Offended by a Gospel tract

December 24, 2008

Yesterday Bradley posted this comment on this blog in response to receiving one of our tracts. We are always happy to have the kind of discussion that he requested. I have move the comment to its own post, so it’s easier for people to find. Well we should start with Bradley’s comment – here it is:

I find your material not only offensive, but not at all, that is the message you are purporting to bring, in the spirit of christianity. For example, I was walking through the Murray St Mall recently, when a pleasant enough women handed me a small piece of paper – your message – stating that I (1). have sinned (2) will spend eternity (because of my sin) in hell, and(3).conveniently enough, if I accept certain conditions and adjustments I may be fortunate enough to be forgiven (for what I do not know?) by some omnipotent entity who you are, apparently, on very familiar terms with.
Now I would like to respond, does any sane person truly believe (1). if some all-knowing etc entity was in fact able to remove all my supposed sin, that he may have, in the first instance, thus created a people, in his own image nonetheless (mind boggling stuff again, but more on this later), that were a little nicer, so they did not in fact require their sins to admonished?
Good point say I. Your material, which was handed to me in a public place, I find analogous to pornography. That is, I would not want my children to read it or to try and interpret it’s message. The implications resemble a horror movie (rated R or X) and as such should not be on public display.
Thus I find your actions reprehensible, irresponsible and worse yet, the conclusions one can draw from such material, may cause physical harm – in this world – which is the only world anyone has every spoken of with any authoritative and first hand experential knowledge.

Please respond, as I am interested in debating this topic further.
So, as all matters concerning human interests, which to your mind are the most pressing, please do (respond and debate) through the site so it (the debate) is in the public domain, so others who may not yet be fully committed to to your religious ideology, have an opportunity in which they can hear other, and as equally coherent, views expressed.

This should not be an issue, since if one is convinced in their belief, then there will be little I could say or do to change it. However, if they are not yet totally convinced, then we have equal opportunity to convince them one way or the other; that is , to convince them otherwise.

Kind Regards
Bradley

Bradley I am sorry that you are offended by the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ. I want all people everywhere to receive Jesus as their King and Saviour, but I also know from scripture that this is not going to happen. I am sad, but not surprised, when someone finds the Gospel offensive.

The bible teaches that we all are rebels against God from birth. We are dead in our sins against a Holy God. We desperatly need God to have grace and mercy towards us and to shine His light into our blind condition. It is impossible for us to get right with God through our own effort – we need to be saved.

In your first paragraph you intimated that you have an appreciation of Christianity. What do you think the Christian message should be?


NEW Tract delivery system!!! for sookielala’s

January 14, 2008

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I am still a big time sookielala (wimp) when it comes to the one on one, street evangelicalism so I am sticking with the tract depositing by stealth.

However even depositing tracts by stealth still comes with its pit falls, challenges, fears, worries and problems!!!

Read the rest of this entry »


The Holy Spirit convicting the world of guilt

September 9, 2007

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A light bulb flashed on for me during tonight’s sermon.

Previously I have felt a bit ashamed to speak too much about sin and guilt when presenting the gospel.  I have tended to want to major on “the positives” e.g.  adoption into God’s family, new life and eternal life.

Tonight’s sermon by Pastor John de Boer was titled “The Holy Spirit – Our Roommate”.
One of the points brought out was that the work of the Spirit is like a spotlight directed at Christ. One of the bible texts used was John 16: 8 – 11.

Unless I go away, the Counsellor (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

As I read “when He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement…”  it occurred to me that I have not seen the significance of exposing sin for what it is, or as I should have been seeing it.

There is a great temptation to play down the harsh offence of the cross, and make it more appealing.
This text shows that people can’t see their need for Christ till they are convicted of guilt.


Walk up Evangelism

September 7, 2007

Ever dreamt of walking up to a stranger, striking up a conversation and then sharing the gospel with them? It is a surprisingly fearful, but tremendously important work that many Christians can get involved in. MTS is an Australian organisation that trains up evangelists in this work. They have a very sound article that serves as a great introductory ‘how to’ guide. Check it out if you dare!


