scripture, but often times they actually didn’t know the very thing they were attacking. These hecklers did however produce some of the largest crowds we have seen for some time.
For about 90 minutes I preached and engaged the hecklers, then at the end I tagged Ryan in who continued with the discussion.
Ryan went on a preached for a while, and did a good job as usual. But, I must admit I didn’t pay overly much attention to him, since by now I was feeling fairly ill again and in need of a break.
As midnight rolled around I found myself feeling very ill and then Mr. Crazy Professing Christian entered in. He had been there all night but now he was engaging the hecklers. The problem is he wasn’t being biblical or factual, but rather he was making up arguments that were easily refuted. I challenged him on it and he refused to acknowledge anything I said, just kept saying, “I can say the same to you”. Those watching concluded that he was crazy and didn’t represent Christianity.
After this I headed home for a rest and also to continue the church work. All in all it was a great night. With many hearing the Gospel. SDG!
Soli Deo Gloria!
It’s hard to believe that is has been one month since last writing. Each week I sit down with the plan to type a report but normally church and ministry work take over. I do apologise to those who have been looking forward to the weekly reports. I will try to get this done more regularly. We have received an email from Alex the Atheist saying he misses his entertainment in reading the weekly reports. Well, we have had disappointments from Alex also, as the calibre of arguments coming from him for the atheistic front keep getting weaker and weaker, most time they are just this side of the outright absurd.
As the night of the first of May rolled around, I found myself quite tired, this was due to the fact that I had been out witnessing in Banyo for the church plant I pastor for the past two days, but it was good to have a change from the suburbs to the inner city. Dave Gee came to my place and from there we carpooled in. It was great sharing a ride with another believer, since we got to chat theology and apologetics. We were even able to predict the arguments that Alex and his atheist platoon would use later that night.
After a time of prayer and Bible reading, we made out way to the Queen Street Mall. Andre was the first preacher up and he did a splendid job. While Andre was preaching a man in a New South Wales state of origin jersey came up and tried to grab the Bible out of Andre’s hand, he then went to punch Andre in the stomach. I stepped in and told the bloke to clear off or we would get the police. After this God was kind to us and brought a good size crowd in to hear the gospel, but as usual the atheists showed up and tried to railroad the whole event in order to justify their sin.
Andre preached for awhile, then Ryan took over and began to deal with the atheists. We were surprised to see that there were less members of the Brisbane atheists out tonight, which in some ways was saddening, as I wanted to ask Steve the leader, why he never emailed me about a book that disproved his position on the Christian God. He did promise he would do it, but never did. I guess he wasn’t very open minded about the whole thing. Also, I was disappointed that another of the atheists did attend, he was a “former” Christian now an atheist. Last time I spoke to him, he said Richard Dawkin’s had convinced him, but he was unable to say what argument convinced him, or what disproved Christianity. Last time I spoke to him, he took a DVD looking at the other side of the debate, he left with a promise to watch it, but I have since found out that he binned it. Another atheist who is close minded and brain washed to his position. I just find it so hypocritical that they accuse Christians of not being free thinkers, yet they won’t ever look at opposing views.
Alex was running around yelling out abuse as he normally does, this time he seemed more hostile than usual and his arguments were worse than ever. This wasn’t just our opinion by Wayne the Agnostic stated this also.
At one point while Ryan was preaching, Alex was talking to a husband and wife about how the Bible was wrong. The lady said she was a Christian and the man said he was a Hindu. Alex was arguing that the Bible teaches that the world is flat. But, when challenged to present his evidence he tried to cite some Hebrew which actually disagrees with him. But being one who never lets facts get in the way of a good myth he pressed on. When challenged again on this issue, Alex quickly changed and tried to show that Behemoth of Job 40 actually shows the Bible in error. Sadly, his argument was all wrong from the beginning, first he misquoted the reference and then misquoted the verse. When he was challenged with this and shown to be in error did he concede? Not on your life!
