“Preach the Gospel at all times. Where necessary, use words.” I cringe when I hear this expression tossed about. Quite the catch phrase, it has a sort of ring to it, but in reality such a tune is unbiblical. Too often spun into a mantra of preach the Gospel, use words if necessary! Adopted, enunciated and championed by the friendship evangelist; It is their excuse and sometimes a stone they take up against those who choose to obey God rather than men, by being a herald and proclaimer of the Gospel (Acts 5:29; Mk 16:15). Preach the Gospel, use words if necessary; that is their herald and that is where their proclamation seems begins and end!
Friendship evangelism was not a method employed by Jesus or the apostles. They called Him Beelzebub (Lord of the fly) why? Because he came to bring a barbecue? No! He came to bring a sword!
Think about the perversion that is going on as some attempt to change our call to action our Great Commission into a picnic pow wow. Sure it’s attractive, its attractive because it is not confrontational but being non-confrontational at the expense of compromising what we have been commanded to do is sinful and repugnant! It is not a forward step, it is a backwards step, it is salt that has lost it’s flavor and has no place in fighting the good fight! (Matt. 5:13 ; 1 Tim. 6:12)
Of course we want to get along with people we are not being hard for the sake of being hard…Paul tells us If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men (Rom 12:18) but it is ungodly to think you can out do your Master by employing a “down to earth” sort of method that is utterly foreign to Scripture!
Jesus tells us “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household” (Matt. 10:24,25).
Once we have become Christians we have become a part of a war, declared by God against Satan all the way back in the garden Gen 3:15. The apostle Paul says: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Eph. 6:12
I leave you with a fitting quote by C.S. Lewis from his book Mere Christianity:
“Enemy-occupied territory, that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”
The footage is being logged and captured now as I write these notes for our editor!
Ray, Tony and I (Chad) took an excursion yesterday out to Fullerton College along with a couple of our friends that visited the ministry. We endured Southern California’s Interstate 91 Freeway, all to be greeted by an empty campus upon our arrival at Fullerton College. It became apparent to us that due to the holiday season (Thanksgiving week) the college was on a reduced, minimal staffing and student attendance; thus we decided to flip our sails, change course and give open-air preaching an undertaking at an alternate college campus. The failure of Fullerton’s campus would turn out to be a blessing in disguise as our alternate campus “Cerritos College” would prove to be a day on sight none of us will ever forget.
Upon our arrival things seemed grey and somewhat bleak. It was cold out complimented by overcast clouds. I had mixed emotions about attempting to draw a crowd as it seemed questionable whether or not we would be able to draw a crowd with consideration of the atmospheric conditions and spotty student presence. Maybe this was merely going to be a day better suited for one to one evangelism.
Optimism was in the air as we decided to just go ahead and pitch tent, “lets break out the gear and see what happen!” Like clockwork and the natural law of flames following smoke we threw our smoke in the air with a set-up of the cameras, tripods, flip-chart, chalk ect. And so it worked, students egressed from the building doors just as our equipment set-up came to fruition!
5 people turned into 10, 10 into 20 and so on until before we knew it we were surround by one of the largest captive crowds I have ever encountered during an open-air preaching. There must have been close to 200 students in our area at it’s peaking moments and the only reason they were hindering around rather than going home was because they were beguiled by the event we were stirring up!
Not only did we have the largest O.A. crowed but we had the most abundant amount of participating hecklers I have ever seen in one day too! There were estimated 15+ hecklers that actually jumped up on our hecklers box alone; and those that stood on the box were only a fraction of the hecklers that were taking shot at us while enjoying the anonymity and vail of being obscured by the crowd.
We ran our machine of 3 cameras until the wheels fell off, our batteries died and it was time to leave. Things were becoming increasingly hostile as we attempted to pack our gear and evacuate the campus. The experience of last things was like trying to shake off a tribe of spider monkeys that have you surrounded, one of your friends is known as the “banana man” and the spider monkeys want to take a bite! [punt intended]
All in all, it was a stand-out memorable day. The Gospel was preached and articulated at least a dozen times. And as things came to an end we slipped away to find ourselves greeted by students of a different nature, who gave us encouraging words and giving thanks to God that the Gospel could be preached at their home school.
We will return!