Warren and Chris joined me this week at the Redcliffe Jetty, for purpose of sowing the seeds of the gospel in Redcliffe. After some prayer together we started handing out gospel tracts, using that as a springboard into a one2one conversation with them.
I had a conversation with two atheist blokes who were from Europe. They acted in the natural way Atheists act, that is, they say that "there is no God" and when asked what evidence they have for that belief, they turn the tables on me. Instead of proving their absolute negative claim, they try and shove the burden of proof upon the theist to give evidence for God. It is true that a theist must provide evidence for God, but if an atheist wants to contend that there is simply no God, they must have good evidence to substantiate that claim.
They often then try and say that an absolute negative cannot be proven, in order to be released from their burden of proof. However, they are wrong in that claim, for if a contradiction can be shown within something, then it cannot exist (eg: square triangle). Or if somebody knows everything about a subject matter, they can use that to prove an absolute negative. Regardless, the fact that they are admitting they cannot prove the absolute negative that God does not exist means that if they are rational, they cannot make the claim that Goes does not exist.
So I briefly reasoned with the guys why we can know there is a God from the very existence of the universe itself. They understood it was a rational belief to hold. This progressed onto what happens after we die and then the gospel message.
When the whale watching boat came in, we made sure nearly everyone got a gospel tract (would be close to 200 on-board). This lead into further one2one conversations as well.
To God be the Glory!
Warren and I met at the usual time of 2pm at the Redcliffe Jetty ready to do some witnessing. We firstly prayed and then started handing out tracts to everyone we met, at the same time trying to get into one to one conversations.
The first conversation I had was with a middle aged man who said that he did not believe that beliefs existed. I've heard many people say that there is no absolute truth, but never heard anyone go as far as he did by saying there are not any beliefs. I pointed out to him that his position is self-refuting, for that in itself is a belief that there are no beliefs. In fact I pointed out to him that he has many beliefs, for example, he believes that the seat he is sitting on will hold him up. He also has a belief that he and other physical objects exist. However he objected to that by saying, "Nothing physical exists." However as the conversation went on he admitted that he believes the inner consciousness exists. He said I should look within myself for the truth, not to anything objective.
At this stage, I knew that this man was massively deceived into believing the new-age cultic material. So I showed the man that we can know there is a God, and I told him of the judgment to come. I then brought him through God's law in order to bring the knowledge of sin to the man. I pointed out that because he had sinned, and he was deserving of God's wrath as the just punishment for his sin. At this stage he just started swearing and cursing at me, so I promptly left the man alone, and helped Warren who was handing out gospel tracts to the hundreds of people that were coming off the Whale Watching boat.
Numerous other conversations were had and many gospel tracts went out. To God be the Glory!
I made it to Redcliffe shortly after 2pm and met up with Warren. After waiting for a brief time for any others we spent a few moments in prayer then made our way out onto the pier. Warren and I handed out our tracts and were continuing to do so when we noticed the Whale watching boat making its way in. Being low on tracts and only having the two of us I was thinking to myself ... 'we're not going to get as many of these people as we would have liked to. Though praise the Lord that Tim turned up just prior to the boat coming in.
We made the decision to hand our tracts out further down the bridge this week to avoid people dumping them in the bin immediately after having received them. We managed to hand out quite a few tracts which was great. After the 'rush' we decided to make our way up the beachfront and over to the Redcliffe lagoon. We handed out a few tracts on the way down and back but unfortunately the one to ones were scarce this week and we didn't have any good conversations with people. Nevertheless, the Word of God was preached to the many people that received the tracts and we pray the Lord will use this work for His glory and to draw these people unto himself.
After spending a little time at the end of the bridge and continuing to hand out the tracts we decided to call it a day and made our ways home.
Report by Chris Addison
As Warren, Alistair and I met at 2pm at the Redcliffe Jetty, we firstly prayed and then made our way down the Jetty giving gospel tracts to everyone we met. We had some good one-2-one conversations, with the gospel being clearly proclaimed.
One conversation I had was with an elderly fellow, who was a deist - someone who believes God just made the world and has never interacted with it. This man was very versed in psychology, and loved to talk about it. When I asked him whether he thought there was a God, he quoted some psychologist who doesn't believe there is a God, but rather knows there is a God. However, I pointed out that psychology just deals with the subjective, so his 'knowing' that there is a God can only be based on some feeling/experience that he has had. I said we can objectively know there is a God because of the things that have been made (Romans 1:20). He agreed, but he did not think God has intervened or interacted in any way with this world.
