Brisbane Team (Night) (QLD)
Meets every Saturday night in King George Square 7-10pm.
Brisbane Team (Day) (QLD)
Meets Wednesday afternoons 1-5pm in King George Square (near Adelaide St crossing).
Contact Ryan Hemelaar for more information.
Tonight the team had about fifteen Christians, this larger than usual number came from God sending an extra sister and some brothers in Christ to join in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ on Queen Street. I was encouraged to see more Christians out witnessing tonight, because every extra person makes a difference to the entire team.
The preaching line-up was Yarran, Lindsay, Josiah and Ryan. As usual, the authoritative message from God as revealed in the scriptures was proclaimed in the open-air, private conversations, and through the distribution of gospel tracts.
One of the preachers explains: the great and glorious God who has made the world and everything in it, who gives us our very life and being, has not been obeyed by humanity. All have broken God's commandments, including those proclaiming this message, by things such as lying, stealing, getting drunk, having sexual desires for others outside of marriage, by failing to worship God perfectly. God is good and hates and punishes evil, and when left to ourselves, we will receive this punishment in hell for eternity. However, God sent Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man, He lived perfectly in God's eyes, never breaking His commandments. Then He laid down His life willingly through allowing himself to be executed through crucifixion. Jesus did this to take the punishment for the evil of His people, and then rose again to life, giving life to His people. God commands all people everywhere to turn from their evil towards trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation from evil and the wrath of God.
During the gospel proclamation in the open air, a young lady and young man interacted with the preacher. “Have you ever told a lie?”, the preacher says. The young lady hesitates and the preacher asks the young man with her, “Has she told a lie?”, with him responding promptly as witness to her guiltiness. The preacher is quick to explain, “I also have told a lie”, and proceeds to ask further questions. The young man interjects with opposition to God's standard of perfection. Nevertheless, the conversation hastily reveals that like the preacher, the young lady has disobeyed God. A sight that could shock many, that the voices of both the preacher and the young lady reveal that they deserve to spend their eternity in hell under God's punishment for breaking His commands.
Following this, the preacher inquires of the young lady for her knowledge of Jesus, receiving a blank response. Jesus' identity and actions are explained with joy, “Jesus is God's son, fully divine and fully human, He lived perfectly 2000 years ago. He died on the cross in order to take the punishment for people like you and I, those who are His people. He paid the punishment for their evil in full, and rose again from the grave to give them life. Jesus commands you and I to turn away from our evil and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation from God's wrath” The preacher asks, “have you turned from your evil and trusted in Jesus?”
After her voice had responded, she was given a business-sized card that contained a summary of what her ears had already received. With haste the young man took the unknown card and threw it away, in a vain attempt to diminish the power of the message given by God Himself. Promptly, the preacher gave her another card that found rest in her pocket.
How have you responded to the Lord Jesus?
If you have turned from your evil and trusted in Jesus, please gather with the rest of your family in Him to share the message of God's full and complete salvation from sin and His wrath, if you live near Brisbane, please join us in serving our loving God on a Saturday night at 7:30pm in King George Square, Brisbane. If you have questions, please visit us outside Copenhagen/Myer Center on Queen St at 9pm.
Never to disappoint, Saturday night again proved to be quite eventful! There were a few of us out tonight, which was good because it was football night and the fans were loud and proud.
I was the first one up to preach and I decided to open with Romans 6:23 ”For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. We live in a society that understands the concept of an owing wage, many people live for their weekly paycheck! Here we learn that the wage for our rebellious attitude towards God is death. Death is a punishment we deserve and is owed on the basis of our failure to worship and serve our Creator God. Earlier in the book of Romans we are told that “none is righteous, no, not one” and “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. Sin is universally participated in by humanity and therefore we are all deserving of death. Since we are all guilty of sinning against God, we all face this. But Romans 6:23 also points to a free gift of eternal life. How do you receive this? Through Jesus Christ. 2000 years ago Jesus came to earth for a purpose to “save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21) Jesus did this by living the perfect life we couldn’t live before laying his life down and dying on the Cross and rising from the dead 3 days later. He did this in order to take the hell- punishment for the sins of his people. God commands you to turn from your sin, repent and place your faith in Christ and his righteousness. Those who have done this show their heart has been changed and have been born again, assured of eternal life.
It wasn’t long before some hecklers arrived. First up was a lady who claimed to be a pagan. She did not want to listen or engage in conversation. Instead, she just wanted to protest. Despite her abuse, the plus side was that her protests attracted an audience which enabled more people to hear the Gospel. However, her friend was a lot more aggressive and began screaming for me to stop preaching. Lindsay and Yarran stepped in front of me to try and calm the guy down, which worked for a time. However, he would walk off and then come back again and scream his abuse. After a couple of rounds he became increasingly violent, grabbing my shirt and trying to pull me off the box. At this point the Police had been called and he made no further attempts to attack me.
As Lindsay stepped up to preach, he came back again. This time he was jumping in the garden behind Lindsay and looked like he might launch himself to knock Lindsay off the box. By this time, the Police had arrived and they were quick to remove the man from injuring himself or others around him. After giving testimonies to the Police, the man was removed and his lady friend also. This ended our initial opposition and the rest of the night went without a hitch.
I was able to spend a good majority of what was left of the night doing some one-to-ones and handing out tracts with Aaron. I was able to talk the Gospel through with a Samoan group who said they occasionally go to church. It was a fruitful conversation and they all took tracts and were given free Bibles. I also had a conversation with a fellow who trusted in Science, even though he wasn’t sure what answers Science actually gave him. It was good that he was willing to listen as I explained that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation…I think he took a tract as well.