A Walk in the Park

August 26, 2007

Arrived at the park today to find Daniel already in conversation with a lady Agalaia? sitting at a park bench. As I walked into the action, Daniel had opportunity to explain why we were meeting together in the park and what we were doing. This led to questions about her experience and knowledge of God, the Bible and Christianity and some lengthy discussion about whether she knew and cared about her sinful condition in relation to the Law of God.

She admitted she was sinful but thought it didn’t really matter that much because she wasn’t as bad as everybody else at which point we took the time to explain that Jesus said it did matter and that according to God’s standard a lustful look and a hateful thought are as bad before God as the acts of adultery and murder that can follow them.

She was sure that her asking for forgiveness each night would make her right with God and I asked her why she thought God would cancel her debt … if He’s a just God He can’t just ignore her sin and offence … just because she wanted Him too … she had no bargaining power with the God she had offended. I then explained that when a Christian prays, they have to acknowledge that they can only come to God “through Jesus” as their representative, acknowledging by faith that they need His righteousness and His payment for sins to be theirs. This seemed to sink in a little. I also explained that the fact that she prayed to God each night was of no use unless she came to the Father through faith in the Son … she might think she was praying to a God that would forgive her because “she wasn’t that bad” and they “were only little sins” but that to pray to a God in that way was only to pray to a God of her imagination. To pray to the holy, just and living God she needed to come through the person and work of Jesus. She accepted tracts and a Bible and seemed genuinely interested in hearing the gospel.

Read the rest of this entry »


Parkhour: Sowing seeds – Watering Seeds – Looking for Life

August 13, 2007

I think our new team may have freaked out a few people this Sunday. We took some very new evangelists along and we had two cameras between five people. A question that was asked of prospective people to evangelise, by us was ” Do you mind if we video us talking to you?” Everyone I heard asked that question said “Yes, we do mind” and didn’t want to speak at all. There was perhaps a percieved threat, invasion of privacy, offence at an overly forward manner or at least a rejection of the request because of it being too weird. No offence to the team – you never know until you go – but I think we need to rethink the “front up” style, reality TV type situation that the average park dweller in Launceston is obviously adverse to and stick to the basics of making a connection with people at where they are at and simply sharing the gospel. I talked to Daniel afterwards about this and suggested that maybe a way of showing questioning techniques, preparing for obstructions, objections and rebuttals and counter arguments to the gospel message is to set up our own contrived encounters where we purposefully present the viewer with a range of scenarios and possible thought out Christian responses. This itself could be a powerful evangelistic tool.

Anyway as I walked the park with Isaac we had two quite positive encounters and opportunities to share the truth of God’s Word with some strangers to God’s grace.

At first we approached a large group of young skaters having a rest on the bench. I introduced myself and said I wanted to talk to them about God and what they imagined would happen when they died. All of the skaters rushed off to skate again except for Ryan (whom I had spoken to a week or two earlier) and a guy named Todd. Todd was open to questions and offered ideas about what might happen after death and a vague belief that there was a God. Read the rest of this entry »


Fear Scale Evangelism

August 7, 2007

Hi,

I am in the process of writing a script for a short film – Fear Scale Evangelism. (I would like to call it fear factor evangelism but I don’t know if that is OK.)

I want you suggestions on what is the most fearful way to evangelise, ie:

  • walk up to a stranger (wuts) evangelism
  • random call up on the telephone evangelism
  • evangelising to a family member
  • evangelising to a person you do business with
  • handing out tracts on a street corner
  • hiding tracts on cars and in public places, library books, etc
  • setting up a blog to evangelise to the lost
  • making a film and putting it on youtube
  • open air preaching to a crowd
  • etc,

Can you suggest any more categories and sugestions for the film? I think that comedy is a good way to explore the issue of fear in evangelism.

Also – if you gave a score out of 10 for the most fearful thing to do, how would you rate the bulleted list above?


