In the midst of all the rain and storms this weekend I found a group of faithful Christians gathered in King George square praying to and praising the God of the entire universe. Josh was dealing with a flood at his church and house so it was just Ryan in charge of the team. I was glad to see that there were also a good number of others who had made it in. After a refreshing time of fellowship and prayer we headed up to the normal area in the Queen Street mall.
As it was still raining, Ryan decided that we would just hand out tracts for a period before starting the preaching. It was wonderful to see the gospel getting into the hands of people and the team members getting into conversations as people passed. We all managed to hand out a good number of tracts and as soon as the rain stopped Alex (not the atheist) got up to preach.
While Alex proclaimed the gospel a group of the team gathered around to play rent-a-crowd, but I thought to myself as I listened that there is more to it than that. The gospel deserves a hearing and every preacher of the gospel should see people gladly listening to the word of God proclaimed. I am often convicted by and encouraged by the proclamation of the gospel and I am sure there are many who weaken their faith significantly by refusing to listen to the gospel because they are “already a Christian…”, as though that excuses them from listening. Alex did an excellent job preaching the word and deftly dealt with the couple of objections that were given by hecklers. He has wonderful way of deconstructing people’s arguments and showing up the presuppositions underlying their objections.
Next up was Yarran, who as normal elucidated some portion of scripture so well that I feel ashamed of my superficial treatment of God’s word. Yarran poured out his heart into the preaching of the gospel and urged the people of Brisbane to turn to the one true God from their many idols. Though there were a couple of hecklers the night appeared to be a slow one with all the rain. The exception to this was the long stream of santa claus impersonators who varied between mildly and severely inebriated. Most of this crowd heckled as they passed on their way into the night, the few who stopped were unwilling to interact and despite questions from Yarran they would not stay to speak to us.
In the middle of all this a group of young women went past and I watched as between them they scoffed and one even made a lewd gesture at the preacher in jest. None of them were considering the words Yarran proclaimed and I at first thought that they were merely another group of revelers. I stopped one to offer her a tract and she said “I’ll swap you one of mine for one of yours” and handed me a tract for their church. Disappointingly it appeared this was a group of Christian women who had just been mocking the preaching of the gospel! I have seen this so many times in so many places yet it always saddens me. Please if you read this consider how it must look to non-Christians when Christians mock at the preaching of the gospel. If even those who claim Christ as their own think that the gospel of Him crucified for sin is a joke, then what will the unbelieving think? You may even think that this form of evangelism is less than constructive, but pause for a moment and consider how your response will either turn people to or away from the gospel. Lastly if you do mock, please consider who it is you’re mocking, if it is the preacher then consider the brother or sister in Christ whose character you are murdering. Christ died for them also. Worse if it is the message itself you would mock, then consider the words of Christ that “…any who are ashamed of me in this faithless and evil generation, I will be ashamed of before my Father and His holy angels”! Would you shame the Lord who bought you?
I was next up to preach and just as I stood up a regular heckler Wayne turned up with his son Rob. I have interacted with Wayne and to a lesser extent Rob for the last couple of months when I have been able to come into the city. During this time I have raised with Wayne many of the evidences from history and science that confirm that we are made by God and that Jesus is the Son of God and our only opportunity for salvation.
One of the witnesses to this is a set of studies done to support a very young age to the earth (by current standards) of 6000-10000 years old as is witnessed to in the bible. These studies have found substantial amounts of C14 in diamonds (similar studies have found similar in many other supposedly ancient artifacts/fossils/coal etc), also the studies have used alternate methods of dating supposedly ancient rocks finding a much younger age. For those interested here is a link to the studies in summary: http://creation.com/radiometric-dating-and-old-ages-in-disarray. This linked with secular work confirming similar results (Taylor RE, Southon J (2007). "Use of natural diamonds to monitor 14C AMS instrument backgrounds". Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B 259: 282–28) provide a major support for a young earth. As there is no such thing as fast forward or fast anything in evolution this is a potent support for the Christian belief that we are made by a supernatural being and as such are responsible to Him.
The other witness is easily found and if you will only take and read the eyewitness accounts of history from God’s perspective as found in the bible (note I don’t mean an exhaustive history!). This account is what I tried failingly to impress upon Wayne and the couple of other people he attracted (as always thank you for that service Wayne you are most kind!). We are lost and sinful people and need a savior to take our place in the wrath and punishment we deserve for our hatred and sin towards God. Jesus is this savior and loved us so much that He died for sin though He deserved eternal praise and worship. I urged people to this until I had no more time and no more voice.
Wayne was unchanged as is so often the case and continued to cling to his blind faith in the skepticism he has in all things Christian. I pray that God will work in him to soften his heart and bring him to repentant faith in Jesus. There were some others present and praise God they took tracts afterwards also.