Alex then started saying that the word “loins” when used of Behemoth only appeared in the NIV from 1978. He then maintained that before this time, it was in no Bible. However, if you would pick up a copy of the 1611 King James Version, you would see that the word “loins” appears in Job 40:16 when referencing Behemoth.
I confronted Alex with this argument, so he did what ever good atheist does when confront with facts, he walked away claiming victory. I’m sorry, but I was always led to believe that if you say something that is proven wrong, then you aren’t the victor, but rather you are the one in error. From this point on Alex became more hostile and angry. Next time he came up to me he shoved his finger into my chest a few times (I am sure he as a lawyer knows that constitutes assault). A few of those around later expressed concern that Alex may one day fly of the handle and hit people. I hope this isn’t the case.
Ryan was still preaching at this stage, and after failing to answer my questions Alex decided to heckle Ryan again. This time he said that Ryan could not argue science since he was not trained in science at university (for the record neither was Alex). When we called him out on his hypocrisy here, Alex said, “A scientist is one that uses scientific methods.” However, with that definition he shot himself in the foot, for he just allowed Ryan to argue science as a scientist.
At this stage the long hair atheist who is normally quite vile came running in. He said that we could not talk about science since we weren’t trained in it. But at that time Alex was talking about physics (which he was never trained in). So I asked him, “If one has to be trained in something to talk about it, then what right to they have to talk about theology and science, since they aren’t trained in it?” To which he replied, “This isn’t about me, don’t twist it!” Ahh…. Good to see the doubt standard of the atheists on display.
By now things must have gotten a bit hot for them, since they refused to engage Ryan’s arguments and they all walked off to go have a beer. This in an of itself is not unusual, but they normally return later in the night more vile than before. This time however, we didn’t see them again. Which is sad, since they still haven’t answered the questions before them, and screaming abuse doesn’t count as an answer.
The rest of the night went quite well, Ryan was able to expound the Gospel of Christ, as was Blake. They did a great job of explaining how despite all our sin, God is loving and kind in to send Christ to die on the cross for His people, but they didn’t finish there, they then went on to explain that Christ arose again and if you would repent and trust in Christ, you would not perish but have eternal life.
It was a good night, with much bad heckling. Please pray for the atheists.
Soli Deo Gloria!
For more photos from each outreach, view them on our Facebook page.
It is a strange and hard thing to pick up the pen (so to speak) and start writing again. In the months since my last report I have found myself being overrun with work. For those that don’t know, I have been appointed as a pastor at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church and that has consumed much of my time. But, each week I have been going out as usual and witnessing, the only difference is I haven’t had much time to sit down and write a report. God willing this will change and once again we will be able to bring you a weekly update.
The Easter weekend was a busy one, by the time Saturday night had rolled around, I had already preached 3 pulpit sermons and had 2 more to go. Since I was away preaching at a conference on “Preaching the Gospel in a Post-Christian Era” I found myself arriving late to Brisbane. I was very thankful to have David Gee cover for me and my lateness.
The city seemed to be rather busy when I arrived, this was to be expected since after all it was the long weekend for Easter. When I arrived the team was just handing out tracts and talking to people, but that soon changed. The box went down and up jumped Alex to preach the Gospel for the first time this night.
As Alex was preaching some really drunk hecklers, who lacked much intelligence began to hurl abuse. One of them used the fact that Alex wore glasses as a proof that God didn’t exist. Their arguments were so far beyond ignorant that much of what they said didn’t need a reply. After Alex dealt with them for about 30 minutes he tagged me in. Now I had the joy of dealing with these hecklers, with a voice that had been strained already.
For the next thirty minutes I dealt with their arguments and eventually a good size crowd gathered. I began to bounce of their heckles and use their views to show why the Gospel of Christ was true. Some more hecklers arrived on the scene who were nothing short of foul, but nevertheless we pushed on.
At the end of thirty minutes my voice was sore, so I tagged Dave in who then proceeded to engage the crowd with the Good news concerning Jesus Christ.