It certainly is a challenging time as each week presents new struggles. Lately, we have had a pretty consistent team of preachers and people handing out tracts. However, with a recent increase in violence we have had to be extra cautious in dealing with aggressive hecklers. Again, we are fortunate to freely proclaim the Gospel and speak the message of Salvation. Praise God for His works!
Atheists. Aggressive hecklers. Police: A fairly typical Saturday night at Queen st. mall. Nonetheless, a great opportunity for the message of Salvation to be proclaimed.
It was a full moon tonight. I was the first one to preach and it wasn’t long before a small group of our atheist friends arrived. Fortunately they weren’t as vocal this early in the evening and the Gospel was preached for a small time unhindered. One of them sarcastically made a comment, “What did Jesus actually on the Cross? Did he really do anything?” This was an excellent springboard for the Gospel so I was able to explain how humanity is under the just anger of God because of the evil we commit against him and therefore we are all deserving of punishment in hell. However, Jesus Christ lived a perfect life and was the perfect sacrifice when he lay his life down for the sins of his people, taking their punishment upon himself. Praise be to God who changes the hearts of sinful man, granting them to turn from their sin and trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection in order for them to stand blameless before God, on account of Christ, and receive eternal life! Unfortunately my voice gave way after a short time so I stepped down for Alex to preach.
Alex was the second preacher up and had the pleasure of dealing with hecklers for the majority of the time. The typical questions/assertions were employed by the Atheists as the basis for their arguments against the Truth. “Other than the Bible what proof do you have that God exists?”, “Prove that Jesus rose from the dead….no you can’t use eyewitness testimony, that is invalid”, “Can God make a burrito so hot that he cannot eat it?”. There were, however, some good questions that were asked. One of them, was to the effect of, “If one man in his whole life only stole a loaf of bread and another was a mass murderer, would they both go to hell?” Again, this provided the opportunity to explain the Gospel and warn of the coming judgment. James 2:10-11 tells us that “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it. For he who said “Do not commit adultery”, also said, “Do not murder”. If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the Law”. Likewise, the man who is not a murderer but is a thief is accountable as a person who is guilty of disobeying the commands of a holy God who demands justice. So then, we are all equally deserving of hell.
Our 3rd preacher for the evening was a new-comer to OP13, named John. Ryan spotted him preaching alone not far from where our usual spot is and invited him to join us. He eagerly jumped up on the box and preached for a small time, imploring people to repent and turn to Jesus.
Next up was Ryan, who also had a good crowd of hecklers whose questions Ryan was able to answer. As is often the case, the later it gets the more people there seems to be and while this is a great opportunity for the Gospel, it also carries the danger of drunken people getting aggressive. Unfortunately Ryan was the target of such aggression. It seems that a person in the crowd was offering money for someone to punch/kick Ryan. One of them obliged and made an attempt to kick Ryan but did not make full contact. The police were called but the guys responsible had fled. Bek managed to capture them on camera and fortunately Ryan was uninjured. This sort of opposition has become increasingly regular over the last few months. Praise God no serious harm has befallen any of us but it is a demonstration of peoples hatred towards this message and towards God.
By this time it was getting close to 12:00 so I finished up, preaching for 15 mins.
We are blessed to be able to proclaim this great message of Salvation each week, uniting together in the hope we share. There were some good one-on-one conversations over the course of the night and many tracts handed out. Despite the occurrence of events, the Gospel was proclaimed faithfully and many people heard it although we have no power to convert people but it is God who draws his sheep and it is He who is glorified! How unfathomable that God would use sinful men to proclaim the message of Salvation to sinful men?
On Saturday night (14th May 2011), we were having our usual outreach in Brisbane city. While I was preaching, a few young blokes who had been listening to my message for a bit decided that one of them should plank beside me.
Planking is a recent fad in Australia which involves simply laying down very flat in a random location and then getting a mate to take a photo of it. It has recently gained lots of popularity, and even has been featured on news programs on television where some of the hosts 'planked' as well.
Well on Saturday night, a group of young guys planked beside me while I was preaching. I was at the time speaking about how life is so short and the reality that tonight could be any one of our last nights. For no one is guaranteed 100 years to live on this Earth.
I didn't think much about the planking incident from that point on until I received a phone call from a friend the next day. He was watching the news and he told me that very early Sunday morning a 20-year old man had been planking on the railing of his 7-storey building very near the Brisbane CBD and had fallen off and died. The news report mentioned that this man had been planking in Brisbane city with mates that night.
It struck me, that the young man who planked beside me was very likely the same man who fell off the 7-storey building to his death just hours later. My words about this possibly being our last night alive rang true for him. It is sad to hear of his death, but at the same time it should make us think about our own human mortality too.
The young man who died didn't expect to die that evening, but he did. And you may not expect to die until a very long time away, but the reality is that you could die at any moment. I hope that makes you recognise you should start thinking about what comes after death.
The Bible speaks about everyone having to give an account of how they have lived after they die. How would you do? The Bible says that God's standards to get to Heaven is perfection. But you'd have to agree that none of us have lived perfectly in our lives. For as soon as we tell a lie, steal something, use God's name in vain, or get drunk we tarnish our record. And the Bible says that what we deserve for our sins is eternity in Hell.
But the good news is this, that even though we don't deserve to go to Heaven (we haven't lived perfectly), God sent Jesus to this Earth to live a perfect life and die on the cross. His death on the cross provides forgiveness of sins; for Jesus on the cross takes all the punishment that we deserve in Hell. Jesus then rose from the dead three days after he died.
Jesus will only take the punishment for you if you do two things:
I hope you do that today if you haven't already, for today could be your last day.
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!