Evangelism in the park: Daniel’s reflections

August 5, 2007

First met Jess and K. We chatted for a while about councils, work, etc. It was cold but nice overlooking the river. After chatting for a while I enquired about their Christian background and what they think happens when people die. K. said that he was open to anything but taking him through the ten commandments he quickly asked us to stop our discussion and move on to other people. They accepted some tracts which was nice.

Josh came and we walked along the flood barrier and met some a man and woman hugging and watching the scene before them. After introducing ourselves and explaining that we were Christians out evangelising the lady said that they were both committed atheists and she refused to talk to us.

We went into the skate park and met Tim and Ryan. They listened carefully to our presentation of God, the law, judgement and the gospel. Please pray for these guys.

On the way out of the skate park there were two dads watching their kids ride their bikes. We talked for a bit about football. When I asked it they had a Christian background one guy said that he was a Christian and the other guy said, “If I wanted to be a Christian I would go to Church to find out and I wouldn’t listen to guys coming up to me like you two.” This didn’t really make sense. The guy was very anti-Christian and would not even take a tract.

On the way back to the car we met two rollerbladers, Lynden and Warwick. Lynden had a Church background in the Seventh Day Adventists but was not very active in it and Warwick had no Christian background. We had a real good chat with them both and they listened carefully to our explanation. 

Josh witnessing to Lynden and Warwick

If you are a Christian and able to pray for God to continue his work in the lives of the people we met today, please do so. 


Sunday Evangelism – keen Christians welcome to help

August 3, 2007

Ever wanted to learn how to do walk-up evangelism?
Come out evangelising this Sunday 5th August.

When: @ 2:50pm for 3pm start – just for about an hour

Where: meet at the boat BBQ near the car park (see image)

What to bring: bible, tracts, and super warm clothing.

See you there, Daniel

Map to evangelism spot - Launceston skate park


Sunday hour of evangelism (our first alien)

July 29, 2007

Josh and I went out witnessing for about an hour and we shared the gospel with 5 people and handed out a couple of tracts to others.

I arrived late and Josh was already witnessing to Valentino. He was a mature man with a black polo shirt and red braces. He had a large chunky silver necklace and spoke with a strong European accent. I am not exactly sure if he claimed to be an extra-terrestrial or if he claimed to be somehow in contact with aliens, but he was not ready to listen to the gospel. He had all sorts of clunky ideas that he countered with in response to the presentation of the gospel and he was very secretive and said that he was not permitted to tell us stuff. Strangely enough he did encourage at the end to continue to preach the gospel.

After a quick prayer we headed to wards the skate park. 3 girls lay on a picnic rug stroking their white dog. The all had trendy sunglasses on and one of them was busy receiving calls on her mobile while we chatted to them. They had a Catholic school background and were quite blasé about anything to do with Christianity. They all listened well as I explained the good test. Josh confirmed at the end how the commandments show us what God’s character is like – holy, just and good.

We left the girls and headed under the flood barrier and talked to Dave in the skate park. For the entirety of our conversation Dave swore heavily and blasphemed intensely. We met Dave resting on a mountain bike as he watched his two boys doing tricks on their BMXs. I had a good natural conversation with Dave about his background and what he does for a living.  I have worked doing the same job as he does so we shared about that. At one point he made a joke about suicide and that was when I asked, ‘what do you think happens when you die?’ He believed that he would just go into nothingness. Josh and I then spent some time overcoming his ignorant objections to the authority of the bible. I took Dave through he good test – he really thought he was good but then he started to make a joke about everything. It was weird – Dave was constantly changing between caring and not caring about his eternal destiny. Dave was very proud and I thought it wise to not go on to share the gospel. Josh did give a small mention of the gospel in answer to one of Dave’s questions. I am concerned for Dave.

We left the afternoon joyful and thankful that we had an opportunity to glorify God. I took a camera but didn’t get any footage of the witness encounters to share and spruce up this post. I will try to do something like that in the future.