It was then that an interesting thing happened, we had a young atheist who was in the crowd actually start defending us. He began to make arguments that disproved his own world view. This interjection came as a shock to us and also to the hecklers.
While he was doing this, one not very lady like female began to grab Bibles and throw them in the bin. When I approached her and asked her not to do it, she in defiance threw more in there. I informed her that if she continued I would be forced to contact the police. She was rather brazen and said she didn’t care. What she didn’t realize was at that moment two plain clothes officers were walking up behind her. The police pulled her aside and told her to leave the mall, she wasn’t so tough now.
I spent the rest of the night talking to people and handing out tracts. Our friendly atheist was still defending us and hanging around. So a few of us got to talk to him about the Gospel.
As the night came to an end we had one atheist heckler who was going after Dave. His arguments were basic and we were able to answer him. After Dave stood down, the atheist continued to heckle, so I stepped in and showed that from his own arguments he was wrong. The man didn’t like that too much, so he changed tact. But his arguments kept destroying his own position. It was at that moment the fight erupted. It wasn’t a fight between him and us, but it was between him and a homosexual man. This man stopped and walked up to the atheist grabbed in a hug and then kissed him. The atheist responded in self defence and head-butted the guy. We quickly jumped in the middle and split up the warring groups. The police eventually arrived and the homosexual group legged it.
What a way to spend Easter Saturday, who knows what next week has in store.
Thursday, 31st December 2009
“I’m a Doctor in Physics and a Satanist! I hate your God, He isn’t real! Christianity is false!” These were but a few of the heckles that were thrown at me as I preached in King George Square. It is New Years Eve, so we decided to have a special outreach and to commence the night by preaching in the new square. I started off by using an amplifier, which aided my voice greatly, as it covered the whole square and many people were able to hear. The only thing was that this increased preaching volume also drew in people who wanted to destroy the source of this new found volume.
The one heckler who claimed to be a scientist initially tried to break the cord that connected the microphone to the amp. But that failed, so he tried to argue science with me. It soon became very clear that he had no idea what he was on about. When he was challenged in this area he quickly hid behind his Satanist card. When I began to quote the Satanic Bible and address the errors in it, he decided he had enough and legged it across the street.
By now I was preaching without an amplifier, this wasn’t too good since I strained my voice by switching between the two modes of delivery. After I finished preaching, I had a break as I could feel my voice beginning to hurt. During this time Ryan and David went about handing out tracts to the many hundreds of people in the Square for some ball.
As the night progressed we went about our regular preaching routine. We had a few open air preachers up through out the night, and as we evangelised we had the honour of handing out thousands of tracts to the people of Brisbane city. Also, during this time we found it possible to have many great conversations, as people were interested in talking about many issues. This we have found to be the trend over the past few years. Every new years eve seems to provide a time for people to reflect and talk about things done and their plan for the future.
As the new year was coming in people began to celebrate. Then about 30 minutes after midnight the crowds began to leave. So we formed a preaching line and began to share the gospel to the thousands of people in the mall. The basis of a preaching line is this, in a fast moving crowd, you may only have 30 seconds to a minute to preach, so we line up about 8 different preachers and each preacher does a one minute gospel. Then the next preacher takes over. This line just keep going around and around until everyone is exhausted. Which in our case proved to be about 1:30am.
Overall it was a great night and we had an awesome time proclaiming Christ as one year ended and a new one begins.
Saturday, 2nd January 2010
My voice was still hurting from the other night and I was still physically exhausted from the really late night of Thursday, but once again we headed into the Queen Street Mall to proclaim the gospel.
It came as no surprise to us, when we saw that the city was nearly empty. People had spent all their money and were partied out after the New Year celebration. There were however, a few people in the city, so we continued our ministry of tracts, one to one and open air preaching.
The crowds were very minimal during the preaching and not many tracts were able to go out. But those who heard the gospel were worth it. At around 11pm we stopped the preaching and just focused on handing out tracts and one to one for the rest of the evening. In this time we did get to have some great conversations.
