The team met again at Cafe Nero this past Friday evening and we continued our look at presuppositional apologetics, which is based on a biblical framework for making a defence for the Christian faith (we are working through a book together at the moment called “Every Thought Captive”). Our time together in the cafe is always helpful and really gets us focused before we head out. We were between 10 and 12 in number (a few more joined us later in the Square).
We have come to expect an ever changing Leicester Square, particularly considering the redevelopment of the area in preparation for the 2012 Olympics in London. Finding a good spot for open-preaching has become more challenging, and although there are now a number for new obstacles in front of us, I feel it is vital that we stay in the area, as consistency is really important when it comes to public outreach.
We headed to the spot I feel is best suited for witnessing but unfortunately we arrived at almost the exact moment a group of buskers did. It was a shame, had we arrived just five minutes earlier we could have used the spot. Not to be defeated we headed back to the spot we have used before near McDonalds. The Swiss Clock Tower had a barrier around it so I had to stand opposite. It was not ideal but it did allow me to preach. It was very cold and in front of me to the left there were some people giving out free hot food. As I was about to preach I learnt that they were members of the Hare Krishna religion. This was very interesting, I had not had the opportunity before to preach the gospel in quite a setting. In front of me there were a number of people enjoying the hot food that had been provided by the Hare Krishna’s. In that sense it was wonderful, as I had a somewhat captive audience. It was a challenge though, as it was very noisy and the position I was in most not ideal. I preached a short gospel message with very little interaction from the crowd. Still, those standing by certainly heard what I had to say.
After I finished preaching a man approached and told me he felt that what the Hare Krishna’s were doing was far superior to what we were doing. They were helping people by giving them free food, whereas we were simply “preaching at them.” Immediately I thought of Jesus’ words: “Do not labour for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27). I explained to him that as Christians we do help people by providing for their material needs, as did Jesus, but ultimately we, like Jesus, are far more concerned with their spiritual needs and so we want to make available to people “food that endures to eternal life.” He objected quite strongly that we had what people need and I soon discovered that I was talking with a relativist (someone who holds to the idea that truth is relative and that what may be true for me is not necessarily true for another person). Talking with a relativist can be very frustrating, especially when they do not concede that the logic they have adopted is absurd and self-refuting (when someone says there are no absolutes they are making an absolute statement). I did my best to show that he was being illogical and arbitrary in his objections, but unfortunately it was to no avail. Perhaps walking away from a conversation like this we could say that it was to no avail. However, God’s Word always accomplishes what God wills it to accomplish. To this end I committed this man into the hands of the Lord. May He grant repentance and faith to him that he may be saved.
The rest of the team were all engaged in conversation and although it was terribly cold it was very encouraging to see that people were willing to stop and engage with us. Shortly after I had the opportunity to talk with Maciej. Maciej is a magician from Poland who often performs in Leicester Square. We have spoken a few times but I haven’t had much opportunity to share the gospel with him. It was really encouraging that he came up to me and said, “Hi Rob.” We got talking and before long I put to him a few questions regarding what he thought about God, life after death, etc. He said that he felt there was “something out there,” an “energy” of sorts, but that really was about as far as he went. I built on this by explaining to him that the world we see around us, and in particular relational and rationale people, is all evidence of a personal, creative God, who is Himself a person, and not just a form of energy. I transitioned to the gospel and opened up to him as best I could the realisation that we have all sinned against a holy God and that we are deserving of judgment. But Jesus, the Son of God, motivated by love, stepped down into this world and became a man. He lived a sinless, perfect life for us, the perfect life that we can’t live (2 Corinthians 5:21), and then died in our place on a Roman cross, so that the justice of God would be satisfied, and we could go free. He listened without objection as I shared with him, which was really encouraging. We exchanged contact details and I have since emailed him asking if he would like to meet up for coffee. Do pray that we would be able to meet up some time soon.
We all came together at the end of the evening and thanked the Lord for His grace to us and for using us to make His name known. It had been a great evening.
Soli Deo Gloria!