For those of you who read these words we covet your prayers and your support in what ever way you can. The days are now here when people will not listen to sound doctrine and only want what will scratch whatever itch they happen to have. Australian Christians please pray for us as we work the streets of your homeland, petition the Lord of Glory that he would bless our work and bring many souls to faith and home to glory. Please also pray for the team members who so frequently (much more than I it must be said), give of their time and sacrifice comfort and recreation time to preach the gospel to the lost on your doorstep. If you can please join a local team and work in this mission field, there will not always be in Australia the opportunities and freedoms we enjoy now.
The night as always was a testament to the glory of God and we pray that He would be praised for His work in and through us both to save us and to use us in the glorious work of proclaiming His works.
The Bible is a Neolithic book! It was written in the Neolithic period! You cannot trust it!
Wayne was in fine form tonight. The heckling began while Alex (not the Atheist) was preaching. I stood in back play listening to the ramblings that is Wayne. Yarran and I were discussing some of the arguments that Wayne was using, and we both found it interesting that in the Neolithic period (allegedly) there was no alphabet or writing, so we were both confused how the Bible was supposed to be written some 4000 - 5000 years before the invention of the alphabet. But let’s not let facts get in the way of a good heckle.
Alex dealt with Wayne for some time, and then Wayne must have been on repeat because once again he went back to the Neolithic argument. It was at this point I jumped in and began to deal with the heckling.
I asked Wayne for proof of the Bible being written then, and his best argument was, “Genesis says there was a talking snake and unicorns”. But then his argument changed slightly to say that the oral tradition began in the Neolithic times.
When I challenged Wayne on these points and made an apologetic showing how unicorn, doesn’t have to mean a mythical one horn horse, but rather it could be a one horned animal and that the talking snake was actually Satan talking via the snake. I concluded by saying for you to disprove the Genesis account, your main argument has to be against God, you have to disprove Him.
Well that sent us on another round of heckling. Wayne the atheist started to talk about how some things are immoral etc. So I asked him on what basis does he make a judgement on something being immoral? His reply was that society determines what is right and wrong. So I took him a step further and said, “What if one society condones child rape, is that ok?” And Wayne replied by saying that it is universally wrong. Now he had an issue, how can right and wrong be determined by individual societies and yet there still be absolutes?
This was a question Wayne was unwilling to answer. So I put to him, “To say that something is immoral requires there be a universal moral law, which is not tainted by our own society values, if that is the case then there needs to be a moral law giver, who is outside of our domain, that is the being we call God. For there to be right and wrong, there must be one who determines right and wrong. An atheist cannot have a moral basis apart from God.”
At this stage Wayne was happy to let another heckler take over, this heckler had the deep theological thought of “What happens to the souls of cars when they die?” To which I simply replied, “Well that depends if they run on LPG or Petrol”.
The rest of the heckling for the night was fairly tame. We had some good one to ones and many tracts were handed out.
Praise God for a good evening.
View photos from the outreach, here.
The following is from Ryan Hemelaar about a certain conversation he had:
Doctor S backslides from atheism?
On Saturday, I got into a conversation with "Doctor S" from the Brisbane Atheist Group. We started talking about the Ontological argument - specifically Plantinga's formulation of it. Not sure what that is? Read it below:
A maximally great being would a necessary being, therefore if he can exist is some possible world, he must exist in every possible world (because he's necessary), including our own. Doctor S admitted that the argument is logical and he knows of no way of refuting it. So I asked whether he now believes the conclusion of the argument. He answered, "I'll have to go home and see whether anyone else has refuted the argument." I responded, "If no one has, will you then believe it?" He answered, "No, because it doesn't mean that no one has been able to refute it and just can't find it." So I said, "This shows you actually have a vested interest in not believing in God because you are unwilling to believe under any circumstances. For this argument is logical with its premises supported, so therefore it is not just a matter of the conclusion possibly or probably following from the premises, it means that the conclusion to the argument logically and necessarily follows."
After a bit of further discussion, he said, "I can admit there is a maximally great being, but that doesn't mean a 'God'." I asked, "But is not a being who is omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omnibenevolent, and so on, 'God'?" He refused to admit this. He tried to maintain that admitting that there is a maximally great being does not mean he is no longer an Atheist. I disputed this point with him, letting him know what is the standard definition of atheism in the field of Philosophy (according to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) - it doesn't mean lacking a belief in God, it rather means the belief that there is no God.
He then went on to try and deny logic to get around the predicament he was in, but I pointed out to him that logic is the basis for all rational discussion and so he cannot do that.
Soli Deo Gloria!
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.