To God be the Glory!
Saturday, 9th January 2010
The city was a little bit more busy tonight. It seemed that the Christmas / New Years slump was over and people had gotten back into their weekly parties and drunkenness.
The first preacher up for the night was a new guy to the Brisbane team. For the past few weeks he had been ministering with our Gold Coast ministry, but had never been into Brisbane. He had stated that he wanted to preach, so we decided to let him go first, since it was the safest time of the night for a new preacher.
John preached for about 20 minutes and did an alright job. He presented Christ and explained to anyone who would give him an ear about how salvation is found in Jesus alone.
After John finished preaching, I stood up and preached on Jesus having the power to lay down His life and to pick it up again. And, I explored the concept of resurrection in today’s society. It didn’t take long before I had one heckler who claimed to know it all. This young boy of about 16 decided to stop and heckle, his arguments bordered on the absurd and it showed that he had never really given thought to why he was an atheist.
I engaged with Jay the atheist until Erin the friendly heckler came along. Erin was a polite young lady who raised her hand to ask me a question. She had given thought to her objections and I must confess I really did enjoy engaging with her. It is rare that we encounter a sceptic who can reason and debate without crossing the line into personal attacks. The crowd grew as we discussed Christianity in the open air. This crowd in turn drew in more people to listen and to heckle. Eventually we ended up on the topic of homosexuality. And it was at this point an aboriginal transvestite began to heckle me. He (although dressed as a she) started to talk about how he was abused as a child and how that action made him gay. This is one of the hardest things to deal with in the open air, an abused child. I assured him that he had not committed any sin when he was abused, and that God was going to judge the abuser. But, I also had to explain that sin is a choice and his homosexuality was a choice that he had made.
Well, the idea that he had chosen to be gay set him off, he began to scream abuse at me and say that God would never judge him for being gay. I opened the Scriptures in reply and showed him what God’s word said. For about an hour and a half we went back and forth on sin and the gospel. Most people were polite, although the aboriginal man was getting rather emotional.
At the end of the open air, I spoke to the aboriginal man (named Kelly, but later revealed his male name is James). We were able to sit down and talk about different issues. It was then that I asked him straight, “Be honest with me, do you like being gay?” His head dropped and he said, “No, I hate it! I want to one day get married and have children.” Rodney and I spent a further 30 minutes with James talking, then he said these words, “You guys are speaking the truth, I want to know Christ. I need to turn from this lifestyle!” With that we all got on our knees in the Queen Street Mall, then James called upon God for mercy.
That was an awesome way to finish the night. Please keep James in prayer, pray that God would save him and that God would be glorified in his life.
Saturday, 16th January 2010
Blake stood up to preach, the first time since he had returned from being overseas on mission trip. It was good to have him back on the box proclaiming the gospel to all who would listen. While Blake was preaching a young drunk professing Pentecostal named Josh came up to us to talk. I have spoken to him many times before and spent hours with him sharing the Scriptures to him. He was claiming to be a Christian, but at the same time he was swearing, drinking, cursing and his own words, committed rape and armed robbery. But, he was convinced he was saved. This stemmed from the faulty theology that said that one only has to say a quick prayer and you are saved.
Some of the guys dealt with him for awhile and then after Blake finished preaching, Ryan began to preach. Things got interesting around this time. I was talking to a young lady, who was from the USA. She had a Southern Baptist background but was now an atheist. Her main argument against God was the existence of hell and how he treats homosexuals. While, I was talking to her a fight erupted behind me, as I turned all I saw was this one young British man being thrown onto the Bible table. I quickly jumped in the way of the big fella who wanted to smack his head in and Kyosti got the British guy out of there.
Both of the fighters hung around heckling for a while, but Ryan was quick to answer their objections. I went back to witnessing to the American girl.
