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True and False Conversion

Last Saturday Ray, Scotty and I open air preached in sunny Huntington Beach which is our custom. Huntington Beach is my hometown, my stomping grounds as it were and it is where I initially was introduced to Ray.

I remember the very first time I saw Ray, it was from a distance and I wasn’t a Christian at the time. I had just gotten back off of a SEAL training trip and met up for lunch with my girlfriend (now wife) who worked across the street from the pier. Now though I was not a Christian I certainly was not an atheist… I knew God existed and that is worth knowing because of what follows.

When I spotted Ray from a distance I saw next to him a gigantic artificial ape that was standing about 6 1/2 feet high. So here I am, walking with my girlfriend as I something to the effect of “Look at this…I leave home for a while to come back and find I have got some moron evolutionist on display!”

I changed my course and headed straight for Ray with intentions of knocking him off his box and kicking down his missing link. My girlfriend saw the fire in my eyes as she latched onto me like a human anchor. She let me know quick that if I did anything stupid in front of her, I would greatly regret it later.

I remember thinking to myself that I would catch Ray some other time…Little did I know (because I was out of ear shot) that he was preaching the Gospel. Chances are I probably would have objected to the message anyways as at that time in my life I was suppressing the truth to suit my Navy SEAL downtown nightlife “rock-star” lifestyle.

About a year later I was a Christian and I saw Ray again…This time I didn’t want to knock him off his box with my arms; instead I wanted to engage in some rational combat with the evolutionist before me.

As I approached the chalk circle I was hit by total disorientation as Ray was preaching Christ next to the artificial “missing link” and some person in the crowd was calling him a Jesus freak. I suddenly realized Ray was a Christian and the hecklers were trying reviling at the preaching of cross. Talk about a turn around!

Ray didn’t know it at the time but I immediately became his body guard. I didn’t understand that Ray “wanted” to be heckled as I was doing everything within my infant Christian walk to contain myself from launching into a physical assault aimed at hecklers.

Anyways…Eventually I got to know Ray and he got me to step up on the box to see what it was like. Much more could be said to fill in the gaps of time but lets get to what this video clip above is about.

So last Saturday was very lively, we had many hecklers and one of them was the young man above (Joshua). I really felt bad for the young guy as I could sense he had some deep rooted hatred to Christianity and which unfortunately manifested in an outrage as he vented his frustrations with what sounded like a works righteousness attempt at belief.

Often times we will have atheists or agnostics approach us during an open-air, insisting that they once were on fire Christians for God but now they have a message to share…God is just imaginary. More times than not this anger they have is rooted in some hypocrites they encountered along the way in church. Two things are worth mentioning here.

One, a hypocrite should never be a test to the validity of Christianity! Jesus said “Follow Me” (Matt. 4:19) not his followers. In fact Jesus even forewarned that there would be tares amongst the wheat (Matt. 13:24-30). Just because there is a label on the outside of the bible doesn’t necessarily make it so.

Secondly, if you dig deep you will find that they never really knew the Lord which means they never really were Christians to begin with! If they didn’t know the Lord, then their false conversion experience was just that, an experience. They were never really born-again and thus it is advantageous to press and plead with someone like this to truly repent and put their faith and trust in the Savior rather than a works righteousness (Matt. 12:1-23).

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