So I asked him if he thought God is just. He said yes. So I pointed out that for God to be just he cannot turn a blind eye to the things that are happening on this Earth, but rather he must punish the people that do sinful things. He said, "We punish ourselves". So I responded, "No we don't. Some people may, but the most don't. We don't like getting punished. That is the exact reason why a criminal will not usually turn himself in to the police."
So then I talked about the judgment to come after we die where God will judge us on everything we have done. This lead onto the gospel message and what someone must do to be saved. However, through his psychology study, he had learnt that humans are inherently good. So I asked him, "Do we have to teach our children to disobey? No, of course not. Thus that shows that we are all inherently evil from our birth." I let him know that psychology usually goes completely contrary to what the Bible says because it tries to teach people that they are good. But the Bible says we are not, and the objective evidence seems to point that way as well.
Chris, Alistair and Warren joined me for the Redcliffe team on Sunday. It was good to have Warren back, after his mission trip to various north Queensland aboriginal towns. Firstly, we prayed and then head down the Jetty handing out gospel tracts to everyone we met.
I had a conversation with an eldery man who was a pantheist - a person who believes everything is God. So I asked him what evidence did he have to back up his belief. He said, "You need to get out of realm science, knowledge, and reason and empty your mind and the truth will come to you". So I said, "You are telling me that I should forsake believing in things I have good reasons for by getting out of the realm of science, knowledge, and reason, and enter the realm of fairy tales?" He proceeded to say that he has a good feeling that his belief is true. I pointed out that I've spoken to many people who also claim to have these same feelings and they say something totally contradictory to you. Who can we believe?
So then I provided logical reasons as to why pantheism is false. Such as, if God is everything, and since we know the universe had a beginning, God must have not existed at some point. But that is impossible because then God would have to exist (to create the universe) before he existed. That's self-contradictory.
He said, "We are all made in the image of God. So if we are made in God's image, then we must be God." So I responded, "That does not make sense. Firstly, Adam and Eve were made in the image of God, not us (because of the fall we cannot say we are exactly God's image). Secondly, just because I make something to look like me, it does not logically follow that that thing becomes me."
So I proceeded to talk about our sinful nature and that we have all sinned and deserve God's wrath. He did not like that concept. He didn't think he was a sinner and refused to admit he had broken any of God's law. He admitted he just picks and chooses what parts of the Bible he will accept. He said, "One day you'll wake up to your divine nature and realise you are already in Heaven." I made it clear to the man that if he does not repent and trust Christ alone for salvation he will suffer the wrath of God in Hell. Please pray for this man, as he seems to be totally deceived.
Many seeds of the gospel went out on Sunday, to God be the glory!
Dan, Chris, and I met at Redcliffe on Sunday ready to spread God's Word to the people of Redcliffe. It looked like it was raining on Stradbroke Island, so the Whale Watching boat came in earlier than usual. There would have been over 200 people on board so we managed to give gospel tracts to them all as they left the boat. There was even a person who received the tract that was reading the gospel message on the back really loudly as they strolled down the Jetty.
I had a pleasant chat with a Muslim fellow about how one gets to Heaven. I showed the man that if God is to remain always just, He cannot just forgive someone's sins without the fine being paid. In the Hadith it says that if someone becomes a Muslim, Allah automatically forgives a person's sins committed before they were a Muslim. This man denied that this was so. So I asked him if he knew about the unforgivable sin within Islam called Shirk. That is, to associate anyone with Allah. He did know about it, so I pointed out that if Allah does not forgive the sins of Muslims before they converted, then no Christian could ever convert to Islam and go to Heaven. But the man said, "Oh yeah, Allah forgives Shirk if someone converts to Islam." Hence, Allah is not always a just judge because the fine is not paid. Meaning, the god that the Qur'an describes does not exist, as Allah is also claimed to be always just. But that is an internal contradiction.
Many gospel tracts went out and good one to one conversations were held. To God be the glory!
Chris and I met at the Redcliffe Pier at the usual time on Sunday. There had been a festival on at Redcliffe for the past 3 days; though the weather was miserable for it as there had been rain for half the weekend. As a result of this, I was unsure how busy Redcliffe would be today, but God saw fit to hold off the rain for the few hours we were there, and brought out people to hear His Gospel.
After praying, we set off down the pier handing out tracts and attempting to engage people in one-to-ones. A lot of people took tracts, but generally weren't willing to talk for more than half a minute. After we had finished on the pier, we set off down towards the lagoon, where we were able to strike up a conversation with three men who were waiting for their wives. From our perspective we didn't get very far as they were continuously changing topic, and would interrupt and speak over us when we were countering their arguments. Their arguments were of the standard atheist sort (with the standard lack of evidence and/or logic to back them up). For example, one of them claimed to be an evolutionist, but could only stare at us blankly when we asked for evidence to back Darwinism up.