For two hours Ryan preached and taught the Scripture, many people stopped to listen and many took tracts. It was a good night, but at the same time it was hard. Please pray for all those who heard the gospel. That God may save them!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Saturday, 19th December 2009
“Do you think it is going to rain?” I asked those around me. “Not sure” was the general reply. “Na, it will be fine, maybe rain in a couple of hours” chipped in Ryan. “I think we have only 30 minutes before it pours” Dave added. Since we couldn’t agree on the issue of the weather, both Ryan and I pulled out our iPhones and checked out the bureau of meteorology. The satellite showed rain clouds heading for our location, looked like it was going to be another wet night.
Oh well, in all things give thanks. As we were preparing for the night, one to one conversations began to occur. Ryan, as usual, was engaged in a conversation with a man who was sitting near our location. Then David was in a conversation with a couple who happened to be walking by. It was beginning to shape up for a great night.
We prepared to preach with the clouds looming over us. The first preacher up was Alex. It was only his second time preaching, and it was generally surprising to all of us to see how good of a job he did. As Alex preached a few people stopped to listen, and while the preaching was going on the heavens opened up and down came the rain. Quickly we scrambled to pack down the Bible table and then get undercover. That is, all but the preacher got to go undercover. The preacher continued his job of expounding the gospel to those who would give him an ear.
The rain soon passed, and once again we set up the Bible table. It seems that this Bible table is a yo-yo, as no sooner than it was set up, that it was packed down again as it began to rain.
After preaching for some time, Alex stood down and Ryan took over. As he began to preach, three young guys came close, one of them pulling out his mobile phone and film the preaching. It was then that one of them stepped forward, and with a big grin on his face began to heckle. His goal was to ‘destroy’ the preacher. He argued atheism, evolution and the validity of the Bible. Every single argument he presented was easily answered by Ryan, and then the man was on the back-foot as Ryan turned the attention to the gospel. For the next twenty or so minutes Ryan presented the gospel, this in turn created a whole new wave of hecklers. All of which were dealt with, in a loving and biblical manner.
Ryan preached for some time, then it came time for Dave to preach. Not long into his message he had three guys come up and hassle him with some questions. Out of the three only one showed an interest in what Dave was saying. It was this guy that Dave aimed at. While Dave was talking the man seemed to appreciate all that was going on and he began to shake Dave’s hand and agree with him in regards to the gospel. While this was going on, I was able to speak to one of the other guys, who was not interested in anything to do with Christ, but at least I was able to keep him away from the interrupting the preacher.
It was then that hostility broke out. I was taking a few photos of the proceedings when a drunk man wearing a blue shirt approached me. He leant into my face and said “Do you have a permit to take photos?” I informed him that we didn’t need a permit to take photos since it was a public place. In his drunken ramblings he said, “I’m a lawyer and I’ll sue you!”
He then told me that he had secretly recorded our conversation and it would be used as evidence against us. He then continued to argue that us Christians should not be out here and he would be seeing us in court. After awhile he lost interest in me but went after one of our other team members. The little drunk kept leaning in an aggressive manner towards this team member and he was threatening court action. We basically ignored him and carried on with the preaching.
By now Dave had another man up close to him. This man was probably in his 40’s - 50’s and he was drunk. At first he was hostile towards the preacher, and this stemmed from a hurt he had suffered. It turned out that just recently his father had died and he was still in the grieving process. Dave with much gentleness ministered Christ to him and the man calmed down and even shook Dave’s hand. Later in the evening we would see him again, this time he wasn’t hostile but rather he was smiling and he waved to us, calling out “Merry Christmas!”
Just before Dave finished preaching this young female came up screaming abuse. She was saying “There is no god! God doesn’t exist since there are starving people in the world!” Then, in an act of hypocrisy she threw the hamburger she had been eating at Dave, that which could have fed a hungry person made impact on the chest of the preacher as he continued to expound the message of Christ. The young female growing in anger walked up the mall, turned and then in a voice not her own, but rather in a deep masculine voice screamed out obscenities towards God. Dave, stuck to the gospel, and proclaimed the risen Lord.