After that, we continued on and met a man who believed, on the evidence of design, that the universe was, well, designed. However, he believed that there were multiple gods, which was interesting as it goes flat in the face of the Scriptures. He didn't stick around for too long, but I was able to explain to him that there is only one God, who expects our worship and devotion, and even though we all have rebelled against Him and deserve wrath, He sent Jesus, who took that wrath upon Himself on the cross, and rose again.
After that, we continued handing out tracts for a while, and then finished with prayer. Praise God that we have the opportunity each week to witness to the people of Redcliffe, and pray that the many post-modern people there would have their hearts softened towards the Gospel. Also, pray that God would rise up more people to join the team, and that His name would be glorified.
Ralph and Chris Addison joined me today for witnessing at Redcliffe. We prayed and then set out with our gospel tracts in hand. Many good conversations were held, with most people proclaiming that they are good enough to get to Heaven on their own (Proverbs 20:6). An elderly lady I talked to was such an example. She kept pointing to the good things she has done in her life to cover the bad things that she has done. Even after sharing the gospel with her and telling her what she must do to be saved, she couldn't humble herself and let Jesus be the way she gets to Heaven. For she understood that if you trust Christ, you must lose your own pride (James 4:6).
Another conversation I had was with a group of people who took great offence to the gospel message. They did not like being called a sinner, nor have their deeds exposed. So they threatened they would do certain things if I didn't leave them. So I promptly left them.
"For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed." - John 3:20
The whale watching boat went out as well today, so when they arrived back we were able to give tracts to all the passengers aboard.
Alister, Tim Neale, and I met at our regular time of 2pm at Redcliffe ready to do some witnessing. Firstly we prayed together, then started walking down the jetty with our tracts.
I first had a conversation with a middle-aged couple and when asked whether they thought they will go to Heaven, The lady said, "Yes". On the other hand, the husband said he doesn't believe there is a Heaven or God. So I proved to him using the cosmological argument why God exists. But the man responded by saying, "I just don't want to believe there is a God. I believe that there is no god by blind faith." I was really surprised that an atheist actually admitted that, because most atheist's don't.
I asked the lady why she thought she was going to Heaven. The usual response came back, "Because I'm a good person." So I brought her through the law and then explained to her the good news of the gospel.
A number of the people we talked to today were postmodern. In particular a Roman Catholic family I chatted to were having a problem with God being just. They couldn't believe in a God that sends people to Hell. They said, "My God would never do that." I pointed out that they are breaking the second commandment because they are creating a god in their own image, a god to suit themselves. However it is one that doesn't exist! They said, "For me, God is like this, but it may be different for you." So I explained what God really is like, our wretched sinfulness, God's holiness and justice, and what we must do to be saved.
Twenty minutes before it was time to head home, I met a man from New Zealand named Jamie. He recently moved over here and wanted to get involved in some evangelism teams. It was really good to meet him, and so we spent the remaining minutes witnessing to some people together.
If anyone else is keen to get involved in any of our weekly Operation 513 evangelism teams, then please contact us and we would be honoured to serve the Lord with you.
A lot of seeds of the gospel were planted today, in forms of one2one conversations and the gospel tracts that went out. To God be the glory!
Dan and Ralph were running a bit late today, so while I was waiting for them, I partially overheard conversation that two people were having on a seat nearby. They kept mentioning the word 'spiritual'. So after Ralph arrived and we prayed together, we went over to them to offer a tract and start up a conversation. They both mentioned they were Christians. When I asked them how people get to Heaven, the lady said by living a good life, however, the guy corrected her by saying, "No, our good works cannot get us to Heaven, it is only by grace are we saved."
So I asked the gentlemen, what Church do you go to? He said he has been going to many Churches, but currently he is a Mormon elder. So I brought up some critical points of contention with the fellow, such as, "Who is Jesus?", "Do we need to be baptised to be saved?", etc. Some of his responses were in-line with the Bible, while others in-line with the Mormon Church. So on those issues, I presented a Biblical viewpoint. However, the man went very post-modern. He said, "Well that's just your interpretation. There can be many interpretations for a passage." So I said, "I interpret it that way because that is what the text says. There is only one correct interpretation to a text of scripture, but there may be many different applications." The gentleman said, "We could talk about this for hours, but I don't want to." So then we moved on.
I have found that from my experience so far at Redcliffe, the majority of the people I have spoken to are post-modern in their thinking. That said, it is not hard to show why post-modernism is false, however it just seems that this philosophy is abundant here.
Ralph and Dan also had some great conversations with people and many gospel tracts went out. To God be the glory!