The night was quite interesting, we had some good hecklers and many people got the gospel. May God be forever praised for His goodness!
Saturday, 26th December 2009
“And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy
that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.” - Luke 2:10-11 (ESV)
The day previous the nation, and indeed much of the world stopped to remember the birth of Christ, and being just one day later many people were still in a celebratory mood. Louise and I sent the day having Christmas lunch with parents, then Louise had the ‘joy’ of going to work, while I had the privilege of going out to tell people about the Saviour.
The night was expected to be slow due to the fact that everyone was on holidays and many shops were closed. This expectation turned out to be correct, for in the mall there were very few people. After our normal time of Bible reading and prayer, we made our way to the Queen Street Mall for some evangelism. While setting up things began to get interesting. Yarran was on the Bible table having a great witness to two Indian men. Alex was preparing himself to preach, Ryan was handing out tracts and engaged in a one to one. Then the explosion came. The man to whom Ryan had been witnessing went absolutely nuts, when he read on the tract that Jesus considers lust to be adultery (Matthew 5:28). He came storming over to me asking who was in charge, so I tried to calm him down. He was not in the mood for talking, rather he was in the mood for yelling and this he did plenty of.
His central beef was around the fact that he considered lust to be perfectly fine, and he didn’t like the idea of his love being a sin in the sight of God. To top it off, amongst the abuse, the swearing, the name calling, the threats he said these words “I believe in God, I’m a Christian!” My reply was one that set him off even further, I told him the Bible would say he is not a Christian as the fruit he is showing says that his heart is wicked.
The man stormed off, then came back. This time he was standing on a park bench screaming a abuse and cursing me at the top of his lungs. He then jumped dow
n and came charging up to me. I thought he was about to smack me one, but instead he just got really close, so the that smell of alcohol would be in my face. Then once again he began to curse and say, “I would have become a Christian, except for you and your statements on lust!” To which I answered, “No, you would not have become a Christian, for you love your sin more than you love God.” He then ripped up a tract and went screaming up the mall. All this, and we hadn’t even started preaching.
After the eventful heckle, we thought it time to begin the preaching. Alex (not the Atheist) got up to preach first. He hadn’t been preaching long when a couple of hecklers moved in for the mock. These two guys had obviously been exposed to some wacko teaching in the past, for they started to ask about healing and being slain in the spirit. Upon asking these questions, one began to shout “I’m blind!” To which the other in a mocking tone came over, laid hands on him and yelled “BE HEALED!” The ‘blind’ man fell to the ground and began to cry out “I’ve been healed! I can see!” With these sort of mocks the heckling continued. Throughout all this Alex remained calm and cool, sticking to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For over an hour Alex preached, and he did a wonderful job. Not b
ad for someone who has only been preaching for a few weeks. It seems that he is a natural when it comes to preaching, and God willing Alex will develop into a gifted minister of the Word.
Ryan was the next preacher up for the night, he as usual opened up the Bible and began to tell of the glad tidings that are found in the message of Christ. The hecklers were fewer for Ryan, of course there was Wayne the Agnostic, who threw a few random heckles in the direction of Ryan. Then there was this one young man who came along and mocked the gospel. It even got to the point where he was saying a mock prayer while Ryan preached, and then tried to climb on the box with him.
It was sad to see so many people mock the God who is so kind towards them, the God of the Bible gives them life and everything they need to survive. Yet, they continue to rebel and mock Him. They don’t realise that their sin is an offence to God and that they deserve judgement. Yet, that God whom they mock, in love sent Christ Jesus to suffer and die on the cross in the place of those who would believe. Then, three days after Christ died, He arose again from the dead and defeated sin and death. So, if those who mock would repent (turn from sin) and trust that it is only by the death, burial and resurrection of Christ that we are saved, all their sin would be forgiven. Will they do that? That is up to God, but the question reader is this, “Will repent of your sins and trust in Christ, who in love, died and rose again in the place of sinners?” Look to Christ right now and live.
Soli Deo Gloria!